Your company website says a lot about you as a business and gives the first impression to any prospective customer. That is why it is essential to get your website right first time and to utilise all the tools and advice you have available to you. Many people do not listen to other when creating a website and just go for what they want to do, this can often end badly becuase what that person wants isn’t always what is actually best. When creating your site you must plan like crazy and get other opinions and feedback, not just off one person but a handful of people.
Here are some tips to help you along the way:
A splash page is the first page that everyone sees when they enter a website. Most will have a graphic or flash animation with an ‘enter site’ or ‘skip’ button at the bottom. The first page of a website is not only important to the user, but also to search engines. If you waste your first ‘index’ page on an image or flash amination it could have a drastic effect on your SEO and mean that the site never achives a good ranking. Also splash pages are extremely outdated and should not be necasarry, you should catch the attention of the user with your main home page. Fill it with lots of great, interesting, relevant content and eye-catching graphics and your visitors should be interested enough to stay.
Many websites use ads as a form of income and rely on ads and banners making revenue. Well, it is fair enough we have all got to make money somehow, but many take it to the extreme and make their site almost unusable with the amount of ads and pop-ups they use within their website. My advice would be to use ads in moderation, if you cram too many into your site the likelyhood is your visitors will decrease, affecting your ad revenue anyway so just bear that in mind. Another thing to think about is ‘fill in this survey to unlock this website’ ads, I see these quite a lot now and they really annoy me and as a result I do not go on that site if I have to fill in a survey to access it.
This is one of the most important parts of your website, if someone cannot find what they are looking for easily they will simply leave the site and look elsewhere so it is important you get this right. Put a main menu at the top or on the site of every page, this way visitors can always see what other options they have for when they want to move pages. Dropdown submenu’s can be used if there are a lot of pages to be displayed, mega-menu’s are also very good. Another thing to think about is using a breadcrumb navigation bar on every page. This shows the user a path of the pages they went on to get to the current page, this makes it easier for them to go back and further navigate through the site.
Have you ever gone on to a website and you start to hear cheesy music looping in the background, or some voice appears shouting at you telling you what the text says on the page? Well I have and I can tell you it is very annoying and in my opinion does not reflect your website in a good way. Sound should be kept within videos/pocasts and the user should choose whether or not they want to play the sound.
It is all very well getting ideas off other websites and taking parts for your own, but some people can get too caught up in trying to copy a website they like that they don’t actually form their own identity, only mimic they website they like. You must form your own identity, your own brand with colours imagery and logos, this will stick in the viewers head and they will then form a perception and memory of your site and brand eventually leading to them re-visiting your site and/or buying a product/service.
In conclusion, you should never underestimate the power of your company website and you should never think that it cannot be improved. If you follow these 5 tips you should be on your way to having a successful website. If you would like more information or would like to discuss how we could improve your website please contact us