Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Phoenix Web Design: 7 Tips for Effective Small Business Websites

http://www.integraphix.com/blog/article/7-small-business-web-design-tips-chicago

Most legitimate companies, small or large, have some sort of web presence these days. Typically, most consumers won't even know a business exists without it! Since much of our time is spent online, in search engines, and, apparently, on Facebook, it is becoming more and more a necessity to have a website for your Phoenix, AZ small business. Venturing into this realm of internet and web design mysteries can be a little scary at first, but with the following 10 Tips, and an awesome Arizona web design firm, you'll have a shiny new website in a matter of weeks!

Tip #1 - Use Analytics Tools
Always ask your Phoenix web development company to install and give you access to Google (or other) Analytics for your website. This may not have much to do with the actual design, but in terms of quality, this is how you can tell what's working, what's not, and where your traffic is coming from. It will also tell you what people are doing with your website once they're actually on it, so you can see where changes need to be made.

Tip #2 - Clear, Logical Navigation
It doesn't matter if you're selling a product, a service, or yourself - your website and how users navigate it, needs to make sense. Make it especially easy for users to get back to your home page. You can do this by having a 'home' button, or simply making your logo a link. Both is better! The bottom line: Don't make users search click more than twice to get where they want to go on your website. Example: To get to this blog, all you had to do was click 'Blog' and then click on the blog title. Two clicks and you're here!

Tip #3 - Legibility and Fonts
You may have a favorite font, and that font may be Papyrus, but keep in mind that not everybody can actually read that font. It's best to keep it simple, legible and perhaps even fall into the trend of using large typography.

Tip #4 - Make an Impression with your Header!
It's potentially the first, (and last) thing your user will see when they visit or leave your website, so make it count!

Tip #5 - Use High Quality Photos Only
This is extremely important and the most forgotten aspect of most small business web design efforts. The pictures are not professionally taken, are fuzzy and pixelated (even by web standards) and lack the dynamic edge that can sometimes make or break a website. It may be an extra expense, but always get your web photos professionally taken. If you can't afford professional photography, take a look at istockphoto or some of the other stock photo libraries and buy some great photos for your website. It will be worth the effort and money spent to have clear, professional photos on your website.

Tip #6 - Follow SEO Standards
This is usually the last thing business owners think about. It's usually the last thing web designers think about unless they're well versed in the industry and common practices. It is essential to design your website, and choose your CMS based on your SEO goals and needs. If possible, stick to a CMS that makes SEO easy for you instead of having to hack the system to get it to work for you. This means having a CMS that allows you to dynamically change Title Tags, Meta Data, Alt Tags and SEO Friendly URLS all within the CMS itself. And Remember: Title Tag, Meta Description, H1 and body copy are the most important factors in SEO. Content is King!

Tip #7 - Use an Experienced Web Design and Graphic Design Team
Above all, do not hire your kid nephew to design a website that is meant to portray the best of your business. If your website looks like an amateur did it, it may give of the impression that you don't care enough to invest in your business. That can rub a customer the wrong way and cost you a sale. To avoid losing customers based solely on your website's design, hire an experienced, knowledgeable Phoenix, AZ web design and development company to design an effective, beautiful website that works for you and your customers.

There are hundreds of tips, tricks and web design techniques that could be added to this list. If you're not sure where to start, give us a call at 480-442-6106 to schedule and appointment. We'll help you not only put your best foot forward, but give you insight you may not have even thought of before.