The ultimate success of a website is proven after nearly all of the work has been completed and it either A) achieves, or B) fails to achieve the only meaningful desired outcome—effectively serving your target audience.
You can achieve your website goals with the right skill set and a well planned strategy. Start with an understanding that of the hundreds (even thousands) of strategic and tactical variables that come into play for each website; attaching the website outcome to a core group of 6 critical areas will keep you focused from the start, so you can achieve your website goals.
Do any of the following website visitor’s thoughts resonate with your primary website goals?
- "This company looks like they can solve my problems at my price range, I will contact them now."
- "I finally found this industry leading expert who seems to understand my challenges and needs, I will contact him (her) now to see if it makes sense for us to work together."
- "This website made it easy to find what I was looking for and the website looks credible, I will go ahead and make my purchase now – hopefully the checkout process is quick and easy."
- "This organization looks trustworthy, their data is backed by reputable sources and they look like they know what they are doing – they seem like the kind of people I can send my money to and will follow through as advertised; I will contact them now."
Start by identifying your website goals, then review and discuss them with an expert. Your objective is to discover the website strategy that best fits your unique situation to help achieve your website success.
Serving your website visitor's needs is your top priority. Whether as a solution to their problem or a source of entertainment, your website visitors' satisfaction must be your focus.
Website Visitors Seek You Out for One of Two Reasons
- Solve problems
Aligning your offerings with website visitors' needs is the key to high visitor satisfaction and your website design. The more effectively and quickly your website resonates with your target audience as a source of relief from their pain (problem) or as entertainment — the more people you will turn into fans, clients, customers, and users... the more people will talk about you, refer you, like and respect you... the more they will need you, see you as a trusted source, ally, friend, business partner, guru.
6 Critical Areas to Website Design
A good website strategy is to manage your goals by focusing on 6 critical areas of website design:
#1 Website Design & Development
You want to have a thorough understanding of how your website goals will be supported by the website design. You also want to know how the website development will facilitate the necessary functional requirements to support your website goals.
Find out how Website Strategy, Design, and Development work together to achieve your website goals.
#2 Website Usability and Trust
Be sure your website will be designed to promote the appropriate use of messages and presentation of your content and navigation. People trust things that make sense to them, it's your job to ensure what they read and see builds trust by showing them how their needs will be met. Put yourself into the shoes of your website visitors to discover how to most quickly meet their needs to prompt their decision of “Yes, I’ve found the right place.”
You can easily gain a lot of perspective about how website visitors make decisions, learn about website usability from the same person hundreds of thousands of web designers and marketers have learned from, see our recommendation of Steve Krug’s book “Don’t Make Me Think”.
#3 Mobile/Responsive Website
Whether you realize it or not, people use all kinds of devices to find, search, read, and browse your your website. Many people even simultaneously use their cell phone, tablet, and PC to achieve a single online task.
To help your users along, you can provide them with the optimal presentation of your online content from a single source – delivering the same content formatted for all possible device types – this is achieved with “responsive website design”.
Responsive website design allows a web page to be viewed at 100% focus, for easy browsing, reading, viewing, and sharing, whether the visitor is using a mobile phone, tablet, or PC. You will increase website page views, visitor retention, satisfaction, leads, sales, shares and referrals with a responsive designed website.
#4 SEO Website Design
Is SEO a part of your marketing plan? Then knowing up-front how your website design and development directly support your SEO strategy, will ensure your website is built to facilitate a well-planned SEO strategy. There is a lot of noise out there about SEO… become familiar with the possibilities and the work involved.
#5 Website Speed & Scalability
How long do you wait for a web page to load before you give up and try another source? How much patience do you have viewing a slow website? The vast majority of internet browsers expect a web page to load in 3 seconds or less – but 1 second is the magic number. Get an understanding of how your website will be built to deliver pages quickly to ensure slow page speed is not a factor that will hinder your website goals.
Amazon and Google released test results of how page speed impacts their revenue. See their published results Slow Website Speed = Cash Out the Door.
#6 Website Content Management
When it comes to managing your website’s content which is comprised of files, text, images, videos etc. you have many options. From small businesses and bloggers to the largest multi-national companies on the planet, starting your website with an open-source content management system preferred. We specialize in developing custom websites using the two most renowned open source content management systems website software: Drupal, and Wordpress.
Drupal is a world-renowned free (open-source) software that facilitates the development, organization, management and publishing of your website and content. Here is a list of famous websites built with Drupal.
Wordpress is a widely used blogging platform that continues to gain ground as a full content management system as well, handling the entire development and publishing of your website and content. Here is a list of notable websites built with Wordpress.
It takes a lot of perspective, insight and planning to design a strategy that will deliver a website that achieves its intended goals.
Achieve your website goals by first documenting them and developing a thorough understanding of how your website will be designed and developed to help meet the goals. Focus heavily on visitor satisfaction and how it will be addressed through your website. Use the 6 critical areas as a compass to keep you on track. Build your website design and development strategy with your end goals in mind, including visitor satisfaction, and the 6 critical areas as your guide; and you are well on your way to achieving your website goals.
Explore the 6 critical areas of website design in further detail.
Need help getting your thoughts together? Simply contact Erik for an expert analysis and quote.