There are so many web design companies online today which offer cheap websites that are quick to build. While it isn’t necessary to break the bank when creating a new website, these cheap, quick to build website solutions may not offer the sort of planning and design that will deliver the business results which you really want.
There are various critical components that need to be considered when it comes to creating a new website and through a series of blog posts, we will be uncovering all of them. They include website design, website development/building, website content/copywriting and search engine optimisation.
Build your website strategy first
The primary goal of your website should be to offer the best user experience possible, as only a positive user experience will translate into an existing client or prospect actually taking the next step in the buying process. In short, if the visitor is not very quickly satisfied by what he/she sees, he/she will leave your website and that is always a business opportunity missed.
To achieve a great user experience and ensure both the short and long-term success of your website, definite milestones and deliverables need to be identified and an action plan formulated.
This is where a professional website company such as The Formula, a web design company based in Cape Town, is extremely valuable. Our experienced online marketers help our clients to develop a website strategy which defines how the strategy will be executed, what will result from it, as well as who will need to contribute to it and when. This planned approach has always resulted in tangible, positive business results for our clients.
Visit our digital marketing strategy page for more information: www.theformula.co.za/strategy
The 6 key features of a great website design
People most often confuse the terms that relate to the creation of a new website. While website development, or the building of a website refers to the platform, or software that enables the website to actually function online, website design deals with the visual and creative aspects of the website that visitors see and interact with and is a critical component to website or online marketing success.
When embarking upon the creation of a new website, it is imperative to ensure that the following aspects of your web design are fulfilled:-
1. Memorable Branding
Branding deals with the obvious colour and shape that relates to your logo, as well as the association that clients have with your company, or the ‘personality’ or ‘character’ that your company projects. In website design, these aspects need to be well represented in order to ensure continuity from what your clients experience when dealing with you face-to-face, to engaging with you online.
Colour: Just as your logo will contain a few definite, or primary colours, so your website should follow the look and feel of your logo and overall company branding. We try to focus on one or two key colours to form the basis of your website, that are part of your branding and which make your logo stand out. The Ads24 website is a great example of the effective use of colour to promote a solid brand.
Character: Every company has a unique ‘personality’ which is based on a set of characteristics that differentiate you from your competitors. We explore your brand and hone in on the key characteristics that make your company and brand different and feature these in your web design. Just as some brand conscious individuals happily associate themselves and their personas with big brands such as Nike, Puma, Reebok and so forth, so too will your clients associate themselves with your brand. A good website design makes it possible for clients to easily associate with your brand and unique characteristics.
2. Quality Graphics
Icons, graphic elements and photos come standard with most websites, however the quality of these is what differentiates good websites from cheap looking ones.
Icons and graphic elements should be customised to suit your branding, such as the ones we created for the website design of Ratanga Junction in Cape Town, and should promote the visual appeal and usability of your website.
Crisp, clear, high definition photos are essential if you are wanting to visually portray elements of either your product or service and are particularly important for the retail and hospitality industries. Take a look at the Atlantic Beach Golf Club website which illustrates this perfectly.
3. Easy Navigation
Website navigation refers to the path that people take through your website and consists of the links to pages that you will find along the top, left hand side and within each page of the website. It is one of the most important tasks for your website designer to accomplish. Visitors must be able to find the information that they’re looking for quickly and easily and good navigation will enable them to instinctively know what they need to do next. The fewer clicks the visitor has to make, the better. False Bay College in Cape Town, recently upgraded their website which features a fantastic example of intuitive navigation to help make finding information in an otherwise complex website, easier.
4. Valuable, Relevant Information
When visiting your website, your audience is essentially looking for information that will help them to make a buying decision. It is therefore imperative that the most relevant and valuable information, which is concise and easy to understand, is presented in an enticing manner for the visitor. Graphic sliders, or the combination of visuals and text, is often a great way to present key information, as we see in this example of the Cape Leisure Tours website.
5. Multi Device Compatibility
More South Africans access the internet via their mobile devices (SmartPhones, Feature Phones and Tablets) than via desktop computers. Constant zooming to view text, inaccessible menus, links and buttons and the need to pan from one side of the page to the other in order to see content – these are all good motivations for a visitor to leave your site and is the reason why a responsive web design, or one that adjusts to comfortably fit the size of the screen the visitor is viewing your site from, is absolutely essential.
6. Definite Call to Action
Once your visitors have found the information that they are looking for, on a professionally designed website that is easy to navigate and which is visually appealing, they will want to take the next step in the buying process. A clear, easy to see call to action should align with the purpose of your website and should encourage your visitor to take action at the appropriate time.
If for example, you are running an e-commerce website, the next obvious step would be to make a safe online purchase. If your website is intended to promote your business services, the next logical step would be for the visitor to make contact with you. If your website is an online showroom for your high-end products, you may want to encourage the visitor to visit your store, or you may want to obtain the prospects details by providing functionality for them to do so…
Where will the visitor’s online activity fit within your sales process? You must ask yourself what precisely you want the visitor to do when they are on your website and then make that action easy for them to perform.
Align your company with quality
Regardless of its size, a good quality website will reflect well on your company and brand. From something as small and inexpensive as a four page website, to an extensive e-commerce website, your online presence should have a clear set of goals and should help to increase your bottom line. A quick, cheap or free website will never achieve the financial rewards that a professionally planned, designed and developed website will.
At The Formula, our talented, experienced team of marketers and web designers in Cape Town, is there to assist you with every aspect of your online marketing. Our objective is to help you grow your business, because as cliché as this statement may sound – your success is truly our success – and we sincerely believe that.
Let us guide you to plan, design and develop an affordable, yet professional, modern website that will help your business to soar.
Call Garth or Shiraz on 021 556 5661 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your FREE online marketing consultation with us.