Surprisingly, most people today still do not see their website as a third-party source of revenue. It is merely a means of matching their competitor’s online presence and keeping up-to-date.
Depending on your specified business practices, a website can:
- Raise awareness for your organization and services
- Help you connect to new and emerging clients and users
- Find a new venue of profit in your organization’s culture
- Establish a vehicle that enables your users to administer and utilize your specified tools
However, the potential benefits of a web page can only be realized if done correctly. A website can drive or deter your organization depending on its look and feel and, more importantly, depending on the user’s experience. Here are four key points to keep in mind when developing/updating your website.
Reaching a broader audience
A website enables organizations to promote themselves to a wider demographic of online users across geographic boundaries. This network has the capability to build your overall brand and increase awareness of your products/services. Ultimately, the objective of the website is to support the mission/goals of your organization from building relationships to increasing awareness to retaining quality employees to increasing profit. When developing the content and language of your website, ensure that you are broadening your key messages to speak to a larger target audience. Keep your pitch simple and light and continue to re-iterate the main objective of the website; what you can offer clients, why this is important to them and what makes you different.
Today’s audiences have become more abstract and demanding in the way they communicate with the outside world. With a new wave of technology-savvy users, e-mail and instant messaging have become the primary source of communication enabling the dissemination of information in real-time with the simple click of a button. With this, a company’s ability to effectively communicate with its clients is crucial to the overall building of strong consumer-merchant relationships. Whether you are selling through retail or through an e-Commerce database, it is vital to create a powerful sense of connection with your primary consumer, driven by clear, concise and timely communication.
It is simple; today’s websites are delegating more resources to convince clients to buy their good(s)/service(s) online. From banking to grocery shopping to movie tickets, even the most trivial of our daily life routines has transitioned online to enable customers to do their transactions from the comfort of their homes. E-Commerce placements offer companies a vehicle that is more affordable and can attract a new wave of online users to help drive profits and overall revenue for the company. In considering this form of purchasing, customer service plays a key role. It is important to help your customer relax when going through the overall payment process. You should offer information on how their personal data is being used, how safe their credit card/personal identities are, the overall shipping time, and a key contact that consumers can reach out to should they run into any problems.
An effective website also looks to educate your user on who you are, what you offer and your overall business practices and foundation. It is crucial for a company to spend a good amount of time thinking about the different ways they can approach their website and communicate vital information. The number one mistake that I continue to see with websites today is the vast amount of information that is published on a given page. When laying out your pages, try to see it from the perspective of a new user:
- Is it easy to understand where you are on the page and how to get to different page sections?
- Is the text simple to read and easy to understand?
- Is there a key contact visible on each page?
In the case of your website, the first impression is important. Ensure that you have an easy-to–use layout and do not overwhelm users with information and text. Keep in mind that today’s online users will only spend an average of 13 seconds skimming a page so it is important that your site is set up to entice users to spend more time reading a given page, accessing more pages and requesting information or a live meeting with you.
Radi Hindawi is a Digital Enterprise Specialist graduate from the University of Toronto’s Communications, Culture and Information Technology program. Radi has leveraged his academic background and professional experiences in web development, online communications and digital marketing to found a digital media company and manage a successfully growing blog. For more information, please visit www.radihindawi.com