In my experience, designing a website for a local business is different to other general websites. The basic design is the same but there will be unique changes and extras to enable the website to function properly for the particular business.
Whether you are tackling a website yourself or employing a website designer a tick list is essential to ensure that nothing is forgotten.
We have therefore created a list of twelve and a half essential factors for local businesses website design.
1. The Purpose
The purpose of your website needs to be clarified before starting any work on the design. This is important so that your website can work efficiently for your business. For example, you may want an impressive website with information about your products and services and details of your business. Will it be a website to encourage web-browsing users to pop in for something. On the other hand, will it be a website to encourage long-term and existing customers?
2. Your Website Name
The name of your business may look great in say a high street address but you may have to think about the internet address for your business. Using a genetic URL will help people locate your website easier when they search the internet. For example if your restaurant is called Food in Birmingham, you might consider a web address such as www.foodinbirmingham.co.uk or www.foodinbirmingham.com .
Hosting a website used to be an expensive experience, but nowadays the prices have become more affordable. Care is required when selecting a hosting company; you need to ensure that they provide the services you require.
4. The Main Software Ingredient
Building a website used to be a complicated procedure. A knowledge of code and using a bespoke software was necessary. However, nowadays it is much easier. The use of templates and CSS-based systems are popular and easy to use. Beware of some online web site builders, as they can be restrictive for the original design and ongoing use.
5. Colour & Design
The colour and design of your website should match the logo and design of your business. It is important to keep the website design and logo as plain and simple as possible. Let your images and text impress your visitors.
6. Pictures & Images
They say that a picture paints a thousand words and this is very true when the phrase is used in context with the internet. Real-life images of products and services, happy customers and the interior of your business will speak volumes to users who visit the website.
7. Writing & Copy
Good copy plays an important part in selling your business services to website users. Well-written text that is short and to the point can help to show off the very best of your business. The layout of the website can be adapted to include snippets of information, quotes and headings.
Having a customer testimonials displayed on your website is essential in helping to gain new customers. It’s very much like an online word-of-mouth system and new users to your website may decide to come and sample your services after reading a good testimonial. Testimonials can be shown as a short quote or full paragraph. A picture and name will help to authenticate the testimony.
9. Menu & Services
Giving website user’s access to your menu and services is a good way of showing what your business has to offer. A quick download PDF file one way that a potential customer can view your details at their leisure.
10. Regular Updates
Keeping your website fresh with new content will help to keep website users interested in your business.
11. Customer Interaction
Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are being used by most businesses to interact with their customers. Customers can leave reviews, or post pictures on these sites. A link to your website on your profile or a link as part of your daily posts is an ideal way to help promote your business.
Promotional videos are fast becoming the trend nowadays. A personal message or a special promotion from the business owner will enhance the website for its users.
Twelve & a half -The Stats
The code for stats can be easily added to your website. Using this information allows you to see what the statistics of your website are.