A professional web design for a business site can play a key role in brand positioning. Your website is the first point of contact for many, if not all, of your potential customers. It's important to put your best foot forward with web pages that show professionalism, competence and represent your business well. Here are some features to include when you build or revamp your website:
You need a professional logo to help visitors, clients and customers remember your image. You can create one yourself or hire someone to design one. A professional web designer will have the skills or team to help create a logo that will be integrated in your website. You might be able to get a discount, or at least a cheaper rate, if you assign both the logo design services and web design to that person.
A professional web design will also include everything you need to conduct and automate selling directly on your website. Even if you run a service business only, you can use shopping carts for clients to buy "hours" or flat rate services. This is a huge benefit if you work from home, because you don't have to make yourself available at set hours to take orders. For example, a virtual assistant (VA) might allow customers to book 5 VA hours for $100. The customer would purchase the hours, as if he were buying a product. The VA would receive payment automatically and notification of what services were purchased. This is a time-saving and cost-effective feature that a professional web design should include.
One of the easiest way to drive more traffic to your website is with a blog. Your web design should include a blog that you can update regularly on your own. WordPress blogs are popular because they're easy for business owners to use and add fresh content. Some other blog platforms or web templates aren't as user friendly, and businesses may have to outsource blogging to freelancers to save time and frustration. If you don't know how to add a WordPress or other blog to your website, hire a web designer that has experience with it.
Web pages that are full of grammatical errors turn off customers and other business owners who might want to form joint ventures with you. In addition to professional looking web templates, you have to ensure that everything from your "about us" page to your "site map" is written in a way that will generate sales for your business. A designer may work with a writer to help you with web page content. If not, find writers on www.elance.com.
A professional web design should not cost you so much money that you have little left over for your other marketing efforts. Determine what percent of your estimated gross sales you'll allocate to marketing (6%, 7%, 8%) and then use no more than a 1/3 of that for web design.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.