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How to build a website? What to consider while getting your website designed?
Don’t worry it’s not a guide for developers. It’s a guide for small / medium business owners who are setting up website for the first time.
The commonly asked question:
What the compulsory / mandatory pages for a business website?
We have been asked this question dozens of time and the answer is complicated and this simple question had to follow up with several other questions i.e
What kind of business you run?
What is your target market?
Are going to sell online?
oh well but we always recommend following pages as a must to every business owner:
These are the basic pages every website should have, here is a little guide what could be on every page to give you an idea:
What should I have on my home page?
Home page is a face of a website, consider this as a office front desk and usually business have nice desk with a pretty looking girl welcoming people with a great big smile on her face. So website home page should send a warm welcome message to visitors.
Sections you could have on home page,
Website Slider / Banner
What is a slider?
Sliding images commonly known as slider or banner can quickly deliver vital messages to let visitors know what your website is all about. Sliding images should not be over crowded and mixture of loads of things. You don’t need 20 sliding images because it will increase the loading time. Best practices tells us that 3 - 5 images do the trick.
Most people make this mistake and put some general images, and that’s where they lose potential business. We recommend to get the slider done professionally by some skilled graphics designer which are customized to your business and talking about your business and services. Use theme based images, and each image should deliver one message. So visitor get the feeling what this is about.
Another common mistake people does is make the sliding images move too slow. Visitor wont wait to get the image change, you have 3/4 second to deliver the message and then next slide. It will keep the user interactive.
What other section a home page can have?
Top Services or Key Notes
I call them key notes, they are key factor for a visitor to read. If the visitor is looking for something in specific they need to know if you have that service. Sliding images might take time to load or might not be moving fast enough but this text is staying to tell your visitor exactly what services you offer.
You can use a randomly displaying services on every time page loads or fix 3 to 4 services. Again this is content and you are not only telling visitors why should they stay on your website but also you are giving some key content to google and telling search engines what this website is all about. A short font icon or a imagery icon will also deliver a message.
Should you have long home page or small?
This is a very commonly asked question and the answer is, it’s all about your personal preference. I personally suggest have at least 3 to 4 sections including slider. So we cover slider and key notes. What other section can we have, it might comes as a surprise but recent blog post, testimonials and recent projects can deliver some magical results.
Remember our target is to make visitor browse more pages and either take them to purchase a product or at least drop an enquiry.
We had customers saying to us during development process that having testimonials on the website isn’t a good idea but we encourage people to definitely have testimonials. Some people might question that you can put fake comments and no one knows. Here is a thing, it’s about focusing on building trust here is couple of things you can do to make sure people trust on your testimonials.
Recent Project / Popular items
If you have a business website and provide services or products, it’a great opportunity to show people what your latest work or if it’s an commerce website showing what is selling more attract people. They become interested in knowing what is new trends.
You could make a long page or a short page it’s entirely on your own preference but making it too long kill the original objective, remember? “our target is to make visitor browse more pages”
Footer played a good role and you can use it intelligently and display a quick form for enquiry, or contact information or even links to social media pages.
We have so many clients who always get confused is to what to write in about page. We have always helped our clients to give them ideas but if you think about it, this should be the simplest thing to do. I mean you have to write about your company and what you do. Here is some tips for writing an about section
While writing a content for your About us section make sure you cover following points:
1. A brief history of the company
2. Business location countrie(s) and citie(s) of your main interest. Including head office and branches.
3. A briefing about the type of services and products you offer.
4. Consider breaking down information in 3 most used heading around the world; About, Our Mission and Our Vission
5. Do not write too long or it will bore the reader. After all it’s not a blog
6. Consider answering some of the common questions being asked. FAQs are best to grab readers attention.
7. Try to include some of the keywords you really want to target. Make sure search engine understand what your website is about.
If you even cover 3 or 4 of the above in your about page you will have a nice looking about text and trust me you can write a better content than any other content writer. It’s your business!
Showing off your existing work / projects build a trust a great mile. People are intent to use the services and project if you show them your existing work.
There was a time when people use to print profile of their work and send it to potential clients. There was no way of checking if that is actually your work. Having something online has more credible because everyone understand you can’t list someone else’s work.
If you are a builder or engineer you have construction sites to show. You are an electrician you have your worked to portray. If you provide cleaning services you have current projects or associates. So regardless of what you do make sure take pictures of your work and display on your website.
Products / eCommerce Store
Well, you know what to list on a product section of your website. Still few tips for you, make sure list products in well explained categories. Some of the websites I have been and they have way too many categories and sub categories. 3 level of sub categories are enough.
We recommend using “Similar Products” using tags or various different reason to display your products instead of making user click and load a new page with new set of products.
For example, you have an online store for shoes. We understand there are too many types of shoes. We realize you want to make sure people go to specific category and get the right product. Here is some people might do
Women > Heels > High Heels > Pointy Toe > Suede
This is way too long and visitor will get bored. According to us what is the best way to do is you have
Women > Heels
That’s it, yes that should serve the purpose. The question remains how people will get to the right product. I’m sure you have visited websites where you will see set of options on the side bar. That’s it, when user is in product section you gave them options to customize their search. They can use all sorts of different combinations to find the right product for them.
Using this format you are not only making your website more user friendly but you are also making it interactive. They will be more interested in it if every time they chose an option and get new set of products. They might end up buying more than what they were looking for. Sound good right?
If you are an owner of eCommerce website your goal ends here :) However providing a great customer service is also very important so keep reading.
There are several ways to make user contact you. However having a separate page clearly marked as Contact or Contact us will send the signal you want to be contacted. So if it’s a service or product they can’t find on your website. Have questions they can’t find answer on FAQs section or anything else. Contact form is there for them to drop an enquiry, form shouldn’t be too long and complicated.
Name, Email Address, Phone Number and Message
This should be enough but depending on your business you can including location of the sender and type of enquiry etc
You get the idea, if not Contact us ;)
So in a nut shell, we recommend everyone to have above pages on their website.
You can have blog, download section, user login area and so much more on a website. It all depends on what you trying to achieve from your website.
Let us know what you think of our suggestion.