I’m often asked how to design a website. Invariably and quite often is the case, that this question actually means ‘how do you produce a bespoke website that generates leads?'
I’m not talking about how to make an award-winning website here, which I’ve been asked often since we won our web awards throughout 2017 and 2018. I’m simply giving expert knowledge about how best to approach a website project
for those businesses who simply want a great website. A website solution that delivers their brand, their business, products and services.
Before I share my expertise, I'd like for you to take a moment and think about what it is that you want from your own website. This is really important, so please think hard.
Customer online purchasing decisions
This is perhaps old news, but not everyone realises: Every business should have an online presence, a high percentage of consumers will make their purchasing decisions
based upon online research. Statistics range from 80% 90% and 97%.
How many of these percentages are people visiting your website?
What we know, according to Search Engine Land (as of 2016), is that 73% of purchase decisions begin with research
conducted on either Google or Amazon, believe it or not.
And so, it really does amaze me that even today business owners simply don’t understand the importance of having a great website. More importantly, a bespoke website that has been designed and developed with their target audience and customers in mind.
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Worse yet, they don’t understand how significant and damaging it can be to their business if they have a website that is designed badly, developed using tangled code and is hosted in a slow server.
I trust you understand to some degree, given that you’re reading this article and hoping to find the answers to producing a better website
Websites are an investment
Much like your staff, a website is an investment, not a cost. Thus, any good investment should provide a return.
Whether you’re selling products, services or simply want to impart information, you should have an idea for what the website’s objectives are:
Lead generation website for service based business
If you’re a service based business then you should want to generate leads for your business. Quality leads that
are trackable and importantly give you enough information about particular users requirements.
Discover more about generating leads and sales
Direct sales website for product led business
A product based website should generate revenue immediately. The aim is to funnel users to the point of sale, via good call-to-actions,
with absolute ease whilst leaving a positive experience during and after payment.
Information and resource based websites
Information based websites probably don't require these call-to-actions (CTA's). The objective, one would assume (everyone is different), is to provide
users with a continual and logical stream of information that is readily available and accessible. Feeding and presenting
recommended content to the user when he/she subconsciously expects it.
All of these types of websites have one thing in common. Usability.
Usability is what makes a website great and for a website to be great requires a great User Experience (UX). User Experience can take on many forms and page load speed is one
of the most critical.
53% of mobile users abandon sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load.
3 seconds! Wow.
This means that if your website’s user experience is not ‘fast’ from the beginning, then you’ve already lost 47%
of your potential customers.
How 5and3 achieve fast page load speeds and great usability usually starts with an audit and analysis.
The analysis of your existing website, and/or if you have a new website then the analysis of content and data that makes up your site.
This is labelled 'website audit' and we ensure that a full website audit is actioned and analysed before any design work is carried out.
If you have a new brand or business that requires a new website, then a full content and site map consultation
would be undertaken first.
Following these key starting points, your website project and the design process really gets exciting!
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About the Author
Chris Heighton / Creative Director
I'm Creative Director and Brand Consultant at 5and3 based in East Grinstead West Sussex. My role is to create and implement our customers'
marketing strategies, conceptualise, create, develop and evolve inspirational brands; from logo design to full company brand identities and experiences, posters to brochures,
email campaign to fully responsive websites. As Creative Director and brand consultant, I ensure that our clients' image is on brand, leading our team creatively to deliver solutions that maximise results.
If you have any questions at all please feel free to message me on Twitter @chris5and3.