How to make good web design work for your business
Answers to some of the questions about web design and building websites we're most commonly asked.
You only have one opportunity to make a first impression, and for most businesses, your website is the first point of contact that many customers have with your brand, so it's vitally important that your website reflects well on your business.
With the average time an internet user spends on any one webpage being around just eleven seconds, you don't have long to convince them that you are not only reputable (and internet users are particularly cynical in this day and age - and who can blame them with so many unscrupulous people lurking in the more dimly lit corners of the web!), but you are trustworthy, conscientious, that they won't receive any nasty surprises, that your service or product will be of good quality and if there's a problem you will deal with it courteously. If they have even the slightest inkling that you may not tick all of those boxes, then they will quickly jump ship and try your next competitor, and you'll never hear from them again!
On the other hand, should you get your website/branding combo right, then you can give your brand any character and tone of voice you wish, irrespective of the location and size of your business.
Maddison Creative web design Newcastle are specialists in the use of shapes, photography, colour and typography in order to encourage internet users to feel the way your want them to feel about your business and website, whether it's an entertainment brand that you want people to associate with energy, passion and excitement, or a health spa where you want people to feel at ease, relaxed and empowered. Emotion plays a large part in online user behaviour/experience and so it's vitally important you capitalize on that in order to get the most from your website.
In a recent survey it has been revealed that multimedia content holds a user's attention for more than twice as long as traditional written/text content, and in an attempt to keep users engaged for as long as possible, more and more websites are adopting an array of multimedia to get across their message.
Modern users of the internet are becoming more selective when it comes to how they prefer their content delivered with four times as many web users would prefer to watch a video than to read about it, and the technology is driving that demand. By the end of this year, it is estimated that 74% of all internet traffic will be video.
Thanks to the fast paced development of home/business/mobile internet connectivity and the capability of devices to integrate with that, it is now possible for live media to be streamed to a standard desktop/mobile/tablet even when the user is on a bus or in a park. This gives the business owner and the website designer the perfect opportunity to deliver content in increasingly exciting and engaging ways. 360 degree videos, live streaming of events, interactive animation, gaming, the list is endless.
Maddison Creative web design Newcastle can not only incorporate any existing multimedia content you may have into a website, but we can also produce/create/develop stunning interactive media to bring your website to life, enthralling and engaging your customers in equal measure.
There are an ever increasing number of ways to promote your business online, some free and some have a cost, but when running a business it's important to explore every avenue. Methods of promoting your business for free include:
- Website SEO Optimize your website so that it will readily be picked up by search Engines such as Google and Bing. This is by far the most effective way of promoting your business online, it is free and it has the largest reach...if done well!
- Social Media Marketing Use your social channels and communities to push your business to your peers. You can include share and like buttons from most of the social media providers which removes any obstacles between a happy customer on your site and them recommending you to their peers. Many social media sites allow you to pull content from their sites and display said content on your site. This is a great way of keeping your customers abreast of updates in real-time, whilst also keeping your site content fresh.
- Reciprocal links Get as many sites as you can to link to your site, this will not only drive traffic but it will also be recognized as a positive by search engines, boosting your ranking.
Paid for options include:
- PPC (pay-per-click) advertising Create an ad that will appear at the top of a search engine results page or on an affiliates' website that you only pay for (a pre-agreed price) when a user is interested by your offering and clicks on your ad. No clicks, no cost.
- Facebook ads & Twitter cards This is highly targetable, which means you can define exactly who you want to see your ads based on their interests, their location and a range of other criteria.
- Email campaigns Email marketing technology is used by 82% of B2B and B2C companies. Can also be free, depending on your distribution method. Directly communicate with your client base or distribution list with a beautifully designed email. A wide range of reporting tools available, allowing you to see how your email (and different parts of your email) has performed. Can contain dynamic content, can be fully automated and can feature triggered elements.
One of the great features of promoting your business via the web is that you can add to your site almost instantaneously. You could think of an idea for a promotion one lunchtime and but close of business it can be live, with little or no lead time and no costly printing to contend with.
Unlike printed media and traditional advertising methods, if you publish your website and you decide that your offer is no longer available, your prices need to change or you want to change your messaging, you can do it quickly, easily, and more importantly very cost effectively 'on-the-fly', allowing you to be as reactive and as responsive to market forces as you wish.
Similarly, if you have something time-sensitive you wish to communicate to your customer base, you can add it to your site where it can be made live immediately, and once it's no longer needed it can be taken down just as quickly.
You no longer need to scrap boxes and boxes of flyers, or have expensive TV or radio commercials remade. You simply contact your web manager/designer, let them know what the update is, and they will update hassle free. Should you have opted for a CMS (Content management system) website where you have the ability to update the content yourself, then it's even easier! You simply log in to the admin area, navigate to the page in question, edit your text, hit save and you're done!
Because of the nature of the web, of web design and the technologies we have at our disposal nowadays there really is no necessity to physically restrict yourself to people and businesses that happen to be based around you any longer. You can choose a company based anywhere in the world and it won't be any more difficult to work with them than it would be the company next door.
150 years ago in the California gold rush, people flocked to the rivers of the Sierra Nevada in order to make their fortunes. So many people relocated in fact that it was said that it wasn't the gold prospectors who made fortunes, it was the hoteliers, and the bars and the stores selling picks and shovels and bedding that cleaned up, because of the massive influx of people. Nowadays, the 'gold rush' would more than likely be a digital one (think of the dot com bubble in the early 2000s), and those hoteliers and traders would go without because the 'prospectors' would search for 'gold' from the comfort of their own homes and offices.
If we were building a website for someone it's not uncommon to have a teleconference over the internet in the morning with three people hundreds or even thousands of miles apart, once we're all happy, we all switch off and get to work at our desks, by the end of the day some progress has been made, we jump on to a product design program like InVision where we can share screens and attach comments to a visual, we'll continue to instant message each other via Skype, have another Webex call over the net the following morning, the website will then be built, sanity checked by sharing it around our closed group on Slack, user tested via What Users Do and launched and despite being in constant contact throughout the entire process, the first time any of us meet is at the launch party!