A Typically Unique Business Website
V.A.S.S. Motor Works in Mallow comissioned Sixmile Design to design and build their website from scratch. The final result can be seen here - V.A.S.S. Motors website. This is a car repair and servicing garage based in Mallow.
I feel this is a good example of website design, built within WordPress content managed system, that encapsulates a good basic functional design for a business. A website that includes the typical pages and funtionality but has a unique, branded look. A simple business website design that works. Why does it work? - here's why:
Structure of a Small Business Website Design
The home page contains a brief dynamic slideshow showcasing the company logo/branding and images of the company, giving immediate visual interest to the viewer. Below this, the intoductory text gives a brief synopsis of the company. I think this intro text is important as it not only gives the viewer a quick overview of the company (and services) but also introduces the all important keywords and long tail keyword phrases to the Google spiders, allowing indexing of the site. Of course these keywords also appear elsewhere in the website including page titles, headers and body copy. I've always considered a good home page could also double as a good one page website in its own right.
About Us & Services Page
Self explanatory. These important pages let the reader know who you are and what you offer. This information should centre around solving a problem for the reader. Your car is broken? - I'll fix it. Your garden is a mess - I'll landscape it. You need a website? - I'll design and build you one. Again, a great opportunity for keywords and phrases that Google will index and be picked up in a search from a potential customer.
Where possible I always feel some sort of gallery should be implemented as this allows the viewer (potential customer) a unique, visual insight into the company. This gives the company a personal touch. A mechanic at work, a finished product or photography of some work in progress gives the company creedence. Good photography should help spark some visual interest in the company and hopefully demonstrate a solution (maybe in progress) to a problem. On numerous websites I've worked on I've taken the photography myself and incorporated this into the gallery or page design.
When it comes to adding a personal and unique touch to the website there is no better way than the blog. A blog is so important to a website. In writing and and updating the blog articles, which relates to your business and/or industry, you develop an authority and following. Readers will come back to read your blogs, share and reread if the topics are relevant. You will build a following (and customer base) while increasing your search engine ranking - it's no secret Google likes blogs. A blog gives value to your website.
Contact & Location
I thinks it's crucial contact details (whether business phone number and/or email address) appear in a prominant place on the website. More often than not this is in the header above the navigation. I have learnt over the years that many people view a website just to quickly find contact information. They already know about the company and all they want is the phone number. Meanwhile a contact form is of great importance as this cuts down on email spam and allows the viewer to get in contact without leaving the website. Yeah, and don't forget that all important Google map, so you can be found.
Overall the website was designed and built within the very popular Wordpress CMS (Content Managed System). This means the client can update the website himself via a simple to use admin panel. Content updates can involve text, photos and new pages. Keeping content up to date and fresh is important to gaining a high Google ranking. In particular the blog means the client can easily add relevant news or information articles himself thus keeping the website relevant with up to date news and in turn generating constant interest.
This is a typical website thats ticks many boxes but is unique through the custom website design that has been implemented as well as the original content (words & images) that have been created especially for the website. Good, strong branding sets a company and business (website) apart from the competition while giving that personal touch.