Website is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. It can serve multiple purposes, like gathering information about end users and prospective clients, or a landing page where they buy your products and services. It’s an opportunity for customers to identify how you are unique and different from your competitors. It can give detailed info about your business, products, and services to customers, and help them make decisions to buy what they need.
With all sorts of marketing campaigns running, like ads on Google, posts on Facebook, blog articles, advertisement banners, all of it drives traffic to your website and brings in prospective customers. With all that attention to your site, you want it to look really good, and be as informative and easy to use as possible. The better your marketing, the more visibility your website has. If the right info or user experience is not there, there’s a loss of credibility, as the fickle online customers have many other options to choose from, that may be better. As the landscape evolves, you would fall behind the competition if the website is not as per the mark. And if the website doesn’t work on handheld devices, you’re already behind. There’s every chance that there’s a competitor out there with much better user experience, and if end users are fumbling with your website, they would seek them out.
It should be intuitive and engaging so users can accomplish their goals effortlessly. In our digital marketing strategy, we’re aiming for shared value. Same holds true for websites. Your business goals and need of your target market should overlap.
As you design your website, take time out and ask yourself these questions:
Is your website mobile friendly? – As the numbers for hand-held device users browsing net through their devices keep increasing, your website must work on all devices and should be responsive.
Does it load properly on modern browsers? – The user experience should be uniform across different browsers for same device types. The colors, panels, and user experience for desktop users must be the same, irrespective of what browser they’re using to visit your site. It should look exactly the same on Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer. Visit http://www.browserstack.com to test your site across platforms.
Does it answer all the questions users may have? – Another good practice is to write down all the questions your customers ask via phone, email, feedback forms, or even at your place of business, in a dedicated section like FAQ. All the answers must be available online on your site.
Is your website reflective of your brand? – The first impression is the last impression. Within the first couple of seconds, a user will make a decision if the site appeals to him or not. See if it’s reflective of your brand or not. An e-commerce brand with discounts should focus on sales, a luxury brand on elegance, and a digital factory like our on functionality and market use cases. Make sure that your corporate style-sheet, comprising of color schemes, logos, font styles etc. is followed and well used. Consistency must be ensured across the pages of the site.
Is your website up to date? – It’s one of the primary concerns of customers and end users – Is the information being provided up to date and current. In case schemes are old, product pricing outdated or discounts not mentioned, a customer may go ahead and make a purchase from a competitor. If there’s a blog, what is the posting cycle or frequency? It must be updated regularly.
Are all of your policies easy to find? – As the online marketing audience is niche, they are often looking for specifics. The question is if the specific requirement of your customers is to locate or find on your website. If you’re claiming for a service or product offline or on calls, then it’s your prudent obligation to have it listed and well displayed on your website as well.
Are all of your policies easy to find? – This includes details about logistics like shipping time, taxes, compliance policies etc. The user must know where he stands in the process.
How does your website compare to those of your competitors? – Are you proud of your site when you compare it with your competition, or jealous? If you’re jealous, it’s about time to give your site a new look and feel and have a re-look at your digital marketing strategy. You can make use good graces of your professional friends and relationship with your loyal customers to gain their feedback and suggestions from the same. Ask them what they like and what they don’t. For no fee, your website would be evaluated by a dedicated professional from their team for 5 minutes and they will also provide you with a real and unbiased opinion.
A better Domain Name will lower you lifetime marketing costs.
Having the right domain is essential. It’s how your customers, end-users, and visitors find your site online. It’s what you’ll have printed on your brand publicity and marketing collateral, like business cards, brochures, newsletters, annual reports, etc. As your brand recognition increases, it’s going to be that much more used and referred to.
A poorly chosen domain name can have a widespread negative impact on online and offline efforts.
Relevant – Your domain name should be relevant to your business. Ideally, it should be your business name or at least as close and similar to it as possible. If your business name is too long, you may need to creatively shorten it while still remaining on the brand.
For Example, our business name is Irine Digital Factory Pvt. Ltd. We can choose a shortened domain name like idf.com. A shortened URL is good from a marketing perspective, as it’s easy to remember or achieve memorability. But we get more SEO value when we use a keyword rich domains like irinedigitalfactory.com.
In such a situation, it makes good sense to buy both the domains, and simply re-direct the SEO rich domain – irinedigitalfactory.com to shortened domain – idf.com, and then build and focus SEO efforts along the longer domain. You’re only using shortened domain names when you’re using it in marketing materials.
The more relevant the domain name, the better for your business.
Keep it Short – If you have a tongue-twisting or difficult to pronounce or spell domain name, it would also be difficult for users or customers to remember or memorize it. Instead, in such cases, it makes sense to use a more simple and alternate domain name, that still maintains the feel of your brand. If you use multiple special characters like, or /, you might be hampering visitors ability to arrive at your website. The best domain names are short and free of special characters.
Use Simple Terms – Using words that are difficult to read or spell out should be taken care of. Visitors often forget complicated words.
Select the most common suffix – Even today, the .com suffix is still the king. Most people habitually and instinctually type .com only, even you have a .org or .net site suffix. For example, if your website is www.irine.org, and your competitor has procured the same domain name with a .com suffix, you would have a lot of your clients visiting their sites unknowingly. You don’t want to drive traffic to a competitors site, so as a thumb-rule, reserve all the suffixes, especially .com. Some countries also have a geo-specific suffix, like .in for India, the UK for the United Kingdom, etc. Use the suffix that’s most widespread in your region.
So after you buy your domain name, it’s advisable to buy multiple suffixes and variations to prevent others from registering it.
Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.”
