In today's digital environment, everyone can (and should, and probably does) have their own website. DIY tools make building a website affordable and relatively easy. Given the abundance of those tools, it can be tempting for everyone from the individual to a Fortune 500 company to consider building their own cheap, simple website rather than spending the time and money to craft a website with a qualified design team.
However, this is one area where trying to cut corners can really impact a company's bottom line. A simple website, no matter how professional it looks on the surface, will simply not drive the kind of engagement that results in leads and sales. A website that drives a successful online presence will have a lot going on behind the scenes in order to attract and retain visitors and get results.
Here are a few elements that go into creating a high-quality website - you can't always see evidence of these on the site itself, but they build the backbone of a site's success.
User Personas and User Journey Mapping
This sounds obvious, but there's a big difference between you and your website's end users. You're already familiar with the ins and outs of your company and its products or services. The odds are that you will be able to navigate your own website no matter what, but that's not the case for someone coming to it fresh off of a Google search.
That's why a key element of creating a successful site is to take the time to understand the people who actually need to use your site. Using market research in your field, your own experiences, and data from your existing website, you can start to create profiles of the people who will use your new site. What are their goals, their purchasing power, their familiarity with your field and your company?
Another element of creating the ideal user experience is user journey mapping. At points in the design process, it's useful to imagine specifically how a user will move through the website. What do they see first, how do they get to where they want to go, where are any points of frustration or confusion, and how can you guide them toward your desired outcome (signing up for more information, making a purchase, etc.)? You can do this yourself as you start to build your site, and then continue it through user testing as you get closer to having a finished website.
Your website is only one part of a winning online presence. A strong digital marketing plan combines SEO strategies with research and testing to drive the right visitors to your site. There are several aspects of SEO-driven website implementation that really separate a successful web presence from a basic website.
The structure of your website is important both for user experience and search engine optimization (SEO). Users need to be able to easily navigate through your site, whether you choose a hierarchical, sequential, or web structure. Similarly, a well-organized structure with clearly named subpages will help your search engine results.
Schema is a vocabulary of microdata tags, used in conjunction with HTML, that help search engines display better results for your website. Confused? Don't worry, you don't have to understand the ins and outs of schema markups - your digital design and marketing team will take care of that. But it's important to understand the value of SEO and the importance of keeping your website up-to-date. With schema markups, the major search engines will display results for your website that include snippets of key information, rather than random bits of data, ideally driving more visits.
The Right Team
Working with the right digital marketing team is critical to creating a website that goes beyond the basics to give your company improved returns. At Synchronicity, we work hard to understand your unique story, design a website that serves your needs, create a successful digital marketing plan, and track your results.
When we start collaborating on a client's website, whether they already have an online presence that needs polishing or are starting from scratch, we take the time to dive deep into their history, their goals, and the impression they want their website to convey. We identify the challenges their digital marketing needs to overcome and strategically craft their new web presence. We make sure their site combines a compelling narrative with impeccable usability to generate the ROI they need. And once their new web presence has launched, we monitor and analyze the results to help them refine their strategy.
If you're looking to move your company away from a simple website and toward an effective online marketing plan that generates sales and leads, contact us today to learn more about Synchronicity's digital services.