Where do you even begin when you’re building a brand-new website? Take a look at our 6-point formula.
*Newsflash* Big Bee has a new website on its way! Six months in to business and we’re saying goodbye to our stop-gap site and hello to one we know will be a huge improvement.
For the last couple of months, I’ve been working on the copy and content design (check out the a sneak peek above). While I work on a lot of websites, for some reason it’s always easier to produce content for others than it is for yourself. Luckily, there’s a formula I follow that helps to ensure that all bases are covered. I’m going to share it with you now.
1. Consider what your audience needs
My absolute primary consideration is always what customers need, because if you give them what they want, they’ll come back for more. Now that Big Bee is six months old, I have a wonderful tool in my arsenal: Analytics.
Six months of usage has told me that over 60% of visits are on a mobile device, for example, so I know that being mobile-optimised is essential. I can also see some of their top interests (affinity categories) are ‘green living enthusiasts’, ‘movie lovers’ and ‘business professionals’. (Wow, that sounds a lot like me!) so I have an idea of how to speak to them and what topics might interest them.
There are lots of other ways to learn about your audience. Having real conversations with them is a qualitative approach you could take. Ask them what are their main pain points and what they want from a service like yours. Ask them how you could make their life better. Once you know more about your audience and what they want, it’s easier to give them what they need on your website.
2. Work to a hierarchy of information
You can use these insights to determine the hierarchy of information on your site, with the most important information first, filtering down to the most in-depth.
The main things your customers need to know will differ massively depending on the type of website you are providing. If you offer products they might need to know your top-selling products first. If you offer services, they need to know what you do and how it can help them. Then they need to know how to purchase or how to contact you.
Provide the most important information first on any given page, together with a call to action (CTA) that allows then to perform a vital task, such as contacting you, or purchasing a product.
3. Ensure each page has context and an onward journey
Websites aren’t books with a start and finish. People can enter your site on any page that’s crawlable by a search engine or shared by yourself or others. So it’s not just the homepage that can begin the customers’ journey, any page can. It’s important then that the context of each page is clear.
Visible navigation, such as breadcrumbs showing the hierarchy of pages can be helpful in demonstrating how each page fits into the bigger picture by showing the main journey to and from them. Combine breadcrumbs with context-setting copy that helps to ground the page’s content within your brand and purpose.
4. Provide journeys with no dead ends
No page should be the end of the journey, not even a purchase page. Links to other relevant pages and actions help to progress the journey. This gives them the opportunity to learn more about what you offer, to buy more, to sign up to offers or to share your content. The customer can then decide how deep they want to go.
5. Provide the option to purchase on every page
Jill Konrath, author of ‘More sales, less time’ warns us that we’re in the ‘age of distraction’ where every ping on a phone or email notification can take us away from our intended action. It’s essential then that you make the journey to purchase (or contact about your services) as short as possible, because if you put barriers in their way, the chances are you’ll lose them. Give an avenue to purchase or contact on each page so they never have to search.
6. Remember your objectives and values
A website isn’t just a tool to get people to buy. It’s a manifestation of your brand. It’s the face of you and what you stand for. When building your website consider on each page what you want your customers to think, feel and do. Also bear in mind how this relates to your business objectives and values. Each page should provide a consistent feel in its tone and structure that forms part of a bigger picture.
Watch this space for our own new look site, coming soon!
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Dead End Photo by Adam Birkett on Unsplash