We Are Sunshine

Designing a First-Class Website

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

With so many Americans utilizing the Internet to research anything and everything before making purchases, having a standout business website is incredibly important. For salon owners, having a dynamic website makes a big difference and sets you apart from the competition because you’ve made the salon search convenient and appealing to customers – they can see your salon interior, products, equipment and even your current specials without ever having to leave home.

The article, “Top 8 Ways to a Winning Web Site Design” from Allegra Marketing, gives business owners a look at great ways to optimize and design websites to drive customers there and keep them coming back.

1. Keep your backgrounds simple.
Sounds basic, but you don’t have to look far to find people doing this wrong. White or light colors are typically best and provide the most contrast from the text.

2. Curb animation. What you might consider to be attention-getting, your visitors will find distracting. It’s hard to focus, read and comprehend with constant movement in the visual periphery. Plus, some visitors might not have the necessary plug-ins on their computers to even view it.

3. Have a way to get back to the home page on every page. Some of your visitors may have reached a subpage by clicking a link on another site or from a search engine and won’t be able to use the “back” button. Others will just prefer to start at the beginning if they follow a path that doesn’t quite get them directly to the information they are seeking.

4. Use standard links, and make it obvious what’s “clickable.” While you will find some variations from site to site, links that are blue and underlined are a design standard. Avoid underlining words that aren’t links, and use other ways for selective emphasis like boldface, italics or a different color.

5. Make frequent updates. Recognize that it may take multiple visits before prospective customers are ready to buy. While they are researching, make sure they have fresh material to move them toward decision-making. This also helps move your page up in the search engine results.

6. Contact information should be easy to find.
Put it on the top or bottom of every page or a link to it.

7. Click through your links regularly to make sure they are functioning.
Broken links are frustrating for users and give the impression that you aren’t paying enough attention to your site to keep it current.

8. Minimize the amount of clicking and scrolling.
Find a balance between the amount of information you have on each page. A full-bodied page will help to control excessive clicking that can cause visitors to lose interest or get lost in your site. According to leading Web expert Jakob Nielsen, users visiting a new site spend an average of 30 seconds on the home page and less than two minutes on the entire site before deciding to abandon it.

To read the entire Allegra article and learn more about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), click here.