The Process and Importance of Great Website Design
23 Jan, 2017
Creating a new B2B website can seem like a daunting task. From analysing the problems with your current site, to gaining approval from management – the process can take time. Make it as efficient as possible by understanding some of these important best practices.
Static Content and Dynamic Content
All websites have 2 main elements, your static content and your dynamic content. Static content covers who you are, what your business does, where are you located and how people can contact you. Dynamic content includes forms, landing pages and regularly updated blogs or articles to keep your website fresh.
The best websites have a mixture of both types of content. Read on to find out why.
Building the foundations of a successful website
Before building your B2B website, you must answer the following questions:
Who is your target market? What actions do you want people to take on your website?
How will people find your website? Why will they visit your website? What problems are you experiencing on your current website?
These answers will form the basis of your User Interface and User Experience outlined below.
Website design is more than the general appearance of your website. It includes the logical formation of your sitemap, ensuring that all pages are easy to find and information is easily accessible. By developing a compelling User Interface (UI), it helps visitors to find what they’re looking for as efficiently as possible, making sure they return to your website, rather than to your competitor’s.
Designing a UI relies on information gathering from the User Experience research. Once you have identified your target market, it’s important to work on a design that will compel them to stay on your website. By viewing sitemaps and wireframes before web development commences, your website will have a bigger chance of success.
A best practice of modern B2B web design includes the absolute, definite requirement to be mobile responsive. It goes without saying that most people use their mobile devices to access information online every day. Another best practice is the need for simplicity. Your website visitors should be led on their website journey, rather than struggling to find the information they’re looking for. This is also true for online forms. The simpler they are, the more likely they will be submitted.
By having an intricate understanding of your audience, you can create a great user experience (UX), ultimately keeping visitors on your website for longer. Websites with poor user experience will generally lead to visitors leaving your website. To create a good UX on your website, make sure your content is useful and accessible. Make it easy for people to contact you by displaying your phone number in an obvious location – usually the top right hand corner. Review your wireframes before website development starts to ensure there is a logical arrangement of information. Group similar product or service content together to make it easy for your website visitors to have a seamless user journey.
Most importantly, make sure you have no ‘dead ends’. Always provide the logical next step in the user journey on each page. Don’t provide an excuse for visitors to leave your page. Clearly show them what page to visit next.
Your website has launched! What to do now?
Regular content updates on your website will get more people landing on your B2B website. Google rewards websites that provide regular, engaging and relevant content to their audience. Fresh content delivers benefits to your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and also positions your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Google also loves video content, so make video content part of your strategy too.
Keep in mind that your website is not the only channel to publish content. Integrate your website with regularly updated and professional looking social media accounts. Show off your expertise, while speaking the language of your audience, in multiple channels.
Define some simple and realistic goals for your new website. Do you want 10 form submissions per month? Are you aiming for 20 clicks on your “Contact Us” button per month? Can the website achieve 8 completed online payments per week? By defining measurable goals, you will quickly see the success of your new website, or you may uncover some improvements needed.
Creating a new website for your B2B company should not be a quick, rushed project. Website development and maintenance is an ongoing task. You can’t set and forget. By taking the extra time to plan in the initial stages, you will reap the benefits in the long term.
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