Before you decide to do it yourself, ask yourself a fundamental question – Can you as an entrepreneur, afford to spend time building your own website? If yes, go ahead! Else…
Hire a professional resource to do design and develop your website. There’s an endless amount of option out there, and it can be a daunting task to hire the one with the best skill set.
Getting a seasoned and skilled web designer and developer is one of the most common problems faced by start-ups and small businesses. But there are a few best practices you can keep in mind while head hunting for such a resource that can design and manage your website.
To start with, we can have a look at graphic designers. Now, a graphic designer is different from a web designer. A graphic designer need not essentially have good web designing skills and vice versa.
Hiring a Designer
Review their website – Start by reviewing their own personal websites. How does it look? Does it appeal and strike a chord? Since you’re the target audience for them, and if you don’t like their website, they may not be the best option for your organization.
Look through their portfolio – If they don’t have a portfolio, that’s a red flag right away. Take not of clients and sites they have worked on, have a look at recommendations, testimonials, comments, and feedback they have received for their work, and then if possible, visit each of the sites they have created and explore them.
Make sure to double check the Footer of each website they’ve made to see if there’s an attribution link. If there’s an attribution link mentioning a different design firm, it raises a red flag.
Check the recency of their work – If you visit one of the websites from their portfolio, and if that website has been re-designed and doesn’t match the one in their portfolio, it can raise some questions. But at the same time, more updated the portfolio, more are the chances of the designer himself being updated with new product features, design practices, and industry trends.
Read through client reviews – You should take written permission from the designer to reach out to their current and former employers or clients for feedback.
Understand the designer’s thought process – It’s a good practice to initiate a talk with designers while interviewing them. Ask them if they’re familiar with responsive designs. What software’s and tools they’re hands-on with.If they’re creating wireframes and mockups, you can rest assured you would be part of the iterative process. If they’re hesitant, perhaps they may be taking help of pre-built templates. Using templates is not an issue, but at the same time, it’s important that designer can customize from scratch as per your requirements and deliver.
Ask for quote & timeline – At last, you can share your project details, ask them to review it and submit a quotation with a timeline. A sort turnaround and low cost may be tempting, but is not always the best case scenario. It’s a good practice to get a couple of proposals and compare them.
Programs and software’s – Build your site from scratch using the tools you can learn, like Adobe Muse, Adobe Dreamweaver.
Semi-custom solutions & online web applications – You can also implement semi-custom solutions that are a blend of everything. You can create powerful blogs as well as websites on WordPress without using a line of code. WordPress remains the first choice for most entrepreneurs wanting to take charge of their own websites.. It’s easy to user, and you can even delegate responsibilities with its user account management capabilities. It’s free for self-hosted projects and supports ads..
Both, WordPress and Squarespace have eCommerce options for online selling. But if you want to go deep into eCommerce, consider using Shopify. It’s a time and cost effective solution for selling online.
You can also make use of online web editors like Weebly, Homestead, Squarespace, Yola Silver, that offer drag and drop service for novice and amateur designers.
Spend much time in online advertising and you’ll start to see the term “landing page” everywhere. But what exactly is a landing page? What makes it different from any other page? Why are landing pages so important?
Every website has a goal. It could be to capture visitor info like his email address, sell a product or service or to distribute information. There is a definite goal with which you create a website for your business. The idea is to make visitors take some sort of action, or engage in some way with your website, that the goal is achieved.
Ideally, depending upon the audience type, we have not more than 2-6 seconds for them to stay and decide. This dwell time of 2-6 seconds is a win or loss situation for us, as this is when the audience takes a call to stay on the site or to explore other available option online, which can be in your direct competition. The users will arrive at your landing page, take a glance, and bounce off if they’re not interested.
Reinforces decision to click – Having specific destination reinforces the decision to click.
Grabs Attention – Most often, visitors will arrive at your landing page from an attention-grabbing or visually pleasing promotion material like web banners they may have seen elsewhere. The banners and promotional material must be catchy and precise.
Frames the information – One the visitor is re-directed to your website by clicking on your promotional banners, you must frame the information on your website in a way that it helps in achieving your business goals, and your prevail upon the user to make a purchase or win him over and close the deal.
Avoid campaigns to drive visitors to the homepage – Homepage of a website is the least conversion friendly page on a website, as it tends to be fairly broad. The key to making your conversion work is to make goal specific landing pages.
Lesser the lines used to convey the goals, more genuine are the chances of it being read completely by visitors. With fewer words to work with, it becomes all the more important to make each word count. This is where you would often need the help of a professional copywriter.
Although most companies place a call-to-action (CTA) above the fold, since your CTA is what you’re asking your visitors to do on your landing page, it deserves its own section in this article.
But, before you can create your CTA, you need to decide what you want people to do on your landing page. This is important because otherwise, you can end up with no CTA or multiple different (and even conflicting) CTAs.
- Monetize content and have a global reach by creating highly engaging, interactive and intuitive digital magazine Apps across channels and devices.
For each page of your site, ask yourself:
- Who will read this copy?
- Why are they reading this?
- What should they feel when they read this page?
- What am I trying to accomplish with this copy?
- What benefits and features do I need them to understand?
Use these answers to build your first draft, save it, and then write it with half as many words. Compare the two, and only add back those points that reinforce the goals. To that end, your About page should not be a dry block of text about your company. It should include a good photo of yourself or your team.
“If companies want to remain competitive in the modern landscape, they need their web and mobile websites to be effective engage the user and work as expected, Those that are creating a seamless and enjoyable online user experience are reaping the benefits.”
Enrol for Digital Marketing Master Course at Irine Digital Factory.
For further information:-