Making your website a hit
Creating a new website is always an exciting time, whether for a completely new business or just a re-vamp of an old page. Having just completely re-branded ourselves – we know just how exhilarating it can be! Choosing colours, images, layouts – the entire creative process is an absolute blast! We also know, however, just how easy it is to get swept away in all the fun, and lose track of what you’re really trying to achieve.
Here are five things to always keep in your mind when creating your new website:
1. What do I want this website to achieve?
Make sure you go in with the mindset that this website is being put in place for a reason. It could be that you want to make sure your business ‘keeps with the times’, or it could be because you want to win more clients. Whatever it is, keep it firmly in your mind throughout the entire creative process.
2. Who is my website supposed to be appealing to?
What is your target market for this site? This is perhaps the most important question of them all. The answer will affect all aspects of your website – the tone, the design, the content – everything! So don’t let it slip to the back of your mind. If your website is aimed at corporates, make sure the copy is formal and the layout is clean. If it’s for fashionistas, introduce some bright colours, movement or sound and use lots of images. If targeting a more mature market, make sure the font is not too small with logical navigation, so they can easily find the information they need. All of this contributes towards the success of your website – so make sure you’ve thought it all through!
3. Who are the competitors for this site? How can I make mine different to the rest?
Before going crazy on the drawing board, do some research into the other sites that you will be competing with. It’s important to get an idea on what they’re offering, because you may find a lot of aspects you did not even consider. There’s no point spending loads of money creating site if there are better, more convenient ones out there that people will prefer instead. Yours needs to be better in some aspect – you need to give people a reason to start using or looking at your website.
4. Should I use Flash or HTML?
Ah – the age-old question that still plagues so many companies today. The answer to this comes down to a few key factors.
Again, think about your target market. If they’re ‘Gen Y’ and down with computer technology, they might be expecting something visually amazing to look at. However, for more mature markets and if they’re not too familiar with using computers, too much movement on the screen could just confuse them! Only use flash where it’s needed, and if it’s going to appeal to your target.
The second thing to consider (and alot of people don’t realise this) is that while Flash may be visually impressive, it, can affect your Google search ranking (or SEO). There’s no point having an astonishingly amazing website that spins, ducks, weaves and jumps – if no one can find it. So for SEO, a HTML site with jQuery (provides some movement) is probably the best option for most businesses. For established businesses with a focus on ‘creativity’ flash elements within a HTML site may be the better option.
To get a website right takes time, so be prepared for that.
Make your website stand out from the rest – and enjoy the journey!