Ideas & Insights
Our blog is where we share our ideas and insights into the digital world.
Must businesses today cannot survive without a web presence. Some can get away with little more than an address and phone number listing. However, the rest need a strong online presence – that includes active social media and a website. But there is more to having a website than merely uploading one and forgetting about it. What your customer requires of your website is constantly evolving. It should be a work in progress, staying ahead of the trends instead of lagging behind.
Having a great website increases customer engagement, it creates a positive user experience and it is good for your SEO. Think of your website as a shop floor or a hotel lobby. It needs to create a positive first impression for the visitor but it also needs substances.
We list this first because it’s the most important aspect of your website. If your customers can’t get around your website, they’re going to look elsewhere. It doesn’t matter how you set it out, what matters is something called “Intuitive Design”. That means when a user first looks at your website it is immediately clear precisely what they are supposed to do – how to get around and find what they are looking for. The pages should be easy to find. Every aspect of the site’s navigation should be natural and fluid. If the user has to search for something and cannot automatically find it, change it.
As most people now use mobile devices to access the internet, the one area you should not neglect is the mobile device user base. The easiest and best way to do this is to look at something called responsive design. This is when the website format and layout adapts to the device’s screen size and shape. Even the orientation of the screen will affect the user experience. A laptop/desktop user will have different requirements from a tablet user and different again from a smartphone user. Even how the user prefers to orientate the device will affect their experience with the site (landscape or portrait).
Visuals draw the eye much more than text ever could. Who doesn’t look back at those early web pages from the late 1990s and early 2000s and cringe? Dense reams of text, hardly any videos with small and grainy images. Images and videos swallowed bandwidth, so this format was necessary. Even larger companies winced at the cost of maintaining a glossy website. To maintain a 15-year-old design philosophy today looks amateur. Use high-quality, attractive images on every page if possible. Video represents a small fraction of web content but represents the most viewed content on the web.
Images and video without text are style over substance. You will need text on your pages – it’s good for SEO and explaining what your business is about. A website that consists only of images and videos will appear style over substance. A great website design intersperses text with images and videos and subheadings to break down text into bite-sized sections. A good rule of thumb is never to have more than 300 words of text without an image, video or heading to break it up. This applies as equally on 400-word “About Us” pages as it does to long-form blog posts.