Full screen image, fixed width, parallax, fixed menu, calls to action, colours, video content…the list goes on so, how do we start working out what’s best for your new website for your business?
Of course, it could be that all the above and more may be applicable to your sector and target audience as well as your own requirements to generate business from the website so let’s start at the very beginning…
What industry are you in?
Legal, manufacturing, retail, technology etc? The industry you are in will hugely influence the style, functionality, look & feel and overall approach to the design of your new site.
One thing it’s important to note is that colour (accepting you’ll want some references to your branding throughout the site) is a key psychological trigger to how visitors react to your website. The examples below show how blue and red can be used for best effect.
Who are your customers?
We all know who are customer’s are right?
Knowing who we are selling to is a must to stand a chance of creating content to appeal to them.
Creating personas (fictional representations of your various customer behaviour patterns) will help you deliver both content and marketing automation to reflect their individual needs. Knowing where they ‘hang out’ where they go for information, do they research before buying and so on can all help to present yourself in front of them with messaging they want to hear. If you need help, Hubspot have some great information here.
What do you want from the website?
Moving on from what your customer’s and prospect’s may want from your website, what do you want from it?
It maybe sales revenue, average order value, conversion rates and re-order rates for instance if your site is eCommerce, or it maybe enquiries via forms and phone calls if not. Or, it may simply be awareness. Either way, having measurable criteria so you can judge the ongoing performance, will help judge the sites success.
Where does the website sit within your sales process?
Is your website a reference point where visitors search technical information before contacting you or making a purchase or do you drive visitors to it for some final action (download/purchase/sign up)?
For some businesses, just having a presence is enough, for others, a great website forms a key role in the sales process – for these, it’s important we know at which point in the sales cycle the visitor’s are in: awareness – evaluation – purchase so we can approach each in a different way.
How will you measure its success?
For your business, it will be different to the next but, almost certainly, some of the following criteria will be used:
- sales revenue
- number of sales
- average order value
- re-order rate
- abandoned cart rate
- contact forms submitted
- phone calls received
- search engine position
- and more..
As long as you know those relevant to and and you DO track them, you’ll be able to make website changes to influence them!
Is content important?
Hell yes! In fact probably THE most important element to your website!
Delivering unique, relevant and regular content (check out a few handy content tips here) will help hugely in search engines and when you share it out via your social channels, that inbound marketing will start to pay off..
What about design?
Oh no, not the ‘D’ word..
There are many conversations/arguments about the design of your website as we all want something different!
As an industry, we designers are a little guilty of driving everyone down a full screen image/video approach sometimes with a little text overlay, sometimes not. While a striking visual appearance as soon as you land on a website can look amazing, what does it do for promoting your products and services, delivering a strong call to action and actually encouraging the visitor to go further than your home page?
If all else fails
Download a free theme/template and do it yourself and look the same as many other sites out there but, don’t get any enquiries, OR, use a specialist, bespoke design agency (ahem) who will ensure your new website isn’t totally a design-led process but one that will deliver results!