What should you consider when creating a new website?

In web design by Ali McGill1 Comment

When creating a new website or updating an existing one, it can often be tricky to hone in on the key elements for success. The biggest priority for your business should be your customers, and a successful website should be centred around their needs.

Focus on Helping the Customer

It is vital to initially establish the main purpose of your website. Whether you are a clothes retailer or an architecture firm, your website should function as an information point for customers and provide a platform for the voice of your brand. It’s also a place to gain a following by attracting new visitors to your website through SEO and social media marketing.

A significant way to reach your customers and bring traffic to your website is through your content; this is what your customers obtain value from and it should seek to attract your target audience. Consider how you can do this through tone of voice and use of language and how the way your content is written reflects your brand; do you want to appear professional and experienced, or perhaps more colloquial and friendly? Spelling mistakes and improper use of grammar and punctuation can look clumsy, unconsidered and unprofessional. These mistakes can be easily avoided by proof-reading any written content and ensuring it’s properly edited.

Language is a powerful tool—use it to your advantage.

“The Medium is the Message”

The wise philosopher Marshall McLuhan once said: “the medium is the message”. The medium—your website—directly influences how the end user engages with and understands content—your brand’s message. In this way, it is essential to consider your user journey in order to ensure the functionality of your website.

The most basic function of your website should be to take your users from point A to point B. To do this effectively requires an understanding of how users will interact with your interface and what tasks they will want to perform, allowing you to define these two points. 

Whether the aim is for users to sign up for a newsletter, fill out a form to get in touch or to purchase a product on your website, they should be able to do this easily and, preferably, in as few clicks as possible.

Smart, Responsive Web Design

Another important consideration is the devices your customers may be using to access your website and ensuring the functionality and usability of your interface on laptops, tablets, and phones. Sophisticated graphics or moving images may not display correctly on a smaller device, therefore it is important to adapt your website for each possible user experience through responsive design.

In an age of unprecedented digital and technological development, a sophisticated and well-designed website has become the norm. However, many websites are designed without thinking about the user experience, so if you do, then you will win business, attract new customers and distinguish yourself from competitors.

Consumers make assumptions about your brand and the quality of your service based on the design of your website, so it’s important to make a good impression. This provides an opportunity to really show off by considering the aesthetics and design of your website. Ensuring your branding is consistent throughout each web page, using enticing graphics, video content and striking imagery can really help to build a sophisticated website. Interactive websites also enhance the user experience through the use of hover states, visual and audial media and sliding interactions. These features are all engaging ways of interacting with your users and sharing your business’s own unique story.

The Power of Storytelling

Ultimately, your website provides a unique platform to engage with customers through sharing content and through storytelling. Humans have been communicating through stories for over 20,000 years and this ancient tool has stood the test of time, making it a powerful asset still used by many businesses today to create meaningful and emotional connections with their customers.

Video is an effective way of sharing your business’s story and connecting with your audience, as well as breaking the monotony of text-dominated webpages. It also provides a way of using artful storytelling in a creative way by showing instead of telling.

It is equally important to emphasise who you are as well as what you do when portraying your brand story.

Storytelling is a timeless skill which invokes change. Good stories told in exciting ways are memorable and have a more lasting impact on the individual than facts and figures, making them an invaluable and powerful tool to build followings.

Over to You!

Creating a website that is customer-centric is imperative to its success; it should be well designed with engaging features, your user interface should be functional and easy to use and the power of content and use of language will help to attract your target audience.

It is ultimately a place to gain a following and you have a number of powerful tools at your disposal: don’t underestimate the power of storytelling in conveying that all-important brand message.

How do you think this could be implemented in your business? Do you have any other ideas?

Leave a comment below!

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Comments

  1. Speed.

    For multiple reasons:

    1) The average U.S. retail mobile site loaded in 6.9 seconds in July 2016, but, according to the most recent data, 40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. And 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with site performance say they’re less likely to purchase from the same site again.

    Source – Think with Google: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/mobile-page-speed-load-time.html

    2) “Historically we haven’t used it in our search rankings but a lot of people within Google think that the web should be fast. It should be a good experience and so it’s sort of fair to say if you’re a fast website maybe you should get a little bit of a bonus or if you have an awfully slow website maybe users don’t want that as much.”

    One of over 200 ranking factors that google take into account, but if you have a slow site, you might be able to squeeze an increase in ranking position out of optimising your site. Higher on page ranking equals more traffic / sales.

    Source – Matt Cutts, https://www.thewebmaster.com/seo/2016/dec/1/site-speed-google-ranking-factor/

    3) Speedier Mobile Web Page Formats Are Being Introduced

    Use AMP if it’s suitable for your business.

    “Every time a webpage takes too long to load, they lose a reader—and the opportunity to earn revenue through advertising or subscriptions. That’s because advertisers on these websites have a hard time getting consumers to pay attention to their ads when the pages load so slowly that people abandon them entirely.”

    Source – https://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/introducing-accelerated-mobile-pages.html

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