Building your business, website personality, or marketing a new product can be wildly exciting. But it takes patience, planning, resources, a lot of effort, even more time, and let’s face it a little bit of luck!
Unfortunately, you won’t have an unlimited amount of time or money to establish your online presence, but what experience tells us is that there are a few guidelines you should consider following to help you to get through this tangled “web” of minutia and create a successful web presence.
Begin with Choosing Your Audience and Setting Your Goals
Any successful project starts with set of goals to achieve. Before beginning a web design project, think about what objectives you want to achieve. Are you looking to drive sales, build brand awareness, sell more franchise locations? What are your goals and how can your website help you achieve them?
Once you have a set of objectives, it’s time to start preparing your story. And creating the story your website will tell starts with determining your target audience. While everyone likes a good story, your target must trust the story you’re telling is true. Your users need an emotional and credible connection to ensure them you and your product or service are what you say they are or they won’t be back!
Don’t forget – as your company and website grows and your audience matures, so should your goals.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Different, But Make It Easy
Different is good, but your website must be intuitive and easy to use. When focusing on your user’s experience use a little creativity to increase the stickiness of the site. Keep them interested by creating stories around your products and services and don’t forget about using videos, social media venues, and affiliates to keep them engaged.
A Few Tips
- No one likes blaring music or flashing neon graphics when opening a website
- Keep the site structure easy to navigate. Don’t layer links. No one wants to have to keep clicking to find the information they are looking for
- Optimize for both mobile and desktop users
- Page load speeds matter
- Your phone number should be easy to find, bold and optimized for click to call
Website Tools for SEO, Analytics, and Optimizing Your Landing Page
Your goals can help you to decide which tools work best for you, while providing the most bang for your buck.Having said that, it’s important to keep SEO in mind when you’re working on website design.
Be sure you understand the basics of how search engines work, the technical aspects of SEO, and how analytics can help you to keep up-to-date with your changing audience. Website tools are not “set and forget” types of tools. You must be vigilant to address your audience’s changing needs or hire someone to help you stay on top of them.
Working the Website and Working the Crowd
If you land on a website and it’s not working immediately, what do you do? Most people leave within the first few seconds.
Be sure someone from your organization has been designated to regularly check the overall look of your website, each link, button, interface, etc. to ensure your user experience is the very best, every time. You’ll be glad you did.
Your website should also be feedback friendly. As consumers we want to be heard, so do your users. Your product and website should incorporate their suggestions for changes and improvements, listen and recognize the silent, but strong voices of social media pundits and influencers, they have a lot to say.
One Last Thought. . .
Just like you need more than a hammer to build a house, building a website takes a lot of tools. There’s no magic design or tool to make your website and product a success, it’s a combination of a variety of components. Take the time to explore your options, understand the tools and resources available to you, listen to your audience, and make changes. Rinse, repeat.