Business development 6 April 2016

Six ways to create a website that works for your micro firm

micro firm website
Good design solves problems by shining a light on what is important
It may seem like a website owner just got lucky, is ahead of the curve, or has a must-have product, but having a successful online presence all comes down to design, as Alchemy Digital’s Will Morris explains.

Having a world class website never happens by accident. Having a website that engages visitors never happens by accident either. Having an extremely popular and well visited website? You can probably guess where were heading.

How many websites did you visit today? Chances are, you can’t recall.

And while we all know the Facebook website, and maybe eBay or Twitter, actually remembering what sites we visit less frequently look like is even trickier.

You probably remember a terrible online experience though. One that left you disappointed, confused or worse. Visitors to a badly designed website are far more likely to notice bad design than they are to notice a brilliant one.

So how do you achieve good design?

Well-planned sites make life easy. They solve problems by shining a light on what is important, and lead users straight to it, allowing decisions to be made easily, and highlighting content that you need or want in your life. Your visitors will not engage with you unless you followthese good design principles.

(1) Know your customer

Start by understanding the scenario you are designing for. Be honest with yourself, and your company. Do you really know who your visitors are? What are they interested in, and how do they want to use your service? Be entirely focused on your audience, and then focus on how your website should cater for them. If you can do that they will engage with you, and not your competitor’s website.

(2) Tailor your content

Provide your audience with something they want. Simple. The most engaging websites are the ones which have content entirely focused on you. News sites gradually get accustomed to the stories which you find interesting. Facebook does even more. The stories are all focused on your friends and family, creating a feed which is only really interesting to you.

The content on your website cannot be as focused as a Facebook newsfeed, but the point remains. If you understand what your target visitor wants and needs you can give it to them. Misunderstand your audience at your peril.

What about attracting customers to your site?

Attracting new visitors to your website is long argued point. Marketeers love talking about organic/paid marketing strategies, and throw in terms like above the line, below the line, and immersive advertising. Ultimately, though, there are very simple ways of gaining new visitors.

(3) Be honest

You can’t trick Google with cleverly coded keywords in your website it’s too clever. So just write honest content on your website, do it frequently, and make sure what you’re posting is varied.

(4) Get mobile