How many websites do you visit each day, tens, hundreds? However many you browse through, chances are you’re able to make a snap judgement on the kinds of websites that work and those that are very much going nowhere.
When you’re working on your own site, you’re looking to fulfill three or four golden rules to ensure that your lucky hits become return hits. Your website is your shop front so make sure you’re not missing any key components. In this blog we take you through some of the basics and some of the more sophisticated elements of developing your own website.
If your website is your shopfront, then your landing page is the display window. It should be less about you and more about the products you offer. When writing content for your site, think about how you can demonstrate to your customers the benefits of exploring your products or services.
If you’re unsure on how to write web content, don’t scrimp on this element and have a content developer write your website for you.
Create a menu bar that is clear and logical, with the same applying to any sub-menus. Make your landing page the first step of a logical progression around your site, funnelling as many visitors as possible to your products and ultimately to your checkout services, if applicable.
Wall-to-wall text is a big no. Think about breaking up that text over several pages and concentrate on creating a strong visual theme for your site. If you’re using images such as photos, make sure that you’re sourcing them from a high quality site.
Make sure that the images are also royalty free, which means you have permission to use them on your site and they’re not subject to copyright issues. When using video, make sure that the imbedded media is formatted correctly and plays as soon as your website is opened. Your website will need to be able to support rich media formats. Your customers will not wait around to see the content of your video load, so it needs to load first time, every time.
Communication and accessibility are key components that your customer will expect to find on your site. If you’re selling products or services, then your customers may have questions. Alongside your email, telephone number and queries form you should also consider creating a customer services bot.
Not sure of the benefits of a bot then visit a bot building resource page to discover how this element will make your website a one-stop for your customer.
You should also include customer testimonials on your site. These one or two paragraphs go a long way in giving your customer some reassurance that they’re dealing with experienced professionals.
Have your existing customers write a few lines for you and make sure they are properly credited to a real person in that company.
Finally, consider how your website loads on mobile devices. More than ever, we access websites on the go, walking down the street, sitting on the train. We are mobile people who need to do our banking while out and about. Your customer will expect your website to load properly, to look just as good on a mobile or tablet as it does on a laptop.
When you’re setting up your website or thinking about giving it a makeover, you need to find a combination of text, images and customer extras that mean your site rises head and shoulders above the competition.
You want your site to be found easily so think about how your content might be maximised for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). You’ll need to consider your key words, you’ll need to think about how people are going to find you and know your site exists. There’s little point having a great site if it languishes in a forgotten element of the internet.
If you’re able to, look at what your analytics are telling you. Which pages are getting the most hits and which are underperforming? Your site can and should be a constantly evolving site and one that you adapt and fine tune until it’s functioning to its maximum capacity.
Get your website running well and you’ll have access to the best resource in your business and a direct line to your customers. This is your shopfront and the gateway to your business so make sure it’s attractive, make sure it’s clean and well-designed and make sure it’s easy to navigate. Get it right and send your business soaring.