The 5 Commandments Thou Shalt Follow to Build Thy Website
Launching a startup is no mean feat. You have translated your ideas into reality — but it’s only half the battle won.
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The other half [of the battle] – you need to attract customers. So, how do you do this? First things first – your website – the startup’s prime digital cornerstone. This is where potential clients and customers learn about what you have to offer. So, follow these tips and avoid common mistakes to convert customer curiosity into sales.
Desktop or phone — your website should shine
In 2015, Google rolled out a major change to its algorithms, expanding ‘mobile-friendliness’ as a ranking factor. This implies that if your site isn't optimized for mobile devices, your ranking on mobile searches will take a beating. If that isn’t reason enough to convince you, ecommerce takes it to the next level – 67 percent of mobile phone users say that they are most likely to buy products from mobile-friendly websites. For a smooth smartphone experience, use dropdown menus and checklists as a means of data entry and to utilize white space effectively. Be sure to use HTML5 instead of flash, since the latter might not be available on some phones. With mobile devices accounting for close to 50 percent of web page views worldwide, your website should display just as well on an iPhone as it would on a Macbook!
Easy navigation = happy visitors
Whatever the website, its ultimate goal is conversion — you want your visitors to take action. So put yourself in their shoes — implement a clear information architecture, i.e. the structure that defines the relationships between a site’s content and functionality. In terms of optimal navigation and User Experience (UX), your menu should guide people to what they want to find, and should be placed along the top or the side of a page. Use Heatmaps (a two-dimensional representation of data in which values are represented by colors) to evaluate which parts of your site are being clicked on the most, and what needs improvement. Top this off with a clear, actionable call-to-action, and watch your conversion rates soar.
Sluggishness is a no-no
Research shows that visitors will not wait more than a few seconds for a page to load. So, pick a good hosting company that ensures your website’s response time is within a second. Since large-sized, high resolution images slow down page rendering, optimizing images should be your first priority. In addition, it might be a good idea to use a Content Delivery Network which employs strategically located servers to enhance network capacity — it’ll keep your website from crashing even under a deluge of traffic. Remember, a fast website means a superior user experience.
AI is your friend
Artificial intelligence has moved out of the confines of science fiction and into the realm of website design. And we see this in the guise of conversational interfaces, or chatbots, and voice assistants like Siri and Google. Keep your chatbots only as informative as is required, relevant, and jargon-free. Information should be organized well to make sure the AI is intuitive. AI also gives immense scope for personalization — collecting and analyzing in-depth customer data at lightning speed and higher efficiency. Marketers can then focus on bigger issues such as how to utilize that data to improve personalization efforts. Capitalize on this trend and your bounce rate (percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave rather than viewing other pages within the same site) will fall to a minimum.
Optimize, Optimize, Optimize!
Your work doesn’t end once your website goes live. As a new enterprise, you need all the visibility you can get. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps search engines understand what your website is about, and how it will be helpful to viewers. Use concise title and meta descriptions for every page and diversify your traffic sources. Regularly review your analytics and identify parts of your funnel that are performing poorly, such as pages with high exit rates.
Most people now search for information on brands online. So, if you want them to find your business, have your SEO in place.
Often, startups will not have the budget to market themselves with full force — however, it’s essential that you use your resources creatively to build a great website. It lends credibility and transparency, and acts as a one-stop-shop for potential customers to get to know you; so don’t scrimp on your first impression!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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