What makes a good website and how do you know if yours measures up? Developing a website with your overall marketing objective at the forefront is key to reach your goals and drive valuable results for your business. Read on to find out how a marketing-led website will elevate your brand’s online presence and help you attract attention online.
You don’t need us to tell you how important your website is, and never more so than during our current online-only existence! Your website is the nerve centre for all customer activity and a seriously dynamic marketing tool – it offers an opportunity to communicate in real time, yet quite often a company’s website is treated as set-and-forget. We’re here to get you up to speed on why your site needs to be up-to-date.
Let’s start by assessing your current websites effectiveness to understand where you’re at:
Is your website responsive and mobile-friendly?
Considering that 50% of online searches (Statista) are completed on a mobile, your site must adapt to a variety of devices and screen sizes. To check your websites responsiveness, view it on different devices across different internet browsers (computer, laptop, tablet/iPad and mobile phone). The look and feel and general usability should be consistent.
Is it easy for users to find what they’re looking for?
Give users the information they want and make it simple for them to find it with straight-forward navigation. Clear and logical is best. The best way to test this is with Google Analytics metrics: if the bounce rate is high, pages per session and session time low that’s a good indication that your UX is poor. And if we've lost you with this, we'd be glad to talk you though it.
What is the overall website experience like for users?
If words like frustration, irritated and underwhelmed feature in customer feedback, it’s likely your user-experience is not up to scratch. Good user-experience comes from research: understanding what your users need, what they value and how they use your website.
Does your website’s design give the right first impression?
Your website’s design is often the first touch point with your brand for prospects and it’s look and feel will give users their first impression of your business. Cast a critical eye over your site; what words come to mind? Is the copy on brand? Are the images of high quality? Is there plenty of white space?
Can people easily contact you?
Details such as location, phone number and email address must be easy to find and inviting so users feel comfortable to get in touch.
Is your website integrated with search engine optimisation?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a no brainer. It allows your website to be found by the right people and helps immensely in driving traffic to your website. We can look into this for you as it’s quite technical!
Are you able to track your website’s performance?
Another technical one, but extremely important. Platforms like Google Analytics allow you to measure key website metrics including number of users, bounce rate and conversions. Again, we can help you check this out.
To ensure your website has a direct impact on your wider marketing and business objectives, we have a team of marketing, branding and digital experts that work together at different stages of the process. Project managed by a marketing professional, we always have the end user at the core of every decision. Designed by graphic design experts, your branding will be carried through your site and make a lasting impression. Built by local developers, your site will contain the exact functionality required to reach the desired outcome.
It’s everything behind what you see visually that makes a good website great. At PIER, we don’t just develop a website that looks the part, our process is considered to achieve your businesses needs and goals.
Here’s what you can expect from a PIER website development project:
1. Customer research
Arguably one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle is understanding your users. Putting our marketing foot forward, we take the time to gain insight about who your users are and what they need to simplify their journey on your website. This might be done through team workshops, customer surveys or key customer interviews, and gives us valuable insight to move forward.
2. User experience (UX) design
Once we clearly understand your users wants and needs, this step looks at how the information on your website is layered out so its functionality meets user’s expectations and encourages intent.
3. Detailed sitemap
A sitemap is a digestible list (with a lot of thought behind it!) showing the hierarchy of pages and navigation on your website. This needs to be agreed on by all stakeholders before proceeding.
4. Wireframe review
The sitemap is then turned into a skeletal framework of your website. Wireframes are designed to arrange website elements in the best way to reach a particular action on each page.
Your website design should be totally aligned to your brand and visually relevant to your target market. PIER Creative’s Studio Manager, Georgia Morrison, says “a beautifully designed website adds credibility to your brand and feels intuitive, modern and professional. As an important asset, and often the first touchpoint for most brands, your website should give a great first impression”.
We work alongside a group of highly regarded website developers to build your website and we project manage the entire process.
Our copywriting is SEO-driven, aligned to your brand tone of voice and provides relevant information to grab the right attention.
8. SEO integration
Use of effective meta titles, meta descriptions, lodging sitemaps in search engine consoles and installing Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics are all taken care of.
9. Launching for maximum impact
To ensure you best capitalise on this investment, we can assist in maximizing your new site’s impact with a customer launch campaign. We can also assist you in driving new traffic to your website with smart and creative online advertising campaigns.
10. Post-launch training
To ensure you can keep this new site updated, it’s important you have the ability to update minor things in house. Have a new image? Need to add a new staff member? Want to change the text? No worries. We take you and your team through a website training session (no coding experience required!) so you have the ability to complete small changes yourself. Of course we’re always here to help if needed.
So, if you think your website is not working hard enough for your business, a website redevelopment may be what you need to gain a competitive advantage and help keep you front of mind. Speak to us for ideas on how you can enhance your website to improve its effectiveness.
By Silje Eidsnes – SEO Expert and PIER Marketing Coordinator