Before You Build Your Website Part 2 …
Websites have become the hubs of a brand’s online presence and is the virtual front door of your business, so it’s important to make sure that your website talks to your customer. You need to invite them in, make them feel at home and ensure they have a positive and productive experience.
To do this, you need to research your customer, your market and your competitors thoroughly. You need to understand and cater to the needs of your targeted audience. The last thing you need is an unhappy customer walking out that virtual door.
Here’s Part 2 of our blog on what you need to ask yourself before you start building your website.
What do customers want from your website?
The information and capabilities you build into your websites will be determined by its function. This, in turn, is determined by what the customer wants it to do. Do they want to visit your website for information on your brand and products/services? Do they want to buy things? Do they want to get in touch with you? You need to know what they want from the site in order to give it to them
What will they use to visit your website?
With mobile devices de rigueur, they have become the tool of choice to stay in touch. This is why it’s not enough for you to simply have a website that looks great on a PC or laptop but is lost in translation when viewed from a tablet or smartphone. Ensure that you’re catering for all devices so that the site is easy to view and use regardless which type of device the customer is using to access it.
Responsive web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to mobile, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.
How much information does the site need?
This is important. While you need the right amount of and quality information for excellent SEO, you also need to make sure that you do not talk down to or over the customer’s head. You must determine what they already know and work from there, while still providing enough basic information not to alienate first-time and prospective customers. Focus on the reasons why the customer is visiting your site, as identified previously, as well as the unique selling points of your product/service.
How easy is it to navigate your site?
We live in a time where internet users fall across generations, which means that people have different skills levels when it comes to using technology. Make the website as easy to use as possible – people might not necessarily know how to use certain navigational tools (e.g. drop-down buttons) or how to use the particular device they are using to visit your site (e.g. the hamburger menu).
Your website is the digital HQ of your brand, the flagship of the internet. Social media is fast becoming the preferred way to look for products and services, and do brand research. So having the best possible website that delivers on every element of this checklist can make all the difference in getting your brand ahead of the pack.