Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 161
does proofreading the copy for
spelling errors and poor grammar.
Such mistakes will make your
customer assume your service or
products aren't up to scratch - and
that is a connection you don't want
anyone to make.
the relevant software and make
the process more streamlined.
START WITH THE BASICS
The ins and outs of how your site
functions may not be the most
thrilling aspect of web design, but the
way people navigate your site is vital
to its success. Your customers need to
be able to find their way around with
ease. Put too many hurdles in their
way and they may just leave.
Clear menus and drop-downs are
essential. Dazzling customers with
flash stuff may look impressive,
but it can get in the way of the site's
functionality. The essential trick is to
get people to their destination quickly.
A search bar is imperative too,
but make sure it works - many don't.
And there should also be a home
button in the same place on every
page to allow users to return to the
homepage without any fuss.
Finally, don't underestimate the
value of creating links between pages
- they help users navigate to other
relevant information or products.
AVOID AN IDENTITY CRISIS
Your site needs to reflect your brand
identity - consistency across your
online presence and marketing is
critical. Your logo is a starting point
for such an identity, so think carefully
about what you want it to signify. It's
a visual representation of your
business and will be plastered all over
your business cards, letterheads and
website, so it's crucial that you get
it right from the start and carve
yourself a cohesive brand identity.
You may wish to draft in a graphic
designer who can create a logo to
your brief. Although this will cost, a
professional-looking logo can make a
significant difference to how potential
customers perceive your company.
Whether you hire an expert or
design the logo yourself, typography
is key. A suitable font should reflect
your business and its services; get it
wrong and your branding may lack
the desired effect. Think carefully
about colours too. To encourage
consistency and familiarity, a colour
scheme can also be extended from
BE ON THE SEARCH
"Ensure your value
proposition is front
and centre, your
content is current and
your site is secure"
your logo to form the basis of any
further design elements.
TAKE CARE OVER CONTENT
Captivating content is vital to keep
your site up to date and get people
to return. Maintain a consistent style
- again, it's all about coherence. The
layout of pages should be broadly the
same, as should style choices, such as
making all titles bold for example.
Such attention to detail goes a long
way to impressing consumers. As
Make the most of search engines,
such as Google, by incorporating
search engine optimisation, or SEO,
into your website. SEO ensures your
website is more "searchable" and is
thus more likely to appear at the top
of someone's search results when
they type in keywords related to
your product or service.
SEO can span from a fairly basic
level to more in-depth methods, but
the standard procedures include:
n Keyword research
n Link building
n Meta tags and meta description
SEO can be tricky to learn, but
it's vital to any successful online
presence. Where you appear in a
search is critical. Statistics show that
those who appear towards the bottom
of the first page or on subsequent
pages get significantly fewer clicks,
so it may be worth contacting a SEO
agency to see what services they can
offer your business.
CHOOSE A HOST
A FULLY FUNCTIONING WEBSITE NEEDS A WEB HOSTING SERVICE,
WHICH PROVIDES THE SERVER SPACE SO EVERYONE CAN CONNECT TO
THE SITE. DISCOVER HOW TO FIND THE BEST ONE TO SUIT YOUR NEEDS
There's a wide range of web-hosting services available for small businesses, from
basic hosting for personal sites to more advanced hosting that accommodates
facilities such as databases on more complex sites. Prices range from £30 a year
to £100s a month, depending on the type of hosting (shared or dedicated),
maintenance and security, so it's worth shopping around. Hosting providers can
provide you with a domain name too, so it may be easier to tackle both at one
time, although you can also buy your domain name separately.
Once you've found a web host, you'll typically be given access to a control panel.
This is an area of your site - not visible to the public - that allows you to configure
your hosting services, create and modify email accounts, back up the site, and add
third-party apps and content management systems. Proficiency with this is crucial.
So whether you're doing your own IT or you have someone else running it for you,
make sure you're in full control.