What does it take to make your business website successful? You basically need to think through everything–from the design to the content to marketing. Everything needs to be considered and done right if the website is to succeed.
While it’s tempting to think of web design as an art, it’s far more. Art alone is designed to stimulate the senses, provoke thoughts, evoke feelings, and stir reflections. A business website has to go beyond aesthetics and embrace functionality.
In other words, a business website isn’t just about layout and font styles and graphics; it isn’t just about the contributions of the members of a design agency. Others specialties are involved, too. A copywriting agency has to shape the narrative and a social media marketing agency to create an integrated strategy to build strong brand awareness. Ultimately, then, everything that goes into a business website has to drive conversions.
So how does one combine all these disparate elements together, fusing them into a unified whole that works to achieve a common purpose?
Here are 3 big ideas to create a successful business website, one that succeeds in its mission to win customers over and deliver satisfaction:
1. Set Clear, Distinct Goals
Every good website starts with a goal; without one, you have no sense of direction. Moreover, the goal has to be clear. Anyone reading it should be able to immediately understand the goal. It should also be distinct, unique to a particular business, rather than generic, something that could apply to any business.
Is the purpose of the website to inform, entertain, or provide access to a product or service; to increase subscribers to a newsletter; to increase membership to a service; to decrease bounce rates; or to engage more readers, encouraging them to participate in a dialogue or a vision?
While there may be more than one purpose, you will achieve the best results by focusing on one primary idea and render other ideas secondary.
The goal will affect the design of the website. If its purpose is to provide information, choose a minimalist interface. If its purpose is to increase sociability, choose colorful graphics to set the mood of conviviality and sharing. If it’s purpose is to sell products, choose a design that makes it easy to shop, making it easy to compare and contrast, estimate total costs, and research product details.
2. Get To Know Your Audience
If you don’t have a customer avatar, then that is the first thing to develop. The more clearly you understand the demographics and psychographics of your audience, the more you can decide on typography, type of images, tone of voice, and so on. Your visitor should feel right at home when they land on your website because you speak their language via the various elements you use.
However, even if you do have a clear idea about your target audience, continue to find ways to get to know them better. You can engage them through a blog that encourages comments, social media buttons to encourage sharing, and live presentations at places like Google Hangout to encourage dialogue. In other words, by finding ways to engage your audience and getting feedback on what they like and don’t like, you can gradually tweak your website to more closely match their interests and desires.
3. Create Your Brand Image
Just as you want a clearer understanding of your audience, they, too, want to know you better. This means you have to display a consistent “persona.” For instance, Apple’s persona is aesthetic. All their products have minimalist architecture. Even the missing bite out of their apple logo is telling you about their emphasis on good taste. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola’s persona is all about being happy, spontaneous, and carefree. Where do we get these ideas? Why do we think of business entities as if they were people with distinct personalities? Successful businesses consistently use words, symbols, and colors to keep repeating a message about how they want you to think about them. So determine your brand image based on your niche. Choose colors, words, layouts, etc, consistent with the image you want to convey.
It’s important to recognize that your website is never complete but always a work-in-progress. As you measure the results you’re getting from your advertising campaigns, as you learn more about the niche you’re in, and as you understand your audience better, your website will evolve, too. You’ll start to create better content, sell more relevant products, and deliver greater customer satisfaction.
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