Web design has become an essential part of making businesses work in this technology-driven day and age. But as many of us are aware, developing a website is a continuous process – not something you can do once and leave alone.
A recent article for Business Matters magazine explained that many companies who aren’t performing to their full potential online could benefit from looking at how to improve their website conversion rates.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or are looking to revamp your existing website, you should make sure you have a plan to share with your web designers in Surrey. This should be more than a wireframe of what pages you want on your site. It needs to explore your goals for your website.
This means working out what purpose your website serves in the context of your business, and what you want visitors to do once they reach your site.
The publication explained that by having a very clear understanding of the purpose of your website, things like the main page elements to focus on will naturally fall into place.
At any stage of the design and development process you should “always be asking yourself, “Where’s my main call to action? How easy is it to see? Is it clear? Is it consistent?,” the magazine recommended.
Another top tip is to make sure that any written content you include on your site has been written for people, rather than for search engines. Years ago, search engine optimisation (SEO) used to be about writing to ‘trick’ Google’s algorithms, but these have become so sophisticated that now you need to write for people, otherwise you’ll be penalised in search.
You should still carry out keyword research to help you understand what people are searching for and how you can take advantage of associated keywords to appear to a wider audience.
Calls to action are another area to focus on, and specifically the wording you use. Testing and thinking about the language you use is vital. “A simple word change could give a 10-15 per cent or more increase in conversions,” the magazine noted.
Earlier this month, Econsultancy shared some top tips from Nick Mottershead, who talked about the importance of personalisation when it comes to ecommerce conversions.
He suggested using something called recommendation engines on your site, which surface relevant products from across an online store to show consumers items they may not otherwise see.
It uses machine learning algorithms to present the most relevant content to users based on their browsing and purchasing history.
Even if this isn’t technology you can afford to invest in at this stage of your business, it’s worth bearing in mind the implications and uses – and revisiting it as an option further down the line if you feel that your online conversion rates could do with a boost.
That said, if you’ve never explored the purpose of your website in detail, or thought about how to make it as efficient and simple for consumers to use as possible, you’ll likely benefit from taking some of the simple steps outlined by Business Matters.
The importance of having reliable website designers in Kingston complete your business webpage has been highlighted after a major food retailer left its customers disappointed when it crashed while offering a Halloween deal.
On Wednesday (October 31st), Mexican food fans could get their hands on a meal deal from American restaurant Chipotle for $4 (£3.08) from 15:00 to closing time to celebrate the spooky holiday.
All they had to do is enter the promo code BOORITO on the app or website for the exclusive offer. However, after the deal went live, technical difficulties meant many were left unable to place their order.
Chipotle chief communications officer Laurie Schalow told Business Insider the website crash occurred due to such strong demand for the promotion.
She added that the teams “are working to ensure that our customers have the best possible experience” following the slow web responses.
However, this is not the first time the food chain, which has eateries through the UK as well as the US, Canada, France and Germany, has experienced website faults. In July, it launched an offer on National Guacamole Day, allowing customers ordering on its website or app to receive a free portion of the avocado dip.
While this was meant to help promote the famous brand, it only caused negative press, as dozens of orders were refused on the website and app. As a result, the restaurant extended the offer for another day, but it left a sour taste in many fans’ mouths.
Launching online deals is a great way to drum up interest in your brand, raise awareness and get more business. However, when you do promote an offer that cannot be missed, it is essential to make sure your website is fully functional, so all customers can get their hands on it.
Companies have been reminded of the importance of hiring the best web designers in Kingston to give their site a new lease of life, after online retail sales recorded the lowest figures since 2014.
For many years, businesses relied on the growing popularity of e-commerce to ensure their customers continued to purchase products from their websites. However, a drop in sales last month demonstrates they cannot take consumers for granted.
According to IMRG’s Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, UK online retail sales reported a growth of 7.5 per cent from September 2017 to September 2018. This is the lowest growth rate for September since 2014.
IMRG strategy and insight director Andy Mulcahy stated this could be the result of people having spent more money during the second quarter, due to the Royal Wedding, the World Cup and the heatwave. This meant they had less to spend in Q3.
DIY Week reported him as saying: “Shopper confidence appears to have fallen at a time when numerous retailers are putting out profit warnings and announcing store closures.”
Mr Mulcahy also suggested that many shoppers have become savvy when it comes to online purchasing, and could be waiting for further discounts to appear ahead of Black Friday in November.
Indeed, the gift category dropped by a substantial 23 per cent year-on-year in September, which is the most significant drop since 2010.
Last year saw an unprecedented number of people turn on their computers to shop on Black Friday. There was a huge 11.7 per cent increase in online sales between Black Friday 2016 and 2017, with £1.4 billion spent on the internet on November 24th last year, IMRG revealed.
It’s no secret that the B2B realm is very different to the B2C environment and it’s why you can’t just rely on what you know as a consumer when you’re developing a digital marketing strategy for a B2B company.
A recent article for Entrepreneur offered some advice about how to succeed online as a B2B business, including where you should put your focus.
One area identified as critical was a company’s website. B2B buyers aren’t going to make emotional decisions, they will make a choice about whose products or services to use after careful consideration. That means they’ll want to scour your website and find relevant detail.
“Your website needs to cater to the discovery mindset that your audience approaches this research with,” the news provider noted.
