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How to get your website right

December 12, 2011

Nearly every commercial business in the world has a website. Over the past decade, it has become almost an industry standard, whether simply for contact purposes or as a portal of engagement, it has become an essential marketing tool.

Ten years ago, when looking for a company you would of picked up the yellow pages. Now, it’s considered completely normal to simply ‘Google’ a company.

To have a website, is to be accessible to your customers at any time and, with the advances of smart phone technology, to be seen anywhere.

In the online search engine market, whilst Yahoo has climbed to 16.3 percent, rising for a second month in a row, and Microsoft has increased to 14.7 percent, Google has maintained its dominance with 64.8 percent of U.S. searches (August 2011, Comscore).

Google receives search requests from all over the world, even Antarctica, on a daily basis.

The majority of people see websites as an amalgamation of pictures and text on a screen. However, the view from the designer’s ‘window’ paints an entirely different picture, which stresses the importance of a designer’s knowledge and creativity in executing a unique and unforgettable website.

The creation and management of a website has many elements that need to be considered for its construction. Most importantly, the beginning of this process is centred on the site map. Through planning a site map you effectively map out sections of your website and the potential journey for your customers.

Three critical features that should be considered in the creation of any website. They can be manipulated for your target audience and provide great creative opportunities.

Once this framework is set out you can concentrate on the:

  • Design and Animation
  • Content and Layout
  • Navigation
Design and Animation

‘Researchers have found that the brain makes decisions in just a 20th of a second when viewing a web page.’ BBC News 2006

Unless the first impression is favourable, visitors may be clicking that ominous big red X, even before they fully understand what you’re offering.

There is a fine line between having a cluttered website, which stunts loading time, and a boring website that detracts user’s attention. This fine line is the holy grail of websites, and an experienced creative designer is pretty much the answer to your prayers. Bit strong? We don’t think so. After all you’ve only got 5 mini seconds to make the right impression!

This places great emphasis on the messages your design portrays; brilliant design, professional photography and artistic animation are all assets to any website. Capturing the users attention by taking them on an immediate visual journey will ensure further exploration of your website world.

Content and Layout

Content and layout are very important considerations. Once you’ve attracted someone, can you now engage with their mind and maintain their attention?
Think of it as a job interview – you’ve given the employer a positive first impression, but if you’ve got nothing to say, it’s futile.
Effective copy writing relating to relevant industry topics (key words) will enhance any website and importantly aid the efficiency of people finding your website.

It is estimated that 10.7 billion visits have originated from key word searches via Google.

Wolgarston High School is a comprehensive school for 13-18 year olds. It frequently provides updates regarding the schools news, events and other goings-on through a live news feed and an online interactive calendar.

The school accommodates 850+ students and this feature is an efficient and effective way to provide updates to parents and pupils (target audience) about the school’s past, present and future activities. The site also allows authorised people to reserve places at meetings or events.

Implementing features whereby you can engage with your target audience offers a cohesive marketing tool for brand awareness, brand engagement and sales. Through offering interesting, quality content and information you can guarantee repeat visits from users who find your website a great source of information.

Navigation

‘Studies by Forrester Research estimate that approximately 50% of potential sales are lost because visitors can’t find information and that 40 percent of users do not return to a site when their first visit is a negative experience.’

The way in which you allow your audience to navigate your website is essential. There are various navigational tools that can be employed, which aid in the design and ultimately the overall experience audiences have with your website.
All websites should be easy to browse and many popular websites, such as ebay, Tesco and Youtube, use ‘related feature’ links, which assess user’s previous searches to suggest further related items. You need to plan the journey your customers will take through the website and make the experience as easy and seamless as possible.

See how Technical Sales and Advisory Engineers have constructed their website to attract their audience and provide a clear and user friendly navigation panel

A website can totally revolutionise your marketing activity and with many generations quickly adopting the Internet, virtual engagement is becoming more and more popular. Drop us an email at info@edgecreativesolutions.com to see how we can help you in discovering what online marketing you could take advantage of.

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