April 11, 2019 | 1year | Digital
So, what is a website anyway? In its simplest form, a website is a domain address which has a variety of different pages ‘webbing’ from it. It’s a blank space on the internet which you can fill with content specific to yourself, your business or even your cat… if you really wanted to. The move from retail stores to online stores over the past couple of decades has reinforced how important it is to have a functioning website which customers can browse with ease. However, after initial investment, it seems that companies are putting off developing, expanding and innovating their websites and ‘making do’ with what they have. This might be all well and good for your wallet short term, but in the long term, it could actually be damaging your business.
In reality, the overall design of your website could make or break your business. It is a way of targeting your audience and potentially turning them into buying customers. Your website is usually the first impression you make as people are far more likely to search for you online before they decide to make a purchase. Therefore, if your website is old and shabby, then people will assume that your product or service will follow suit, and you don’t want that. As such, having an interface which is easy to use and impresses the potential customer will result in a higher conversion rate, leading to more business and improved revenue.
We’ve put together five things you should look out for when considering whether it’s time to update your website:
As discussed, your website should be easy to browse through. If there is any perceived effort on behalf of the customer then you’ll lose them, and lose them quick. The potential customer must find it easy to access everything they need. For example: is the contact us button easily accessible or is it easy to view what I have already added to my basket? Your site should have a well-developed navigation bar at the top or the side of the page which allows the user to move back and forwards seamlessly between pages. All of these things matter for the overall user experience.
Impressive Visual Design
Design is an umbrella term for everything which encompasses the visual elements of your website, whether this be colours, fonts, logos, pictures or even white space. All of these elements should come together to produce a consistent message which is relatable to what you do. You should also be using your most up to date branding, so any changes made to your brand should be updated on your website immediately. And finally, it should look good! It shouldn’t be boring. It should draw in your audience and make them want to read and experience more.
If you have the overall navigation and design of your website right, then the next thing that should follow is engagement. As long as this all feeds together effectively then it should encourage people to comment on parts of your website or even share them to their social media platforms. An engagement could even be if a potential customer fills in a contact or query page after viewing the site, it’s anything that makes their stay that bit more memorable. You should also have an effective way of measuring this in the background to ensure that you are making the desired impact.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an extremely important factor when considering your website design. SEO is what will gain you organic, unpaid awareness from your target audience. The strategic use of industry specific ‘buzzwords’ will allow the big search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to guide people to your site, as they use them to understand who you are and what you do. This can also be impacted by the text in the main body of your site, for example: when was the last time you went through every page of your site with a fine-tooth comb looking for spelling mistakes? Anything like this could cause search engines to rank you lower, leaving you less likely to show up in the higher search pages.
Credibility and Content
Credibility and content will also affect your SEO rankings. By producing high quality, original content, you’ll be telling search engines that you are an active site who is able to keep up with the needs of their consumers. Blog posts for example could draw customers in again and again as long as they are relevant. However, if you decide to take the easy route out, and not invest time into this process then you could be causing quite the opposite reaction. For example, people have been known to simply copy and paste blog articles from other, more successful pages. Search engines are machines, and if they detect any form of plagiarism then it will negatively impact your credibility, and again, dramatically lower your SEO ranking.
Have a good look at your website after reading this and consider whether it's currently a true asset to your business, or are you just 'making do'? In the age of digital, website design is so important in developing your business so don’t take your website for granted letting it get more and more outdated. After all, your website is the main door for customers to access you, make it one they’ll remember.If you decide it’s time to innovate your website then please contact the Active Office team, we can provide tailored website solutions at fantastic prices.