Website Design and why it's Important
Your website allows you to market your business online to a much wider audience, and helps you establish trust and credibility. Here I outline some of the key elements to make your website successful.
Does your business need a website?
Every business needs an online presence, whether it’s a simple website or a large complex e-commerce site. And if a customer or potential new customer visits your site, you only have a short time to make an impact and keep them on your site. It’s your shop window (which is always on), and your website needs to be inviting and want to make customers look around.
So what makes a great website, and how important is it?
Well, it’s usually the first place a new customer interacts with your brand, so it’s crucial your site not only looks great, but also is clear and easy to navigate. It could be the difference between making that sale or the customer going somewhere else. So that’s why a website that is designed with your target audience in mind is so important. It’s not necessarily about having the latest design trends, as this can be subjective, but it is about understanding your audience and engaging your users. If you're selling jewellery for example, you want to have lots of great photos showing them off.
It's all about your audience
To get started, you need to understand who your target audience is, what it is they want, and how you’re going to give it to them. Ultimately what do you want the customer to do on your website – buy a product, sign up to a service? You need to plan out your site with the user at the heart of everything you do.
One of the must-haves in your website design is making the information easy to access and find. When the navigation is well thought out and developed, users can easily explore your website and find what they want. The importance of this cannot be underestimated.
Content is king! Well, quality content is, as it serves two important functions. Firstly, obviously it’s what your customers will read so you need to have well-written, informative copy that is concise and interesting to the user. Secondly, when written correctly with SEO in mind, it can help your search engine rankings. More on that later.
Your brand is more than just a logo; it's your business values, brand positioning, personality, your promise to your customers - essentially it's how customers see your business and is your most important asset. And your website is the face of your company, is accessible 24 hours a day, and your website design reflects your company and your reputation. And remember, before making any buying decisions, people research online and will visit your competitor’s websites, so yours needs to stand out.
Websites aren’t just viewed on computers anymore, with the increase in the use of smartphones and tablets, your customers are more likely to visit your website on one of these devices now. And with Google placing more importance on mobile optimised sites (Google will now check out the mobile one first when deciding how to rank your site in the search results), if your website isn’t mobile optimised you’re losing out.
Essentially SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is getting your website to appear high in SERP’s (search engine results pages). This is important as users don’t normally go past the first or second page, so the higher up you appear the more traffic you will get. So you need to make sure your website has great content and help search engines understand what your website is about to offer searchers the best solution to their query.
Learning and improving
So once you have a website, and customers visiting it, how do you make informed improvements? Understanding your customers and what they are doing on your site is vital information every website owner needs to know. With Google Analytics, which is free, you can learn how your users are interacting with your website and begin to uncover ways to improve their experience, increase conversions (sales), reduce drop off or increase traffic.
There are some other important aspects to website design, such as fast loading times, engaging layout and use of video so it’s appealing to the user, contact information clearly displayed, but essentially it comes back to offering a user friendly and clear online offering where users can get useful information any time of the day.
Moreover, with a well designed website it builds trust in your brand, and when visitors trust you, they are more likely to make an investment in your products and services. In effect, you’re growing your business and gaining customer loyalty.
Need help with your website design or strategy?
Contact me today to learn how I can help you create a website that works for your business.