In today’s world of fashion, glamour and technology, a website is more than just a promotional tool or place to store pages of text – it is where we make important decisions about life. What to wear, what to buy, what to listen to, where to go, and even how to think!
A site which pays attention to this – meeting the needs of specific consumers, using stunning features and being fun to use can have a profound effect – actively enhancing the appeal of products and services, boosting the likelihood of sales and leading to brand distinction.
Ensuring focused investment in these areas helps businesses achieve their objectives and excel in their fields. This is not speculation, this is fact, but for many smaller companies this effect seems like an overbearing challenge – a struggle to get to the top based on available spend. With the right focus, however, it is actually quite simple to get dramatic effects by paying attention to four key factors.
The first priority for a website must be to make users feel comfortable. This extends into website design and development – leading the customer experience without getting in the way of product or service offerings. This is typically where businesses struggle when creating new websites – by investing in the belief that for designs to be ‘effective’ they must actively break established trends.
The fact is trends are there for a reason – and while it pays to use clever design tricks, it never pays to make a user feel uncomfortable when they are considering purchases. To be effective, websites must always help the customer get where they need to go, rather than work against them.
Larry Page, the founder of Google, famously attributed the search engine’s success to comfort, consistency and success – it is simple to learn, predictable and provides the end user with the service that they need.
The one undeniable fact about people is that they like fun experiences. Web design gives companies a fantastic opportunity to connect with their audience in this regard. The key distinction between markets and market leaders tend to be considerations of behavioural psychology – analysing how and why people buy into their products and services, or in other words – considering the user. These small but crucial factors might be best practice login protocols, removing jargon from pop-ups or providing subtle nudges towards particular services.
The most important thing to note about this point is that it is free! Whether it has direct commercial benefit or not, end users are totally aware of small touches and they make a difference to the experience at a fundamental level. The simplest and most effective way for a company to improve their website is to go back and make sure they have fully considered their users engagement.
The first visit to a website is important – it must quickly grab the attention of a user and offer them products and services that meet their needs without being intrusive. For us though, this is where the story begins not where it ends.
The test of a website is not so much in whether it is successful in the short term – but whether it is effective enough to entice users back again and again – to create an experience so enjoyable or successful that they feel the urge to return in the future. Indeed to offer them a concrete level of trust in the services that they offer or the professional qualities that demonstrate a valuable set of products.
As a design and development company, we create features and site-specific tools to achieve this. As a rule, companies who invest in free web tools or helpful features on their website are successful because it is a feature of professionalism. It demonstrates investment and a focus on continued business, rather than just making a quick sale.
This can be achieved by intelligent data capture or offering them unique services – once a user finds that they can achieve impressive results through a website or they have invested time and energy, they are very likely to use that website again. This is the idea behind highly successful ventures such as Pinterest and Instagram and can be used to great advantage through web-based tools.
In a world where there is so much competition for business, and with a reported 80% of customers leaving new websites after filling up their shopping carts, ensuring customer buy-in and trust in brand legitimacy can be vital to business success.
• Professional websites offer aspiration – something for a user to desire.
• The best websites are the ones where users feel comfortable and happy.
• Small touches matter – just because it’s a business website doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
• Appreciating the first visit is good, but the second, third and fourth are just as important!
• Web tools and features are a great way to build trust in websites and brands.
At Revive, we are only happy when our clients are empowered to succeed – that is our end goal. This means giving them the tools and information they need to expand in their target markets and innovate to meet changing business demands. We are experts in all forms of digital media and have a wealth of experience helping businesses use web design to their advantage – one of the areas we excel in is providing a clear route to achieving business goals.
We specialise in creating innovative web tools, developing cutting-edge software packages and integrating websites with bespoke functions. Investing in new tools that differentiate our clients – significantly boosting web traffic and capitalising on a whole new range of opportunities.