Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Business Website Design - The Right Tool

(Part Three of a four part series. And I will be posting two of these each day.)

by Dustin Schwerman

A website can be quite the versatile program. When considering your business website design, you need to know what its goal is, what it exists for. There's more to getting your business a web presence than simply putting some pages up on the web, and the clearer you are on your focus and intent for the site, the better. A vast number of websites abound on the Internet, and many get lost in the crush, trying futilely to compete for a position on the search engines. Of the hundreds of thousands, even millions of sites that might come up for any keyword, only ten are selected for the august position on the first page. Like a magnet that can cling fiercely to metal placed inches away but which cannot even tug at an object a foot distant, the value of a website's ranking decreases exponentially with each successive page. It's a struggle to get to the top, especially for the highly competitive keywords that have the most searches.

So you fight your way through the millions of undiscovered, unoptimized sites that don't even come up before the engines simply ignore their presence. With skillful SEO tactics and cunning keyword selection, you forge your way into visibility in the top few pages. You tweak, you tinker, and you wait very patiently to finally get onto that top page. And then it's just you and the ten other websites that proved their ability to stay one step ahead of changing algorythms and advancing newcomers. Chances are you all have very similar title tags, since that's the single most important factor of SEO, so it comes down to nothing but those two lines of description to separate you from your nine opponents and the handful of sites that have paid to appear beside you.

And all that work is absolutely wasted if your site isn't as keenly focused as your keyword optimization campaign.

A business is about setting and meeting goals. You want to make a certain number of sales, bring in a certain amount of profit, add a certain number of people to your newsletter - whatever. A business website, thus, cannot be haphazard or random. Is your website intended as an advertisement, a way to bring in new leads and new sales? Is it a technological interface, designed to simplify and improve the functioning of your business? Is it an on-line store, allowing your visitors to make their purchase from home? Is it a font of information, providing those with an interest with knowledge of your business and goals? Is it a forum where your clients can communicate with you, your employees, and each other, allowing you to better serve them? Or is it a combination of some or all of the above, with numerous functions and options?

Knowing what you want your business website design to accomplish is, perhaps, the single most important step in creating your site. Colors pale in comparison, font means nothing, and functions are useless without a decisive focus driving your new program. By knowing what you want your website to accomplish, you can build it to accomplish just that, and then you work in the keywords that will bring people to it. A click on an unfocused site is no more useful to you than a click to a blank page, but whatever your goals and aims, a properly designed business website is almost always the right tool.

About the Author

Dustin Schwerman is the head web designer for Truly Unique - Small Business Website Design. Truly Unique works on websites for businesses of all varieties, from office supplies to air conditioning filters.