By Ben Weiner, CEO, Conjungo

I used to be asked quite often whether people or a company would need a website regardless of whether they had the capability or need to sell their products over the Internet. My answer was and still is a resounding ‘yes’. Why? Because even if your organisation doesn’t sell products or services via the web, people will still use the Internet to find suppliers and that potentially means yours. That said, if you’re going to have a website or perhaps already have one, consider the elements that can make a comprehensive site that is well laid out, easy to navigate and not using technology just for the sake of it.

For example, websites that use ‘Flash’ as an intro are extremely annoying. Even if it states ‘skip intro’ it always gives the impression that the web designer has found a new piece of technology and wants to show off. It’s been done before.

Cluttered websites are another bugbear. A site should be clean, dynamic, pleasing on the eye and easy to navigate. Again, many companies use it as a showcase to get as much information onto one page as possible. This makes it nigh on impossible to find what you are looking for, even to the extent that contact details are hidden. If you are looking to contact a company and can’t find the details, you’ll go elsewhere.

Ditto, when a website asks you to fill in a form about you, what you’re looking to buy, how much you want to spend, when you want to spend it and what currency it will be…….

Keep it simple! Give a telephone number and let someone call you. It’s easy! Or have the 'click to send an email' function.

Remember that your website is your shop window. Understand who your audience is. Are they technical or business people with little knowledge of your market and products? How might these benefit their organisation? Avoid jargon. What are your unique selling points (USP's)? Look at your competitors’ sites & compare them.

Every company purports to be the best in their field. It may be the case but explain how and why. Every company delivers the best service. Of course most of it is true. Most will give the best service and solutions that they can. But sometimes it pays to be different, to stand out from the crowd.

I remember when people first started using word processing software, many would use every font they could lay their hands on in one document. It looked appalling. Now they realise that one type style looks fine.

The same applies to websites.

In essence it should:

o State what your site/company is about.

o It should be well designed and that means, plain, simple and well laid out.

o Message. What are the messages that you are trying to convey and will your audience understand them?

o It should be easy to use and navigate.

o It should be easy to find information such as contact details.

o It should be search engine friendly so it can be found!

No website is unique and so remember by putting in a little effort can reap great rewards. It is after all your new shop window!

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