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We help businesses use information and  technology  to find new customers, to give great customer experiences and to be more efficient.

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Appnology

Advice for small businesses: How to create a great website.

When starting out, many small businesses intuitively think it is important to have a website without knowing why or how it will support their business and they ask a web site designer/ developer to provide a quote without understanding what is really needed.

 

Often they decide the website designer's quote is expensive and they can build a website themselves using one of the instant website tools available. Certainly you can build a website yourself with those tools, but unless you have a flair for design and a good understanding of how a website and search engines work it will never be a great website. Just like you can buy a paint by numbers artist kit and follow the instructions but it will never make you a great artist or produce a work of art that anyone is likely to want to buy. The same applies to web design and development.

 

Once the the website is up and running, they wait for the business to roll in but nothing happens and they get disappointed. They then conclude that a website is not as useful/ important as they thought and miss out on a huge opportunity whilst they eventually realise their mistake or go out of business.

 

Before you set about choosing a web designer or building a DIY website, it is important to understand why you need a website, the role that it will play in your business and what you need to do to make the website work for you.

Why you definitely need a business website:

There are more than 3 billion people connected to the internet and around 3.5 billion searches are made on Google every day. Those are huge numbers and a significant amount of them will be your potential customers.

 

90% of internet users go to a business website first, before ever calling or e-mailing - so it is essential that your business will be found online and that you provide a great on-line customer experience.

 

75% of web users admit they decide whether to transact or not with a business based on how its website looks and performs.

 

However, with more than 1 billion websites out there already and 50,000 new ones being added every day, just putting up a website and expecting it to appear at the top of search engine listings isn't going to work - unless you are very lucky or have a unique product/ service.

 

To get your website to show up in search engine results and get potential customers to visit it, you will need to invest some time and money in promotional activities and there is no point at all wasting that by sending potential customers to a website that disappoints.

 

When done well your website will be the best salesperson you have to promote your business/ product/ service because it:

  • Works 24 hours/ day and 365 days per year without taking  a break.
  • Has relatively low administrative overheads/ expenses.
  • Can promote your business/ products/ services in many different and creative ways using text, images, sounds, videos, graphics and animations.
  • Always presents your brand/ messages consistently to every customer.
  • Is instantly available in any location, anywhere in the world.
  • Will simultaneously help several customers all with different needs and at different stages in the buying process.

Where else can you find a salesperson like that and how much would you pay to hire one?

 

A social media profile or page is not a substitute for an online presence with a website that you own. Having your own website is like owning the freehold to your business premises.  You can be as creative as you wish with what you display there and how you do so. With social media pages you are constrained by what they offer and permit,  your  pages and posts are not indexed by search engines and displayed in search engine results and the Internet is littered with stories of people whose profile was disabled, temporarily or permanently, for a perceived infraction of their Social Media site's terms of service. use social media as a tool to connect with your audience and to entice them to your own site, where you’re in control.

What makes a great website:

 

Website Design ImageA great website is one that is attractive, functional and works better than your competitors'.

 

Whether a website is attractive or not is rather subjective and difficult to measure as everyone has different tastes and preferences. The important thing is that you and your customers like it.

 

Whether a website is functional is easier to measure. For a website to be functional it must:

 

  • Provide potential customers with all the information they need and are searching for.
  • Assist in the conversion of potential customers to actual customers .
  • Provide you with some useful information, a customer lead, or a sale.
  • Be easy to navigate.
  • Load pages quickly.
  • Be readable and usable across all devices and browser types.

 

These functions can all be measured directly or indirectly using web analytics.

 

Check out the websites of your top competitors. Whose website do you think is the most useful/  impressive and likely to attract your potential customers? How does your website compare?

What you need to know and do to design and build a great website:

What You Need To Know To Build A Website Image

Designing a web site is not like designing a brochure or a magazine article. A web site has a much greater purpose and functionality and needs to adapt to many different device types, screen dimensions and web browsers.

 

There is a considerable skill and knowledge involved in designing and building a quality website which is why it is best to hire experts with experience.

 

To build a great website you need skills and knowledge in:

  • Colour schemes - Which colours work well together and the psychology of colours.
  • Navigation - Optimising  the number of pages needed and navigations between pages.
  • Page Layout - Where to position elements within a page for best visual and functional effect.
  • Typography - What combinations of fonts, font sizes and paragraph spacing to use.
  • Content -  How much content is best and appropriate.
  • Media - When and where to use videos, images, sounds and animations and ensure their compliance with copyright laws.
  • HTML Tags - How these are used by search engines to index your web site.
  • Performance - How to make pages load as quickly as possible and give the best user experience.
  • Responsive/ Adaptive Design - Ensuring that web pages will display appropriately on different devices and browsers.
  • Contemporary Design - Design is constantly changing and what looked and worked well a few years ago can soon look out-dated.

Having a website is just the beginning:

Your website needs to be at the heart of a wider digital strategy to grow your business on-line. Simply putting up a website amongst all the billion or so other websites out there and expecting potential customers to visit it and convert will not work.

You need to invest money and time promoting your website using search engine advertising, display advertising, blogging and social media.

The design and content of your website, your position in search engine results pages, the cost and effectiveness of your online advertising/ blogging are all inter-linked and what you do in any one of those areas affects the other. For example:

  • If  your website does not have unique and/ or relevant content it will be less effective at showing up well in search engine results.
  • When someone clicks on a search engine result for your website and they are directed to a page which doesn't show what they want or they have a poor experience waiting for the page to load, they will leave your website quickly. Search Engines detect this and may stop showing your website in search results.
  • Other web sites that link to your website and the websites that your site link to affect how search engines perceive your website's value.
  • The tags of your web pages , the page descriptions that are displayed in search engine results, the readability of your web pages on mobile devices,  the time that users stay during visits to your website pages all impact search engine result positions, advertising costs and effectiveness of your on-line marketing.

 

You can find out much more about what you need to do to grow your business on-line here.

 

 

Our professionally designed website  packages help you grow your business online from as little as £60 per month*.

(*Terms and conditions apply).

 

 

At Appnology we have breadth and depth of experience in:

 

 Website design/ development.

Search engine optimisation.

 Search engine marketing.

Display and social media marketing.

 Mobile app design and development.

 E-commerce and business systems.

Project management.

 

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 © Appnology Ltd 2017  |  Registered In England As A Limited Company No. 07474684

 1 Kingswood Close, Houghton Conquest, Bedford, MK45 3BE

appnology  (noun) [app-nol-uh-gee]

The creative application of technology and design knowledge for practical purposes, especially in mobile applications for  business and industry.

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What You Need To Know To Build A Website Image

Website Design Image

What You Need To Know To Build A Website Image

Website Design Image

What You Need To Know To Build A Website Image

Website Design Image

What You Need To Know To Build A Website Image

Website Design Image

What You Need To Know To Build A Website Image

Website Design Image

What You Need To Know To Build A Website Image

Website Design Image

What You Need To Know To Build A Website Image