A key focus for many businesses is how to improve their website. Four out of five Irish businesses have a website but only 40% of them are actually selling with it. This begs the question, is your website working as hard as you are?
Even if it’s not an e-commerce website your site should still be pulling its weight. Think of it as your digital brochure. Your virtual salesperson. It’s an opportunity to attract new customers through engaging experiences and content. If it’s not doing that then it’s not working hard enough.
What makes a successful website?
When it comes to good web design it’s not just about how it looks. Design is important but it’s only one of many important aspects that you need to consider. A successful website will be the backbone of your marketing strategy. It bolsters key areas of the business like branding, lead generation and customer service. To do this, it needs elements such as convincing copywriting, persuasive photography and user focused design.
If you want to improve your website to and make it work harder for your business, here are the key areas you should focus on:
1. User Experience (UX)
Branding is more than a new logo and name change. It’s your entire personality and value system as a company.
Open your website in another tab and imagine you’re a customer. Not just any customer, your dream customer. When you land on the website how quickly do you get the information you need to make a decision? Count how many clicks it takes. Is it easy to find contact details if they have specific questions? What about the product/service information? Is the description convincing enough to pique their interest?
If you’re unsure of any of the above then your website’s user experience (UX) needs some work. User experience is essentially about creating an engaging and frictionless experience for your user based on their behaviour and needs. UX design is user focused and makes decisions based on research, rather than assumption. Spending time on this will help your retention and conversion.
2. Visual (UI) Design and Branding
User Interface design is a lot more than eye-catching visuals. It can create an instant feeling with the user through intuitive design elements that appeal to their needs. Therefore it is an excellent way to tell your story. It can help answer their questions quickly. Design can help your business make a memorable impact and convey your brand’s whole personality and foster an authentic connection with your audience. UI design should complement and aid the user experience.
Your messaging should be concise, with a tone of voice that reflects your brand’s personality. Long sections of text and descriptions are counterproductive when it comes to web design. Yes, you’re giving the customer all the information they need but if it’s too longwinded they won’t trudge through it all.
Text and product descriptions should be short and to the point. If you’ve ever sat through a presentation that had too much text on each slide then you’ll understand why. Combine text with images and video for a more varied experience.
Put yourself in the shoes of your exact target audience. What do they need to know and what can they do without? Only give them the relevant information that they need at that particular point in their research journey.
It’s important to make sure the text is SEO optimised which means including the keywords that are relevant to your industry and audience. Avoid overusing them however and don’t write excessive text for the sake of it. Work with an SEO expert who can guide you on best practices.
Accessibility is about making your website usable by as many people as possible. That doesn’t just cover those with impairments or disabilities, it also covers mobile responsiveness and slow internet connection.
You can get a quick idea of your site’s accessibility by answering these questions:
- Is there enough colour contrast in the design so that the text is legible for everyone?
- Do your images have alt text so that those who are visually impaired can access information?
- Does your site look as good on mobile or tablet as it does on desktop?
- Do any of your videos need closed captions?
- Are your images compressed to help with site speed?
Choosing the right agency to improve your website
Launching a website isn’t the end, it’s just the start, and it’s important to have the right partner by your side to continually improve your website. An agency should help you map out the long term plans for making your website work for your business. That’s the advantage of choosing a team like anne+co. We spend time reviewing your long term strategies and how design and strategy can achieve your business goals. We see ourselves as your marketing partner from campaign strategy to execution.
anne+co. are web design experts but also offer a range of marketing and design services too.