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Five top tips when creating your website

A website is a great way for a business to promote itself. But before starting to develop any site it’s important to decide what it will be used for. Is it a shop window to increase sales, maybe it’s to generate interest in your company or is it more of an online portfolio? There’s a lot to consider so here are a few pointers to get started.

Understand the audience

The best websites are built around the needs of the user, so the first priority is to find out what your customers need to know. Listening to their needs and addressing any potential questions builds trust and establishes your company as an expert in the field.

Consider the content

Web content should be interesting, informative and to the point. Rather than reading a full web page, visitors are likely to scan the text to pick out the important points.

  • Keep information brief, paragraphs should be no longer than five to six lines.
  • Content should be easily accessible and written clearly, without mistakes.
  • For maximum benefit include a call to action on every page.
  • Consider including endorsements. Who better to say how great a company is than its existing customers?
  • Search engines monitor how often content changes. More changes mean it will rank higher in a search. Adding a news page or a blog will keep the content fresh.

Is the design responsive?

According to The Office for National Statistics, the number of users accessing the internet via a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2013, from 24% to 53%*. Responsive sites are immediately accessible on a range of devices and because they eliminate the need to produce different apps for different platforms, a responsive design can save money too.

Is it easy to navigate?

The most successful websites are easy to use, so it’s best to avoid too many links, menus and buttons. If a site is confusing, chances are the user will close a page rather than trying to work it out.

  • Logos are often found at the top left of the screen and link back to the home page.
  • Menus are usually positioned at the top of the screen and (depending on the size of the site) key information should be no more than one click from the home page.
  • Think about including a search facility. Rather than navigate around a site, many people go straight to the search bar to access the information they need.

How does it look?

An attractive design will immediately create a positive impression.

  • Websites that reflect the company’s colour scheme look professional, consistent and reinforce the brand.
  • Good design will draw attention to the important areas of a page but overusing graphics can look confusing and will frustrate users with slow internet connection.

In summary, to make an impact you have to be interesting, accessible and concise, and best of all, advances in technology mean that making a big impression doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money.

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