Having a bad website is much worse than not having one. Your website reflects your brand and your business. If customers are frustrated or disappointed when they visit because the site is slow to load, looks outdated, or doesn’t function well, then they’re likely to move on to a competitor.
Think of your website as having “virtual curb appeal” — your website is like your online front door. It should be pleasant to look at, beckon users to learn more about your business, and include helpful information that they can easily access. AZ Media Maven has partnered for the past several years with Websites by Toni, a Peoria, Arizona-based web design and development company. Together, we will make your website attractive, inviting, and useful — and help you keep it that way.
When developing a website, consider user experience. Will people be shopping there? Using free resources? Downloading useful information? Knowing how the site will be used guides our team in developing a custom site that will specifically engage with your target audience.
Also consider search engine optimization – this means using key words that people might use in a search to find your business. For example, “pet sitter near me” “places to eat in Phoenix” or “social media management agency.”
Other important elements include and technical detail – up-to-date platform software, plugins and other backend considerations. A site must be designed to perform in today’s competitive marketplace.
Keep It Simple
A common mistake when building a website is to try and pack too much into it the space. Avoid the temptation to prattle on about things most customers don’t need to know and don’t want to wade through to get to the “meat” of your message. Do they really need to know how much your fourth-grade teacher influenced your life? Focus on key elements like contact information, hours of operation, location and what you offer that your competitors do not.
The same goes with visuals: Don’t clutter up your design. Choose photos, graphics, and videos that clearly demonstrate your services, showcase your products, and encourage customers to take the next step and contact you.
Maker It User Friendly
Websites have a navigation bar for a reason: To help people quickly locate information. Make sure your navigation bar has clear, easy-to-understand words and phrases to help users click directly onto the page they want. Common tab headings include About, Contact Us, Services, Resources, Our Team, for example. Visitors will have a good idea of what they will find if the click on those links.
Visitors to a restaurant website are after three key pieces of information. They want to know where you are, when you’re open, and what’s on your menu. But most restaurants don’t have a page titled “Hours/Location.” This information is often buried under “About Us,” “Contact Us,” “Who We Are,” etc.
Also, while almost all sites include an address somewhere, many don’t include an interactive map. If your customers are en route and can’t find you easily, they’ll probably go somewhere else.
Visitors also will want to know prices for services and products when they go to a website. Not having a rate sheet or product prices listed can be a deterrent to potential customers. Don’t be coy; post what you charge by the hour or per service or menu item.
There is a lot more that goes into a good navigation bar, according to DesignCrowd. Their cardinal rules include keeping the bar simple and legible; making it clear; and consistent from page-to-page. Read more in this in their article about navigation bars.
Be Attractive and Appropriate
Give plenty of thought to the aesthetic appeal of your site, including colors, fonts, and design elements such as borders. Keep these consistent throughout the site and make sure they appeal to the demographics you’re targeting, because you’ll want to use them in social media posts, on mailers, and more.
Also, think about what messages certain colors and designs convey and choose ones that are appropriate for your business. For example, the website for a law office should look serious, with muted tones and classic fonts, while a fast casual salad restaurant will use brighter colors and bolder fonts — something that says, “Fast, fresh, and fun.”
Allow Customers to Book and Buy Online
Finally, make it easy to convert site visits to income by allowing customers to book and buy online, whether you’re running a medical office, spa, hotel, restaurant, retail shop, or more.
At the very least, install a contact form that will ping you when anyone submits it, and don’t forget the spam filter. Too often, these forms are ignored or are only checked sporadically, which translates to lost opportunities.
Better yet, allow people to book their own appointments or reservations and buy products online so they save time and reduce their hassle.
Whether you’re in need of a simple WordPress website to get your business online or a more complicated e-commerce website, our web development team at AZ Media Maven will help bring your vision to life.
AZ Media Maven is based in Laveen, AZ, a suburban village in the greater Phoenix area. Owner Rose Tring has more than 30 years of journalism experience as an editor and writer, many of those years in business news. AZ Media Maven was created in 2012 to serve other business owners in learning how to best use social media and to provide affordable public relation services.
Reach AZ Media Maven at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (602) 373-8371.