It’s the first place a customer will go to learn more about your business.

Your website is a vital part of developing your brand and positioning your business.  Achieving strategic goals is often supported by an efficient and effective website that is well-designed to engage your target market. If you are about to start a re-design or perhaps you’ve decided to start a new advernture, take a few minutes to digest these 6 important things to make your website a success.

1. Set a goal, and stick to it.

What is the purpose of your site? Are you trying to gain sales leads, bookings, provide information, increase signups or sell a product or service? Whatever your goal, you need to be very clear so you can design and build the site accordingly. Once you identify your goals, you’ll be able to measure the success of your website and know how it’s performing against those goals. Rather than thinking about all the functions, widgets and galleries that you think will make your site amaing, think about what your customer needs to achieve their goals. From here, you can develop your user journey.

Website Design Stepping stones | Pixel Studio

2. The Customer Journey.

Making sure your site is user friendly helps your visitors complete tasks successfully, engaging visitors and supporting an improved conversion rate.  Think of the journey as a series of small stepping stones to complete the goals you have set.

a)Navigation: This needs to be intuitive and consistent. There are multiple ways to enter a website; via the home page or landing pages or blog posts. Consistent navigation and the use of obvious page names to categorise different parts of your site is critical.

b) Readability: Make sure your text is readable and not obscured by background images or distracting animated elements. Small amounts of clear and concise copy will engage your visitors, as opposed to too much information. You can read this story for more insight on writing copy for websites.

c) Links: Make sure that hyperlinks are easy to recognise, so make sure they stand out from your normal body copy, you don’t want users guessing where they should go next! Internal links are a great way to improve website SEO, by sharing page authority and supporting Search Engines indexing and ranking your site.

d)Call To Action: Call To Action’s will give the user direction and inspire them to take a relevant action. They are also a great way to keep you focused on the goals you set for your site, and are a way to measure the success of those goals.

There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW!

Wow is the one to aim for.”

3. Are You Mobile?

No? Well you need to be. The mobile revolution has already happened, with more than 52% of people accessing the internet on their phones and tablets. You need to ensure that you brand is reflected as your customers now expect it to be. You may have heard of responsive websites, but if you haven’t, responsive websites are designed to fit to any browser no matter what the size, and it means you no longer have to build a separate mobile site or an app (thus saving you an incredible amount of time and money!)

4. Write Fresh and Engaging Update.

Good content will engage your visitors and encourage them to come back. So whether it’s a regular blog post or new photos, videos or information, keep it regular and keep it fresh. Make sure you let people know about your new content too, either through your social media channels, or allow people to subscribe to a newsletter so they can stay tuned to what you are saying.

5. Use Great Images.

The world is a visual place, so if you use images for your website make sure they are good quality and optimised for the web. This is particularly the case if your site is an online store or gallery; beautifully shot images will convert customers so much quicker. So instead of posting poor quality, grainy shots of your products, get some high quality professional photographs that show your product at its best! Optimise your images for your website so it doesn’t impact on speed and load time, because a slow site will drive visitors away.

6. Monitor Your Analytics.

If you haven’t already installed Google Analytics on your website, then do it now! This free and incredibly powerful tool gives you information about how long visitors stay on your site, what pages they view, what they’re reading, the browser or device they’re using when they access your site, and their geographical location. Take all this data and better understand your audience!

There you go, a few pointers to consider for your next website.  It’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list of Do’s and Don’ts – you can read those here! – but it will set you out in the right direction.