In this short article we want to share some tips that will help busy business owners get a web design that will really help them achieve their business growth goals. And the good news is, it doesn’t have to take up as much time as you might think.
TIP 1. Work out how much you want to invest.
Depending on the look and features you want for your website, you can spend a little or a lot. When it comes to a brand new website, you have two choices; you can do it yourself or hire a professional. Designing your own website is a huge undertaking and is not recommended unless you have a lot of experience.
Hiring a professional website development agency will not only will you save yourself a lot of headaches and time but also you can be sure that the finished product will be slick, professional and meet the required web standards.
A professionally designed site can start from $2000, but it does depend on your requirements. While there are companies that offer their services for less, and more, be sure you know what you are getting for your money, as the old saying goes – you get what you pay for.
Once you know how much you want to invest from start to finish, then you’ll be ready for the next step.
Do your research on:
Your website’s hosting.
There are a range of different website hosting providers that offer different levels of service. Some offer 24 hour support in case your website crashes or is hacked, or if you have any issues that need to be resolved immediately. Others offer limited support. Research different website hosting providers and choose the one that offers the level of service that best suits your needs.
Your website’s address
DIY Tip: Make sure you use a domain name that’s related to your business. You can use AusRegistery to research domains that are available for registration. If your business name is already taken, find a domain that’s closely related, e.g. includes your main service and/or location.
Agency Tip: The agency you work with should be able to advise on the best domain name. While your business name is the obvious choice for your domain, a good agency will be able to put together a domain strategy that will assist in getting you to rank better in Google.
Domain registrations are often included in an agency’s website package they put together for you.
Your website content and keywords
DIY Tip: When putting together your website content, be sure to use relevant keywords so that it helps with your rankings in Google. Research these keywords using Google Keyword Planner. Include location specific references so that it helps you appear in local search results, but be careful not to make it sound too spammy. It’s important that you have quality content that is helpful and informative for your readers and is not just written for Search Engines.
Agency Tip: Often a full service agency will provide content writing services and basic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation – to improve your rankings in Google) as part of your overall web strategy. Alternatively, they will be able to give detailed advice on how to best put your content together if you would like to manage this part of the project yourself.
Starting your website design
The next step is to decide whether or not you’ll use a content management system (CMS). In most cases having a content management system is the way to go, as this will give you the ability to easily update or manage your content, rather than having to pay a web developer for minor tasks. Many CMS’s are simple to use and have a user-friendly editor like Word, allowing you to have a feature rich website that is easy to manage and update.
Umbraco is a great CMS that we highly recommend, as it’s very secure and offers heaps of flexibility for small to large enterprise businesses. There are other systems out there and they all have their pro’s and cons, but at the end of the day, you need a web design agency that is going to provide you with the support you need so that you get the most out of your website.
DIY tip. There are many online services, such as WIX, or another option is to set up a simple WordPress site with a theme.
Top 2 website Design rules:
1. Keep it mobile. Nowadays, your site has to be mobile friendly if you want people to find you on their phone. Sites that aren’t mobile friendly are being penalised by Google so this is a biggie to keep in mind.
2. Keep it simple. When it comes to web design, the rule of thumb is to keep things as simple as possible. Don’t clutter your pages with unnecessary content and pictures. The easier your website is to navigate, the more people will stay on it and return to it, which will result in business growth. Potential customers won’t stay on a website when they are overloaded with information. Always keep the user experience in mind when you are designing your website.
Web design conversion tip: In addition to keeping it simple, make sure you keep in mind the type of people that will visit your website and make sure you have relevant call to actions that appeal to them.
After your site is live: Keep an eye on your website traffic results
On a monthly basis, analyse and keep track of how many people are visiting your site and what pages or call-to-actions they are clicking on. You can use Google Analytics to get a good idea of traffic numbers and click through’s.
Get your web design agency to walk you through your website traffic results. They’ll be able to put together strategies to improve user activity and response on your site.