When you want to find out more about a company, what is the first thing you do? Do you pick up the yellow pages to give them a call? Or perhaps you go to their store to browse their products and speak to the manger? You might still do those things, but you are probably most likely to first visit their website!

Today we “google” and find businesses online, even if just for their phone number or email address. If their website and information isn’t readily available, the chances of us moving on are very high. A website is the front door to your company, and has become a necessity for almost everyone is business. Here’s our breakdown on building your website and things you should think through in the process.

Website Home Page

Your home page is the window people peer into, deciding whether to come on in or move on to the next company. If they like what they see, they’ll click through to a page that piques their interest. Here are a few things to avoid, proven to turn people away immediately when “window shopping” your home page.

  • TEXT HEAVY – A user is likely to move on quickly if there is too much to read and no clear links/menu helping them easily find what they’re looking for. Keep your homepage clear, concise and easy to navigate.
  • TOO MANY IMAGES – Images are very effective when used well, but too many shapes, photos and large text directive boxes are just the opposite. Using too many images, animations etc. confuses the user and turns them off. They feel overwhelmed, won’t know where to find what they’re looking for, and will move on quickly.
  • UNDER CONSTRUCTION – This is an instant turn off! Even when building your site, you need a landing page with information about who you are, how to contact you and maybe a countdown to when your site is going live. Ensure the user knows you are open for business during construction!

Website Menu

Your menu is the guide to your website and it must be clear and simple. You don’t need ten options for users to choose from; instead aim to keep things as simple as possible, using drop downs and internal page links to organize and categorize everything. The top messages you should be communicating to the user through your menu selections are as follows.

  • HOW TO CONTACT YOU – This is the most important information you need to communicate. Include your address, a phone number and either an email address or contact form. Give users as much information as possible to get in touch with you.
  • WHAT YOU OFFER – Don’t give users every detail on what services or products you offer at the start. Lay out your product/service categories clearly and allow users to decide what they would like to learn more about, giving them options to click through and find out more.
  • WHO YOU ARE – A personalized and relatable website will resonate with users, and although not everyone will care about this section, you should present something of who you are and why you do what you do. We’re not suggesting to post a family photo from your latest holiday, but a picture of yourself, your team, your offices and your company vehicles should be available here. When you give a visual of your professional and relational self, a user will likely become more comfortable getting in touch to potentially hire you or buy your products!

Web Development Calgary

Website Design

You can get excited about this part! The design and look of your website is a key factor in attracting and keeping a user’s attention. Studies show you have less than ten seconds to convince a user to stick around, so first impressions really count! Here’s what we think will either draw a user in or turn them away.

  • FONT – Your font should match the design and flow of your website, while maintaining a professional and clean image for users. They should be able to read your site easily and not be distracted by your font. Avoid scripted, heavy, bubbled or cartoon-like fonts and anything too small, hard to read or unprofessional.
  • LAYOUT – You can’t appeal to every user’s different personality and style, but your layout must be friendly, clear and inviting to encourage someone to stick around. Stick to clean lines, simple shapes and high resolution images for clarity, ease of use and happiness to browse further.
  • MULTI-MEDIA – A great way to keep users around longer is to use high resolution images and video effectively on your site. These are attention grabbers – a great way to share your services, best products, company events, client stories and more! You have a better chance of keeping a user engaged and encouraging them to explore your site further.
  • MOBILE-FRIENDLY – More and more users access websites via their mobile devices so your website must be mobile-friendly! A website where the user has to zoom in and scroll around to simply find your menu or contact information is a definite turn off – you can be sure they won’t be sticking around. A responsive website (one that adapts to fit all screens and mobile devices) will give you the best chance of conversion, so remember to have your website designed this way.

Your website is your door to the world! It’s a great way to communicate and share your passion for what you do. Remember these tips and reminders when building your website to ensure your user has a good experience that might just convert them into your next customer!

Planning to build a website for your business? Let us help you design and build your website. Contact us today!

For more help, this is a great example of what NOT to do: http://www.branded3.com/blogs/top-10-worst-websites/