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How to Design a Small Business Website

Posted On - 05/12/2014 09:45:50

Website Design MUST Inspire Trust
The last blog covered the issue of website strategy. Of how online you can't pretend to know what your customers want, you have to know.

That means understanding how they're using search engines. Only when armed with that will you know what your website content should be.

But even then you still won't be ready to choose the colours and images on your site. Why? Because while we've looked at the reasons why customers are searching online, we haven't yet factored in the principle goal your website must achieve. It's still way too early to jump to what many people do first. Want to understand what that is? Read this blog to find out.

The world is not real

Online is different. The web isn't real. When surfing the internet, all you have to go on is what you can see.

Online you can't smell, touch or feel anything. You can't interact with anyone. OK, sometimes you can exchange emails, possibly even ‘live chat'.

But whatever the same issue remains. The internet deprives us use of our instincts. It stops us ‘sizing people up'. It denies our perceptions. The lack of human contact means we can't ‘feel' if we trust what we see.

This doesn't mean we can't trust the web, it means it's difficult to know we can. The question is if you are to be online, what can you do to convince people you're OK?

In other words, how do you go about factoring in "trust" into your design?

Authenticity: more than being genuine

Heard the phrase ‘on-page SEO'? For those who haven't it's how keywords in the readable text on your pages influence Google.

In the last blog we covered how you need make your site relevant to high frequency searches. Here we're talking about how you bring this to life. Part of this will be Title and Meta tagging your pages with keywords. But these aren't enough on their own.

For Google to ‘trust' you it wants evidence it can. And it does this by taking a close look at the content - the copy - on your web pages. It looks for relevant keywords written sensibly and naturally into your text. Which is clever really - it means if you write so visitors would think you authentic, Google will too. So when it refers you in search results, visitors will likely be satisfied with what they find.

They seem nice and know what they're doing

In ‘The Real Reason for Small Business to be Online' we covered how Google is the new Yellow Pages. So a web presence is vital if you are to be found – especially by new prospects.

But what can you do to be preferred? What can you do to stand out from everyone else? To be the one prospects tend to contact first?

Think of it like this. You are in a popularity contest. Your goal is to be the most liked. And you need to do it before people have met you. Impossible? Well the stakes are high – first contact carries huge advantage. This is possible and it's easier than you think. Just use the web for what it's great at.

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