Building a website might seem like a fairly straightforward task for most companies. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that straightforwardness translates to a quick, easy project that should be developed and executed with minimal time.
If you are creating or re-creating your business website, commence this task with a belief that it takes time and due diligence to produce a well-crafted site. That time will be worth it, as a company must have a well-designed website to increase site views and maintain customer loyalty. In other words, a not-so-good site can ultimately become a reason to lose your customers. Here are ten tips on how to not let that happen:
- Have a Clear and Consistent Strategy
Start by brainstorming the strategy for your website. Will customers come to the site as a resource for information, to be able to purchase a good or service or to receive help with a problem? Maybe they will need to be able to accomplish a combination of these tasks.Write it out and become really clear on what visitors will and will not be able to do on your site. Make sure this strategy is in alignment with the company’s operational and marketing strategy as well. Once completed, you should be able to explain the strategy clearly in a sentence or two.
- Do Your Research
There are many options when it comes to layout, site mapping, navigation and overall feel of the site. Start researching your competition to see what they are doing well and what they could improve upon. Go through these sites with a user’s mindset and try to pick out problems that you could eliminate through great design and functionality on your own site.
If you already have a website, put up a survey and get direct feedback from your customers. What do they like? What do they want changed? They will be able to tell you better than anybody else.
- Make It Easy for Viewers to Contact You
If you provide a product or service it is likely that you have a team of people that are available to help customers if there is something wrong with that product or service. Don’t make it difficult for this team to be contacted. Phone numbers and email should be clear and easy to find.
In-site chat features are becoming more frequent, as well. Consider this as a feature of your site if you have the capabilities to facilitate it. Also, make sure your website has a contact form. There is really no reason not to have one.
- High Quality Content and Photos
If you can, you should be creating your own content in-house. Nobody knows your business better than you. Dedicate a resource for creating and updating site content if you can. If not, hire a reliable and understanding freelancer that will be able to become more familiar with your business over time.
It is unlikely that you have an in-house photographer, unless you are in the business of photography. But do not let that be an excuse for using cheap, outdated stock photos. Hire a photographer or buy access to high quality online stock photo subscriptions to showcase the best on your site.
- Design Should Be Interesting and Simple
Design should always be clean and simple. Overly cluttered web pages are overwhelming and too difficult to sift through and find the needed information. Have a purpose for each design element. Have a purpose for each category of content. A website does not need to be overly complex and content heavy to be effective. As you would have done in tip number one, define your strategy and remove anything that does not align with it.
- Emphasize Your Products and Services
This should be easily accomplished by a clean design with a clear strategy. But if is not already, reevaluate your site to make sure your products and services stand out. Websites are like windows into your company. Ask yourself what you want your customers to see.
A website is your chance to win and retain customers. With millions of other sites out there, competition is stiff. If customers cannot clearly understand what you are selling and why they should buy it, chances are they won’t buy from you.
- Place Importance on User Experience
Pay more attention towards user experience, as your website should have the capabilities to attract and engage users. However, do not make the mistake that some companies make, which is making the website work for them. The website is all about the customer, because they are the ones using it after all. Comb through your site with a user mindset. If something is difficult to find or explain, chances are it won’t be valuable or meaningful to the customer.
- Use a Responsive Design
This is not an optional feature for a site anymore. With the tremendous change in mobile industry, today any website must be responsive and work perfectly on different screen sizes, browser sizes, etc. If your information is cut off by the re-sizing of a window, it will look unprofessional and poorly designed.
- Give Thought to the Color Scheme
There are a few things to consider when choosing a color scheme for your website. Does it match or, at least, coordinate with the company colors and logo? Also, prefer to stay away from a color scheme that is difficult to be viewed on a screen. The last thing you want it to make, is making your content difficult to read.
- Make Navigation Easy
Website users have a short attention span. If they have to search too long to find what they are looking for they will simply leave the website and move on. Map out your webpages and understand how a user journey should be designed which will make it easier for them to get from one page to the other. Is it inherently easy or does it take some digging? Try to minimize the time needed to get from page to page.
Use the tips above to create a positive web experience for your users. Again, with all of the competition, it is worth your time to create a well-designed site that maximizes usability and helps you to grow your business at the same time. To receive even more tips, Join our members only weekly newsletter or contact us.