This Insight Series is designed to help you understand what’s involved in creating a great website. Our aim is to give you handy hints, tips and tools to help you prepare and launch a new website.
Part One looked at your site’s purpose and gave you tools to identify and understand why you need a website. In Part Two we will explore the importance of design, content and marketing for your new website.
Great web design is about so much more than just making your website look good. When done well, great web design makes it easy for your visitors to engage with you. It will create a pleasurable user experience for them along the way and most importantly, it will drive results whether that be sales, inquiries or downloads and more.
People don’t have time to go hunting through websites to find what they want. A website that is well designed will have factored in your users’ intent and anticipate their needs, delivering the information they require, intuitively and with as little effort as possible. From the structure and layout of the pages to the colour and typography used throughout the site, every element has an impact on your users’ experience and ultimately the performance of your website.
It is important to establish a clear design planning process. Part One of this series helped you create a list of reasons for having a website now you can start to plan what the new website will look like.
- Research your users’ needs and priorities. What problems are they trying to solve? What solutions do they want? Conducting quick phone interviews with a cross-section of user groups is a simple way to get some key insights. Of course, more involved research will be even more valuable. Too many organisations only test their ideas internally and don’t test their design assumptions with customers.
- Consider the hierarchy of the pages on your site and make sure they are logically structured. They need to clearly communicate your products and services.
- Be sure to review your URL structure. For example, the URL for our page on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services clearly communicates what it contains. https://www.leadinghand.com.au/services/search-engine-optimisation/
- Make sure you place important information towards the top of each page. Users want to find what they’re looking for quickly so make sure your first two sentences are clear, concise and relevant.
- Great websites are accessible to people with impairments. Aim to make your website WCAG 2.0 AA compliant. This is the current standard acknowledged by the Australian Government.
Always keep in mind that great website design should make the user experience easy, intuitive and help people find what they need. Do that well and they’ll keep coming back.
Quality content is critical for a great website. Whether it’s an article about branding and web design, a case study on a recent project or even your website homepage, having well written content will go a long way to increasing discoverability and user engagement across your site.
Content on your site not only provides information to your users about you, your products and services, it also gives context to search engines and describes the types of information that can be found on your site.
Your content should be clear, concise and support your purpose. A user visiting your site comes with intent and they will be more likely to engage and stay longer if you provide them with relevant, good quality content that delivers them the right solutions.
It might sound obvious but text-based content should be free from typos, up-to-date and flow freely when being read. The tone and language should be consistent with your brand and should include keywords that are relevant to the key theme of each page. This will help search engines build a better ‘picture’ of every page on your new website.
Likewise, image content should have a clear purpose. Make sure your images are good quality, have been file-size optimised, have a consistent style and composition and that they represent the content they’re supporting. If your images have text on them, try to keep it to a minimum. Even your image file names will affect your Search Position so make sure they have the theme keywords in the file name. Lastly, be sure that your images have Alt Text so that search engines know what they are about and can index them properly.
Now you have a great design and awesome content, it’s time to get your website out there to your future customers.
There are many ways to promote your website including Organic SEO, Local SEO, Paid Search Marketing, Social Media Marketing as well as more traditional methods of active and passive promotion through networking, merchandise and other traditional advertising channels. Deciding what’s right for you may seem overwhelming but by answering a few simple questions, you can start to define your target market.
- So, who is your audience?
- What do they need and where do they go for help? Knowing who your customer is, and where they go (online and offline) will take you a long way to successfully promoting your website.
- Does your ideal customer spend a lot of time on social media? And if so, which channels do they use (Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn)?
- Do you have a customer database or is this something you might want to build via the website with a newsletter feature?
Once you have a marketing plan, you can begin the campaign work that will drive the results your are looking for with much greater efficiency and accuracy, increasing your revenue and return on investment.
That sums up Part Two in our series, thanks for sticking with us. If you have any questions, or need some help with design, content and marketing feel free to reach out via our Contact Form or our Facebook Page and let’s start a conversation.
Part Three in this series looks at two very important components of your new website, Cost and Ongoing Support.