In this day and age everyone knows you need a website. The problem comes into play when you don’t know the first thing about website development.
The other day I was working with a client who wants a new website. After I performed a website review, she realized why her website wasn’t working for her. As we talked about changes, she asked me to visit a site she really liked. She thought we could incorporate some of these elements.
When I went to that site it was so distracting I had no idea what it was all about. That’s when I thought, “Too many bells and whistles.”
Many people want to build their own websites and that’s wonderful. However, there are things you need to be aware of before taking on this task. Your website is part of your online presence which is critical to the success of your business. Making sure you have the right online presence is the major aspect I focus on with my clients.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Design Your Website
When it comes to your website it is probably going to be the first impression someone receives of you, your company and what you do. You need to ask yourself the following questions before building a website:
- Do I know what’s effective on a website?
- Do I know what overkill is?
- What are the features and functions my audience is going to respond to?
[Tweet “Your web design goal should be to provide a great user experience.”]
For example the other day I went to a website. There was a video on the page so I tried to watch it. Then I realized there was a button to the left that said “watch video.” The reason you have a video on your page is so that people can click the video and watch. To make them look for another button to do that is unnecessary. Why make people go that extra step? Then I tried to go to their demo page which didn’t work. How likely am I to buy anything from them after that user experience?
[Tweet “Everything you put on your website has to have a function and purpose.”]
A fancy graphic can slow your website down. This could cause people to lose interest and leave your site never to return.
Take a look at your website and ask, “What value does this graphic add to my visitors’ experiences? What benefit does it offer them? If the answer is nothing, then don’t use the graphic.
There are many add on features you can have on your website but what’s your goal? If it’s to add people to your Facebook Page then you might want to add a social networking feed that directs them there.
Questions to Ask Yourself as You Design Your Website
Let’s recap some of the questions you want to ask yourself.
- How do you decide on what features to use?
- Does it enhance my visitor’s experience?
- Is it helping me achieve build the know, like and trust factor?
- Does it slow down my website?
- Is it distracting.
One of the best ways to figure things out is by having analytics in place. This can help you know where your visitors go on your site and how long they stay. If they spend less time on a page then you might want them to, add a specific feature.If at all possible, test out the new feature to see if people are interacting with it. Are people staying longer on your site because of it? Are they buying more? Are they engaging more by signing up to your email list?
There’s no doubt that some “bells and whistles” can be valuable, but they need to support business growth.
If you’ve done your research correctly on your target audience, then you know what their goal is for coming to your site. Make sure your site provides the features that move them along the path and they will come back for more.