Brands

5 Ways to Build a Better Website

A company’s website is the most important marketing tool it has. To be successful, a brand must make sure that its website is attractive and keeps users coming back for more.

In the past, when people wanted to learn about a new company, they would read a brochure, rely on advertising or word of mouth, or call up the company itself. These days, people visit a business’ website to learn about its products, employees, history, and values.

Here are five ways to transform a company’s website to a go-to destination for consumers.

1. Make Text Easy to Understand

Visitors to a site don’t want to have to pull out a dictionary. As Web 2.0 blog points out, marketers should stay away from flooding their sites with insider knowledge or industry jargon. “If an 11-year-old can understand everything, you are golden,” writes author Monika Jansen.

2. Avoid Flash

If visitors have to download Flash to access a website, that’s a huge problem because Internet illiterate people will not be able to sign on, iPad and iPhone users will be cut out, load time will be slower, and it will be a hassle for users.

“Flash graphics pages are great if you want to get in an occasional message, but in general, they are a stop sign in the middle of the road,” warns TareeInternet, a web design and SEO company. “Website traffic is crucial to a successful site, so, as a rule, you do not want to irritate the traffic by using flash pages with graphics on your site.”

3. Stay Away from Splash Pages

In addition to Flash, Taree cautions against using splash pages. If users have to click an image or logo to enter a site, they will likely already be annoyed.

“Studies have shown that as many as 25% of the traffic to a website will leave right after encountering a splash page,” writes author James Bishop. “It’s as simple as this, if you have 25% of your traffic leaving before seeing your ads, services or products you are losing out on 25% of your potential income.”

If the end goal for companies is to make money, and websites are the channel in which to do so, it’s best to stick with design methods that receive that most traffic.

4. Add Social Media Buttons

If a company uses social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Pinterest, it needs to promote the heck out of them on its website and ensure that the buttons are easy to find. With one click, the Facebook button should take visitors to the company’s fan page, where the ‘like’ button should also be prominently displayed.

According to a study from Facebook itself, “the average media site integrated with Facebook has seen a 300% increase in referral traffic.”

Facebook reported that “Levi’s saw a 40 times increase in referral traffic from Facebook after implementing the Like button in April 2010,” and after American Eagle added a button to every single product on their site, it “found Facebook referred visitors spent an average of 57% more money than non-Facebook referred visitors.”

Customers are much more likely to integrate brands into their newsfeed and Twitter feed than they are into their bookmarks bar, so it’s highly crucial that the buttons are on a brand’s site.

5. Simple Is Effective

Websites that are easy to use at first glance will draw more visitors. To produce a functional website, blogger Renee C. Quinn suggests creating a main navigational menu that is constant throughout the site.

This way, “no matter where they venture to on your website, your clients can always get back to where they started,” she says.

She also says that the menu should be divided into categories, and that all pages should, for the most part, be uniform in their design.

Image courtesy of Victor Correia/shutterstock

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