What we’ve noticed throughout our work is that when it comes to the website many companies find it challenging to clearly define the business objective. As a result they focus far too much on getting the right aesthetics and almost completely ignore the actual purpose of the website.
Our team of web designers and developers always give their best to build great websites and surpass customer needs (forgive the soundbite). For us the basics are always the same: it starts with a good definition of what the website is about, who the ideal client is and what are the website’s main objectives.
So have you built your website with these preferred goals in mind? If you haven’t, perhaps it’s time to review it. Here are the most basic questions we encourage our customers to answer:
How will you measure success for your website?
Each business has its very own unique set of strategies, the following five types have been found to be the most common. Can you spot yours in this list?
- Lead generation: a website that is built to collect potential leads.
- Ecommerce: a website that sells services or/and products.
- Online informational or support: a website which helps users find the information they need.
- Content publishers: a website that encourages frequent visitation and engagement.
- Branding: a website for building awareness, driving engagement and loyalty.
Want to mix it up and have informational and ecommerce – it’s possible and it helps define how we should approach the development of your site.
Now that we’ve covered the five basic types, let’s take a look at who your audience is. In order for you to deliver the best customer experience to them you need to understand your user and what their needs, interests and frustrations are. A website objective also determines how you should measure your website’s achievements.
For example, let’s say you have a lead generation website:
- What is the call to action?
- Where is it placed?
- Does it incorporate the keywords you want to be discovered by?
- How do visitors arrive on the lead generation page? Is the traffic mostly direct or referral?
- How long is the average duration of their visit? Do they check other pages?
- How many sign ups have you made?
- Have you experimented with different sign up pages?
By having clear growth objectives and monitoring the results weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly you are doing your business a huge favour and discovering how your website is a key member of the team and how well it is pulling its weight.
One of the words we love using when we describe our web development and web design work is functionality. Of course this is no surprise as functionality plays a major role in the success of your website. One of the major factors is site load time, without doubt. If your website depends on a wide showcase of quality images but takes more than 4 seconds to load, you can be sure that you are losing visitors. Visitors will bounce off immediately, it’s just a matter of seconds really. That’s why we love finding the fine balance between the beautiful and the practical based on the budget available.
When we talk about functionality it’s also important to consider the device that is used to view your site. Does your website work equally well in desktop, mobile and tablet views? Your visitors will be looking at your site on various kinds of screens so make sure it’s optimised equally well for phones, tablets and desktops.
How easy is it for visitors to find your website? Are you using content to its full potential, drawing visitors like a magnet? Are you willing to invest in advertising? How well optimised is your website’s SEO?
A new website project for us always starts the same way – we take the time to sit down with the new customer and discuss their business goals, understand who their ideal customer is, what success looks like to them (in the short and the long term) and what they are trying to achieve with their website. Only after that can we start to advise and guide them, using our deep experience and the best tools for the job. We also believe that constantly reviewing what works and what doesn’t is the key to a great website performance and a successful business.