Every business needs a website - we know that, but as web design has evolved and user expectation sky-rocketed, building a website that both meets the needs of today and is fit for the future is challenging.
It’s why creating your own business website remains a pretty bad idea. It might be tempting to save some money and use one of the many self-build web tools available, but the result will never be as beneficial for your business and its leads as a professionally-designed website.
But what makes a winning website that will provide a consistent flow of leads into your sales team’s inbox?
Here’s the top 5 elements that should be on your hit list:
1. Go for a custom web design
Website templates look like templates - it’s that simple. Countless other bloggers and businesses will have already used the one you’ve picked, making it anything but unique.
A custom web design will result in a website that’s yours - no one else’s. It can’t be mistaken for a different business, and you get ultimate say over how it looks and feels. What’s more, you won’t be constrained by future developments (or lack thereof) on behalf of the template developer.
Your custom-designed website should be mobile-friendly and contain great images and video from the off, without being hampered by template limitations.
2. Think about the user experience
When people reach your website, you want them to enjoy using it. There’s nothing more frustrating than fighting your way through a website that has clearly been built without any consideration for the user experience.
The best websites keep things ultra-simple with clear calls-to-action and content that is highly tuned and relevant for the intended audience.
3. Nail the navigation
How many times have you reached a website that seemingly offers no obvious route towards your intended goal?
If you want to purchase something, but you don’t know where to click or how to browse the range of products you’re interested in, it won’t be long before you head elsewhere.
Your customers will do the same if the navigation on your website isn’t up to scratch. Menus should be clearly accessible on every type of device, named coherently and made easy-to-use. Fancy sliding, animated menus might look great, but if they’re cumbersome to use, people simply won’t feel inclined to browse your website.
4. Make Google love it
No matter how well designed, unique or brilliantly functional your website is, if you don’t invest time and money in search engine optimisation (SEO), it might as well not exist.
That might sound a little harsh, but a website without a strong SEO strategy is nothing more than an elaborate business card.
Search engine optimisation starts at the design stage and continues throughout the build, so make sure your website has this vitally important marketing tactic within its heart.
5. Don’t rush the content
Far too many great looking websites out there are let down by content that has clearly been rushed. And it’s such a shame, because content is the beating heart of any business website.
Yours should feature great text, imagery and video on site, and be supported by a concerted social media marketing effort off-site, in order to amplify the brand and provide plenty of inbound traffic.
Content is sometimes left right until the end of a web design process, but it should be started much earlier. Make it a cornerstone of the project, and you can’t go far wrong.
The key to assessing how great your website is lies in using it yourself. Far too many businesses have websites custom designed, only to neglect the importance of testing it themselves. If something doesn’t feel right to you - it almost definitely won’t feel right to your audience.
We hope the above has given you some food for thought. Web design isn’t a dark art, but it does need an experienced pair of hands when it comes to the digital home of a businesses. Book our Training session on how to create a winning website and we will evaluate what you need to do to get your website working for you rather than against you.
Web Design Northampton by New Edge
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