There are many things to consider when you’re designing a website for your business. How you design your site can attract people or turn them away. In this post, we will look at some strategies you should try.
1. When Designing Your Site, Think Brick and Mortar
This sounds a bit odd at first. With everyone claiming that brick and mortar is dead, why would we want to revert to that? When we say this, we mean that your website should feel like visiting a store.
Think about it. When you approach a store and see a door, you get some information. The hours, the contact info, a glimpse at what they have to offer. Your home page should feel like you’re about to enter a store. Your goods and services should be neatly lined up, just like the shelves in a store.
Take this approach when designing your website. Your website shouldn’t be chaos. A store where you struggle to find the goods ends up failing. Keep your site easy to navigate so that your customers can visit your store in their own way.
2. Look for Inspiration
You’ve probably been on quite a few sites in your lifetime, but you’ve probably never taken a look at the website’s design and learning what they did right and what they could improve on.
Visit a few sites. You can look at the big names, some other local sites, or look at similar businesses. What can you learn from them? What should you avoid? Be inspired by other sites when designing your own. Chances are, you can make your own unique site that is inspired by various others.
3. Have Great SEO
Here is an obvious one that you always hear about, and yet not enough people take it seriously. Especially those who own smaller businesses. You need to have your site tailored around search engine optimization. Using certain keywords, you can be able to bring your site up to the top of Google’s search results.
Optimizing your site is something you always need to do. Even if your site has good SEO, adjusting it is important, as things can change. An SEO professional or a firm, such as SEO Brisbane, can help.
4. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
If your site doesn’t have a version that’s friendly towards mobile users, you’re leaving out a sizable, and growing, chunk of people who use the Internet.
Loading a desktop site on mobile is clunky, takes forever, and often, the site never fully loads. Potential customers will back out once they discover your site isn’t mobile friendly. No matter how small your business is, create a mobile version.
5. Look at the Site’s Loading Times
People are impatient. With the Internet being faster than ever, there are people who will bounce if the page isn’t fully loaded within a few seconds. No one wants to wait forever when it comes to a site they haven’t visited yet. Test the site out for yourself. If it takes a bit to load, find the reason why. This can be anything from unneeded code to JPEGs that need more compression.
Let’s talk about JPEGs for a second. Having detailed pictures are important to a good site, but some new web designers make them too big. There is a way to compress or resize them while keeping the quality. There are apps, such as RIOT, that can make it much easier to tweak all of your images.
This is another job you may want to leave to the professionals. You can supercharge your site’s load time without changing its overall layout too much. Often, it’s little changes behind the wall that can help.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Use WordPress
Some companies feel like they should build their own website from scratch in order to be unique. While uniqueness can certainly help, there’s nothing wrong with using a framework like WordPress or Shopify in order to start off.
Building a site from scratch can cost money, something many small businesses lack, and by spending less on an existing build, you can be able to spend more on other parts of your business.
7. Fill Your Site With Content
You want a reason why people come back to your site over and over again. One way you can do this is to update it with content. Blog posts, videos, pictures on your social media accounts, the list goes on. This often requires you to hire a pro who is an expert on what will attract your customer base.
When you post content, monitor how successful it is. Content that has eyes looking at it should be emphasized, and adjusted so that it’s not the same thing, while content that performs at a mediocre rate should be scrapped or tweaked.
8. Balance a Line Between Busy and Simple
When designing your site, you need to think about its simplicity. Some will tell you that a website should be simple in design, showing enough information while not being overwhelming. Others say you should make the site look busy and give your potential customers an experience.
It’s a little of both, to be honest. You don’t want your site to be too simple and it’s okay for it to busy in some areas, but don’t overwhelm your customers too much. Also, think about your target audience when you make this decision. An older base may want a simpler design, while a younger one may want more options when it comes to exploring what you have to offer.
9. Make Sure to Create a FAQ Page
A FAQ page is essential in any site. These are frequently asked questions, and the page is dedicated to answering questions you may have gotten over and over, or answering questions you expect to be asked a lot.
The history about your business, what they offer, how to order your product, and the list goes on. Many newcomers will go to a FAQ page, or at least the about page, to learn more about your business.
