Your website is one of the most important tools for your business in today’s online world. Your website can make or break your business.

So you want to ensure your website is performing well and converting visitors into valuable clients.

Here are my top tips for creating a website that works.

Plan for success

I can’t tell you how many clients have come to me and said ‘I need a website’ but do not have a clear idea on what they are trying to achieve or the content they want to see. All they know is that they should have a website without much thought behind it.

Planning your website is an essential part of building a site. If you don’t plan, then you plan to fail. It is much easier to work out a basic site-map of your site rather than doing this as you go along.

This important step will not only save you time but also money. Web designers are able to give you a more accurate quote if you know what you want.

Inject some personality

You want to instantly capture your readers attention, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to bring out your personality in the website.

This is particularly important within small businesses. Visitors like to see a website and see who is behind the business. Including a photo of yourself or of your team on the website is a great way to not only build trust but also to start building a relationship with potential clients.

Keep it Simple

This comes up time and again in marketing and small business in general, and website design is no exception.

Ensure your navigation menu is simple and easy to navigate. Users want to know how to get from point A to point B without any fuss.

Ensure that you keep the content simple and easy to read, you want to ensure the majority

Make it easy for your visitors

I don’t know about you but I find it astounding the amount of websites that make it difficult for the user to contact them. I can only imagine the amount of business some people lose by not making their contact details visible or easy to navigate to.

Ensure that you have a page where people can contact you and include at least two methods of communication for people to contact you (mobile, email, Skype etc).  Some people like email and others like phoning, so it is a great idea to include both methods of communication and allow people to choose the method that suits them.

A contact form is also a great idea as you can use the form to get some information of where your leads are coming from.  I always include a drop down menu asking where enquiries have come from whether that is a search engine like Google or from word of mouth.

Lots of white space

Keeping with the keep it simple policy above, ensure that your website has a lot of white space.  It ensures that your content is easier to read and really gives your website an uncluttered feel.

The majority of users will click away from a website within seconds if they feel it is too overwhelming and busy.

Visitors don’t read they scan

You want to make your website copy so that people can scan the page easily and be able to tell what the site or page is about.

Simple formatting can assist with this. Make use of headings, bold text and also bullet points to make your copy easier to read. Go through each page and highlight the main points. It is also a good idea to hyperlink through to different pages when mentioning those pages, this is good for Search Engine Optimisation but also makes it easy for the readers to skip to sections they want to read about.

Images go a long way

Make use of images.  They can really spice up website pages and blog posts. You do need to be careful not to use too many images but using one per page is a good rule of thumb. Images can instantly tell a reader what the subject of the webpage is going to be about which also goes back to making your website easy to scan.

If you are unsure where to start it is a great idea to make a list of websites that you like and websites you do not like. Make a list of why you do or don’t like the site and use that as a reference and provide these to your designer.

And one final tip… make sure you check the spelling on every page! And once you have finished check the spelling again. You can never do too many spell checks.

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