Back to the Basics: Building Effective Websites

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    Learning about websites; Source:

    Your agency team members are masters of their craft. They take a blank canvas and bring it to life to support your clients’ marketing goals. How do you ensure your team is not mindlessly wandering like zombies when building a website? Take a step back into Marketing 101 and back to the basics of building an effective website.

    Tailored For The Audience

    Designing and developing websites is no different from any other tactic; the target audience should be defined before you begin planning efforts. The main purpose of a website, after all, is to communicate a message to an intended audience.

    A positive user experience strengthens the connection between the client and their audience. A site that is informative, engaging, and puts the needs of its visitors first will experience a higher number of conversions. Using methods to measure user experience, like A/B testing and behavior analytics software, provides insight into the effectiveness of a website.

    Before you deliver a completed site, examine every page for stickiness and appeal while looking through the lens of your audience. This task is frequently ignored and without it, the website’s alignment with the needs, wants, and objections of the audience are compromised.

    Focused On Results

    The efficacy of a user interface is correlated with the number of clicks it takes to reach the desired outcome. Website visitors take action until they are successful with their goal or don't have enough information to decide what to do. The art is to create an interface that inherently prevents users from making "mistakes" and helps them reach their desired destination quickly and efficiently.

    Navigation is the vehicle that helps visitors get from point A to point B, and is the deciding factor whether a website drives results. Take into account the goals of the client and make sure that these are easily achieved through strong navigation.

    For instance, if your client's main goal is to have visitors book a free demo of their new software, then you’ll want a call-to-action link clearly visible on the home page and throughout most pages of the website. Make sure all buttons are short, simple, and have calls-to-action tailored to buyer personas. 

    Use this checklist to make sure websites are meeting client needs:

    • Is the website optimized to gain visitors?
    • Is there a clear path to increasing the conversion rate?
    • Have you integrated an effective way to capture new leads?
    • Is the website designed to build brand awareness and keep visitors coming back for more?
    • Can your client obtain useful data from the website that has the ability to effectively be used to make data-driven decisions?
    • Have you incorporated all of your clients' goals into the website?

    Remember, it takes only a second for a user to decide whether a website is good or bad. A poorly designed or difficult to navigate website will result in lost customers and a decline in company trustworthiness.

    Strive For Credibility

    Credibility helps organizations outpace their competition. A company lacking in credibility will struggle to achieve goals. With the world at their fingertips, consumers can conduct online research on a product or service and commit to a purchase in the same session. The majority of these users judge a company based on the design of their website. A website that attracts users with an appealing design, intuitive navigation, and relevant information will increase the credibility of the company. 

    Build For Results

    An essential part of creating successful websites is to ensure your clients’ goals are driving website decisions. Whether you are designing a website from scratch or preparing for a web migration, keep your clients' goals in mind and avoid constructing an expensive, digital business card.

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