If you’re weighing your options for redesigning an outdated business website or building an ecommerce website for the first time, options for ecommerce platforms, website builders, templates, themes and plugins can feel overwhelming. Scrolling through competitors’ sites, you notice features you like here and there, but what qualities do all good websites have in common?
Establishing your digital presence may seem complicated, but ultimately, your business’s website is a marketing tool not unlike the ones that help retail brands succeed in brick and mortar stores. Whether you’re vying for shelf space or a stake in the world of ecommerce, the essence of marketing can be summed up in a simple, four-part process:
- Know your prime prospect
- Know your prime prospect’s problem
- Know the brand
- Break the boredom barrier
It’s that easy: great websites understand the buyer’s journey and help them along the way.
Good websites are easy to use.
The fundamentals of good web design speak to the very first step of the Four Part Process. Take the perspective of your prime prospect, and consider what features and information would be helpful in the buying process if you were your own customer.
Straightforward navigation is paramount. Is your website’s menu easy to use? Are categories presented in a way that feels intuitive to the user, and is there a search feature to assist in sorting through your inventory of products or services or quickly reaching a specific piece of content?
Creativity and brand differentiation can be powerful marketing tools, but they should never leave users confused. Clear, clean navigation can make all the difference in whether a customer converts or abandons your website.
Functionality is a key component of ease of use. Extended click paths, broken links and dead ends will frustrate visitors, lessening the chance that they will buy now (or consider your brand in the future).
Flashy content and videos may give your website panache, but ensure that they serve a purpose and that you can support them. Users’ patience is short with sites that lag. Recent research from Google reveals that 53% of mobile users will leave a website that doesn’t load within three seconds.
It’s increasingly important that retail websites be just as navigable on tablets and mobile devices as they are in desktop view. A shocking 15% of American adults are “smartphone-dependent,” meaning that they access the internet, shop and make purchases using only their smartphones.
It’s not just the youngest segment of your market share driving this trend. Smartphone dependence is on the rise in adults 65 and older, too. Ensuring that your website’s design translates well for mobile devices can improve your brand’s visibility across demographics.
Good websites are visible.
The best products solve problems. The best website designs make consumers aware of solutions.
In order to serve your company’s sales and marketing goals, your website must be visible to your target audience. Using content strategically will put your brand in the eyeline of the right users, so that you are right there when they need you.
Deliberate, targeted website SEO will help you make a winning first impression on your prime prospect without cluttering your image or muddling your brand’s voice.
Good websites support brand goals.
Knowing your brand is about so much more than designing a logo and choosing fonts and colors. It’s about understanding your target audience’s gut feelings about your company, and how you fit into their values systems and daily lives.
This is where your website can function as a tool to clarify your brand’s mission and what it offers in a manner that invites your target audience to take the next step.
What do you hope that awareness of your brand inspires consumers to do next? Offer them something actionable: an opportunity to make a purchase, follow your brand on social media, or learn more about your company.
Choose a website design company that understands that the best sites aren’t ornamental: they include clear calls to action that make it simple for the consumer to advance their journey.
Good websites are visually appealing.
Breaking the boredom barrier is the final step of the Four Part Process for a sound reason: it is only effective as a marketing strategy when all of the other components are in place.
Create intrigue that supports your goals. Interactive elements can save your site from looking aesthetically flat, but clean designs that prioritize ease-of-use frequently equate to the best user experience. Excellent ecommerce web design services can build a website that embodies your brand and is disruptive enough to grab attention without feeling overwhelming or inefficient.
What makes a website bad?
What mistakes should you avoid when exploring options for a website redesign? Speaking generally, even shoppers primed to make a purchase will abandon a website that:
- Isn’t responsive
- Has overwhelming or convoluted navigation
- Feels like a content dump
- Leaves them confused about how to take the next step
- Is more flashy than functional
Ready to learn more about how custom website design and development services can help you meet sales goals? Sales Factory is here to help.