Website development tips for your startup
March 19, 2019
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Why is it important to your startup’s success to invest in website development? If your website is convenient and easy to use, you’ll be more likely to turn those visitors into customers, and you’ll make it easier for existing customers to get where they want. Less friction means less frustration.
Website development affords your business many opportunities. But only if it’s used smartly. Among many other issues, your website could suffer from having no clear path, having a tacky, unappealing, or outdated design, being slow and having too many distracting images, having no goal or being too indirect.
You need a website that compliments your brand, rather than damages it.
Have a Specific Audience & End Goal
Of course, you intend to convert your visitors into customers or clients. In that case, you must have a target audience. Not having a clear picture of your target audience can make it very difficult to relate to potential customers.
Having a direct audience in mind doesn’t mean you can’t be user-friendly for all visitors. Don’t assume everyone is an observant and experienced web surfer. Even with experience, visitors expect convenience. No one should have to dig for what they need.
Startups can suffer from either seeming too needy with annoying sign-up forms and too many follow up emails. Alternatively, some brands play hard to get, which also hurts.
But your website goals shouldn’t stop at trying to convert visitors into customers. Websites help build brand recognition, develop leads, provide product and contact information, share customer reviews, and extend your business’ reach.
Your website should cater to these different goals, based on the various users that will interact with it. By recognizing the top purposes your website could provide your business, and your (potential) customers, you’re able to prioritize certain features and design a smarter layout.
Map Out an Obvious Path
Having an end goal requires some planning. After appealing to the right people, your website will act on its own as a sales representative and marketer. Your website serves to satisfy the interests of your business and the customer.
Businesses can benefit from simplicity. Avoid making the website layout too confusing. There needs to be a clear path. The website should direct readers to information they are likely interested in. This can be achieved by narrowing down and organizing the information presented on the site.
Additionally, there should be a directory and search option available on every page. This way visitors don’t have to jump around too much, which can save stress and time and get new customers on board faster.
Your website needs to be structured with a purpose in mind. It’s not enough to list information, have a form for contact and signups, introduce your team and mission. You have to direct the viewer without being too forceful. Don’t forget: your end goal is to convert visitors into customers.
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Visual hierarchy refers to the organization of information. In English, we read from left to right, top to bottom. Whether we’re looking at a book, a stage, a website, a Facebook profile, or other online portfolio, our attention is often initially drawn to the top left. This rule determines where your profile picture is located on your Facebook page, how your resume is laid out, how actors are organized on screen.
Knowing this, many businesses still lack in their organizations skills and often overcomplicate their pages. Organize your website features so that visitors can easily identify your business, direct themselves to the desired pages, and be converted into customers.
Put Speed over Everything
You know what happens when technology is slow. People hit things. Don’t enable tech abuse. Do some research into how you can make and keep your website speedy, or hire a professional.
What affects your website’s speed? Websites can be affected by a lot, from traffic, server location, code, files, and everything in between.
Not only can having too many stock images, videos, and ads be very distracting, they can also slow your website’s processing speeds.
A good server (and a webhost that’s not overcrowded) will ensure your website is fast and able to perform well.
Since images tend to be bulky and can slow down your site,you don’t necessarily need images to display text. Yes, text can simply be entered as text, and it’s better for everyone.
Along those lines, images should be scaled properly and not resized in HTML as the size on the page will surely change, but not the file size.
To benefit returning visitors, your site should be cached. Caching warms up the user’s browser so it doesn’t take so much time to load a second time. However, if a customers has a negative first experience on your site, a second chance is not likely.
Optimize for Access
Website developers will insist that presence, ease of access, and exposure are most important for startups. You don’t need a whole ecommerce site, but instead only need to display products. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t sell using your website, only that there’s a more immediate channel. And that’s mobile.
Websites can only reach so far. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, it’s time to fix that.
Additionally, mobile apps for ecommerce have more reach and allow for less restrictions than websites; however, that doesn’t give you an excuse to neglect your website’s mobile optimization. The best your startup can do is make sure all of your channels, between mobile app and website are connected.
Omnichannel technology will keep all of your channels together, and for that reason, your website needs to be a strong component.
Reflect Your Brand
Your startup is at risk of missed opportunities. These tips shouldn’t scare you out of your brand. They should encourage you to prioritize certain information and direct your web community to what makes your startup special.
Of course, your website needs videos, images, colors, logos, and slogans that reflect your brand. Visitors should be able to recognize your business based on the visual representations on the website. Your business has a style as well as a specific target audience. That’s not something you need to change; it’s something you should market.
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Colors and style matter. You don’t want to seem outdated or tacky, unprofessional or too boring, or too much like any other business. But you also don’t want to be forgotten. It’s good to be unique; however, there is a reason we need professionals for decorating, designing, and stylizing. It’s not easy.
Marketing and web development are big jobs. Your startup needs to prioritize its digital presence.