A website is one of the most powerful tools you have for marketing your business, establishing relationships with customers, and generating sales. Surprisingly, though, many people might not recognize their website as an asset. It is, however, and with the countless opportunities available that allow you to reach your bottom line, your website is your most valuable asset.
Developing an effective website is no easy task. There are three components that must be bullet proof to ensure your website is productive and user-friendly. Each of them is crucial to asserting your digital presence and building a successful brand. Our goal with this post is to provide you with an in-depth overview of these three pillars: content, design, and code.
Getting found is one of the biggest hurdles faced by almost every business. Fortunately, your website provides an outlet that will help get you noticed and generate traffic. While a detailed Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is your best bet for showing up on page one of Google, a great place to start ranking for keywords is writing keyword rich content. Because search engines place such an enormous emphasis on content quality and quantity, you can make impactful strides by adding valuable content.
Client communication is an integral part to nearly all business ventures, and the content on your site is the perfect way to make connections with customers. If you provide users with valuable content that answers questions and solves problems, those users will recognize you as an industry leader. You’ll start building a network comprised of long-term ‘regulars’ with your content alone, and your users will know that you’re the one to go to the next time they have a question relating to your trade.
Nowadays very few people buy anything without doing a little digging first. It’s been noted that 81% of shoppers conduct online research prior to buying. It’s crucial that your business capitalizes on the customer’s desire to be informed. Giving users in-depth information regarding a specific product or service is a great way to increase traffic, generate leads, and boost sales.
If you compare a website with great design side-by-side with one that has poor design, which company would you be more likely to buy a product or use a service from?
A thoughtful, high quality website design that accurately depicts a brand and its intentions will be viewed as more trustworthy and set a strong first impression on a potential new customer.
Here are a few things to incorporate that will help establish credibility on your site:
- Keep common elements in places where users would expect them to be (i.e. navigation)
- Integrate social proof like Facebook and Twitter pages
- Showcase security and business rating badges (BBB), awards, and/or testimonials from users.
Provides a memorable experience
When a user visits your webpage and has a pleasant, memorable experience – they will be more likely to return. Some things that give your site the edge are:
- An organized page layout that has no surprises in terms of where things might be located, easy to find call-to-actions, and information they’re searching for.
- Your site follows trends and doesn’t commit any faux pas.
- Interactive elements like videos, games, animations, or surveys add interest to your page and capture your audience’s attention.
- Has original and unique graphics
- Mobile-friendly – your user is able to view and navigate your website without any problems.
Creates a visual hierarchy
Look at the two examples of content below, it’s clear which one communicates exactly what it is you have to do.
Without design, it’s hard to tell on the left what a main headline from a link looks like. Having visual hierarchy helps users understand the purpose of your content, which gets them from point A to B.
Fast load times
Making your customers wait can have a harmful impact on important benchmark data like bounce rate and conversions. Users don’t like to wait for a website to load, and if it takes too long for them to reach the information they want, they’ll leave. A great website manages assets (images, content, and script) well. One way they do this is through browser caching that will improve performance for sites that display an abundance of information, like marcustheatres.com. Viewers expect to be able to consume information about show times and prices for each movie that plays at movie theatres throughout 7 mid-western states, all in a few minutes. That’s a ton of data!
First impressions matter
You have carefully cultivated your company’s identity and your website should be designed to showcase your products and services. Great design usually leads to great code! For our front-end team here at Graydient, it is easy to make your website look amazing. The Mason Street Grill’s website displays its rich, modern brand throughout the website by utilizing popular frameworks like Bootstrap and .NET Core. While the website is built with an often used framework, it stands apart from the design of many modern sites. The small things like the color and typography used, or the spacing of text on the screen all leave an impression on each viewer. Your website should make the best impression possible.
Navigation and user-friendliness
Web developers take great pride in their websites’ navigation. Displaying information in ways that are intuitive and relevant to viewers should be the basic foundation of every website. In some instances, a site’s success is determined by how user-friendly it is. Say you are deciding between eating at two restaurants. You can’t find the menu on one website, and the other quickly displays a video while loading the rest of the content, the menu is easily found and has pictures of delicious food. And it lets you place your order! It’s highly probable that you will order from the restaurant if you enjoy your experience on their site.
Could your website use some work to ensure that it is the most valuable asset you have? Reach out to us! We’re here to help!