It is certainly nothing new to say that having a corporate website is a must for any business, due to the many advantages it provides. A website is not only the interactive presentation of your business – it is also a way to advertise and position yourself in the market, creating new contacts and relationships with customers and boosting your presence internationally. Therefore, it is crucial to keep in mind several aspects when creating or redesigning your corporate page on the Internet:
1. Strategic approach.
First of all, you should note that the launch of a website is not only a task for developers and designers, but also for the managers of the businesses, who must be involved in the process. We already explained in other articles the importance of a key factor: web usability. This concept measures the ease with which an individual can learn to use a website, its efficiency, the error rate and the overall satisfaction or user experience… and companies have to be involved in the definition of this process.
For this reason, in his book “La empresa en la web 2.0”, Javier Celaya invites entrepreneurs to reflect on questions such as: How are you going to manage the corporate reputation of your business on the Internet? What steps will you take to encourage users to interact more actively with your website? Will you allow users to export your content to the social web? Which keywords define your business? How will you differentiate your company on the Internet from your competition?
2. Appropriate technologies.
The second point to keep in mind is the technology that will be used to create the website. We know that this is a task for developers, but it is very important that you, as a business person, are aware of the technologies available in the market. This will allow you to indicate what you believe is more appropriate for your corporate web.
It is also very important to take into account the SEO criteria for search engines optimization when designing the structure of the website. For example, the “meta title” and “meta description” labels have to include at least the main keywords related to the site, and the design should be clean, without advertising, and load fast, among other things.
3. Individual and social user experience
As discussed above, usability and user experience are crucial. The website has to be designed with its users in mind, trying to create a fluid and comfortable interaction with the site so that the products or services offered can be found easily.
In addition, it is recommended to include a section where visitors can interact actively, i.e. blogs, forums and, especially, social networks. It is also desirable to facilitate the visibility of “call to action” buttons such as "Buy" or "Add to Cart", in order to achieve greater effectiveness.
4. Maximum compatibility.
A fourth factor to consider is the compatibility with different browsers and with different types of mobile devices.
Even if you haven’t finished completely developing your website, it is essential that when the process is advanced you check its appearance and performance in different browsers. Each browser, and even its different versions, can show the website differently. For this reason, there are tools that allow you to test and check if your website adapts to different browsers, platforms and resolutions.
In addition to different browsers, a website doesn’t reach its maximum excellence nowadays if you can’t access it through different mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. This means that your corporate page needs to have what’s known as a “responsive design”, an approach that lets you build a website that fits different screen sizes and orientations, and where flexibility becomes a key factor.
5. The hosting
Choosing the best hosting is also essential. You have to evaluate the quality of the service, especially the tolerance of the supplier to incidents, and take into account the traffic you think your website can have. Note that the hosting service will allow you to manage your entire website and the contents, user registration, images, videos, shopping carts, etc. Some of the most popular providers are Arsys or 1and1.
Finally, we recommend you to have a look at the websites that Time magazine has considered the best of 2014, selected according to their usefulness, innovation and the degree of entertainment they offer to users. In this list we find Scribd.com, a website that offers more than 400,000 books that can also be accessed using a mobile device. In Spain, the best website of 2013 (the 2014 edition will take place at the end of the year) was Meetic.