The world we live in today means that the first time you come into contact with a store or service is via the Internet. The days of wandering down the high street doing a bit of window shopping or going through the phone book looking for a particular service are long gone, and it’s all about heading online and searching.
This means that the first port of call is no longer what you have in your shop window that catches the eye of the customer, it is in fact your website. Many business owners look at their website as a feature of the company, just another part of their portfolio that people might take a look at, but in actual fact it should be seen as a form of digital shop window, helping them to establish whether or not to do business with you – to buy from you, invest in your services or to get in touch at the very least.
As a result you need to ensure that your website is designed in such a way that you make an instant impression on the visitor. When they walk into a shop, they want to see it well laid out, easy to find what they’re after and to be impressed within a matter of seconds. Your website should do the same whether you’re selling digital marketing services or wedding dresses.
The first thing you need to consider, whether you’re having your website designed by professional agencies like Dhub or doing it yourself using a basic website template, is the structure. Yes, some sites look very cool with their random colours and images, but they often reflect the style and nature of the business and their overall message to visitors. Your site should simply be a digital version of your store or service you provide featuring the same colours, branding and logos; not a completely different business, something many websites give the feeling of after a redesign.
You should also ensure that the site is easy to navigate. If people walk into a shop, they want to head straight towards what they’re looking for, not wander through aisle after aisle of irrelevant items. It should be the same with your website, you need to make the most important pages easy to find, and with drop-down menus you can help visitors to navigate to the exact page they’re looking for quickly and easily, giving them a positive experience on your page and encouraging them to buy from or invest in you, and to come back again next time.
Possibly the most important factor that should be incorporated is to keep it simple. A lot of people visiting your site might be looking for a specific item or service and they just want to find it, enquire or buy, and leave. As a result they want it to be quick and easy, they don’t want ten boxes to fill in with the contact form, they might just want your email address or phone number for example.
A final tip – and this is relevant if you’re employing a web design agency – is to stay in constant contact with the designers. By keeping an eye on progress and what they’re working on, you can ensure that everything stays relevant to your plan and business. You know the brand and industry better than anyone else and as such you should help to guide the designers throughout the process and let their creativity and expertise reflect your company.