The era of bricks & mortar companies is long gone. Nowadays, the great majority of the companies turned into bricks & clicks, even though they still make 90% of their earnings offline. That’s because having a firm online presence turns you into a go-to company when clients need advice or a high-quality product.
Many people, when doing some digging regarding a product, do lots of online research about it and the company that produces it. If the client is a first-time buyer and your company has no online presence whatsoever, he’ll tag you as a shady company. People don’t buy products from shady companies, do they?
When you are running a mature or teenage company, you can say “I’m not gonna invest lots of money into my site. Clients already know my company and products, they’ll come by themselves.” Even so, If you are the owner of a startup company, your clients don’t know you, they don’t know your products, there are only a few online reviews. A powerful and impactful online presence it’s vital. How can you achieve this? By having a top-notch site.
Here are the most important rules you need to follow when creating and designing a site for your startup.
Take Your Shovel, It’s Time to Do Some Digging
I will tell you a secret, in marketing, everything starts with some digging. Remember this, dirty hands mean clean money. Apart from this, you have to know where you are at and where you want to go.
For a startup owner, the best way to develop his company’s site is to have an incremental approach towards the process. This is approach uses the least amount of resources and will help you keep on a tight budget.
Implement Your Research’s Conclusions
Alex Grey, AussieWritings.com’s Lead Designer confirms “Know all your competitors, research each of their sites thoroughly. Company A might have a user-friendly menu, “steal” it and adapt it to your company’s needs. Company B’s site might have an outstanding backend design, send it to your developer, he’ll have some strong guidelines.”
What conclusion can we draw from this?
- Know Your Competition
- Implement Competition’s Strong Points Into Your Site
- Add Elements Your Audience Considers Useful (Breadcrumbs, anyone?)
Extra tip: Try adding heat maps to your website. They will help you figure which elements your audience likes and which they don’t. Thus, you find out what kind of content your audience likes and you can replace the ones they barely look at. Your site will turn into their favorite playground.
Fonts & Colors
I guess we all love how the green background and the gold fonts blend in together. NOT! When you decide which colors should be used for your site, take this quick quiz.
Right, you’ve decided about the main color of your site, now it’s time to choose a color palette which will be suitable for that color. By choosing a color palette you will make sure you don’t make the green and gold mistake any rookie designer will make.
This way, you will avoid any unaesthetic flaws in your design and you will make sure the users will have a pleasant experience when visiting your site.
The “F” Rule
Don’t you dare thinking about the nasty F word. Here we talk about sites and design. More and more studies have shown that customers read a site’s content in an “F” pattern. They start from top-left part of the screen, read bits of information from the first paragraphs and lower their eyesight. During this process, they give less and less importance to the right side of the screen, especially when going through the lower part of the page.
This being said, here’s what we should conclude. Instead of trying to change your viewers’ reading habits, try to adapt your site’s design to them. The most important information should be on the left-hand side of the screen. The least important one on the right-hand side and lower on the page(preferably below the fold)
Mobile Devices For the Win
According to Smart Insight’s research, during the recent years, mobile devices have overpassed PC internet usage by more than double. In the US, mobile devices were used 71% of the time, that’s more the double the PC usage. That’s not all, in Indonesia, the usage rises to 91%. That means 9 in 10 minutes spent online, by users, employed mobile device usage. Ten years ago, who would’ve thought we’d get here? Are PCs slowly becoming legacy products?
For you to take full advantage of these changes in consumer behavior, you need to have a fully responsive site. Take your chunky site and turn it into an easy-flowing, mobile friendly. For you to keep on that tight budget, I’d recommend you do it by yourself, here’s how you can do this.
A very appealing car, with a poor engine, won’t get any attention. It needs to run as smooth as it looks. For this you need to call that developer friend of yours, he has some work to do.
Here are the things you need to focus on for you to have a site with outstanding backend performances:
- Smooth and Simple Code Lines
- Hosting(Find out which suits you best)
- XML Site Map
- Broken Links
- 301 & 302 Redirects
- Meta Descriptions and Alt Tags
- Internal Links Structure
These are one of the most basic aspects you should take into consideration when reviewing the performances of your site. A good web developer would be able to offer you exhaustive information regarding this issue and will improve your users’ experience.
When you run a small company, a startup, is vital to have a great marketing approach towards your customers. Nowadays, it’s vital to have an online presence, sites are becoming a necessity, rather than a luxury.
Before starting to design your site, do some digging, find out what your competitors are doing and what they are doing bad. Implement those beneficial elements into your design.
Last, but not least, you should focus on your users’ experience, thus pay attention to the color palette you choose, your site’s mobile device friendliness, and its performance.
About author: Olivia is a young journalist who is passionate about topics of career, recruitment and self-development. She constantly tries to learn something new and share this experience on different websites. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.