As a business, you can’t ignore the impact of a great website. In this day and age, any new client or customer is almost certainly going to go straight to the web to see what you are about. They will learn about who you are, what you do and what you can do for them all from your online home. These are some of the critical elements of a business website that needs to be fulfilled.
This new digital reality in business is something any aspiring or growing company needs to embrace to make sure they take advantage of. So, what should your website look like, feel like or work like to make sure you aren’t losing out to the competition? There are so many ideas floating around as to what is most important for you to consider it could make your head spin. To help you out we have done the research and distilled down the 7 most critical aspects to make sure your site is ready to do justice to your business.
Simple and Clear Message
The first thing anybody wants to know when they hit any website is “what is this about?” It is essential that the user’s attention is grabbed at the first point of entry. People’s attention span is notoriously a fickle thing. Therefore, make sure front and centre on your homepage is exactly what your business does. Keep the message short, clear and simple. It is important that within a few seconds the visitor knows exactly what you do and how it can benefit them. This is the number one critical element. If they get confused, they won’t hang around.
Once you have enticed them in with your beautifully crafted message, it is now essential they can clearly see where to go on your site. Now you may have come across the much-lauded idea of the “3 Click Rule.” This is the idea that a user will get bored and leave the site if they cannot access the right information in 3 clicks or less. Well, that is actually a complete myth, the most important thing is simple, easy to understand navigation. This depends on clearly written menus, page titles reflecting the content and key pages being easy to find. Get the navigation right and you will retain your users for longer.
One of the aspects of website building that is not often considered seriously is the speed. However, it is truly one of the most critical elements of a business website. How fast your pages load can have a drastic effect on whether people use your website. A matter of 2 or 3 seconds difference can affect your visitor numbers by 20%. So, when building your new site ensure you take all measures to maximise the page load speed. This will pay great dividends in the long run. Also, do not underestimate the importance of web hosting in determining the speed of your website: visitors will get faster performance if you choose the right provider. For example, if your business is an agency, you should choose a web hosting service optimised for agencies. Dual platform technology able to host both web servers and storage, scalable performance to deal with increasing traffic, and HTTP/2 network protocol are all elements that will enable you to have an efficient and fast business website: don’t underestimate them!
Design Based on Reading Patterns
As people design their websites they often build them to “look nice”. That seems sensible; “if it looks good, people will like it and use it, right?” Well, not exactly. The reality is people read websites in certain patterns. Taking this into account will allow you to design your site to take advantage of well-documented reading patterns. It has been discovered people view web pages based on an ‘F’ shape pattern. This has been demonstrated across all different sorts of sites. Knowing this fact can help you place the most important content in those places you know it will be viewed most. A little secret in the data that your competitors may not know.
Get Your Colours Noticed
One aspect of website building that is not always considered in as much depth as it possibly should be is how colours are used. Many people will consider how they look overall and whether they are consistent with the brand. This is all important of course. However, if you want to take it that step further, you may want to consider creating a visual hierarchy. This is using colours to denote different aspects of your site. For example, anywhere you want the user to take an action you have a specific colour for that. This allows the visitor to associate that colour with a certain idea. Then for your text and menus, you use different colours. Essentially you ensure different purposes of texts have different colours associated with them to denote what their purpose is, for example, red means stake action, green means special offer and blue means key information.
Call To Action
As a business you really want people to take action in some form. Whether that is buying from you, subscribe to your list or give you a call, you want them to interact with you. This is where the call to action comes in. It is essential that you make sure your website gives extremely clear and focused calls to action to the user. Consider using buttons and a specific, obvious colour for all your calls to action. This will help you encourage the visitors to your site to interact with your business. Ultimately, as a profit-seeking organisation this is one of the most obviously critical elements of a business website.
With SEO agencies popping up all over the place over the past 5 years, SEO has become the all encompassing answer to all your website woes. Although this is not actually the reality, it is an extremely important aspect your website mix. To ensure you rank well on Google, you must consider this aspect of your website strategy. There are various things to consider, however with the right approach you can make sure you are not lost in the Google universe.
When building a website for your business there are various standard ideas that you must consider for the site. However, with this list you can make sure you focus on the most important aspect that many other businesses don’t take into account, getting you one step ahead of the competition.