Having a well-designed website that aligns with your objectives is a must for every modern-day business. First impressions matter, and in today’s online world your website is likely to be a potential customer’s first port of call, so if your platform doesn’t portray the right message or fit your business need, those would-be customers are likely to turn away.
Almost two thirds of consumers (65 per cent) view an online search as the most trusted source of information when researching a company, and with the right search engine optimisation the first thing they’ll come across is your website, making it the cornerstone of your online presence. Getting it right can drive business growth and attract new customers – getting it wrong can have the complete opposite effect.
Linking it to business goals
It’s of paramount importance for your website to link back to your key messages are aims. Your objectives will shape your website’s purpose content and structure – failing to link the two will leave you with a completely blank canvas, leaving you directionless in the development phase. If your goal is to increase footfall in a high street store, your website should encourage your visitors to do so; if you want to boost e-commerce revenue, it should prioritise the online shopping experience.
A people-first approach
Put yourself in the shoes of your website visitors. Why are they coming to you and what are they wanting to achieve? Plan your user journey to explore their needs, pain points and desires. When designing your website, focusing on addressing these areas and how you can actively encourage visitors to do what you want them to do, but also for them to get the information they’ve come for. This also requires a focus on brand identity – customers who already know about your brand with expect your website to fit your identity. It’s an online shop window, with users acting as pedestrians walking past. Entice them in with a fitting look which is in line with the rest of your branding.
The sky is the limit
Don’t settle for a substandard website. A simple website doesn’t have to mean it’s basic – it’s possible to keep things to a minimum but still create and engaging and attractive platform. Take special consideration of the fact we now live in a mobile-first world, in which your website has to be responsive and optimised for smartphones. More than half of all internet traffic comes through mobile devices, with 80 per cent of people using their smartphones to carry out quick searches – that’s a considerable number of visitors to miss out on.
Once a foundation is in place, you can begin to experiment with add-ons that improve the user experience and convert more visitors into customers. But this comes back to not using technology for the sake of it – make sure additional features are there for a reason. An e-commerce site may invest in a more streamlined checkout process, while a customer service platform might look to implement a live chat feature.
Retailer ASOS has recently been testing an augmented reality tool on its site to help shoppers buy items that suite their body shape. The move is designed to give customers and accurate representation of what to expect, as well as boosting body positivity which resonates with their young demographic. It also has a two-pronged impact on the bottom line; decreasing the cost of managing returns and improving the brand’s reputation, customer loyalty and, therefore, revenue.
Think of the bigger picture
Think of your website’s place in your wider marketing strategy – it is one part of a bigger puzzle that encompasses digital marketing, social media, email, content and offline activities. Each of those channels should work seamlessly with others in order to fulfil marketing and business goals.
It’s also worth assessing the skills of your marketing team and the members of staff who’ll be using your website. If they are very tech-literate, then more advanced systems can be used on your website, but if they need more guidance then ensure your website’s back-end is friendly and easy to learn – and invest in that learning.
Getting your website right can make the world of difference to achieving your business goals. We can help maximise your online presence and take it to the next level, either through our consultancy or development branches. Get in touch to find out more by emailing email@example.com or calling the office on 01225 220155.