Create the ideal website environment by including these elements.
I often catch social media posts where self-employed friends post updates saying, "I made some updates to my website. Check it out!" Seeing these updates sometimes makes me wonder, "What makes a website successful?" More than that, what elements are good to look for in a website launch? Here are five features to think about when you are building your site.
The first thing you want to do is make sure that your website is a good online representation of you or your business. It's an online storefront and a way for your customers to connect with you virtually. So, it should reflect your mission, vision, and values as a company. This is portrayed in the look, feel, and messaging on the site. If you don't already have one, I would suggest creating a brand/style guide so that everything you are doing on your website is cohesive with your overall branding. If you don't have something like this and don't know how to get started, reach out to us to get our design specialists involved in creating your visual voice.
Calls to Action
This is a must-have feature of a website. After you have determined the look and feel of your site, the next thing you want to plan out is your interaction points, or 'calls to action.' CTAs are a valuable marketing tool that directs the user to interact with the site. It completes the cycle for the user. They come to a page - say your blog - and after reading a few blogs, they decide they want to receive alerts when new blogs are posted. Having a subscription form on that page is a CTA for the user to sign up for alerts. A CTA is persuasive and should lead the user to perform an action. Content on the rest of the page should refer to the CTA.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you are involved with your company's website at all, you've no doubt heard about SEO or search engine optimization. This is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic from a search engine. SEO targets organic traffic, and incorporating SEO into your site before you launch ends up saving you time and resources later. This is another feature that should be carefully planned out before implementing it. It involves your site's content and how it is organized by topic. And it's much harder to go back and fix this after the site is up and running.
This feature sort of goes hand-in-hand with SEO, in my opinion. You want to make sure you can track your website's performance, and analytics is the best way to go about that. Some organizations might think they can wait to add in the analytics, but if you do that, you won't have insights from day one of your website's life. Analytics - particularly Google Analytics - help you determine if your marketing strategies are working. To make sure that analytics are employed on your site, you will need to install specific code. Most CMS platforms will provide an easy way to do this, so you don't have to edit code directly.
With more than half of all website visits coming from mobile phones, it's important to make sure your audience can see your content properly. A poorly optimized website can ruin the customer experience on your site. According to Statista, there are 6.4 billion smartphone users worldwide. With that in mind, your website content should be not only viewable on the go but also enjoyable. Some of the elements that should be considered are URL rendering, page rendering, mobile-focused markups, image sizes, and page dimensions. The way your site is viewed on mobile can also affect the overall speed of your site.
As a full-service creative software studio, our specialists are ready to assist with a free assessment of your current site and provide suggestions about how you might be able to make improvements on your current design and the elements that are included on your site.