Are you looking to start your website, but do not know where to begin and what is in store for you? Well, launching your website could be an intimidating task, particularly if you are pitching against competitors with strong online presence. First impressions are often everlasting. Visitors often make their decision to buy a product or not while browsing through your site. It is very important that website is developed with fair amount of strategic thought behind it or your potential customers will often quickly exit your site and move on with a click on to your competitor’s webpage.
Ideation and Wireframe
Paper and Pencil. This is all it takes to visualize how your website will look. You should have an idea of what you want on it and how it should look. Simply relying on web designers
won’t help. You need to develop a website wireframe which would show detailed site structure on a piece of paper. Strike off visual elements and just focus on the flow of website and what pages link to where.
Wireframe should have these simple elements:
- Rough Layout
- Primary navigation
- Content Location/display
- Headlines and sub-heads
- Text blocks showing placement of call to action button, search function, and company logo
Company specific or keyword specific URL?
Yes. This sounds the easiest part of website creation but might well turn out to be a nightmare. Domain names are the core of a website. A good domain name is irreplaceable (sounds cliched but true) in branding, user recall value, and catchiness. Ideally domain name should have name of company in URL. If your company URL name is already taken, don’t feel disheartened you can select a relevant keyword with high search engine rankings in your URL.
Some things to keep in mind while selecting domain name:
- Short URLs are preferred as long ones are difficult to remember
- Avoid use of hyphens in URL.
- Domain that target your services or products
- Keep it simple
Develop website for users, not for yourself
Think like a customer. This is not a new concept and has been extensively covered by various marketing gurus in the past. But still this happens to be the most neglected and overlooked aspect in website designing and development. You need to get into the psyche of your customer and develop a website that aligns to needs and expectations of your targeted users. It might be very difficult to resist the temptation of trying to build all the features right from the start. In most cases, you might end up with a host of cutting-edge features at the initial stage which might be of little value to customers. Take a stock of the situation, prioritize, and show what your customers wants first and not what you want them to see.
Technology is the buzzword
Website design and development
is not as easy as it sounds. There are many factors that are likely to confuse you. One of the factors likely to bog you down is which technology to use? It is very important that you analyse your business goals and user requirements and select the best technology.
You need to take into account following factors before zeroing down on technology:
• Are you thinking long-term or short-term?
• Is it scalable and secure?
• Quicker with the least initial cost and future maintenance cost?
Gone are those days when you could get away with mindless stuffing of keywords in content for higher search engine rankings. Google’s algorithm changes give high ranking to unique and informative content. If you want your website to rank high in search results, you need to put strong emphasis on the quality of content. It is not just about quality, but also about updating content regularly.
Design and layout
You’ve got less than 10 seconds to make an impact on visitor to stay on your website. A visually appealing website with intuitive navigation will encourage visitors to stick to your website and read the content further. It improves your brand identity
and could considerably influence visitor to ultimately buy your products or sign up for your services.
Call to action: Leave no stone unturned to convert visitors to customers. Make it very simple for users to buy your products, download an e-book, refer a friend, or subscribe to newsletter. Make sure the “Call to Action” button is appealing, strategically placed, bright, and prominent in comparison to other features. Shape, color, font typography, and button content all trigger the final action.
Conclusion: Website designing requires lot of planning and the most innovative content and graphics will have little connect with your target audience if you fail to follow simple procedures that make your website easy-to-navigate and user friendly.
“Hariot is a Digital Marketing Strategist at VITEB, a leading web designing agency in India. She spearheads digital media initiatives, helping businesses develop their product identities online.”