Raise your hand if you’ve ever found that your website just isn’t performing as well as you’d hoped? All that time and money spent and it just doesn’t seem to be getting the response you need. In fact your website doesn’t even appear on the search engines results!
There are many factors to take into account when creating a successful website, and without the proper guidance and support it is very easy to find yourself in this situation. In this blog we will take a look at what some of these factors are and how they can make a difference.
Steps to creating a successful website
Structure is key
The first thing you need to establish is your site map and site navigation. This is to ensure your visitors can navigate easily through your site to get the information they need quickly, or perform the desired action with ease, (register, make a booking, make a purchase, make an enquiry etc). In today’s fast passed online activities it is advised to make sure your visitors can get to wherever they want to be within two clicks. It is vital to plan plan plan, that way you have more chance of visitors staying on your site for more than just 30 seconds!
Our design team tackle this approach by mapping out your site structure and creating a blueprint of your site, showing a virtual navigation tour using online software, which is easy to share with the client. We have found this very helpful in giving the client a virtual taste of how their site could work, and also highlighting parts that need tweaking, in order to make the journey more simple and effective.
Establish your content
Before you get into the design look and feel of the website, you want to think about the content and who your target market is. This is important, as your content will have a huge impact on the design and layout of the site itself. So if you get this established first it will make the design process and lot smoother and quicker. There is nothing worse than getting a design and layout established and then having to fit in heaps of content that wasn’t catered for.
The most important thing when it comes to content is you want your copy to be minimal and straight to the point. These days, people spend very little time reading content on a webpage, and if your site is text heavy they won’t bother to read most of it. You risk them missing vital information or not getting a desired response. So make the key messages short and to the point and keep your call to actions punchy. Always keep your target market in mind, make sure you are telling them what they want or need to know, not what you think is interesting, and avoid using any technical jargon they may not understand.
Our approach to this is to discuss with you the content you want to put on the site including whether you need a gallery, or videos and so on. Then using our blue print structure we can guide you with a rough layout. This will prove helpful for you to come up with the right amount of copy and where to position certain content in order for each page to perform how you need it to. At this stage we can tweak things quicker and easier than if we went ahead and designed the font, colours and graphics first.
Get the Look
Once the structure and content is established we can get to the fun part of creating the right look and feel to suit your company brand and audience. All the hard work in planning before this stage will make the process a lot smoother and, much more efficient.
When it comes to designing a website we stand by the term less is more. You may or may not have noticed that over the years websites have developed a very clean and simple look. This is due to the fact that they perform better, mainly because the visitors find it easier to get the information they need in a matter of seconds rather than minutes. Text is bigger, there is more white space (empty space), images are of a higher resolution and larger, and colours are kept to a minimum. These are all factors that make the experience a lot more pleasant for the visitor. The content is clearer to digest and colours are easier on the eye only making the important calls to action stand out, rather than everything fighting for attention.
Time to build
We work closely with our developers to ensure they understand from the beginning how we need the site to perform. During the design process we will always check with them whether there are any aspects that may cause complications when it comes to the build of the site. Also if there is a particular function needed we always like to pick their brains to see what the best solution may be. Once the design process is complete we will hand over all the information needed for them to build the site to your requirements. Our designers will test the site and ensure the design is not lost during this process so that the live site reflects the agreed design and works across all devices, including phones and tablets.
The work doesn’t end there, in order for your website to be seen you need to make sure it is SEO friendly and that you are taking the steps needed to help it rank high on the search engines. Here are some helpful tips:
– Update your content regularly – search engine crawlers re-visit your site regularly to check if any content has changed and will rank it accordingly.
– Link your website to other sites (but not just any site, it needs to be relative or you will be penalised)
– Make sure your web domain uniquely identifies your company and is easy to remember.
– Make sure your page titles contain relevant keywords to the content on that page. Don’t use homepage as a title on your homepage as it’s been found that Google lowers your ranking.
– To avoid being ranked lower, ensure you use multiple keywords on your page in a creative way that is relevant to your business and follows the density guidelines (5% for large copy and 10% for short copy). You can find out more on SEOChat.com
– Highlight your keywords in the meta tag description section, our Content Management System allows you to easily access this. The description will appear on the search engines results and should clearly describe your business, adding your location is always a good idea if you are of interest to your local area (i.e. restaurant, shop, tradesman).
As mentioned this is a continuous task, so if you are too busy with other commitments we can help take the load off your shoulders. Our trusted SEO team can make this whole process less painful for you. But if you want to look into it further here are some useful links:
Taking the all above into account, it’s no mean feat creating a website that will get you the results you need. So it is good to know our friendly team can help. Working with us, you will have one designer working on your site from start to finish, who you will have direct contact with. We believe this is the best way of working together as they will know from the beginning who you are, what you do and what you need, ensuring nothing gets overlooked and you get the right website for your business.
Want help in getting a website that will perform the right results? Contact us today, we will be happy to discuss what we can do for you over tea or coffee.
Call us on 01442 266 590
or email email@example.com