Know your user
It’s critical to understand your audience. Who are you talking to, what do they want and what do you want them to do? The content, design and structure of your website should be driven by that understanding.
For example, The Being Group recently completed two websites that couldn’t be more different. Compass Architecture is a sophisticated, contemporary practice delivering high-end, sustainable designs to a prestige market. Equiptec is a business that makes safe, adjustable platforms for people to work at height in heavy industry.
Compass Architecture’s audience is people looking to build or renovate their houses. The website appeals to people interested in great design, showcasing photography beautifully and scrolling horizontally, not vertically, as a strong, innovative point of difference.
Equiptec’s audience, on the other hand, is mostly procurement managers in heavy industry who want to know how big the safety platforms are, how they work and how much they cost. The design and user experience (UX) make this information as easy and simple to access as possible.
“It’s all about understanding what the audience values,” says The Being Group’s Head of Web, Karven Kwan. “If someone has five different architecture company websites open in their tabs, trying to choose an architect, then the Compass Architecture website has to work harder than the rest, in its content, functionality and design. It needs to be highly attractive and informative for people interested in architecture.”
What’s your call to action?
It doesn’t matter if your audience finds your website, enjoys its easy navigation and loves your content, if it’s not clear what action you want them to take. Your UX design should direct your audience to get in touch, with a contact form and phone, email and social media details, or to make a purchase at your e-commerce checkout.
Every page should be fast and functional, because they may be a potential customer’s first, and perhaps only, impression of your brand. If your website is clunky or slow, a visitor may leave before they contact you or make a decision to buy.
It’s the same scenario as someone being attracted to a shop, going in and browsing, but walking out before they buy because they don’t get good service.
Optimise that search
There are two types of search engine marketing (SEM) — search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine advertising (SEA). Good SEM is critical, because there’s no point having a beautiful, functional website if it can’t be found. If you’re number one in Google Search results, you’re 10 times more likely to get a click through than if you’re in position 10. You get three times more clicks from position two, than position six.
SEA is simply that. You pay to ensure your website appears high on the first page of Google searches. This might be because you’re new to the market and want to reach the top spot faster, or get ahead of your competitors. SEO is where your website does the work itself, through regularly updated content — like frequently posting blogs that will be interesting to your audience.
Video is also increasingly important for strong SEM, because users are more likely to click a listing featuring a video. Two of the most important metrics for Google’s algorithms are the time users spend on a site and the number of backlinks referring back to your domain. Video improves both of these figures.
Make sure your key words — what people type into their search if they’re looking for your product or service — are carefully integrated into your content so your copy is simple, enticing to read and not a tangle of jargon and industry terms. Good copywriting is a critical element of a great website.
Make it responsive
A website can look great on a big screen but not work nearly as well on a tablet or mobile device.
More than 60% of Google searches are now made from a phone.
The responsive UX design needs to ensure that the functionality and clarity of a website remain optimal, no matter how the images and copy are stacked. Content should flow freely across all screen resolutions and sizes.
Here’s our call to action!
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