Many business owners and marketing managers are looking to design a new, more effective website, or to update their existing website. A lot of the hype in so called “dynamic” and “creative”
business websites actually misleads companies from doing what is best.
In other words, a lot of businesses are in fact hurting themselves and losing prospective customers by having fancy websites, rather than functional ones.
Unless you have a business related and clear-cut reason to include features such as Flash and Java script – it should probably not be included – and if it is then it should be done so in moderation.
These can make a web page cumbersome and slow to load. What’s more, you can actually harm your search engine rankings because the web crawlers see it as “filler” rather than useful and informative content.
Unless you’re in the TV or movie business, your website does not need to, and should not, look and sound like a movie. A nice-looking and brief instructional or informative embedded video is plenty.
It’s also a very bad idea to have a website that automatically launches a video or music without giving the visitor any say in the matter. This can be off-putting.
People feel that their time is precious and if someone has a short amount of time or is trying to comparison shop or do some research, this kind of video will have them rushing off (annoyed) and not looking back.
Make all videos and all music an option that the visitor can choose to click to start. And make the “off” and “pause” buttons clear and placed in obvious locations.
Few things in the online experience are more upsetting to a visitor than wanting to stop a video or music from playing and not being able to immediately figure out the way to do so.
What to Focus On
When it comes to designing your website, it’s all about the visitor – it’s not about you. When you are consumer and visitor centered and focused, you will get the results you want.
Designing a website that pleases you may seem fun and fulfilling, but it may very well not be what’s right for your website visitors.
Sure, to a certain extent it’s got to be something that you’re happy with, but ask yourself what qualities it must have to entice your visitors to be converted to buyers.
Aesthetics and dynamics are only minor concerns compared to practicality and end-user satisfaction. The user’s process of searching the website for information should not be disrupted.
In fact it should be made simple and efficient. When people are searching through a business website, they are not looking for fun and games. They’re looking specifically for information about your products, services, and your company. Nothing should pop up without someone voluntarily clicking for it to do so. The design of the website should enable browsing from one section to another to be seamless.
Above all else, don’t try to please everybody with your website. Createyour website to attract the business of a certain niche. Figure out what your niche is and design your website around it.
You want to rank high in the search engine rankings and by targeting a niche you stand more chance of doing this than with a too-general website. If you think that you can meet the needs and demands of more than one niche, you can always have more than one website!
Designing a business website is all about practicality, functionality and getting optimal results. It’s not all about making it a work of art or attracting a bunch of people to see your website. It’s about converting visitors to buyers and customers.
Image Credit: Ihtatho