Designing a successful website

16/02/2021 - Booking System

Welcome to part 1 of our guide to getting a good return on investment from your website. In this article we’re looking at design.

What elements do you need to think about when designing a successful website? The team at Upshot Media reveal some of their secrets.

Build your website with clear objectives and goals in mind
Before you start out on the website design journey, think about why you are building a website for your business and what you want it to achieve for you. It’s easy to fall into the trap of publishing a company website simply because you feel it’s “the thing to do”, but would approach any other aspect of your business in this way? Surely every piece of your business infrastructure should either make your life easier or contribute to the bottom line.

What would you like your website to bring to your business?

  • Raise awareness of your organisation
  • Let potential customers know how you can help them
  • Help people to identify and solve problems
  • Educate people about a cause you are passionate about
  • Encourage people to visit your physical store/restaurant/outlet
  • Urge service users to phone you
  • Take bookings online
  • Process orders online
  • Data capture
  • Keep in touch with regular customers
  • Answer frequently asked questions

The design of your website should be all about guiding visitors through a customer journey. If your business focusses on online sales, make the home page into a shop window and tell visitors why your products are different/better than your competitors offering.
If you own a restaurant or a physical retail outlet and you want people to visit you – make sure your website tells them what your opening hours are and how to find you.

Treat your website as part of your business plan. What will it cost to build? Should you build your own website or will you use a professional web design company?  Every successful website has regular updates or maintenance? Who will do that work? How will you measure the success of your online presence?

What every website needs
Home page – Research suggests that you have four seconds to convince a website visitor that you offer the products or services they need.  Make sure your home page conveys a clear message in words and pictures.

A well placed menu with links to the most relevant information on your website. Typically this might include an “about us” page, links to your shop or booking system, contact details and/or your blog. Depending on your business objectives, you might also want the menu to display links to technical information, product ranges, a shopping cart, or a customer signup 

A blog or news page is not absolutely essential – but it’s an easy way to integrate you website with your marketing campaigns. Every new article you add has the potential to lift your search engine ranking. Plus it can be shared to social media to drive traffic to your website.

“About Us”
Your opportunity to introduce yourself and your company to your potential customers. Use words and images to create the right impression of your business ethics, your character and what sets your organisation apart from your competitors.

Contact Details
If you have an online shop or a booking system, your customers may not actually NEED to speak to you to complete a transaction – but it’s comforting to know that they can reach you if they have questions.

Words and pictures
A well designed and successful website has a nice balance between words and pictures. If you have video – that’s great too. Don’t forget to carry a consistent theme through the entire site. The navigation should be in the same place on each page. Try to keep to a simple colour palette and use the same fonts throughout.

When you trust Upshot Media with the design and development of your business website, our designer, Abi will use her considerable skills to ensure that your website is not just beautiful to look at – it will offer a great user experience too.

Check out our portfolio to see some of the successful websites built by Upshot Media

More articles about getting a good return on investment from your website.
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