Website Design and Development
A website is not merely a doorstop, a convenient tool prospects might note in passing on their way to becoming great customers. It is much more, a crucial part of your online marketing plan that conveys your purpose, values and sensibilities to the people you most want to work with and serve.
Savvy marketers appreciate the potential inherent in their websites, and understand the value of their online real estate for generating profits.
Why Do I Need a Website?
A website (specifically, a good one) accomplishes a number of goals on a number of levels. On a basic level, it conveys information: who you are, what you do, where you’re located, and how prospects or existing customers can find you. On a slightly more advanced level, especially if you have an e-commerce site, it serves as an aggregation of resources or products that your clients and customers can buy – or that they can browse and buy over the phone, book a service, etc. On an even higher, almost metaphysical level, it shows customers that you care. You care enough to put it up; you care enough to make sure it’s complete; you care enough to design it well.
Of course, let’s not forget the most foundational level of all, which is that a website allows you to be found online by the prospects already searching for you. Done right, your site draws them in, sells them on your offerings, and converts them into (fingers crossed) a lifelong customer.
Does Design Really Matter?
In a word, yes. Much like the site itself, design serves you on many different levels, some physical and some psychological. First, good design enables users to click around and find what they’re looking for without becoming lost or bewildered. This is important, considering that confused or mistrustful customers quickly leave, probably never to return. A website also allows you to engage with customers, provide service, educate them and provide a “storefront” when you’re asleep … none of which you can do if customers can’t navigate well.
However, on a loftier level, good design accomplishes the same goal that a website itself does: demonstrating to customers that you care about your business. This, in turn, tells a prospect that you care about them, and subtly implies you will spend the same time and energy on their happiness that you’ve spent on your site.
If you don’t have a website yet, or if – almost worse – you’re using a terribly antiquated model from years ago, it’s time to re-up. You need a domain name that is at least somehow related to your business; a responsive site that leverages mobile traffic; expert design that engages rather than confuses customers; colors, typeface and images that communicate your brand; and content that loads quickly. While you can apply many types of icing to this cake, this is the required foundation.
Where Should You Start?
If you already have a site, getting an objective third party Website Review & Critique can boost the value and productivity of your site by making sure it is everything it should be. If you don’t yet have a site, then your first step is to talk with an experienced, professional designer who can help you convey your online message in the best, simplest way possible. Never forget that your website is the jumping-off point of the rest of your online marketing efforts – and indeed, many of your social media marketing and demand marketing endeavors as well. It’s worth taking the time to do it right.