Published March 15, 2010

5 Critical Design Elements Your Business Website Needs

The prominent and prolific use of the internet by consumers is fast becoming the leading method of finding businesses. Thanks to smartphone devices like the iPhone and Blackberry, consumers have access to the internet, and your business website, wherever they go.

But what should your business website design include? And what are the most important features of a business website?

  1. Make the First Impression Count

    Online visitors will judge your website in the first few seconds - and make their long-term judgment about your company. That is why your front page must be welcoming and inviting, as well as informative. Your home page is one of the most important business website elements.

    The front page of your website should include your business name and logo, an easy navigation bar, and a simple welcome and introduction. You can make a sales pitch on certain special items, but try not to hit visitors with too many "buy" messages right away.

    A front page should only be as long as a typical screenshot. Any information that a visitor must scroll down to read will most likely never be seen. All your front page should accomplish is answering the questions "Who are you?" and "what do you do?"

  2. Products and Services

    Make your offerings easy to navigate. Instead of jumbling too many products or services on a few pages, create a specific and different page for each of your products and services. If you have a plethora of products, you can also create a general "catalog" style page with a link to each product.

    Be sure you have a professional-looking photo of your products if you choose to use one, and offer a clear, tight description of each.

  3. Contacts

    Sound business website design includes a way for online visitors to easily contact you. That not only means creating a specific contact page with your business address, phone, email, and possibly specific individuals to contact, but also a phone or email at the top and bottom of every page on your website.

  4. Your Business Blog

    Creating a blog is free and easy. A blog can greatly improve your search engine optimization (SEO) with frequent updates using specific keywords that pertain to your business. You don't need to write a post every day, but a regularly updated blog two or three times a week could get plenty of notice by search engines, as well as give your potential customers a way to get to know you better.

  5. Capture Leads

    Your business website design should include a way to capture potential sales leads. This may mean obtaining a simple email from visitors that you can use to send regular electronic newsletters. Consider giving a "free" tipsheet or helpful downloadable eBook for those to do provide their contact information.

    You can easily create a successful business design using available software. Or you may want to hire a professional website designer who will include all the important business website elements needed to make a solid web presence. With your business website working, you can start working to improve your web presence.