Website Design: A Key to VAR Success
Many IT solutions providers don’t consider design as critically important to their business. Because design isn’t a part of most IT professionals’ everyday tasks, website design may seem superfluous when compared to their core business functions. Or they think the nature of the IT industry doesn’t warrant careful attention to their business’ website. That’s a critical error. Here’s why.
Your website is mostly likely the first contact a potential client will have with your company. Whether you’re selling IT or a dog walking service, your website is the most important tool you have to increase your customer base and generate revenue. If your website doesn’t mean business, then you won’t be in it for long.
Most consumers have been conditioned to have high expectations due to the design and interface of major retail websites such as Nike, Ikea, or HBO. And those expectations are now trickling down not only to services, but to local businesses of all kinds. Especially with the advent of Google Places, small businesses have to improve their online presence if they want to keep up with (or stay ahead of) the competition.
At Intronis, design permeates into everything we do. We focus on creating the best user experience possible, and that effort has certainly paid off with our efforts in the online backup market. We receive emails commenting on how easy it is to find information on our website.
Secrets to Design Success
At glance, your company’s website should be able to convey who you are and what you offer. The design elements of your site—colors, font, and organization content—should make visitors think that your business is competent, organized, and knowledgeable. Potential customers will make a decision to find out more about your company based on looking at your homepage for a few seconds.
Once you have them interested, keep visitors on your site by making the information your potential customers are looking for easy to find. Good design keeps bounce rates low; good navigation increases page views and time on your website.
Here’s some basic design guidelines to keep in mind:
- Be consistent. Make sure you have a unique visual identity that is consistent throughout your website.
- Keep it simple. Choose one or fonts and one or two colors and stick with those.
- Don’t be afraid of whitespace. White space around images and text allows the eye to better process information without a visual overload.
- Avoid dark backgrounds, music, annoying pop ups, too much Flash, and limit scrolling.
- Be as clear as you can with the least amount of text possible. Remember that the average visitor only stays on a page 1-2 minutes at most.
Got other secrets to success? I’m all ears.
Sam Gutmann is president and CEO of Intronis. Find Intronis partner program information here. Guest blog entries such as this one are contributed on a monthly basis as part of The VAR Guy’s 2010 Platinum sponsorship.