Just about anyone can create a website today at little or no cost. You can buy your own personal domain name and become XYZCompany.com for less than $15; write some content and add an image or two and you now have established an online presence. Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for that flood of internet clients to start begging to do business with you, right?
Unfortunately, there are some people who really do believe that it is that simple, but if you’ve ever done an search for any type of business on the internet, you know that the competition to capture the attention of internet consumers is fierce. Getting your website to rank high enough with search engines to be found by your target audience is a challenge in itself, but even when you achieve that feat, your website still needs to have the right ingredients to cause them to stay on your site long enough to learn what you’re about and hopefully turn them into a sale or at least a strong lead. So before you start developing a plan to drive traffic to your website, make sure your website is the best it can be and will keep their attention long enough to make an impression. There are four basic components that create an awesome website.
How to create a business website with aesthetic appeal
Smashing Magazine is the trade magazine that website designers turn to for the most up to date information regarding what is working and not working related to website design. They have several articles on their website that relate to what makes a website visually appealing, however, their article titled “11 Almost Perfect Business Layouts” is one that will provide you with visual examples and an easy to understand description of what makes those website designs appealing to business customers.
One of the primary similarities you’ll notice on the examples they list in their article is the lack of clutter on the websites. They provide a clean, balanced look with plenty of background space. This makes the sites easy to look at. The graphics are sharp and modern, but not overwhelming.
According to a study of web use, only 4% of page views on the internet last more than 10 minutes and 17% of the page views are less than four SECONDS. That means your website better grab their attention very quickly in order to keep them there long enough to read what your site has to say.
How to make a website that’s easy to use
Some of the smallest things can cause the biggest frustrations, especially in the quick-paced world of the internet. If the individual browsing your website can’t find what they’re looking for or they click on a link that doesn’t work or take them where they want to go, they’re likely to leave your site and find another site that operates more efficiently.
Consistency is a key factor here. Every page on your website should provide links to every other page and those links should look the same and have the same location on every page. There should also be links within the content to take them to additional information on your site as well.
The importance of strong, up-to-date website content
With the statistics showing the attention span of web users to be be so very short, lengthy reading of detailed information is not what most website visitors are looking for. Gary Sargent of Expert Internet Marketing, a premier website design and internet marketing firm in Las Vegas uses professional copywriters to create the content for their websites. “To have a professional and high ranking website, high quality, unique content is a must,” according to Gary.
Keeping that copy up to date is another important factor in whether a visitor to your site will stay beyond the first few seconds. If your blog page hasn’t been updated in 3 months or you still have your Christmas specials listed in April, a visitor to your site is going to be offended at such a poorly maintained website. It becomes the equivalent of walking into a retail store and seeing a coat of dust on everything on the shelves. Your potential customers will quickly turn around and head to another vendor who is at least maintaining their appearance.
Search engine optimization (SEO) for business websites
The first three components listed relate to how your website is perceived by those internet consumers who visit it. The fourth component relates to the less visible aspect of a truly awesome website and the entities who will truly be your most important allies – the search engines.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to being found and found easily and quickly on the internet. The search engine has become the concierge of the internet; the go-to place to find whatever it is you need by simply keying in a few words into a search box. If you want to make it to the top of their search list, they need to find the keywords that people associate with your business in your content and the unseen attachments to each page such as the meta-tags and descriptions that are created when the site is designed.
At one point, SEO strategy entailed including as many keywords in your website content as possible to get it to the top of the search list. Google and the other search engines quickly determined that sites which used those types of SEO strategies were not the high quality sites that they wanted to show up at the top of their searches. SEO strategies today have become much more complex and have created a whole new breed of experts who spend their time analyzing the many different algorithms being used by the search engines to determine which sites should truly make it to the top of their lists.
The importance of optimizing your company website
The internet is not the Field of Dreams where “If you build it they will come.” There is a lot of planning and work that goes into creating a website that is attractive and functional for your visitors and also attractive to the search engines, which rule the waves of the internet sea. This article should help you understand the basics behind what is require to create that awesome website and a truly professional website designer should address all four components in your website design. Be watching for our future articles on how to drive traffic to that awesome website of yours, once you have it online.
Written By: Kathleen M. Krueger