Follow these Five Simple Steps you won’t go wrong.
Simple Rule #1: Challenge Assumptions
When planning for a new website, it’s common for a business owner to browse the competition and think, “I guess that’s what I need too.”
A wiser reaction would be, “What can I do differently?” While there’s certainly benefit to learning from what your competition is doing right, you should also keep in mind that you’ll never outperform your competitors simply by imitating them. You’ve got to differentiate yourself in the market, and the best way to do that is by taking a different approach.
Simple Rule #2: Provide Rich Content
Most business websites are full of filler text that looks good but says very little. When web users hit this kind of content, their eyes simply glaze over. They don’t bother reading it. If you really want to engage your customers, it’s important to provide genuinely useful content. Skip the corporate fluff and get right to your message.
In addition to making potential customers stop and read, it will have the additional benefit of providing some meat for the search engines. (People search for “plumbing in Toledo,” not “quality, synergy, and service.”)
Simple Rule #3: Make it “Sticky”
“Stickiness” is the degree to which a website encourages visitors to stick around (and come back again later).
Website owners often assume mistakenly that most users are actively clicking through their website and reading each page, when the unfortunate reality is that most visitors to your site will leave within 15 seconds if you don’t grab their interest.
Simple Rule #4: Bring in a Pro
Every industry has an ample body of knowledge that can only be gained through years of experience, study, and industry participation, and the web design and development industry is no different. A true web development professional can give you an essential perspective on what really works–and what can hurt your website in the long run.
At every stage of the process, your site can benefit greatly from the advice of a seasoned professional. As with doctors, lawyers, mechanics, or plumbers, you should always get the best you can afford.
Simple Rule #5: Love Your Website
If you don’t love your own website, why should its visitors?
Build something that you can be proud of, that represents your business in the best way possible, and that helps you to stand out from the competition.
This approach will not only inspire your potential customers, but will also drive you to keep improving and refining the site, which is critically important as the Web becomes an increasingly fundamental part of the economy.