Expert Advice & Knowhow

Building your own website

XLN

Need tips on building a website for your business? Look no further.

A website is an essential part of any business, regardless of size, sector or service. But when you’re starting up, you might not have the budget to hire a designer to create an all-singing, all-dancing, fully optimised website for customers all over the world to flock to. How do you jump this hurdle? Build your own website, of course.

Hold on before you jump straight in to the world of web design, though. It isn’t as simple as picking a few fonts, colours and pictures and sticking them online. There are things that you need to know if you want to make the most of your company website – and here are some important basics to help you get going.

Keep it simple

The start-up entrepreneur filling their homemade website with every font imaginable against a background of all the colours of the rainbow is a bit of an in-joke amongst web designers, but it serves as a stark reminder that less really is more. You want visitors to your site to stay on it, click around and, hopefully, make a purchase, reservation or order, not gasp in horror and immediately leave.

So with that in mind, the basics dictate that you stick to one font, choose a simple colour palette, and resist the urge to use any flashy graphics – that way you’ll make the right impression and lower the bounce rate.

Make it clear

Think of your company website like a shop. If you walked into a store where nothing was labelled, aisles weren’t signposted or items were scattered all over the place, you’d walk straight out and never return. That’s exactly what visitors to your site will do if you haven’t designed it logically and clearly.

So make sure that different sections of your website are well-labelled, important elements like navigation and search functions are easy to get to, and that your online checkout is fast and efficient.

Point visitors in the right direction

Whatever your business specialises in, you’ll have an end goal for your customers to reach. That might be buying a product, obtaining a service, or making a reservation or booking. Your website needs to direct users towards that end goal, and you can do that with clear calls to action.

Make it easy for potential customers to see what they should do with links to the next stage of the process that really stand out on the page, and use immediate language like ‘Buy now’ to prompt a response.

Optimise your website for search engines

Google is often the first port of call for anyone looking for something online, and you want to do everything you can to make sure that they click on your site. Web users very rarely have the patience to go beyond page one of search results, so you’ll need to aim to get as near to the top of those results as possible.

You can do this by using keywords that people are likely to search when they’re looking for your product or service throughout the content of your website.

Need some extra help?

Starting a business can be expensive, but there are plenty of ways that you can make it more budget-friendly without cutting corners – and building your own website is a great place to start. For more advice on saving money on your venture, check out our top tips for starting a business on a shoestring.