With an online presence now an essential element of any company’s marketing remit, most business owners will have found themselves in the position of contemplating a new site or an update to an existing site in order to bolster online engagement and boost sales. As we mention frequently here on the blog, our experience over the years has led us to understand that only when considering the audience can businesses effectively reach their target client and gain full benefit from their online presence.
What do my users really want or need to gain from visiting my website?
You must consider your user’s needs when you construct a website. By engaging with your business they fulfil a need – perhaps they find a useful product to buy, restock on essentials, or hire you to do a service they are unable to do themselves. Whatever it is, they need to be able to find you and obtain the product or service they want quickly and easily. Once you’ve identified the need (the ‘why’ factor), then it’s time to think about the functionality (the ‘how’).
How can I improve accessibility, functionality and engagement in line with audience needs?
Engaging your users effectively requires a three-pronged approach. Accessibility, functionality and engagement are all key components which combine to create the impression you give of your business to visitors – and it’s this impression which compels them to buy (or not to buy). Firstly – is your site accessible? Is it easy to read, simple to navigate, a pleasure to spend time on? If text is hard to read, images fuzzy and links broken then the experience your users have is unlikely to be an enjoyable or fulfilling one. This leads straight to the next element – functionality. Your site needs to function well – everything needs to be in good working order – and you should consider which aspects may be superfluous and which will be incredibly useful for clients. Widgets, plugins and forms can be great assets to websites, but they can also prevent smooth navigation too which is off- putting for visitors. Finally consider: is your site engaging for those who visit it? If the first two elements are taken care of, have a think about the content of your site. Does the copy inform the customer well? Is it easy for them to make a purchase, reservation or get in touch? All of these things combine to make your website successful – and each is as important as the other.
For more information on building effective, successful sites continue reading the blog or take a look at our Services pages.