When developing a website in 2017 there are many more important factors to contend with than in the past. Black hat strategies of purchasing links no longer exist, responsive design is the norm, aesthetics matter, content is king, and numerous other factors to increase your site’s traffic.
To follow is a compiled list of what we deem the 11 most important aspects to consider and also implement in your future web design project. We hope that using these tactics help your website climb to the top of that search engine ladder. To add a little flavour, we’ve used famous movie quotes as headings that compliment each to do in our list. See how many you can guess without going to Google for the answers.
1. “It was Beauty killed the Beast.”
Yes, the aesthetics of a website is always an ideal hook for keeping those bounce rate (how long customers stay on your site) percentages on the lower end of the scale. A visually appealing online presence will subliminally indicate professionalism to the potential customer. They will associate a clean and quality design with the product or service you are selling, and even more importantly, it increases the chance they will remember it.
On the flip side, a cluttered website with a poor design and nasty colour scheme will drive clients away from your business faster than you can say, “it’s not you, it’s me”. Check out this website for proof of this, oh, and have your sunglasses ready!
2. “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
Keeping a customer on your website for just that few seconds longer can be the difference between a make or break sale. Realise that the majority of customers who come visit your website are in browsing mode and they are always just one click away from taking the fastest escape route out of there i.e. the back button. So, here is where you make that “last ditch” attempt in maintaining a continued relationship with the customer, be it through an email subscription form, a discounted product price, a free hints and tips pdf, mail address for your carrier pigeon or any other outside the box method of communication you can muster.
Dangle that proverbial carrot. You will often notice this strategy being used on many paid subscription websites when you decide to abandon ship. They will offer you a vastly reduced discount on your current subscription in an effort to keep your valued custom, even at a loss but not a total loss (which is their desired outcome).
3. “If you build it, he will come.”
Not true!!! Google have clamped down on many of the black hat ranking strategies of old and just developing a website does not guarantee that it will be ranked high in the world’s most popular (and profitable) search engine. Google have approximately 200 website ranking factors in 2017 to contend with. Initially, stay in the mindframe that content is king! When you provide useful and well written content you provide valuable information for people, which in turn makes Google more efficient, so hopefully they might reward you and put you at the top of the food chain.
Now, do not sit on back on your laurels and light that celebratory cigar after writing what you deem to be Pulitzer winning text content. There are numerous other variables to contend with such as, market demand, off page SEO, page load speed and many many more. Hey, if it was too easy where would all the fun be!
4. “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”
From the beginning, establish the customer’s needs. You know your business better than anyone and a fluid communication portal between you and the client is crucial.
Have contact information available throughout your site and all essential channels of communication are also vital. These might include:
- Website Contact Form
- Address and Contact info in Header or Footer
- Social Media Channels (both shareable and direct)
- RSS Feed
- Morse Code micro app (joking)
5. “I am big! It’s the pictures that got small.“
Images, images and more images (well, in moderation). There is some truth to the saying that a picture tells a thousand words. Decisions need to be made here in relation to the business itself. For example, a photographer is going to put a significantly higher priority on the images portrayed than the readable content. If 60% of the population are visual learners then you must plan for people who preferably learn from looking at pictures over reading words.
Of course, there is also a trade off with the quality of your images and page load times. High resolution images will display a better quality image on your site but will also contain a high file size, hence, a slower page load. For a happy medium, reduce your image size and resolution using some image editing software. If you use a CMS like WordPress, add a caching plugin. One of Googles ranking factors these days is page speed and you need to consider the page load times according to the slowest connection, especially mobile.
6. “You had me at hello.”
Yes. We’ve heard this one before and it applies to your websites home or landing page. It does hold a great deal of truth too. Imagine you arrived at a Hotel and the front door was hanging off, the walls were bare and unpainted and the reception desk, well, didn’t exist! Judging by the presentation of the main foyer, you wouldn’t feel very optimistic about the Hotels food or the quality of guest bedrooms. The chances of you venturing in further to see what the establishment has to offer would no doubt be very slim.
The same principle exists for your website. When a customer arrives they immediately get a feel for what you represent. You need to display a clear and concise message in the form of a slideshow, a hero image accompanied by headings and/or an immediate and informative introduction. Enjoy your stay!
7. “Say hello to my little friend.”
How many times have we tried to access a specific website from our mobile or tablet devices and forced to pinch and zoom to view content?! It’s 2017 people and well into the responsive design era!!! If you have a website, it needs to be accessible on as many devices possible. It needs to be fluid and effortless, like making love to a beau… (time to quit while ahead). So, where were we, responsive design.
Google penalises websites for not having mobile responsive implementations. This makes sense as there is a significant and ever expanding increase in mobile users in recent years. In a nutshell, get on it, or I’ll send the boys around 😉
8. “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.“
This heading is self explanatory I hope. Consider your product marketing objectives and techniques as there are many do’s and dont’s to contemplate in eCommerce sales and advertising. These range from customer conversions to the general sales of each individual product.
Mull on these:
Account creation can kill conversions
23% of users will abandon their shopping cart if they need to create an account to purchase a product. Who’d have thought?!
Discounts win back customers
54% of customers will buy products that remain in their shopping carts if those products are offered at a discounted cost.
The best marketers are satisfied customers
55% of shoppers state that online reviews will influence purchasing decisions (review boards and testimonials).
Shipping charges can kill conversions
28% may abandon their shopping carts upon being presented with unexpected shipping charges.
9. “I’ll have what She’s having.“
Regarding marketing strategies, if it’s working for your competitors then why can’t it work for you?! In terms of design do not be afraid to innovate and throw your own flavour into the mix. Be different, be unique. Variety is the spice of life, and all that jazz! Add some flair and personality to both your brand and website.
The chances of a potential customer re-visiting your site will dramatically increase if it stands out from the crowd. Imagine 10 motorcars, all unique makes and models, 4 are green, 5 are blue and one is purple. Now which one of these cars do you think you will remember the make, model and colour of? Nuff said (hopefully).
10. “Here’s lookin’ at you kid.”
Google Analytics. Being able to monitor your website traffic is essential. With GA, you can monitor your website’s individual pages, track conversions, bounce rates, where your traffic is coming from and many other fundamental tracking factors that help you identify what is and isn’t luring customers to your site.