What Makes a Great Website?
Successful online marketing campaigns require a variety of elements to function cohesively. It’s not enough to build a website – your website must be enticing, attention-grabbing, and above all, usable. Chances are you’re missing the mark if you’re having trouble driving traffic to your site – so we picked the brain of our Senior Web Developer, Thabang Chukura, to learn the ins-and-outs of why your site may be lacking in leads.
Whatever product or service you’re looking for today, chances are you’ll head to Google long before you even think of setting foot into a physical store. You’re not alone in this regard. You represent the typical modern consumer – one who is simply hungry for convenience and information. Isn’t it nice that a website provides both in ample amounts?
Or at least, it should. Yet, due to shoddy website development, many online spaces end up doing more harm to their brands than good. Think about it. If you visit an online store for example, and it takes too long to load, it’s organised poorly, or it just looks plain awful, you’re more than likely to bounce off to another that gives you a better experience. After all, if an organisation chooses to represent themselves in that manner digitally, why would their products or services be any better in real life?
Don’t let your brand be harmed by awful website design. If you’re creating a new site from scratch, or looking to tweak your current one, here are some things to keep in mind if you want to provide your existing or potential clients with an exceptional experience.
Is there anything more infuriating then visiting a website and getting lost in a maze of options or subcategories, or not being able to find what you’re looking for in the first place? Too much information is a bad thing, as is too little.
To find the right balance, ask yourself the sort of questions your consumers might be asking themselves when they navigate your online space. Does this organisation have the product I want? What features does it have? Does it come in black? Where exactly can I buy it? How much does it cost? Are there different payment options? What about delivery? Answer these questions and more, and you’ll have a much better idea of how to lay out your content so that it’s a breeze for your clients to navigate.
One thing that lends itself to better navigation and general usability is the actual design of your website. Something with a barrage of colours or poor font choice, for example, can do some serious harm to your brand, as it will chase clients away.
A website that’s clean, uncluttered, and designed for a great user experience from the ground up, encourages a user to stick around and explore. Sometimes, less is more. Aim to gently guide the user with your interface, and let them discover your brand and its offerings in an intuitive manner.
Sometimes, listing the specifications of a product or the particulars of a service isn’t enough to make a website useful to somebody. Consumers today crave helpful information, or commentary on a particular industry, and that can come through in the form of a regularly-updated blog.
With this platform, you’ll not only get your existing clients to visit your website more, you’re likely to find new ones too. If your organisation sells running shoes, for example, and you write a blog with the title along the lines of “Choosing the Right Shoe for your Jog”, a potential consumer might stumble upon your brand because they Googled something with similar topic, like “How to choose the right shoe for jogging”. Be the thought leader in your respective field, and keep people wanting to read.
Speedy Load Times
According to Red Website Design, 40% of web users leave pages that take more than 3 seconds to load. Take a moment (3 seconds, if you will) to let that sink in. A potential client, one who could go on to support your organisation for years to come, may end up at the doors of one of your competitors because your website took just a little too long to get going.
With your website development, optimise load times as best you can, and you’ll keep your clients on your website as long as possible. That alone may be all the incentive they need to go one step further and make a purchase.
In 2016, StatCounter reported that mobile web browsing had surpassed desktop usage for the first time in history, with 51.3% versus 48.7% respectively. Even if those numbers have changed today, there’s no getting away from the fact that mobile is the preferred, and sometimes only, browsing choice for many consumers.
With that in mind, how does your website fare on mobile devices? The experience should be the same, if not better than what it is on desktops. You could be losing customers if it isn’t. According to socPub, 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the practice of improving a website’s rankings in search engines. In a nutshell, if you have a great online space, one that has the right balance of keywords for example, you’re likely to be one of the first pages to appear when a client searches for something relating to your industry. If you have a terribly designed website, well, you’re probably not going to appear anywhere at all.
Unfortunately, great SEO isn’t something that can just be pulled off. There are loads of rules and guidelines that dictate how it works and how it should be done effectively, but even then there’s no guaranteed formula. It’s often best to turn to a professional for support.
And in that regard, we can definitely assist. In fact, at Clockwork Media, we’ll not only be able to help you with SEO, but also all of the elements discussed above.
We have a team of creatives and web developers who have a world of experience at their fingertips – perfectly suited for the big World Wide Web. Contact us today to find out more about our website design and development offerings.