Creating and managing your online business requires you to follow the same basic principals of any business - relying on sound Business Strategies. There are however, a few practices that differ or that just are unique to an online business. Here we share our views and experience with you to help you develop a more effective and profitable online business.

Checklist for Top Web Design Tips

In a survey conducted to determine what makes or breaks a business website some interesting viewpoints provided us with an excellent guide to you to consider.

Whilst some would argue that many of these views on good web design and what your website should look like our common knowledge, it can be said that many sites fail to meet even these basic criteria.

We have argued previously that good web architecture relies on the skills of many different resources. The  responses from the web survey only reinforces this view.

So what should your website include?

The following is a summary of good web design criteria that everyone should pay attention to if you  expect your website to deliver to your business online.

This information was collated from the feedback from over 100 different business owners, Web designers and users who contributed to a survey asking them what actually make the difference between a good and a bad website.

Designing a website correctly

  • should be well laid out with clear calls to action and easily followed navigation parts
  • you should cater for mobile devices
  • use wide screen layouts
  • make effective use of slide banners in your homepage
  • provide Web 2.0 interactivity with your visitors
  • provide links to your social media channels
  • do not clutter pages with too many links
  • be visually appealing
  • drop the use of Flash unless absolutely necessary
  • make it easy to find information
  • strong and consistent branding throughout your site and all other related marketing material
  • make alternate communications obvious
  • .consistent styling of page layout and content

What Makes Good Content for your website

  • keep it fresh and relevant and be sure to update regularly
  • be engaging with your market
  • ensure that your content is valued by your visitors
  • write short sentences and paragraphs making good use of lists all bullet points as appropriate
  • Right content around your audience and their needs - not yours
  • involve your marketing team in defining the content, do not leave it to the Web developer or sales team alone
  • be sure you impart your value propositions
  • at all times the genuine and original
  • your content must lead to visitor conversion
  • write your content following good SEO practices
  • content should aid your visitors in making a decision

Integrating Social Media into your web site

  • Link to your social sites but be sure that your website is the central resource
  • make use of feeds from your social sites as relevant
  • your social's media should feed visitors to your site, not the other way around
  • be consistent with the content and branding between your social sites and your own website

General web design tips

  • set in place analytics to analyse visitor patterns
  • be prepared to try different approaches and adopt new features
  • revised site architecture every couple of years
  • ensure your site is secure, particularly if you collect information will conduct any form of e-commerce
  • integrate the different aspects of your total Web presence
  • work from the Web strategy rather than just building and weightings
  • establish credibility wherever possible
  • engage in a way that establishes TRUST
  • use your website as a vehicle for establishing a relationship not as an alternative to relationships

There is no doubt that others will say that certain aspects are not included above. At the end of the day however, this provides a very useful framework and checklist to defining your web presence or even assessing your own current website.

If you have any suggestions that you feel have been overlooked we welcome your comments and suggestions.

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