Tips on Designing a Small Business Website

Designing a website for a small business does not have to be especially time-consuming and complicated. It is also something that you may want to consider doing yourself, provided that you seek some professional help if and when you need it. Designing a small business website can be adequately done with a WYSIWYG editor. This requires little or no knowledge of the intricacies of web design.

Creating something that appears professional is a must, however. You will also need to produce a site which is well optimized for SEO. This will help you to build up traffic to your site. Following are some tips to help you design a better website for your business.

Tips on Designing a Samll Business Website1. Keep Things Simple

Many websites make the mistake of trying to achieve something too eye-catching and alternative. In this case, the site can become difficult and tiresome to navigate. It is highly likely that many of the visitors to your site have a short attention span. People will lose interest if they cannot find the information that they want quickly.

A lot of businesses also make the mistake of grossly overusing Flash technology. Flash technology does have its place, but programming a website entirely in Flash is a turnoff to many people. An introduction page to your website displaying a Flash presentation should also be done cautiously. No one wants to visit your website and see a loading screen for the first several minutes. If this is the case, your potential customers will quickly start looking elsewhere.

Java should also be used sparingly, or avoided altogether. Like Flash, some Java programming causes problems in many browsers which can make parts of your website inaccessible to certain visitors.

In short, keep things simple and have your website programmed in traditional HTML. This will allow for easy and reliable viewing in any browser.

2. Make an Internal Search Engine Available

Any site which has a fair bit of content should have an optimally placed search box. This will allow your visitors to quickly find the information that they are looking for. You can use an internal search engine powered by Google which will allow visitors to search through the content of your site easily.

3. Use SEO

Building up traffic to your website is largely a result of SEO. Your Internet marketing strategy will not get far without it. SEO stands for search engine optimization and is essential in getting your page into the search engine results. You will need to decide on certain relevant keywords and phrases that people coming to your site would search for. These keywords and phrases should be used extensively around your website. Make sure that the content of your website contains these words and phrases in a density of around 1.5%-3.5% (depending on the competition). Do not overuse them.  Also use keywords that are sematically related to your target keyword so that your content appears natural and not made for SEO.

Other steps for optimizing your website include registering a domain name that includes a relevant keyword. Likewise, the titles of each page of your site should contain one or more keywords. Adding a title tag and meta description tags for each page also helps.

Conclusion

The web is a powerful place for marketing. Starting a successful business website takes time and effort. If you only need a website to provide a helpful resource for customers to a small local business, the above tips are not as important. However, if you want to make a success out of marketing your products or services on the Internet, you should never underestimate the importance of professional web design and good SEO.

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Omar Kattan is Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital, the MENA region's first specialist content marketing agency headquartered in Dubai. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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