How to Design an Effective Business Website

by Lois Leonard

2 min read

Having an effective website is critical for online success. A business’ website must be engaging and useful for a customer or prospective customer; otherwise, there is little point to having the site. Here are six bare-minimum requirements for good business website design.

A Great Domain Name

Choosing the correct domain name is an important step when designing and building a business website. It is a major part of your overall branding strategy. Some good rules of thumb when picking a great domain name include:

*Choosing meaningful words*Using as few letters as possible*Avoiding dashes*If possible, avoiding any words that can be spelled in various ways, such as two, too, and to, as it causes confusion for the user. One way around this is to purchase all permutations of the name and have them redirect to the same page.

Clear Communication Channels

Clearly display your contact information. List as many ways to reach the business as possible. Phone numbers, physical addresses, fax numbers, and email addresses are the usual, but don’t forget to include links to your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media account pages.

Include a fill-in-the-box form a visitor can fill out to reach you directly through the website. These types of message forms can be linked to send the visitor’s questions or comments directly to your email address.

User-Friendly Navigation

Businesses can sometimes list so much information on their website that the entire user experience gets destroyed. Take the time to develop a clean, simple design that conveys only the most important information about your business. Generally, the fewer places a user can click, the better.

Contact Capture

Take advantage of the moment a visitor comes to your website. One way to do this is to “capture” a visitor’s email. Perhaps a free product can be offered in exchange for the email address, or a trial subscription. Regardless, the point of capturing visitor emails is to have a list of warm prospects that you can market to at a later date.

This capability doesn’t have to built from the ground up by a freelance web designer. Many companies exist that provide elegant and inexpensive options, such as Aweber.com. Just be aware of Canada anti-spam legislation and adhere to its requirements.

Product Listing

It is surprising how many business websites exist that don’t actually list the details of their product and service offerings. This is a major waste of a visitor’s attention. Customers are visiting your website to see what you can do for them. Be sure to have a clear section of the website dedicated to describing what products and services you have for sale.

Payment Acceptance

Once a product section is established on a business website, it is critical to have payment options also integrated into the site. There is little use to having products listed without being able to actually make a sale. There are many ways for businesses in Canada to accept payments online.

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