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Qualities of a Great Website

A great website showcases the professionalism of the company and answers any questions that a visitor may have. Over the years, we have come across many different styles of websites with information ranging from simple to very complex. However, making sure that basic information is readily available to users is the best practice.

So what types of information are best practice to have a great website?

A CLEAN, CRISP, PROFESSIONAL DESIGN

When you go out to meet a new client, you probably dress up very nice, check the mirror twice before you leave in the hope of putting your best foot forward. Looking presentable can be a major factor if you get the job or not. Looking professional builds trust. The same principle needs to be applied to your website.

Chances are that if you are reading this article, you have some experience with searching around the web. I am also willing to bet that you have seen some pretty horrid websites. Maybe you have seen some websites with broken links, missing images or alignment issues. These are all little indicators that build up to the trustworthiness or UNtrustworthyness of your website.

Case in point, let your website be designed by professionals who know how to make your website appear as professional as possible.

HOSTING THAT DOES NOT LET YOU (OR YOUR WEBSITE) DOWN

Website hosting is a place on the internet where your website stays readily available for online visitors. Sometimes, web hosting companies will pack thousands, if not tens of thousands on a server. Their services will be cheap, but often times, at the cost of having your website not indexed and/or crawled by the large search engines and the website being down and not available. In the website hosting industry, the motto “You get what you pay for” is heard loud and clear. Our advice? Be careful where you choose to pinch pennies!

CONTACT INFORMATION READILY AVAILABLE

It is always a good idea to place contact information in highly visible areas of your website. Finding contact information also builds trust. If they have questions in the future, they know that they can contact you without a problem.

RELEVANT INFORMATION ON THE WEB PAGES

Once users get to your website, the first thing they would like to know is what you can do for them. Part of having a great website is providing all of the information that you think would be helpful to a visitor who comes to your website. Add information such as:

  • Solutions to problems
  • Common problems
  • Interesting stories
  • Testimonials
  • Years of experience
  • How you got to where you are today
  • What you offer
  • Savings
  • Coupons
  • Company literature (brochures, business cards, short videos)

WEB PAGE STRUCTURE FOR EASY NAVIGATION

Another sign of a great website is having a navigation hierarchy that is easy for visitors to understand. Most of the time, users will land on a web page and want to look around. If the information they are looking for is buried in another page and not directly in front pf them, most of the time they will simply leave your website and go to another competitor. This is a critical reason why you need to have an easy to understand navigation structure.

It is also important to make sure that there aren’t any broken links. It can be very frustrating to users (and a mark on your trustworthiness) when links they are wanting to follow do not let them do so.

In order to have a great website, it is necessary to plan out many details first and then make sure that the design is professional, hosting is reliable, information is useful and relevant and navigation structure is solid. If you do these things, you will have a great place for users to go and find out more information about what you have to offer and build your authority on your particular industry.



New Business Websites | Businesses need a website to take advantage of searching customers

New Business Websites

We are still surprised how many businesses do not have a website. Now, because we are a web design company, we may be a little biased : ). We have also seen the effects that a website can have on a business, especially certain types of businesses. Even the businesses that we do not conduct a full out search engine optimization campaign, still get business from the web. It is amazing how many people search the internet looking for solutions to all sorts of questions and problems.

Online Searches

New businesses can capitalize on the fact that people are searching for many different types of products and services on the internet. The other great part of this is that many of the searches done today are focused for a more geographic local search. This gives the business a great chance to be found on the top of the search engines, just by having a website online. This trend for a more local search can have a significant effect from sales generated from your website.

Decision Makers

We know many decision makers that attempt to look for a website on a given company before they call to do business with them. It is expected that businesses have a website that has the necessary information that is organized in a way users can easily find the information they are looking for. We have also talked with the decision makers about what they do if they find a business that does not have a website, or if the website is not easy to find, and they all say the same thing, “I don’t do business with them.”

This speaks volumes about how important it is to make it easy for your business to be found online. If your business does not have a website, decision makers knowingly overlook your company for a competitor that has invested in a website for themselves. This reason alone should tell you how critical it is to be easy to do business with online.

Conclusion

New business websites are a great place to start in the world of advertising, especially with how affordable internet advertising is compared to other forms of advertising. So if you have a new business and are looking for fast and affordable advertising, we would highly recommend looking into investing in a professionally designed website for your business.



