The design industry in general is very sensitive to outside influences all the time, usually termed as “modern”, “innovative” or “trend-setting” etc. However, thankfully these influences affect the design areas outside the purview of web design, where the designers and artists tend to change their style, direction and outlook. In the web design world, we look towards objects, resources and content resulting in profitability as motivating factors for changes in design.
The path breaking truth about websites is that there are no rules for web design, there are only guidelines. Following them or not is up to the web designer, but following certain guidelines to design a money making site would certainly help in the long term.
The main objective of a business website is representation of the company and describing the products and services offered by it on the internet. The website must make sure that enough information in this regard is available. Transparency is another factor while designing a business website. This can be achieved through the “About Us” page which should provide enough information about the management, the objectives, the history and the philosophy of the company represented. Photographs on this page enhance credibility, since they present a crystal clear transparent picture to the visitor which says “we have nothing to hide”.
Some designers tend to provide contact information in the “About Us” page, although it is not incorrect, a better and organized method would be the usage of “Contact Us” page. Please make sure the contact us page is simple and short. Many websites have long forms to fill with departmental details and other formalities. Keeping this short would help in two ways – it will not be an irritant to the visitor, the other, the company can avoid getting spurious and incomplete information.
The categories explaining the products and services offered by the company should be complete including pictures of the products if any. Use pictures sparingly lest they distract the user from reading the content. Always keep the content regarding products and services up-to-date thru “news” or the “latest” pages. The news page can be supported by writing relevant press releases rich in keyword content and distributing them to the important press release sites. This will help bring in more traffic to your site at the same time building credibility.
Use the “testimonials” page to put up comments from old customers. This would not only help in pushing your products and services but also in making the customers re visit and make further purchases. This page should convey user concern and should not be a sales pitch.
These are but a few tips to designing a professional business website.