The first website in history dates back to 1991 and was a single page offering more information about an exciting new project, which we now simply refer to as the world wide web. With now over 1 billion websites, the internet offers almost everything one needs, and it is hard to think of its popularity ever decreasing. It has already replaced many services such as phone books and maps, and finds ways to revolutionise most sectors every day. Here are Web Designer Hui’s top tips when creating a website for your business:
- Know your audience
Although your website is about your business and what you do, you must remember who it is designed for – your customers. The key in creating a customer centric website is to get to know your customer profiles. Who buys your products, or who purchases your services? What do they like to do in their free time, what kind of content do they prefer, what devices do they use to surf the web? You may already have some of the answers, but a great way to know more about your customers is to simply ask them. You could send out online surveys, or get feedback through your existing website or on your Facebook page, or ask them questions while they visit your physical business. Once you know who your audience is, you can tailor your online content to fit their profile as much as possible: younger audiences will most likely avoid long articles, but they’ll probably watch a quick video instead for example.
- Keep it simple
When it comes to choosing a design for your website, the options are endless. You can create animations that pop up when clicking on a link, disappearing boxes, change the size of an image or text based on where the user points their mouse to and so on. On paper, it sounds like a great idea to generate visits based on the originality of your website. In practice, however, simpler may be better. Hui explains: “Make it as straightforward as possible for your visitor to get the information they came for, or to buy the product they want “. User experience is vital to get your customers to come back, and if your site is packed with long animations, as good as it may look it has the potential to slow down your customers’ experience, giving them the chance to search elsewhere on the web for the same information or a similar product. Too complex a website could also mean it requires a lot more maintenance, which brings us to Hui’s next tip.
- Update it as often as required
Companies evolve with time, products get upgraded, services get tweaked and stock changes regularly – your website is no different. To keep visitors coming back to your website on a regular basis, update the content as you make changes within your business. Create new content to offer your customers new articles to read, new videos to watch and pictures of your new products. Don’t forget to remove anything that is no longer relevant to your business from your website, including any changes in opening hours or contact details! A simpler design will not only enable you to make those changes rapidly and at a minor cost, it can also let you modify the look of the entire site – if you ever grow tired of the layout of your website, your customers probably do too! Remember to keep the layout consistent between pages – Hui says: “Think of it as a publication or magazine: articles, pictures and adverts are placed strategically to make the reading experience as efficient as possible. Your website should be structured in the same manner”.
Hui stresses that the most important tip to bear in mind when it comes to your company’s website is to “test and learn”. Your website is a great platform to trial new ideas and get immediate responses, be it via feedback or by analysing the visits trends. If one of your ideas doesn’t work as much as you would have liked, simply remove it from your website and replace it with something new. If visits increase, you’ll know you are on the right track.
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