Every business has a website, but for far too many businesses, they haven’t taken the time to figure out why, beyond a vague feeling of necessity. A web presence is obviously vital for all businesses in 2021, but ensuring that your website is serving a functional and profitable purpose takes work, analysis, and time. Tackling your website’s purpose requires first outlining some basic information about both your business, your customer, and their interactions with your website.
Does your website serve the purpose that you need it to? Are the pages on your website working together to serve a greater function, or are they disjointed, and only joined together by a domain name? Do you know how people are using your website, what is working for them, and what is broken?
If you haven’t answered these questions, then the time and money you’re investing in marketing campaigns, pushing people to your website, isn’t being spent as effectively as possible. Anyone who does reach your website will likely have trouble navigating it, or figuring out what their next steps should be, and this will cost you sales. But don’t worry, there’s plenty you can do to prevent this scenario from becoming your business reality.
We’re going to go through all of these steps, to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together in a way that makes your website a crucial element of your bottom line, rather than a graveyard for leads.
Finding Your Purpose
Websites are more versatile than ever, which provides your business with more functionality and design options than ever. On the flip side, this require your web design team to understand the purpose behind your site.
- Is your website a primary sales tool, or a secondary information source?
- Who makes up your customer base (B2B or B2C)?
- What role/job do the main visitors to your website hold? And what are their values/concerns?
- What action (contact, sign up for a trial, read content, download, etc.) do you want visitors to take?
- What functionality does your website require to meet these needs?
Let’s walk through an example of the answers to these questions, to determine the web design purpose for Uber.
- As a tech company, Uber’s main touchpoint with customers is online. Their website, while also providing tons of important information, is primarily designed to get drivers and users to sign up and use the Uber app.
- While Uber drivers are technically contractors, pushing them to sign up and drive for Uber is nearly identical to a consumer sales pitch, so the customer base can be considered B2C
- There are two main roles: prospective drivers and prospective users. Prospective drivers want to know about the benefits and details of driving for Uber, while prospective users want to know about the value that Uber can offer them over other forms of transportation/ride-sharing apps.
- The main purpose of the Uber website, for both roles, is to get people to sign up and download the app.
- While Uber is an extremely high-tech company, the functionality on its website is surprisingly streamlined, but heavy on strategy. Their apps do most of the heavy lifting, but what Uber has accomplished with their website (clean design, concise content, prominent call-to-action buttons, and a breezy user experience) is the product of tons of strategy, design testing, iterations, and ongoing improvements.
Combining Design, Development, and Content
Once you’ve defined your website’s purpose, it’s time to use it to direct the web design and development processes. This involves bringing together content, design, and development, in order to create a website that is more than the sum of its parts.
First comes content. Content is like the interior of your website’s body, the skeleton, muscles, and veins that give your website the potential to become an unbelievable sales tool. Next comes design. Design is the exterior of the body, the part that attracts viewers and allows your business to express its style. Finally comes development. Development is the spark that brings the body to life, allows its parts to function in harmony, and prevents it from breaking down.
Pieces of the Website Puzzle
Now that we’ve got an idea of how an ideal website is put together in the abstract, let’s start to narrow in on some of the specific components, and how they should function together.
- Home Page: If your website is an opportunity to make a first impression with a potential customer, your home page must encapsulate your business as well as possible. As you would on a first date, your home must look spectacular and professional, outline what you do, why you do it, and what sets you apart from others, and be impressive to whoever should stumble upon it.
- Call To Action: While your home page should bundle up your business into an easily digestible and aesthetically pleasing whole, a website is more than a mere brochure; it’s a dynamic tool. Prominent, punchy calls to action will keep interested people moving through your website to your desired results (contact, make a purchase, set up an appointment, etc.). However, great design lies beneath this path to success. Without proper thought beforehand, your website can become more like a frustrating maze than a sales pipeline.
- Products/Services: If your home page is the flash, and your CTA the function, your products/services pages are the substance of your website. Consumers are only savvier by the year, and a thorough but readable overview of everything you sell will meet whatever needs your target audience is seeking. By covering as many aspects of your products and services as you can, this will also reduce the customer service burden of answering basic questions about what you sell.
- Contact Page: Unless you’re an e-commerce company, your contact page is the gateway to new business. If the rest of your website has done everything it’s supposed to, this page should have minimal content. A simple contact form can be bolstered by specific query categories, so interested consumers can get in touch with the exact right person in your company.
- User Experience: Along with all the pages that make up your website, you need to refine the experience of using your website. Is the content easy to read? Do the pages load quickly? Can you navigate from page to page without confusion? Is the website responsive to different screen sizes? These are the details that breathe life into your website, and can make all the difference when it comes to keeping potential customers around longer.
- What Else?: While there is an underlying structure to websites generally, not all are created equal, as those that best serve their target audience ride the subtleties of a business like a sports car on a curvy mountain highway. This is where creativity comes in to devise and develop new and unique tools and content that separate your business from the competition, and give customers no choice but to choose your business.
Ready To Execute?
Whether you’re looking for more appealing design visuals, more gripping and informative website content, improved website functionality to serve your customer base, or all of the above, Claudio Design has you covered.