Plan to Create your Great Business Website
Once you have decided you are going to create a Business Website for your organisation, it is best not to just jump in and start building.
The Website Creation system offered by AB Publish gets UK Business Websites online in minutes, but taking a step back will allow you to have an even more professional Internet site.
There are many aspects to planning a great Business Website. Here are just a few:
- Choice of domain name (How to choose a great domain name)
- Navigation structure (main subject of this small business article)
- Navigational style
- Colour (a future subject for this business blog)
- Choice of Font
- Size of Font
Each plays a part and the more you can plan and prepare, the more likely your Business Website will be a GREAT Business Website.
The Navigation Structure
Out of the many aspects to planning an Internet site for your organisation the navigation structure is a major factor in determining whether your Business Website will succeed or fail.
The importance of your navigation structure cannot be over-emphasised.
The structure will of course evolve and grow over time, but if it is based on strong foundations, it will grow in a controlled manner and continue to provide the necessary framework for your visitors.
The result is that your Business Website will be more likely to be:
- intuitive and offer an efficient Internet experience
- user-friendly allowing visitors to find the information they are looking for in the minimum number of clicks
- a pleasing experience reducing the chances visitors become frustrated and leave for a competitor’s site
- viewed as being built on solid foundations and perceived as trustworthy and offering a professional business look and feel
A good Internet site design is impossible without good navigation.
How to Create a Great Navigation Structure?
Like most creation activities, there are 4 main actions:
- Evaluating (and Asking for feedback)
1) Brainstorm goals and keywords for your Business Website
You know the goals and values of your business organisation, but what is more important are the goals and values of your visitors.
What are your visitors looking for?
Why do they visit your site?
The answer is unique to each visitor but take some time to brainstorm as many answers as possible.
Keep the most important ones and ensure you have an individual page within your organisation’s Internet site for each of them.
You are likely to include:
Looking for contact information to telephone or email your organisation
To perform on-line purchasing
To obtain further information to help decide whether to become a customer
To look for directions to your head office
The second part of the activity is to brainstorm the keywords your visitors will be using to find your Business Website.
You can have the best Internet site in the world, but if no-one can find it, it is useless.
Visitors type keywords into Google, Yahoo, Bing and the other search engines and expect to find Internet sites providing what they are looking for.
This expectation is getting higher and higher and visitors now require only seconds to decide whether your organisation and Business Website offers what they are looking for.
People still type in specific keywords relating to their search but more and more they ask actual questions.
Your site must follow on from both these searches and be optimised for all keywords and phrases.
This will not happen by accident.
You must plan your Business Website
2) Plan how to integrate goals and keywords in your Business Website
There is a great exercise you can try with your friends and colleagues.
The goals and keywords from the previous action should have led to a list of pages you will want to include on your Business Website. There are also many standard pages – Contact, About Us, Your Home page.
Use the keywords you have brainstormed and create titles for each of the pages.
Write the titles on different pieces of card.
Shuffle the cards and give them to your friends.
Their job is to assign them to logical groups or categories.
The groups or categories will form the basis for the top-level hierarchy of your Navigation structure.
The individual pages within each category will form the second-level hierarchy of your Navigation structure.
You now have your main categories and sub-categories for your menu options on your Business Website
3) Create your Business Website
This is where all the planning and preparation pays off.
The AB Publish Website Creation system allows the crafting of exclusive and exceptional Business Websites and allows unlimited updates which are instantly visible online.
You have determined your Navigation Structure – the AB Publish control panel easily adapts to two-tiered menu structures so you can easily create a unique, stylish website and customise it to represent your individual business perfectly.
With AB Publish, the main navigation bar will be visible in the same place and with same options on every page of your Business Website.
This is to ensure consistency and ensures the user feels at home and knows where they are.
Do not make your Navigation structure overly complicated - try and keep it as simple as possible.
Ensure each sub-category appears in one category only and that it is in the best place.
4) Evaluate and improve your Business Website
Once you have your organisation represented on the Internet with its Business Website, do not sit back and relax too much.
Ask for feedback from your friends...your family...your colleagues...your peers...
You know what you feel and think about your Internet site, but a better judge will be someone who is not involved.
Listen to the feedback, and if necessary re-organise your Navigation Structure.
This is an on-going task and should be performed periodically to ensure your Business Website meets the needs and ideas of the widest range of people possible.
Concluding thoughts on Planning to Create a Great Business Website
A well planned website leads to a well structured and solidly built website.
This in turn leads to an easy to use website and one which will keep your visitors happy.
Happy visitors are much more likely to become customers.
As a summary:
- Brainstorm the goals and needs of your target audience, and ensure you have a page for each of them
- Plan how to use the results of the brainstorming to organise the Navigation Structure of your Business Website
- Create your Internet site
- Evaluate and if necessary return to step 1 in order that your organisation is represented in the most professionally way on the Internet and that your Business Website is a great Business Website
Wed 13 April 2011 16:35:42