Creating Websites that Work
As a business owner, by now you probably have or, know that you should have, a functioning website. But how do you know if your website is really working for you?
We spoke with Sam Allan, owner and creative director of Onfire Design, about what makes a successful website.
The internet is increasingly the place where a potential customer begins their search. Your company’s homepage is like a retailer’s shop front. We all know the saying first impressions last, so if your company’s ‘shop front’ lacks appeal, relevance or impact, potential customers could be leaving your website without ever getting past the homepage.
How do you use those few crucial seconds to drive customers to the engine room of your website? Sam believes there are three key building blocks required for web success:
1. Getting Your Messaging Right
A common trap for businesses is developing the content for their website themselves. Unless there is an experienced copywriter on your team, you can end up with a website that speaks in a way that you might understand, but doesn’t necessarily appeal to your target audience. And doesn’t really reflect the nature of your business or brand. An experienced marketer can assist you to understand who your audience is and the language that is going to appeal to them.
2. Search engine optimisation
How does your site rank on Google?
There are now over one billion live websites worldwide – so how can you ensure that yours is getting found? The answer is SEO.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it describes a process that ensures your website ranks above others when people are searching. SEO helps optimise the way that a website performs on search engines such as Google and there are specific tactics and tools you can use to increase your ranking.
3. Ease of use
Can your website be viewed from any electronic device?
With multiple hand held devices available for surfing the net, there is no such thing as a standard screen size which means we have had to adapt the way we develop new websites to ensure user-friendly navigation. Few things lose customers more quickly than not being able to view your website how and when they want to.
The solution? You can build a main site and a second condensed version known as a mobile site for smaller devices, or you can build a single responsive website, one that automatically adjusts its size depending on the device it’s being viewed on.
Surtees Boats build great boats and have won multiple awards. To improve Surtees’ online presence, Onfire created a custom website that is visually appealing, easy to navigate, search engine optimised and features the latest responsive technology – so that the website fits any size screen from desktop computers, tablets to smartphones. The site has a comprehensive extranet system with media and dealer asset management. The results have been quantifiable, tangible and significant: an increase in web traffic and lead generation.
“We’re delighted with the new website Sammo and the Onfire team have built for us. Customer feedback has been excellent. Can’t ask more than that.” Cliff Schick, Sales Director, Surtees