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Part 3: What is a Website?

what is a website, website development Mulligan Management Group Hudson Ohio

 

Wait. Don’t click away. I know what you’re thinking. You don’t need someone to put you in a highchair to tell you what it is. Give me your ear for just a moment and allow me to explain.

Yes, we all know in general terms what a website is; however, due to rapidly changing technologies and end-user preferences, many don’t know what an active site is in today’s competitive business environment.

In part one of this series, we demonstrated the importance of doing a deep-dive consideration of exactly  WHY your business needs a website, before merely throwing a site together. 

Part two focused on the who of website construction, gearing your website for the needs of your audience.

Today we’ll continue with the what. What must your website include, or not add, based on current technologies and preferences?

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Two Myths Dispelled

Let’s first consider two myths that must be understood if your website is to have the success it deserves.

  1. Your website is not a glorified brochure. It would be best if you did not view your website as a vehicle for one-way communication. Visitors to your site expect to interact with it, not just passively consume from it. They want to be able to accomplish their purpose using your site. So, you’ll want to consider what types of actions visitors will desire and design your website accordingly.
  2. Aesthetics and Uniqueness win the day. The mindset that if a website stands out for its beauty, quirkiness, or visual appeal, it will be successful. NO! While pleasing visual design is needed, no amount of visual appeal can compensate for a poorly constructed website. Websites must focus first on functionality.

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9 Critical Components of a Business Website: The What of Today’s Successful Sites

 

  1. Device Responsive – aka mobile responsive; but it is not limited to just cell phones. Users are browsing on all manner of devices, each with its physical dimensions (aspect ratio) as well as its customary personal use.

    Your site must adjust flawlessly to every device. It does not only mean images and fonts must scale appropriately; it also means to optimize design and navigation for each device. Mobile users typically have different goals in mind than desktop or laptop visitors, which means they have different navigational needs as well.

    Your site needs to address the needs of each, individually, making the two complementary in design and functionality rather than mobile being a small-scale little brother.

     
  2.  Speed – As attention spans continue to decrease, so does the time you have to grab your audience. Research conducted by Think with Google demonstrates the value of a second. Fail to implement a fast loading site and see potential visitors quickly flee to your competitor. Load times are equally important on mobile devices. 
     
  3. Navigation and Call-to-Action – A website’s structure and architecture must address the visitor’s needs. A well-designed site will consider the most important actions a user will want to take and make them easy to find, using clearly defined Call to Action Buttons above the fold (which is to say above the scroll line).
     
  4. Predictable and Clear – Users don’t want to be surprised when they visit your site. They want it to function like other sites they have grown accustomed. They also want to know that they have arrived at the correct place, so you’ll want to ensure that essential information about who you are and what you do is front and center, and skimmable.

    Users no longer want to be bombarded by an onslaught of clutter, be it in the form of rich text, abundant graphics, or multiple sliding images. Today’s preference is for simplicity and clarity.

    The home page for Hudson Job Search characterized provides an excellent example, using a single, large-scale “hero image,” overwritten with useful and concise messaging.

    Similarly, Google (or other search engines) is looking for accurate information that enables it to index your site correctly. For best indexing results, and therefore page ranking, each web page should have a minimum of 300-1000 words that clearly describe it. Users expect to find all necessary resources without having to leave your site including one-click directions made possible by embedding Google maps onto your website. Think about when you go to a new website, and you’re thinking of going to the location. Wouldn’t it be outstanding if you could pull up the directions from the site?

     
  5. Dynamic Content – Websites should not be static. Let’s think about it. What is today’s business climate is static? If you’re considering your website is a one and done proposition, know you’re likely setting yourself up for failure.

    Today’s consumer is savvy enough to recognize businesses that are committed to maintaining an active, dynamic web presence, and they overwhelmingly opt to do business with such entities.

    Various tools can be utilized to achieve this goal including blogs, social media links, and increasingly chatbots. Yes, chatbots are on the rise and users are beginning to embrace them like never before. With LiveChat, visitors can have their questions addressed 24/7.

     
  6. Forms to Capture Email Addresses Yes, you heard right. As we’ve already said, your website should not be one-way communication, blasting out information without receiving anything back. Visitors expect to find a subscribe form another indication that they hope new information to keep coming.
     
  7. Social Media Integration – Websites are vital to every business, but so is a presence across your customers’ favorite social media channels. Make sure they know where they can find you by incorporating hyperlinked social icons where they’re sure to look, in the footer of each webpage.
     
  8. Tracking Enabled Now that you’ve implemented the eight other What’s of Successful Websites, make sure you take the final step and enable tracking. Only then will you be able to track the effectiveness of your efforts. Put a tracking code on every page, call to action button, or another clickable element so that you can assess ROI. Don’t forget to use tracking code in your email campaigns too!

 

Other Blog Posts in Our Six Part Series on Websites

Part 1: "WHY are You Building a Website?"

Part 2: "WHO is Your Website Targeting?"

Part 3: "WHAT is a Website?"

Part 4: "WHERE Should Your Website Reside?"

Part 5: "WHEN Should You Update or Develop Your Website?"

Part 6: "HOW to Develop a Website."

Are you Ready for Your Mulligan? 

If you find it makes sense for your business to partner with a content marketing professional, our team at Mulligan Management Group will welcome the chance to sit down with you and discuss your needs. Visit our website www.mulliganmanagementgroup.com, email us at info@mulliganmanagement.com, or call De-de at 330-472-7673.

Mulligan Management Group  www.mulliganmanagementgroup.com  is a digital marketing agency located in Hudson, Ohio. Our team of professionals helps our clients build their internet presence and expand their authority online.

Our services range from website design and development to professional content creation, to social media strategies and implementation. We also offer to consult in all functional areas.

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