Make sure you expand upon the FAQ page as well as you get new questions that are frequently asked.
10. Don’t Forget About the Newsletter
Have you ever gone to a site, and the first thing you see when you enter is a popup asking if you want to sign up for a newsletter? They are a bit irritating, and sometimes a bit snarky, (like if you go to a health site, the “no” option may say something like “no thanks, I don’t like being healthy.”) but they work. A newsletter allows customers to get updates about new products, offers, deals, and other news related to your company.
It doesn’t have to be a popup, either. You can ask your customers if they want to be signed up for a newsletter as they create an account or make a purchase. There are many different ways to go by it.
11. Make Feedback a Fun Breeze
Customer feedback is always important. Sometimes, you don’t notice the simple improvements that could make your site better. One way you can improve your site is to have a place where customers can give feedback. This can come in the form of email, a questionnaire, or something else.
Perhaps you can give your potential customers an incentive to give feedback, such as putting their names in a giveaway. Find a way to get your customers to talk to you, and you can learn quite a bit from them.
12. Videos Are Important
As mentioned before, having photos and videos is important, but let’s emphasize the video part a bit more. Videos on the site feel personable. They feel like you’re talking to the customer directly, which gives the brick and mortar feeling. Not only that, but they can help your customer stay on your site longer. This can decrease how often people bounce.
Best of all, videos are easy to implement. Just host them on YouTube or another video site and embed them on your website. Easy peasy.
13. Spread Your Love to Other Sites as Well
One way you can get people directed to your site is to partner up with other businesses. There are many ways to do this, and one way you can guarantee success is if you write, or have someone write, content for another business’s page. You can then link to your own site and have the customers check you out as well.
Sometimes, this can also involve partnerships. A partnership with a similar company can benefit the both of you. Not every similar business has to be your rival. They can be your friend, too.
14. Test, Test, Test
You need to test your website before you launch it and keep testing it throughout your business. You need to make sure it’s running well, getting the results you need, and giving your customers what they want.
Google Analytics can help you out with that. There are many other websites as well that you can use, or you can just hire a professional, to make sure your website is performing the best it can.
15. Host a Contest
People love contests. The idea of winning something, be it a luck-based activity or something that requires skill, is always a great feeling. Even if the prize isn’t the best thing in the world. Think about some contests that connect to your business, and host them on your site. Use advertising to get the contest out.
You can put fliers around everywhere, spread it around on social media, and look for other ways to get the word out. Think about a fun contest and try hosting it.
16. Interactivity is Always a Plus
A site that’s interactive will get more heads. By interactivity, we mean quite a few things. A site can be interactive by having a game one can play, or something simple like clicking to reveal an image.
You want your customers to feel like they’re a part of something, or playing their own little game, and making your site a bit more interactive is a good way to start.
17. Calling to Action
Another strategy is to fill your website with calls to action. A call to action is just that. You tell your customers to do something that will ultimately benefit you.
Asking your customers to share an article, like a video, or tell their friends about your site are a few good examples. Or you can tell them to do something that will benefit them. People love wanting to take action, even if it’s small, and by tapping into that desire, this can help your site out quite a bit.
18. Add a Journalistic Side to Your Site by Interviewing
You don’t have to be a journalist to be an interviewer. Talk to some influential people or people who are in the same business as you are. Ask them some good questions and make the interview go well. Then, you can be able to take that interview and post it on your site.
The person being interviewed will share it, and if someone is looking for news on that person, they will find your site. Plus, you may be able to learn something and make a connection.
19. Always Research
Web design is a science, always evolving and changing. As the tools used to create a website change and the customers’ needs change, so does the ideal website design. Always be on the lookout and see what is working and what needs to be changed. Your site shouldn’t be the exact something 10 years from now.
It should evolve with the times, and the changes should be implemented slowly so you don’t lose your old audience. Every so often, do some research, and you should be on top of your game.
These are just a few strategies you can implement. Being a smaller business, you can try these tips yourself, or consult with a professional. Whatever your decision is, you can be able to create the best site for your potential customer base.