Those doing business in the digital age can attest to the massive earning potential that a single website can have. According to recent numbers from Statista, retail sales done over the Internet drummed up a colossal $2.84 trillion in revenues in 2018, and this may increase to $3.45 trillion later this year. The customer information from this survey is equally intriguing: people dedicate as many as 5 hours a week to online shopping, and $0.56 of every dollar they spend in brick-and-mortar stores is influenced by a digital interaction. Moreover, 1.92 billion netizens around the world are projected to make at least one online purchase in 2019.
Suffice it to say that the Internet means big bucks. When you start doing business online, you’re likely to be excited about welcoming new customers—and therefore, jumpstarting your sales and lead generation activities. But is your current website already equipped to accommodate an influx of customers? Is there a need to refurbish your primary online portal in order to maximize sales gains made on the Internet?
If the answer is yes, and you think it’s time to breathe fresh air into your website, then read on. Below are details on seven best practices for creating an attractive and profitable website—and what success indicators you’ll want to follow when you invest in a design job for your website.
Design Work That You’ll Want Done by the Pros
The surest way to get more mileage out of your website is to partner with a professional website design agency. Those who are well-versed in the related areas of branding, app design, graphic design, and UI/UX should be able to help assess your site’s strengths and points of improvement. Among the design revamps that you may want to implement on your website-in-progress are the following:
- Making the site mobile-friendly. It will pay off to expend work on the mobile-friendliness of the website, as would-be customers are as likely to access the site from a phone or tablet as they are from a PC or laptop. Your design partners will do well to refurbish the site so that it is accessible, secure, and efficient to navigate across all possible
- Adapting a good UI/UX experience for the customer. The two elements of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are closely entwined. UI pertains to how a user will interact with your site, while UX is how the user should feel while doing so. As a whole, UI/UX involves the construction of necessary features, plus an optimal path for the customer to fulfill their desired behavior—i.e., purchasing a product, booking an appointment, contacting a company representative, and other types of transactions. It also involves being satisfied by the overall experience.
- Employing a content strategy. Your agency partners should also learn the story of your brand, what it seeks to do, and who it seeks to reach—and help you articulate all of that via the website’s content strategy. In recent years, content types that have emerged as the most attractive to web visitors include curated videos, infographics, and in-depth blog articles. Consult your partners about what types of content to produce, where on the site to situate such content, and how to pair content with your overall marketing strategy.
- Giving the website credibility through its aesthetics. Potential customers often judge the credibility of a website through its aesthetics, so a bad first impression can drive them away entirely. Your design partner should work to make the site pleasing to the eye, professional-looking, relevant and on-brand, and distinct from its competitors. Right off the bat, you can ask them to shed busy colors and lines, text overloads, and clunky animation.
- Veering away from the “hard sell” look. What’s another thing that can leave a bad taste in a customer’s mouth? Many will respond: if it looks like the company is desperately hard-selling to make a sale.. As such, you’ll want to avoid text, imagery, and other features that will make the website seem like it’s full of spam. Your design partner should work with you to do the opposite, i.e. engineer a web experience in which behaviors like purchasing seem natural and inevitable.
- Assuring customers of secure browsing and purchasing. Security should be a top priority on a website whatever the case, but it will get on your customer’s good side to be transparent about your security mechanisms. Have your partner integrate features such as credit card logos and security software trust badges. Ensure that these are on display when your customer makes an online transaction.
- Incorporating features for customer assistance. If you anticipate that your customers need to field a lot of inquiries before making a purchase, then ask the design team to incorporate features that link to your customer care team. One great example is a 24/7 chat window placed on the home page. This kind of feature increases the time customers spend on your site, gives them an avenue to air their concerns, and ultimately creates goodwill between them and your brand.
Conclusion: How to Gauge the Success of Your Website
Once the hard design work is done, it will be time to evaluate your website’s performance. A website will be well on its way to success and commercial viability if it checks off on the following:
- If visitors engage well with the website, i.e. they spend a lot of time on the site, they visit more than one page, they clicking links, they leaving messages and reviews, and so on.
- If new visitors are routinely converted into paying customers.
- If one-time customers become repeat customers, and continue to visit the site in the future.
If you find partners who are willing to take on your brand’s vision and help you achieve these goals, then you can be sure that you’re in good hands, and you can expect to reap the fruits of your efforts!