Business Web Design

Your business, Your customers & The Internet.

Today’s customers are becoming increasingly accustomed to the convenience of 24 hour access to businesses, speedy online transactions and easy access to product and service information.Graphic Web design Pakenham Business

So, it is only natural that more and more businesses are using websites and social media to promote and sell their products and services. A commercial website can range from a simple homepage to an online store with complex ordering, payment, data recording and delivery systems.

Recently I was speaking to a potential client that provides services to the Pakenham area and South East Melbourne who advised me his business did not need a website as he was spending around $12,000 a year on a full page advertisement in the Yellow Pages. The Yellow Pages will even be in print in a couple of years. It is well used it’s use by date. I tried to communicate to this business owner about the effectiveness of a business having an online presence. I was not successful on this occasion.

This is a pity because this is an example of a small business person who did not have any idea where his business was coming from. Because he never asked. I suggest much of his business was Word of Mouth. Word of Mouth remains the best method of spreading the good word of your business.

pakenham web designA successful commercial web strategy takes significant research, planning and expertise, like any other aspect of a business. If you think that your business is ready to take advantage of the benefits of being online, this fact sheet is a starting point to work through the many issues involved with the development of a website. You are also encouraged to look further afield in gathering resources to help you prepare.

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Does my business need a Website?

This is an excellent question to ask, as it immediately places the website in a business development context. While there is no single online solution for all businesses, it is clear that any effective website should make it easier for customers to do business with you and help you stand out from your competitors.

Branding online marketing seo

Some of the initial questions you may ask yourself include – Do not hesitate to contact SME Design

  • Choose a memorable web address (domain name) and ensure it is available – SME Design can help you in this critical area.
  • Select a reputable and reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP) and website host
  • Allocate sufficient resources to ensure your website is regularly updated
  • Test the website with customers to make sure they are able to find their way around it
  • Develop a promotional strategy to drive people to your new website

Obviously, the bigger and more complex the online solution you come up with, the more planning and resources it will require.

Below are the two extremes of the option range before you. The beauty of a website is that it lends itself to be completely scalable. Often it is wise to start off simple ( which of course incurs less financial resources and scaling when you wish )

Starting off simple

A simple website lets customers find out about the business and how they can contact you; view products, pricing, location, service or technical information and order your goods and services.

Jumping in the deep end

A transnational website allows customers to research a catalogue product, add their choice to a shopping cart, complete an online order and pay securely and privately.
As you begin to plan and organise the resources to build your website, there are a few key issues surrounding the web development process you should pay attention to:

  • Choose a memorable web address (domain name) and ensure it is available
  • Select a reputable and reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP) and website host
  • Allocate sufficient resources to ensure your website is regularly updated
  • Test the website with customers to make sure they are able to find their way around it
  • Develop a promotional strategy to drive people to your new website

Plan before you start

Your website blueprint, the ‘website development brief’

One of the best ways to save time and money is to plan out the website before you start.

Have a look a t your competition with a critical eye. Be aware that a pretty website is by no means the most successful.

What is the definition of a successful site?

A consultation with SME Design is a good place to start.

It’s not that different from building a house — the builders won’t start work until they see a set of plans. Whether you do the job yourself or employ a web developer, your brief will help you to avoid building a website that is wrong for you.
What is a website development brief for Business Website Design?
A website development brief is a six-step toolkit, used to define how you and your customers will interact online. The table below outlines each step. If you’re handing the job to a web developer, follow steps

Step 1
Work out the website’s main goals
Your website needs to support your main long-term business goals, e.g. a five-year plan to make the business your main source of income. One way to define a website’s purpose is to use it to tackle your business’s main challenges. Each business has at least one: enquiries not turning into sales, too few repeat customers or too few large sales.
Step 2
Analyse the customers you want to reach and what the website will do for them
Talk to your customers What do they want? Information? Communication? A transaction?
Ask them. First, determine the problem. Discuss with them finding a solution. Present the website to them as a solution to their problem. Show them what their world will be like once the problem is solved.
Check out your competition Look for new customer service opportunities your website could offer.
Step 3
Content and functions
What information will my website have? Newsletters, blogs, product descriptions, specifications, order forms, contact details, product photos or diagrams, pricing and availability information, delivery, privacy and disclosure notices. Whatever makes the website vibrant and engaging.

What facilities shall I offer? Look for a product, fill in a form, order something, pay for something, check to see if an item is in stock, bid for something, book a course, arrange delivery and subscribe to a newsletter.

What other functions should be included? Do you want your customers to pay online or offline? When? The instant they order or after? How? With a credit card? Using BPAY or another method?

Do you need to adjust your customer service and other business systems for your new website customers?

Step 4
Create the structure
Once you know the main content and functions you want to offer, you’ll need to find the best way to arrange these as a website. A simple way to design a website structure is to use large Post-it notes and lay these out in different ways until you have a logical structure.
Step 5
Page design and graphics
How do I design pages and graphics? Keep page layouts simple and follow the lead from other websites you like. Some web-publishing packages have templates.

Adding graphics The purpose of using graphics on a web page is to enable the reader to get the message.

Step 6
Prepare content and choose links
By this stage you’ll have a structure and will have prepared the page layouts and graphics to add later. You’ll need to have prepared material you want to add to the website e.g. PDF files or similar documents for people to download that will assist them to understand the product or service.



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