In a world that is technologically advanced, one cannot overemphasize how important it is for every business to have a website. The best way to build an online presence for your business is through a website; it is the equivalent of your physical store.
Different businesses have different goals they want to achieve with their websites. Be it finding new clients, building relationships with existing customers or selling products online; there are a number of factors to consider in ensuring that visitors have a great user experience on your website.
Some of them are listed below:
OUTLINE YOUR GOALS
Map out clearly what you intend to achieve with your website. Do you want to create awareness about your brand, find new clients or make it easier for existing clients to buy your products online? Whatever it is you aim to achieve, you need to identify your business goals and incorporate them into the development of your website.
DEFINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
This involves understanding your audience (the people you are trying to attract to your website). You need to understand what they want, how they behave and the keywords they use when searching online. This goes a long way in creating the right content and choosing the right layout for your website.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT DOMAIN NAME AND WEB HOST
It is important to choose a domain name that is not only relevant and easy to remember but also reflects your brand message. You can check for the availability of domain names by searching Domain Registrars.
In choosing a web host, it is important to consider the nature of your business and the type of content to be featured on your website. You must compare different hosting packages before choosing the one which is most suitable for your website.
USE A FUNCTIONAL SOFTWARE/ CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS)
A CMS helps take care of the backend of your website. A functional CMS like WordPress is customizable and helps to create a great user experience.
This refers to your website being set up in a way that ensures that it is easy for visitors to find whatever they want. Make sure that a relevant page, such as the “Contact Page”, which carries important information like your email, telephone number, address and a map with directions, is conspicuous. The organization of your website depends solely on the content of your website.
Take into consideration the fact that first impression is just as important online as it is physically. If visitors find your website difficult to navigate on their first visit, chances are they will not return to your website. Try to visit your website and review it as a visitor to increase efficiency. Arrange your website in a way that appeals to visitors. Categorize it for easy navigation and add a search box at the top of each page. Ensure that a shortcut to the “Home Page” is displayed on each page to redirect users back “Home” whenever they wish to.
Stay consistent in terms of fonts, images and other design elements across all the pages of your website. Ensure that whatever design you choose for your website appeals to visitors.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT COLOUR SCHEME
There are many factors to consider in picking the right colours for your website. Factors, such as your target audience and the emotions you are trying to evoke in them, as well as your brand colours, play a huge role in your choice of colour. You should also consider compatibility of the colours; a dark text will be noticeable on a light background and vice versa. Finally, evaluate the overall effect of the colours you have chosen. Does it look good or is it a bit too much?
Make sure your website has all the features it needs for a visitor to find it easily accessible. Use simple, clear language to describe your products and services. Use headers and bullet lists to highlight important content. Does your “Contact Page” carry all the necessary information? Does your website include features that meet visitors’ needs? All these elements increase the usability of your website. Visitors are more likely to revisit a website that provides a great user experience.
RESPONSIVE SITE DESIGN
Recent statistics show that 95% of mobile users rely on their devices to source for local products or services. This is good news if you’re a business owner as it is now easier for people to see your business on their mobile phones. In building your website, you should ensure that you choose a responsive design which is compatible with mobile phones. A responsive design adapts itself to the size of the screen of the device from which the website is being accessed. Make sure that the components of the website respond to swiping and touching movements, which are unique to touch screen devices.
FEATURE TESTIMONIALS FROM EXISTING CLIENTS
Testimonials from existing customers can be used to promote a business. This enables you to further build trust and increase brand reputation. Testimonials can be in the form of branded videos or online reviews. This can help increase the chances of the business getting more clients.
KEEP YOUR CONTENT RELEVANT AND ORIGINAL
Make sure the content featured on your website is relevant to your company’s products and services. Factors like the quality of your content and the keywords used affect the ranking of your website in search engine results. Keyword research can help visitors to quickly locate the content they are searching for. To increase the appeal, each web page should contain hyperlinks. Besides that, make sure the content published on your site is unique and echoes your brand message.
SHORT LOADING TIME
Nothing is more frustrating to a user than a slow loading page. This could be a complete turn-off and cause a business to lose users to a competitor’s site. Using smaller images and simpler designs, as well as the same background images across all pages will help increase the speed of loading on the website. Short load times give customers the information they need when they need it.
CALLS TO ACTION
Placing calls to action on your website is the first step towards encouraging visitors to a conversion. A suggestion, such as "Book now!" demonstrates that your business wants to develop a relationship with its users. There are different calls to action for each stage of the consumer funnel. If they are just discovering your brand, invite them to subscribe to your email newsletter. If they're already loyal customers, send them coupons or offer discounts when they take action. Regardless of what the conversion is, always include a call to action, at least once on each page.
There are many factors to consider when designing and developing a business website. As you proceed in developing a website, constantly review and update the website and its tools to ensure that it has the features required to satisfy users’ needs.