In a previous article we looked primarily at planning your website from the point of view of search optimisation and effective strategies to help position your site on search engines.
In the following article we focus on other aspects of a successful small business website design and how clear navigation can be used to best effect, enhancing your visitors experience and increasing the contacts and or sales that come through the site.
Having a clear, logical and structured approach to ordering the website pages is critical in enhancing your visitors experience once they arrive on the site.
Your web site’s navigation should naturally be centred mainly around your products or services.
Take a small business in the building industry. They build new houses, extensions, do renovations, groundwork and house repairs also. Each aspect of their business should usually have its own page. Quick access to these pages should be available through easy navigation (preferably text based) from every page of the site to show prospective customers what the firm can offer. The same is true for e-commerce websites, where access to products should be through categorised and sub categorised product listings. This structure is very search engine friendly especially when used with bread crumb trail navigation.
The main landing pages are normally those pages where users are referred through search engines. These key pages should be identified and planned before any web development begin s on the site.
The landing pages should be carefully optimised for your chosen keywords to strengthen their effect. It is important that these pages contain clear information relevant to the related keywords and are laid out and designed well around a clear call to action. All of this will help with organic SEO (website optimisation) and AdWords showing higher relevance for the page in Google’s eyes, thus repaying your effort with more referrals or higher conversions. This call to action could be for the user to leave their contact details, complete a survey or click a buy button. Either way, it should be part of your planning and carefully integrated into the site design.
The homepage is the main landing page for most people visiting your site. Particular attention should be paid to it for this reason alone. We recommend having a clear structure to the text and layout and keeping your most important message to the fore while also having obvious links to other important landing pages or relevant information, at deeper levels on the site. Another very important thing on your homepage are links to recently added content, services or products which are far more likely to be crawled and indexed quickly by the search engines than if they were not linked from the homepage.
Final post in the small business web design series will speak about the look and branding of your website.