Designing and developing a website demands perseverance of thought and action. From the first look to being user friendly and engaging customers to encouraging conversions, there is a plethora of tits and bits that need perfect incorporation in order to make your venture supremely successful.
The process need not dig a hole into your pocket if and only if you learn the nuances of designing your online shop. It is simple and interesting.
Consider the following points when you are in the process of designing and developing your website.
When planning to develop a website, the strategy should be formulated in tandem with the purpose of the soon-to-be-established e-business. If the purpose happens to be sales, the site will feature and function differently than when it is to make sales or provide some services. Specifying the purpose of the website will help the designer and the result so received will be of premium quality. In a nutshell, the purpose forms the foundation of your e-business in the long run. The path gets clearer with a clear though in place and everything falls in line when you know your destination.
The Target Audience
The most important thing in website development and design is the target audience for your kind of business. Knowing the target audience simplifies many aspects towards achieving your goal. This particular knowledge is the basis of various developmental aspects such as theme, design, content, usability and search engine optimization. This can be termed as the center of all the activities done for the development of a website. Remember, the clients/customers visit your site with one query in their minds, “what is in it for me”. Therefore, designing from a user’s point of view is a good strategy.
Select an Appropriate Domain Name
Give an original and different domain name to your website. Making an alteration at some later stage is difficult and may affect your business as well, so take your time and think hard. Consider some points before deciding one. It should be: short, catchy, and easy to remember and most importantly explain people the purpose behind the making of your site. A perfect combination of SEO, simple spelling and brand identity integrated in the domain name lends possibility of ranking higher in search engine results. An appropriate domain name has the ability to reach out to more and more customers.
The Web Host
The web host is the online house of your website. The nature of the website and business should be kept in mind when going through the various host packages on offer. The reputation of the company in terms of the security and reliability should be taken into consideration before choosing the web host. Do research well on the social networking sites and third party websites about the working standards of the company. Ensuring these things will ensure whether your website will have better viewing and downloading – the two most important customer demands. Other considerable points are bandwidth/space to be furnished, host security, programming tools required, backup and price in addition to scalable solutions offered by the company.
The Look and Feel of the Website
The process of website development can turn out to be an arduous task if you decide DIY. Take help of a professional. Before choosing a designer, review their recent projects, their response to your queries and their experience in the field.
A fresh, attractive design sells. Make your page interesting with the right amount of colors, graphics and text. Too many graphics and huge amount of text can prove distracting for any user. Make all the important company and product photos available to the designer and ask him to display it on the website. A quality design is that which is clean and easy to read and lends an experience persuasive enough for the user to come back again and again.
The customers must feel safe about the personal data provided to you while using your site. The last thing that any user can think of is theft of their personal information. A well-written privacy document should be placed on the home page. It should be placed in easy reach of the customers. The threats can be in the form of malware, malicious apps, viruses and hackers. Hence it is important to prevent any security breach. This is especially needed with ecommerce sites as they carry out online transactions frequently. Adding SSL certificates minimizes browser based threats. Regular security checks are also a must.
A website should be rich with high quality, original content significant to the company and its products/services. The first impression made with the design gets a boost from the user when attuned well with some quality content. If the site is attractive but the content is not of any value to the users, then they will not return to your site. Remember good content and rightly used keywords aid in achieving higher ranking in search engine results. To optimize the affect, every web page should contain at least 150 words and have links to other pages on the website and some reliable sources too. In addition to providing information, the content should promote your site. Google penalizes for copied content and sometimes shows the door as well.
Easy navigation decreases the bounce rate of a website. The owners can check the efficiency of the website by getting into the role of a customer. As a customer they can review it page-by-page and study the site’s navigation. Sometimes the performance of a site can be enhanced by removing underperforming of unnecessary pages. Adding a site map can rev up the navigation process and also help search engine crawl the site without much difficulty.
Usability is one factor that alone can give the benefits of many factors combined together. It should contain all the important ingredients of a good accessible website. If a site is easy to use, it attracts customer’s interest and boosts business prospects. It requires the product or services information to be displayed in a very clear and crisp manner. For this, the web design should incorporate social sharing options and the bloggers should opt for email newsletters in case any reader would want your blog directly in his inbox. These factors enhance the usability of your site. In many case website usability testing are proven useful in enhancing website accessibility.
The website should be functional if you want to meet your goals. A good functional website should be free of all the following issues:
- Long loading time
- Broken links
- Security breaches
View your site from a customer’s point of point. See whether the contact forms and customer feedback sections of the website are working properly or not. The security feature should satisfy the needs of your business. Remember, any one or two or all of them can annoy your customer to leave and never make a return visit. Do judge your website on these lines and make the appropriate additions or alterations so that the visitor is able to browse your site effortlessly.
The list of internet browsers is growing every day. It includes Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari. With everyone seems to be using a different browser, the need for integrating multiple browser compatibility has become utterly important. When building a website, make sure that your site can be accessed from every major browser. Not only this, it should load quickly on all the browsers without much hassle. Lacking this feature may bar a large number of customers visiting your site and affect the overall growth of your business.
Social Media Integration
Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedln and Pinterest with an able support from social sharing buttons on the website goes a long way in generating visits and must be incorporated at the designing stage itself in the website. What can be done on these platforms? Social media provides a great platform for building your brand. Also, you can present reviews and remain in the memories of the customers with news and views. Written content, pictures, videos can be circulated through social networks. Start participating as soon as possible even if you are still at the planning stage. Grow your network. They will help you in the promotion of your website when you decide to launch it eventually.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What is the use of toiling hard if your website doesn’t show up in the search results? In order to make your presence felt online, make use of search engine optimization. They guarantee you visitors when you have no other traffic driving strategy in position. One method is keeping the website updated frequently. This makes it a relevant source of information for the visitors/customers and thus increases the possibility of ranking higher in the search engine results. The second method is to hire a SEO professional who with his expertise can make your site rise and shine in the online world.
A Responsive Design
A responsive design is the need of the hour. It makes the website capable of adapting to any screen size – desktop, smartphones or a tablet. People use different devices to search online. If your website is not available on the various devices, then you are definitely losing a major chunk of your customer base. Therefore it is essential in today’s time to develop a responsive design especially a mobile friendly website, one that performs well on the handheld devices. It really makes sense as approximately 30 percent of the web traffic descends from the mobile devices.
Content Management and Fresh Updates
Content management is important from both user and search engine perspective. Fresh, interesting content helps in making your brand trustworthy. Keeping regularly updated content makes it remain in the minds of the people. Adding a blog to the website is a great idea to connect with the customers/clients. It can be utilized to inform about the company events, latest product and other related information. For this, research the keywords that are used by the people to search your service, product and industry, incorporate it in your content and rank higher in search results and become the cynosure of the customer’s eyes.
You have designed an attractive website. It even ranks well in the search engine results. They like your product/services. But there are no contact details given anywhere. Where on earth will your user contact you? Don’t you think it is important? Give your contact details such as phone number, fax no, customer, care number, etc. on the home page as well as other important pages. This way you can make a personal contact with your users.
The website design, navigation and an engaging content (regularly updated) keeps the interest alive and kicking. Give your website a facelift whenever required as change in design keeps audience engaged. These features of website development and design make a website complete and ready for operation. If anyone one of these fails to function at its desired level, your business gets affected. Work on these areas and make your brand stand out.
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