Establishing a website is important. That’s a given. Business owners want their website to help them gain new business, hold the interest of existing customers and rank well in online searches. But, which elements determine the effectiveness of a website? In this article, we’ll give you the answer.
Sadly, most clients are likely to ask web developers the wrong questions, believing they already know what is needed for a successful website. It’s not just the pricing for certain features or designs. Cookie-cutter solutions don’t work well, given the fierce competition online. With that in mind, the right question to ask is “What is the most effective web design for my business?”
“Attractive” versus “Effective”
A website that looks good won’t necessarily do much for your business. A beautiful appearance might initially score with first-time viewers, but what keeps them coming back and taking action is clarity and relevant content.
A successful website is the combined effort of three specialists: a digital marketing/SEO professional, a website designer and a website programmer. The creation of an eye-catching site is usually initiated by the web designer, followed by the programmer and amplified by a digital marketing/SEO professional. While this approach might secure the look of your website, it doesn’t mean visitors will have a positive on-site experience. Customers want quick, easy-to-locate information, which is sized and positioned perfectly across all devices.
Therefore, the wiser method is to have a digital marketer create an effective plan and then collaborate on the next steps with the web designer and programmer. It’s the digital marketer who strategizes your content and layout to effectively communicate with your target audience. That’s why it is essential to ensure the hired specialists truly understand your goals, vision, mission and targeted segment.
Other important factors
A misguided approach to establishing a website may lead to damaging consequences. Site owners may be confused by a fruitless investment in a glorious design and costly ad campaign. In most cases, these sites fail because they do not address their customers’ real need: information. Instead of solving the core problem of content management, managers find themselves stuck with misleading campaign analytics and don’t understand why the results are so disappointing.
Results can get even worse when using cheap templated websites (usually overloaded with text and images) to cut costs. Those cookie-cutter solutions will absolutely do more harm than good in the long run. Each business has a unique mix of capabilities, resources and value. Understanding your clients and speaking directly to their needs is the key to success.
And two important reminders
First, a visually attractive website is simply not enough. Yes, you need the pleasant appearance to get customers to stay for information, but it is site responsiveness and user friendliness that lead them to the end of your conversion funnel.
Second, your most important audiences, surprisingly, aren’t human but are Google or Bing web crawlers. Since search engines are the greatest source of online business leads, few businesses can thrive without site optimization (using helpful content, a user- and mobile-friendly interface, and highlighted keywords and phrases).
Indeed, to recruit the right specialist for your online presence, challenge all candidates with one question: What is the most effective web design for my business? Those who give you a well-rounded answer including strategic planning, customization and optimization will have the winning combination.