The World Wide Web has come a long way in the last few years and it is now absolutely vital for most businesses to have a website. Deciding that your business needs a website, however, is only the first step in a very long, often complicated and frequently expensive design process and, before you embark on any of it, you need to decide which Web Designer you are going to employ to go on this journey with you.
A Good Website Is Fundamental To Your Business
Due to a growth explosion in recent years, the internet economy worldwide is now worth billions per year and it is estimated that a whopping 23% of all sales in the UK will be conducted online by 2016. Whereas it was once a niche market that only a few forward thinking businesses chose to participate in, the internet is now a mainstream medium that virtually everyone uses on a day-to-day basis.
The internet is not only beginning to dominate the retail sector either; a vast proportion of people now search for what they need online, meaning that the internet is now replacing the old advertising channels for local businesses and making mediums such as the Yellow Pages (in its physical form) and the local newspaper redundant.
When you think of the internet in these terms, you can instantly see how crucial a well designed and easy to use website is to your business. It will no longer serve the function of just being an online ‘business card’, providing your address and opening times to potential customers. Instead, your website must draw those potential customers in; it must convince them immediately that employing your company will be beneficial to them and that you are so good, there’s not even any point in clicking off your website and taking a look at your direct competitors.
A Good Website Takes Understanding
Depending on whose research you read, your website has between 1 and 5 seconds to make a good impression, which is not very long at all. To begin with, human beings have very little patience so, if your website won’t load or your design is dated, visitors simply won’t give you the benefit of the doubt and wait around to see what happens. Internet users are more sophisticated now and are much more savvy; they know that there’s another website just 2 clicks away that will probably also meet their needs. Likewise, if you website is difficult to use, doesn’t provide what the visitor is looking for or is boring, then people unfortunately won’t stick around.
Your website needs to be crafted in a way that makes the visitor’s journey through it as easy as possible and it needs to provide everything that they were looking for when they initially searched for your website. What’s more, it needs to guide the visitor towards the action that you want them to take, whether that be buying your product or signing up to your newsletter, and must make everything explicit, as people simply won’t search for it themselves.
A Good Website Needs To Be Found
Having the most amazing website in the world is pointless if no one is ever going to find it and so it is crucial that your site is optimized for search engines from the very beginning.
Up until a year or so ago, good SEO was a little bit of a dark art but, thanks to the updates and changes introduced by Google and others, it is now much more simple; in order to rank, websites just need to be better than those of their competition! Hence, whilst even the most old and boring of websites could have once been optimized after the fact using a variety of techniques, the means for getting a website to rank highly now need to be built into the design of the website itself from the very beginning.
So, as the role of the SEO Consultant is now much more closely intertwined with that of the Web Designer, it is increasingly important that your website is designed by a professional (or professionals) who additionally have a deep understanding of what gets a website to the top of the search engine results pages.
A Good Website Needs A Good Designer
If you approach finding your new Web Designer from the perspective of understanding what your website needs and needs to be, then you are much more likely to succeed in your quest.
The most essential factor is to find a designer with whom you will be able to work and with whom you feel that you can be open with, as building a new website is a collaborative process that will require a lot of give and take.
Once you have that base covered, you then need to ensure that your designer has knowledge of and experience in building websites that work, and by that I mean websites that generate their company revenue. A good Web Designer will take the time to understand your business and how your website will benefit that business. They also need to demonstrate a sound grounding in understanding how the website’s design will fulfill all of the requirements that we have mentioned above.
A Good Website Doesn’t Need An Artist
I must inject a little word of warning here – you are not looking for an artist, you are looking for a designer. If your potential Web Designer talks only of the look of the website or the colour scheme, or if they talk in psychobabble about being driven to create a masterpiece, then run a mile!
Yes, good design is fundamental to a website’s success, but it is not more important that the functionality or the content. A successful website is only going to be achieved if all of those elements are in place, so you need to employ a Web Designer who can take an holistic approach to the project.
If you’re in need of a new website but don’t know where to start, then why not get in touch with GrowTraffic to see if we can help you out. Whilst we don’t build websites ourselves, we do work with a team of Web Designers and Programmers who do and, after many years in the business, we do know what a website needs to make it a success.
We also love hearing your comments on anything we do, so please leave us your feedback below or use one of the methods above to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.