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Businesses have about 90 seconds to make an impression online. With so much riding on brief encounters, many organizations incorrectly assume Web design will be a complicated and drawn-out process that requires a lot of time and money.
Drop the idea that designing a Web site is all about being technically savvy and think instead about how you want it to represent your business, brand, and your product or service. Focus on user experience, appearance of the site, and ease of navigation. Some tips include:
1. Don’t start with a blank page. Many off-the-shelf Web design software programs come with an array of templates you can customize, suitable for every type of business.
2. Be dynamic. A Web site is never done. It is your responsibility to regularly update the site, as fresh content will keep visitors coming back for more. Add dynamic content such as video, as well as links to such social media tools as Facebook and Flickr. Try interactive features such as taking bookings or reservations online—perfect for B&Bs, therapists, hairdressers, and others—which can help translate your Web communications into sales.
3. Search engine optimization. Think about the words that describe your business and then pepper your site with those words—as meta tag keywords, descriptions, heading and image tags—so search engines such as Google can more easily find you. Consider free tools such as Google Analytics, which can provide useful information about visitors, where they are, and how they browse your Web site.
Small Business Manager
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
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