Local Minneapolis Web Designer | Picking the right one for your business

Minneapolis Web Design

When looking for a Minneapolis web design company, it is important to look at many factors so you can find a good fit for your company. Finding a web design company that is a good fit will benefit your company in the long run. Be sure to keep the following factors in mind:

1) How long has the web designer been in business?
You would be surprised how many “web design” shops have popped up and dropped off. Even in the Minneapolis area. Now, that is not very “Minnesota Nice”. We have seen and heard of companies looking to make a quick buck and then leave businesses high and dry when they cannot fulfill their empty promises. Do a little bit of research on how long the company has been around. You will thank yourself in the long run.

2) Give them a call.
Don’t just sign up because they have built up hype on their website. Give them a call and see how you get along with them on the phone. How do you feel after the initial conversation? Is this someone who you would like to work with? If you decide to go with this company, you will probably be with them for a while, so it would be in your best interest to see how they relate to you. Another factor to keep in mind is if they even pick up the phone. You may have experience with companies that give the complete “song and dance” and then when it comes time to get back in touch with them (after they have your money, of course) they are impossible to get a hold of.

3) Are they in the search engines?
Now, there are many reputable web design companies that do not rank highly in the search engines for the popular terms. After all, there are only around 10 spots, right? However the ones closer to the top probably have a little more experience/expertise in structuring a website so that it can be displayed higher in the search engines. They know a few processes that have proven themselves successful in getting a higher placement in the search engines. You should at least be able to search for their company name and their website should be listed. After all, wouldn’t you like to see your business higher in the search engines?

4) What is the budget range?
Most of us have a budget range we would like to stick within for anything we go out and buy. Want a car? Chevy Cobalt or Bentley? You get the idea. Most Minneapolis web design companies are the same way. We have heard some agencies charging $20,000 plus for a relatively simple website and we have also heard very low prices. Wow, that is quite a range. We would recommend finding a Minneapolis web design company that you feel comfortable with and can get what you want for a relatively good price. I don’t think any web design company would like to build a site that was way under priced for the work involved. As you are already aware, most of the time, you get what you pay for!

5) View their website portfolio.
Do you like some of the work they have completed? I know many Minneapolis web design companies that have killer portfolios. Do you really need a complete knock out website? Or do you need more results from your website? Either way, view their portfolios and see what they are capable of and see if it fits in your budget range.

6) Look for testimonials.
Past clients and their experience is a great way to see how others have been treated in the past. You can learn much from a few testimonials listed on a Minneapolis web design company’s website. We know it works! Come to think of it, I look at testimonials on every website I plan on buying from. Look for the testimonials!

So, before you jump right in and get that website built by the first company that crosses your screen, follow these tips and see if you can hone in on a Minneapolis web designer. You will thank yourself in the long run. You will end up saving money and build a better relationship with a company that you will do business with for a long time.



How are the payments for my professional website handled?

Website Payments

Payments are usually broken down into stages:

  1. The first half of the total amount is due when the customer gives Midwest Web Design Inc the “green light” to get started with their website project.
  2. Then Midwest Web Design will begin creating the look and feel for your professional web design. The second payment is due after the customer agrees on the look and feel. This second payment is half of the remaining balance that is due (or 25% of the total original amount that the project was bid for).
  3. After the look and feel is agreed upon, Midwest Web Design will build your website with all the text and pictures, etc. When the pages are built and the website is finished, the final remaining balance is due (the remaining 25% of the total original amount that the project was bid for).

Another way to think about how we handle payments can be viewed by looking at the following pie graph:

How the payments for your professional website are handled



What is the process for having a website done by Midwest Web Design?

Website Design Process

  1. Get in touch with us via phone or email

    The first step of the process is to get in touch with us when you have some time.

  2. Set up an appointment

    We will set up an appointment with you to discuss your goals for your website in more detail.

  3. Goals for the website
    Our staff will go over goals that are important for you and your website and discuss many options available including:

    • Budget constraints
    • A professional, custom, look and feel for your website
    • Custom website programming
    • Mobile website
    • Domain name registration
    • Hosting
    • Navigation on the website
    • Website structure
    • Email setup
    • Search engine optimization
  4. Decide to move forward
    When all the necessary topics are covered, if it makes sense, both parties move forward and your professional website design will start to be built.
  5. Start the project

    Midwest Web Design Inc will talk with you to figure out the look and feel of your professional web design and give you some samples of what your website
    will look like.

  6. Get information from client
    After the look and feel is complete, the client will give us the necessary information (text, pictures, etc) for the website to be completed.
  7. Wrap up the website project

    After all the pages are built and loose ends tied up, the project will be complete. It’s that simple.