Website creation can be as simple as buying a template and pressing ‘publish’. This will put your business on the Internet and start your digital presence. However, it is harder to create a site that people will enjoy visiting, using, and returning to.
A good first impression online is every bit as important as with a physical store or initial face to face introduction. Your homepage needs to establish your business from the moment a user lays eyes on it. It must definitively answer the questions “Who are we?” “What do we do?” and “How we can solve your problems”
When a person arrives, they want to see that it is clean, well laid out, and that it will be easy to navigate. Visual clutter makes it difficult to find relevant information so don’t be afraid to use white space to highlight important areas and lead your users through your site.
Browsers Engage with Good Design
Users read web pages in an F pattern. This means that as their eyes descend the page, they speed up their reading and begin to scan the content for what they are looking for. This makes it vital to put the important things in the first paragraph of content, the first few images, and the opening menus.
Your design must lead the user towards the ultimate goal of a successful transaction. The site needs to take the user from the front page to a goal page – this could be a product page, contact form or event registration, in as few steps as possible. The design must make the process feel natural and intuitive, with a sense of logic about the journey.
Ensure the website is optimised for mobile devices. People spend a lot of time browsing the Internet on their smartphones and tablets. Failure to adapt and cater to the mobile market will see your business miss out on conversion opportunities. Mobile optimised sites are also good for SEO.
Keep it Current
The digital landscape moves quickly and being up-to-date requires continual changes and tweaks. A commitment to regular updates will encourage your clients, customers and prospects to return to your site and see what is new. Even a service based business whose services do not change, can maintain a growing and evolving site through the publication of regular blog articles, reports, useful resources and creating visual content such as infographics and videos. This, combined with an active social media presence, will ensure people feel the need to return often.
Push the Boundaries
The Internet’s flexibility and capacity for fast changes makes it ideal for innovation. It is important to test and adapt, and stay current to keep up with the curve. Remaining static and comfortable is not a strategy that works online and many sites have fallen by the wayside due to an inability or unwillingness to change with the times. Listen to your customers and observe their behaviour via analytics and the creation of a website your audience loves will become easier.