A goal for any great website is to have content that is meaningful and pleasing to your viewers and at the same time be easily indexed by search engines. So, when the business plan is written and you’re ready to design your small business website, keep these 10 tips and tricks in mind for an effective and meaningful site.

1. Install and Use Analytics.

Using Analytics to see how people are getting to your site, what they’re doing once they’re there, and how long they stay can be your most effective tool for designing and modifying your site. Popular Analytics platforms like Google Analytics will give you rich insights into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. You need to track how visitors react to your website and figure out what works and what does not.

2. Create Logical & Clear Navigation.

Whether you’re selling products or simply selling yourself, your website should make sense. Make it easy to navigate pages and get back home. Don’t make viewers search too hard for the information they need, or they might just go search elsewhere. Also consider how and where you’ll add to the site in the future. Once people are used to the layout, they have a good memory where everything is placed. If you change something it will most definitely irritate them, that’s why its very important to start out with a great design and keep it that way.

3. Make Your Site Legible.

Choose a font and a font size that is easy to read, and easily scalable. Remember we are living in the future now with billions of phones, tablets, and pmp devices that view the web daily. As self explanatory as that is, most people still forget to optimize their website for mobile devices.

4. Create Visual Balance.

Make your site pleasant to look at, but also informative. Don’t go over the top with too much copy, or your viewers won’t read it. Likewise, don’t go too heavy on the graphics or it may take too long to load. Try taking the minimalist approach if you will. Whatever you do, judge your website by thinking you do not own it.

5. Make an Impression with your Header or Logo.

Besides making your header the quickest part of your site to load, make sure it’s captivating for your viewer.  Like the entranceway to your store or office space, the header and your logo are typically the first part of the site that your viewers see – make them stick around to see more by creating a good first impression.

6. Use High Quality Graphics & Photos.

High quality graphics and images can only improve the trust factor for your business. Steer clear of overused graphics or stock photography that your viewers can see anywhere. Use custom graphics and photography wherever possible. Use real photos of your staff, your products, or your services. An image tells a thousand words, so make those words meaningful.

7. Put the Most Important Information “Above the Fold.”

Anything “above the fold” on your website is visible when the site is first opened, without the viewer needing to scroll down. Alternatively, people are used to scrolling down to the bottom of websites to access certain links such as your privacy policy, sitemaps, and copyright info.

8. Format Your Text for Readability.

Break up large paragraphs with bullet points or numbers. Use bold or italics when appropriate to enhance your copy, but don’t overdue it or you’ll emphasize everything (which, in turn, emphasizes nothing). Make your text easy to skim over, with the most interesting parts the ones your viewers will most easily read.

9. Create Unique Page Titles and Meta Tags.

Your page titles and meta tags, while not routinely read by viewers are important for search engine optimization. Use different titles and tags for each page so that search engines view them as separate pages and index them that way.

10. Use an Experienced Graphic Designer.

Your website should represent your small business in the best way possible. If your site looks amateur in appearance, that appearance will only translate to your business’ appearance. Find a qualified, experienced designer that can create a stellar website design, that understands search engine optimization, and that will represent your business appropriately. Not sure exactly what you’re looking for? Consider hosting a design contest and choosing the website design that works best for you! Visit www.DesignContest.com to start a contest or choose from thousands of qualified designers from around the world for your design project.

While there are hundreds of tips and tricks to keep in mind when developing your website, the ten tips above will give you a head start on creating a site that effectively represents your business and gets you the best response from your site. Did you enjoy this article? Comment below and let us know. Please don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS-feed and follow Inspirationfeed on TwitterFacebook (100% Spam Free!) If you enjoyed the following article we humbly ask you to comment,  and help us spread the word with your peers!

Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos for Fancycrave.com. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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