Leadership

The Big-Picture Techniques for Building a More Compelling Website

Compelling website

One obligatory rule for business owners today: Get a website. Don’t wreck your chances of making it big by missing the world’s largest market that is the World Wide Web. It does not matter whether you are a big shot corporation or a start-up local company; the internet is a fact of doing business these days.

shutterstock_128833126Most companies do not only have websites, they have mobile-optimised websites. The third annual Reducing Customer Struggle survey published by E-Consultancy and IBM shows 55% of businesses have moved from desktop to mobile. Furthermore, 44% have iPhone applications, 33% for Android, and 26% specifically for iPad.

So if you still don’t have a company website, you are padding way behind.

What are you missing out on? You are missing out on three billion internet users and three billion opportunities.

Do not be among the 52% Small Business (SMB) owners that have yet to adopt modern technology and marketing approaches. A study by Yodle, a leading online marketing platform, shows that half of small businesses are not using the internet for appointment booking, customer relationship and management, point-of-sale systems, and marketing programs.  These businesses probably do not think their customers are online, in which case, they are horribly wrong.

However, before creating a company website, remember that you are competing with nearly one billion websites.  Rise above the competition by making your web design not only a feast to the eyes but powerful and engaging as well. But more important than design, make your web content personal, relevant, and influential.

Pick a Theme

WordPress is a good way to start.  An article in Forbes.com says one out of every six websites in the Internet is powered by WordPress. That is equivalent to nearly 60 million websites. Around 100,000 websites are added everyday through its free cloud-hosted service. WordPress is a fast-growing community that attracts 330 million visitors who view 3.4 billion pages every month.

A lot of people use WordPress for blogs but is also flexible to use for business. Instead of posts, businesses can use “pages”, customize their domain, and customize their homepage by using WordPress themes to make it look more sleek and professional.

There are also several hacks in using Bootstrap for custom WordPress themes you can consider. They can be customized to reflect your business, your products and services, and the overall feel.  Remember that when you choose a theme, go for credible-looking but not intimidating.

Fonts and Colors

When you have decided on a theme for your website, you should choose colors and fonts that go with it. One simple rule for font styles and sizes: make sure they are easy to read — on desktop pc’s or on mobile devices.  Use a universal font and size it no less than 11pt.  In an interview for CIO magazine, Groove Commerce CEO Ethan Griffin adds web font families should be limited to two to ensure fast load times. For fixed-width designs, use a font size that allows a maximum of 15 to 20 words per line.

When it comes to color, use them strategically. A neutral palette will help your website project a more elegant and professional feel. Employ small dashes of color for key graphics like headlines to guide visitors to your most important content. Make sure that the colors you choose complement your logo and other marketing materials.

Go for easy navigation

Remember that customers and visitors will not waste time trying to figure out how your website works. In the same interview for CIO magazine, Brian Gatti of Inspire Business Concepts proposes providing secondary navigation options below the primary navigation bar or in the left-side margin of the website. This makes for more intuitive navigation.

It will also help to design every page as a landing page because most visits to a site begin on a page that is not the homepage. An effective website development guarantees that whatever page the visitor lands on, key information is available.

Allow Visitors to Breathe

Get rid of the visual clutter and create a compelling vision. Do not be overly excited with photos, graphs and animation. Do not attempt to utilize every website design trend in a single website. Remember that the brain stops processing when confronted with too many options.  Limit links to the header and footer to narrow focus.

Graphic designer Hannah Spencer of Coalition Technologies also reminds web designers to create enough space between paragraphs and images and give the visitor the time to take in all the information. Consider limiting a single paragraph to no more than five to six lines. Control white space throughout the layout to keep focus on the web content.

Content is King

Content is the core of every website. The key to creating web compelling content is remembering that your customer or visitor is the most important person in your website.  Be personal and stop using the third person point of view. Don’t lose potential subscribers by trying to sound like a genius. The problem with most corporate websites is they are intimidating and impossible to understand. Make sure that you use easy words and draw on common experiences. Be careful about infusing humor and sarcasm — you are entering a tricky territory and may find it hard to pull off.

Blogging can help you reach out in a tone that is friendly. However, don’t get to colloquial as this could hurt your brand and image. Make sure your blogs help solve common problems, sincere, relevant, and valuable. If you can make your audience laugh, even better.

But first thing’s first: How do you get people to check you out? Keywords maybe a pain in the neck but they are necessary. Put yourself in your potential visitor’s shoe: if you were trying to find an article, what words would you use in a search engine? Writing with the right keywords will drive you up the Search Engine Optimization ladder and will make it easier for users to find you.

The key is,again, being personal. Simplify the process. An effective website development is not being trendy or being the most technologically-advanced. Forget being flashy but focus on content, readability, branding, and make good on your intentions.



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About the Author: Jona Jone

Jona Jone was a mortgage originator in Philadelphia, PA and is now a Business and Property Specialist. She writes about real estate investment, business, parenting and

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