5 Essentials to Website Design for Business Owners
by Andrew Millar
So you have finally come to realize that your business needs its own website. Great!
Now what? Let’s look at website design for business owners to see if it’s any different from web design in general.
First thing you have to answer is “What’s the purpose of this website?” Do you want it to act as a traditional glossy brochure full of descriptions of your products and services? Would you actually like to sell your products and services online? (An e-commerce site). Or do you see it as more of an information source like a bulletin board, where you can post current messages and offers to your customers? Perhaps you would like to use your business website as a venue that allows you to express your opinion about conditions affecting your business or industry? (a blog, from ‘weblog’). Maybe you would you like to use your new online presence to attract new customers? Clearly, from this, you can see that your first step is to decide the primary purpose of your website.
Once you know your purpose, website design for business owners begins to take on greater clarity.
If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there?
Now it is time to define the goals and objectives of your website. These will become the reference points by which you will know how far you have come, so remember to make them relevant and measurable. They will be the signs of your success. As your website is designed, you want to make sure each aspect of it fulfills your stated objectives. These will vary for each business. It may be the number of online visitors, the number of calls received, or the amount of sales made.
As you develop your goals, it is important to define your audience. Who are they, what’s their age, their gender, their habits? Do you want your business website to attract a new type of customer? Spend some time to develop a profile of who they are. Now you can create an online message consistent with their persona.
After you have defined your business purpose, your goals and objectives, and who your market is, it is time to think of how you are going to attract them to do business with you. After all, it’s one thing to get your prospect to your business website, it is another thing to engage them in the buying process. A critical step in website design for business owners is to hold the attention of the website visitor. This can be done by offering them something of value with very little risk on their part; a ‘call-to-action’ where they register (via their email) to receive a white paper or video that gives them information relevant to their initial query that brought them to your website in the first place.
This has been a thumbnail sketch of the essentials necessary in website design for business owners. It gives you a framework of how to begin to think so that your designer will know your requirements as you either build a new or enhance an existing business website.