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5 Tips For Creating a Website For Your Equine Business

While word-of-mouth was once crucial to growing a business in the equine industry, and still is to a point, having a great website that speaks to your target market is critical to successfully growing your business. Here are some things to keep in mind when designing a website for your business.

  1. Take your time to plan the website. You should have a well-thought-out plan before you actually make your website a reality to ensure that the process goes smoothly, and you should have a set budget set aside for purchasing the web address and ongoing web hosting costs. This includes: *Knowing what information about your business must be on your website (for the equine industry, services, qualifications, contact info, etc. are what should be prioritized.). *Researching your competitors, both locally and industry-wide, to see how strong their online presence is, what kind of content their sites have, and get ideas for the design of your business’ site. *Sketching out ideas for the layout of your website, which can allow you to visualize different ways to organize the content on your site without the time and trouble of creating many different versions until you stumble across something you’re happy with. *Considering the basic design principles while planning and making your site. There are over a dozen different principles, though they won’t all apply to your website. These principles are based around making things more pleasing to the eyes – on ads, logos, websites, products, and more. For a website, pay close attention to color, typography, hierarchy, and whitespace. *Choosing your WebHost. There are many different Webhosting sites to choose from, all providing many similar services. Some of these services offer very direct and useable website builders, while others do not. Pricing also varies and most web hosts have different price-points depending on the features you need. Consider your experience in building websites and research the different options before making a final decision.
  2. Focus on the user experience. A business’ website is for the people you want to do business with, so focusing on the user experience is crucial. Consider your own browsing experiences and interactions with websites – things that irritate you about them, such as slow loading speed, or how difficult it is to find what you’re looking for. The site must be easy to navigate, be nice for users to look at, and work quickly so that users don’t leave before it has finished loading. Have people you know test out the website and give you feedback so you know what should be changed as you’re building it. Keep the color scheme and fonts in mind, as it is important that visitors on the site can read the content easily.
  3. Only use high-quality content. An overall good website can easily be ruined by low-quality pictures or poor writing. Use only high-resolution photos. Being careful of the photo size and dimensions in relation to where you place the photo is important, as attempting to make the photos bigger than they actually are or changing dimensions incorrectly will result in distortion or heavy pixelation. Likewise, writing that is difficult to understand or boring to read will drive users away. Site visitors should be able to locate the information they need, clearly understand what it is right away, and better yet, enjoy the writing enough to stay on the site and read through all or most of the content. Written content should be engaging and interesting to read.
  4. Optimize the site for multiple formats. Many people now use their phones as their primary browsing method, though there are still plenty of people that access the Internet from their computers and tablets as well. Not all website builders automatically format websites to mobile and tablet versions perfectly. Some need extra fine-tuning done separately to make sure that the website looks good in all formats. Having a flexible, responsive design is crucial. Once your site is nearing completion, be sure to check that it still looks good on mobile and tablet versions. Most website builders have a preview option that allows you to check between all formats.
  5. Search Engine Optimization. If a website doesn’t rank high in search engines, you’ll never get much traffic to your website, and all the time spent on building it will have gone to waste. SEO, while not always clear and simple to understand, is another crucial aspect of getting your business seen by people. If you have a lot of competition from other businesses locally, a strong SEO game will be even more important. There are hundreds of rules and guidelines that you could follow, so extra research will be needed. A few good guidelines to follow include: Using titles and meta tags on every page, as well as alt tags on all images. Optimizing the content on your website with keywords that you know your target customers are likely to search for. Be sure to use keywords that fit appropriately with your content and links. Keyword abuse can be detrimental.

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