No matter the size of your business (small, mid, or large) you have heard the terms search engine optimization and digital marketing. With the various platform, it makes everything much easier to get a website live in little to no time, and the cost may be inexpensive or high depending on the need.
There are a few questions one must ask before designing and here they go:
- What’s the age of my audience?
- What do I want my online presence to say?
- What features am I looking to have?
- What makes me different from the competition?
- What is my goal?
In asking these questions your website color, design, and overall content will be confirmed.
Let us get specific with the areas we don’t want to miss.
Clearly Defined Goals
When making goals, make smart realistic goals, meaning they are to be reachable, which helps you meet business goals. This is so as your website is a total representation of your business to the world.
In starting a website we usually have the entire process in our heads and this can be a huge task, so, break it down to bitesize, look at areas in your business that you want to improve or the selling point of what you have to offer, and be SMART with it.
- Be Specific about goals:
- Ensure goals are measurable:
- Make them actionable/attainable:
- Must be realistic:
- Should be completed promptly:
In launching a website, it may not be intended to attract a particular audience but in that launch, your website sets off the endless possibility.
- In most cases, sales increase from here where visitors can close deals and give your sales team an environment to monitor progress.
- You can have better interaction with prospective clients, lead generation, and drive better traffic hence your marketing make easier.
- Your online presence also will influence potential team members which means the chance of using your website for human resource purposes.
- Possible use is also in checking for customer satisfaction and improving if needs be, which makes it a great customer service portal.
Ensure Website Is User Friendly
You will rarely hear a user speaks of the great user experience in a website, but a website that has poor structure and a bad experience will be announced. Here is how to limit the chance of this ever happening to you.
Easy To Navigate
While it is important for an attractive website it is more so important that it is intuitive and easy to navigate. Your website should have clear concise directions all buttons should be clear and it is advised not to have more than three steps to complete your actions.
Use words that are easy to read. At the same time, you want to write the content to your liking you are NOT the user just the owner or content personnel. We know it can be tempting to want to be different but it is always best to continue using simple words such as “Home”, “About” and “Contact”.
Ensure your website is tailored to be easily navigated, this means your menu should be comprehensively descriptive to aid in the navigation process. Depending on your website and the product you may need limited links or a short menu listing.
With a millennial generation, we are always on the move and we need our business to go wherever we go which means all pages visited are to be adaptable to the devices we use. Screen size and dimension vary which means your website should be tested on all as none responsive website usually leads to a bad reputation.
It is tempting to do testing on the device the website was done by and once it has passed we publish, but, let us look at numbers. Over fifty percent (50%) of browsers use mobile devices to do so and this increases by ten percent (10%) annually. so for audiences over fifteen approximately ninety percent access emails via mobile smartphone. Having a responsive website also aids in search engine optimization (SEO)
Starting small does not mean limited information or content, instead, it means direct, descriptive, clean, or clear content. What do I mean?
Have you ever noticed the many parts of your business you want to display? Or, the more you grow the magnitude of information you want to share? Well, your prospective audience is only there for the experience and yes, the product. Make it easy for them to find.
Another thing is to establish a hierarchy, having a visual hierarchy of your website in the planning phase will allow you to design based on importance meaning putting the most important information first and the rest following in that order. In doing this you will note your headings (size and text style), page center (and information it holds), and the color contrast along with the theme.
Optimizing Your Website for Search Engine
While one of the many aims is to have a great website in whatever industry you are in but it is the least of your problem if people cannot find you. It is awesome to market, putting out paid ads but having your organic traffic is most important.
Once the best practices of SEO are implemented on your website it aids in having you on the top rank page of your search engine, which boasts your accessibility and visibility to your potential audience. Here are a few pointers on some of the best SEO practices:
- Use targeted keywords, this should be done throughout your web pages. Search engines such as Google track websites based on users’ searches.
- Responsive design, the reward for responsive design is rankings on search engines.
- Make your URL simple, having short URLs makes it easier for users to read and are more trustworthy.
Consistency Is Key
You may ask, what consistency has to do with website development? It has a lot to do with everything, from branding to marketing and even colors.
All of your pages that make your website should be consistent with the look and feel. In this your images, color, and as simple as the background can make a positive impact on your audience. Uniformity and consistency in the look and feel of your website do not mean all pages on your website should look the same, all pages do have their personal touch but, folds in the idea.
Your website being consistent is also to be consistent with your company’s branding meaning adding company colors and logo is a must. Also, all templates should be customized to be consistent with the brand.
Keep Your Visitors Motivated
This may be hard to believe most times but, again I say, your visitors/audience enjoys the simple parts of the website. This means unnecessary parts that you are thinking of are not needed (i.e. the parts that share no functional purpose, just there for beautification).
Earlier we spoke about the hierarchy of your website and consistency of color and text, this enhances the usability of the website hence motivating your users as their flow feels natural. This natural flow will aid in guiding the user to finish what was started which means a low bounce rate meaning optimization on varied search engines. This also means all call-to-action (CTA) must be clear and to the point.
Now we have reached the end the aim was for you to acquire the needed tools and information to make your website more user-friendly and interactive. Always remember, never allow your user to second guess where they are when they land on your website.