When it comes to designing a website, there are 5 basic, yet critical elements that need to be considered before you even think about what colours or style your website should have.
These elements are the 5P's of website design, which include;
If a web designer/developer's first question is "what do you want your website to look like?", then there is a high chance the website will fall short of the client's expectations. The first question needs to be "what are your objectives in having an on-line presence?" This is PURPOSE.
Setting a clear objective (purpose), is like developing a vision. It will serve as a beacon in guiding and aligning you with actions that will be consistent in achieving your objectives.
Examples of purpose are; to generate leads and referrals, build a database list, to educate/inform or to sell products/services.
Having a great looking and functional website that no one knows exists, is like having a bill-board in the dessert.
The next step is identify both on-line and off-line strategies that will drive people to the new site. This is PROMOTION.
While this may sound extremely obvious, it's remarkable how many people do not give consideration to how they will drive traffic to their site during the design stage.
There are endless resources with respect to on-line strategies, so no need to go into any detail here. Suffice to say, these include; SEO and SEM strategies, advertising in local business directories, signing up to Google My Business, Analytics and Webmaster Tools.
What is important is to start thinking about what are those search words that people would use to find your business. Finding the balance between not being too broad or too narrow is key.
Once identified, these key words can then be embedded in the site's design by way of;
Page title, page headings, metadata (including images) and of course, page content itself, without over doing it.
Additionally, targeted social media interaction to drive traffic from social sites back to the business site.
Off-line strategies include; website address/QR code on business cards, invoices, marketing collateral and the like.
Now that someone's landed on your site, how do you keep them engaged? Typically, a poorly designed and/or confusing site will lose a visitor's attention in about 8-10 seconds. They will have bounced off and possibly, to your competitor's site.
Keeping a visitor engaged and more importantly enticing them to visit other pages is both art and science.
Layout (not being too congested and busy), navigation (clearly marked menus and page links), clarity (does the visitor know what you do, what products/services your offer) and clear calls to action (easy to find contact details, location etc.).
Other engagement tools include; reading blogs, testimonials, and news articles or viewing a gallery of images. These tools allow visitors to interact with the site, learn more about your products/services and to take the next step.
Every aspect of the website, including navigation, design, layout, content and on-site promotions needs to drive visitors through a funnel to the point of action.
While not all businesses may be ready to proceed to this and the next step, those who have done so report improved productivity by way of client/prospect management. The use of a CRM (customer relationship management) tool allows for better management of leads from the website or any other source to increase conversion rate and productivity.
Productivity is about starting with new clients and delivering that 'wow' experience for them, so they stay longer, buy more and refer others to you.
Most people who visit your website won't take action immediately because they need more interaction with you, so your secondary goal needs to be to add them to your database.
Once a prospect or client is in the database, you can market to them regularly by way of valuable offers, important information, tips & tricks etc to drive them back to the site for them to take action.
Marketing automation allows you to stay top of mind with your prospects as well as your clients.
|Tags: News & Tips|