Working with web designers in Surrey could help you plan out your site structure and content to ensure that you’re providing the right information at the relevant stages of the customer journey.
People are increasingly working on the move too, so you should ensure your website is fully responsive and accessible on a range of devices, including mobiles and tablets, to allow for this more mobile workforce.
When you’re developing a new website you also need to consider SEO and content marketing as part of the whole project. Ensuring you create discoverable content to help boost your brand’s visibility is crucial to attracting new customers.
If you need any more incentive to work with specialist web designers on your project, take a look at our post about the importance of website design for businesses. This process isn’t just about making something that looks good, it also has to be functional and tie in with your other digital marketing channels, such as social media or newsletters, to draw people in.
Web design is a complicated business. There are a multitude of things that you need to consider, which is why working with website designers in Kingston is such a good idea.
One area that you shouldn’t forget about is accessibility. Much like a physical premises needs to be accessible to those with disabilities, a website should also allow people to find information and access your products or services if they have a disability.
This is where inclusive design comes in. A recent article for Vertical Measures highlighted some of the main things to consider when you’re getting to grips with web accessibility. It’s important to remember that this offers benefits to your business as well as those using your website. By making it accessible, you’re growing your audience.
You should also remember that accessibility measures won’t just help those with disabilities, like vision or hearing impairment. They will also help older people, someone who’s forgotten their glasses, a person with a broken arm – the list goes on.
There are three main areas that inclusive design focuses on – hearing impairment, vision impairment and physical disabilities.
The blog applied the US Web Consortium Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to its suggestions to help you see where you could make changes to your site.
Firstly you should look at whether your site is what they describe as perceivable. That means can users “perceive your site with their available senses”. For those with visual impairment, it might mean ensuring that your website can be used with a screen reader.
Providing written alternatives to audio content is advisable for those with hearing impairment, meanwhile. From a design perspective, thinking about the size of the elements on the page, as well as the contrast between any writing and the background is vital.
Next up is your website’s operability. Can it be used by someone who may not be able to operate a mouse? Can a user navigate your whole site using a keyboard only?
Making your website easily understandable should be a goal whether you’re focusing on accessibility or not. But ensuring that everything is easy to find and that content is clear and concise will help make it more inclusive.
Finally, you should check the code to ensure your website works across all browsers and devices efficiently. That includes older browser versions so that you don’t exclude anyone with older technology.
Earlier this year, LocalGov highlighted the introduction of the EU Web Accessibility Directive, which is being rolled out in four stages, starting this month.
It’s aimed only at public sector bodies at present, but it’s likely to have a knock-on effect to other industries. The aim is to introduce minimum accessibility standards for all websites and apps to ensure that everyone can use them.
The first deadline introduces the law into individual EU countries and makes the public bodies legally responsible for the accessibility of their digital platforms. By this time next year, any new sites built will have to comply with the regulations, and by September 2020 any pre-existing websites will need to have been brought in line too.
While you might be looking for website and graphic design for your new Surrey business, for many existing businesses, it plays an equally important role as part of a rebrand. A good rebrand should never be taken lightly, and it plays an even more important part when the business has changed and the consumer has fallen out of love with how a brand presents itself or what a brand has traditionally offered.
It’s been a difficult time for the high street for some time now, but none so much as the department store. BHS, for example, closed all its stores when the business collapsed, and after a short-lived stint as an online retailer, its website has now seen the final nail in the coffin of this once great brand. House of Fraser have also suffered, with the business recently going into administration and announced store closures and job losses. Its website too seems also to have been taken offline, leading to further questions about this struggling business.
For the remaining brands who operate in this sector, it may sometimes feel as though you’re tarred with the same brush. When a consumer hears a business is failing, it loses confidence in what it has to offer, and this undoubtedly creates further alienation against the likes of the department store sector.
It’s no coincidence then that the two largest remaining players in this sector have made moves to show that their brands aren’t stagnant. Bake Off fans may have been mildly perplexed by the feature-length advert that aired during last week’s show which debuted a new branding for both John Lewis and Waitrose, or as they’re now known, John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners. Take a look at the new branding on the Dezeen website.
John Lewis’ new look is monochrome, with an sans-serif typeface used in uppercase, and it undoubtedly feels more modern, without alienating its existing consumer base. But the real change here is in the addition of ‘& Partners’. The idea to play up the human aspect of the business, as in that everyone who works for the business has a real investment in it, drives home that there are real people who depend on you shopping there, which has long been the argument for trying to keep the high street alive.
For Debenhams, the logo rebrand signifies a new marketing strategy, one that is focused on the store being a shopping destination. The new font for the Debenhams logo is a serif, but has an edgy, yet refined feel, where the old logo was somewhat void of personality.
For this brand, the logo is the signal that their store experience has changed, and that it is becoming an experiential destination. The font suggests the brand has transformed into something with more of a point of view and has more of a direction moving forward. One of the changes announced with the rebrand is particularly telling – the adaptation of the ‘beauty hall’. A department store staple, yet often a bland space where brand recognition takes over. The new looks focusing on introducing new products to consumers, re-positioning the department store’s purpose. After all, consumers now know they can purchase much of these products cheaper online, but as a curated collection back up with expert knowledge, this space offers something much different to consumers. You can see the new Debenhams logo over at Transform magazine.