A company’s website is its new storefront, but what in the world wide web are you supposed to do with yours?
First things first…first impressions matter! In much the same way that you wouldn’t want to enter a brick and mortar store that has cobwebs hanging from the sign and a boarded up window, consumers aren’t likely to spend too much time on your website if it looks like it was created in 1999 with very little (if any) maintenance or updates.
It’s vitally important – when conceptualising the development of your website – to consider it from the perspective of the consumer. Start at the top and work your way down. Your website header is obviously first and sets the tone for the user experience, then navigation tools need to be considered as well as what information about your business is absolutely essential.
The easier the website is to use, the easier it is for a consumer to engage with your business and, ultimately, make use of your products and/or services. As such, your business name, logo, contact details, and the hours of operation for your brick-and-mortar location (if you have one) are fundamental. But, it’s not enough to just plonk them there and hope that customers will find their way to you.
The navigability of your site is also crucial and a navigation bar at the top of the home page ensures that users can easily find the page they’re looking for. For example, a florist may find that many of the people visiting their website are looking for what arrangements they have available. As a result, this should be immediately available without having to scroll down the page.
Now that we’ve got first impressions out of the way, it’s 2022 and we have known for a number of years now that content is king! So, it’s crucial to make a statement by putting your best content forward. Draw the user’s attention and extend their visits by providing content and features that they can easily engage with. The likelihood of turning your visitors into customers increases in proportion with the time they spend browsing and engaging with content on your website. There’s no secret recipe to creating good content but as a general rule, including images, graphics, and videos along with a clear call to action are the best way to do this.
Navigation links to key pages, as well as important business information and links to social media accounts need to be listed on your website’s footer. Having to scroll all the way back to the top of the page is an arduous task and it’s just one more reason for users to abandon your site.
Accessibility is another key consideration when it comes to driving traffic to your website. Much like you can’t just put petrol into a car once and hope that it will run forever, you can’t just throw a website together, optimise it once and then hope that it’ll be fine forever. That’s where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in.
A search engine is more likely to suggest your site to a user if you have ticked the boxes by including things like – “About,” “Products and Services”, and “Contact Us” pages. Demonstrating your expertise by featuring reviews and testimonials from past clients will also give you a boost in this area. In this way, you can leverage some design elements to improve how your business is perceived by customers and search engines alike.
Then, it may seem obvious, but it’s a vitally important part of creating a great, customer-focused website – it needs to be both desktop and mobile-friendly. Not only does this make your website more accessible to more people, but it’s important for SEO as well. Almost 50% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, and with that figure likely to keep increasing, it has become a non-negotiable aspect of business website design to have a mobile-friendly look and feel.
The digital team at hoola, led by Head of Digital Innovation – Esther McGeer, is passionate about building customer-focused websites that truly answer to the needs and pain points of users, by using responsive design, combined with cut-through content and optimised for their lifestyle.