The class is filled with a wide range of entrepreneurs; high school and college students, recent college graduates, high school teachers, and IT consultants. Their online experience ranged from never designed a website before to an iOS developer with multiple personal websites.
We kicked off the day with people sharing websites that they love and why they love them. We challenged them to think about why they love the website and what the website is trying to accomplish. Grantland, Pinterest, Netflix, Amazon, Twitter, Soccer, and ESPN.
As people described why they loved these websites, several shared that personalization was helpful. Sites like Netflix and Amazon keep track of your behavior on their website and taylor the experience that shares content that you’re more likely to enjoy. This growing trend of context marketing is conditioning more and more users to expect customization when they visit a website.
Here is a overview of what we discussed!
Why does your website matter?
Your website is the virtual representation of your physical existence. Your online image should reflect your offline identity.
As Internet usage grows, websites becomes increasingly significant to operations. Things like filling your sales funnel, finding employees, attracting suppliers/distributors, and public relations are just a few. Unlike an external platform, you have complete control of your web design strategy.
Types of organizations
- Brick & Mortar – offline only products/services.Example: the grocery store, landscaper, etc.
- Click & Mortar – offline & online products/services. Example: Best Buy, Verizon, Wal-Mart, and Amazon.
- Click & Order – online only products/services. Example: The App Store, ThemeForest, Facebook, etc.
What makes a good website?
A good website is built on a solid foundation, so good development is the first step in a good website. A website’s framework needs to be stable and secure. This will prevent the site from breaking as technology advances. It is also going to require hosting that is fast and scalable. Fast page load time is key to a positive end user experience. It can be hard to make a first impression when visitors are hitting the back button before your web page even finishes loading.
People view a website from a lot of different devices. Responsive website design allows you to build one website that is ready to provide visitors across devices a positive viewing experience.
A good website is also dependent on good design. The best design is both visually appealing and strategically integrated into the website’s end goal.
Take Square for example. Square is an application for iPhones and iPads. It allows sellers to process credit card payments right on their iPhone or iPad. It lowers the costs and barriers to entry for small businesses who are trying to service more customers. Right on their homepage they answer these questions:
- What do you do?
- How do you do it?
- How much does it cost?
- How do I sign up?
- Do you accept American Express?
They have made this information extremely easy to consume and clearly defined the next step, sign up. This is a great approach for a company with a shallow sales funnel. All they are really looking for visitors to do is sign up and receive a credit card reader.
Great content is the sweet aroma that attracts visitors for the first time and keeps them coming back for more. Content can take tons of different forms; blog posts, static pages, YouTube videos, eBooks, webinars, and FAQ pages just to name a few.
What is conversion?
In the business world, conversion is often linked to traffic, leads, sales, and repeat activity.
Traffic is the first step in conversion and happens on every website: converting strangers to visitors. A few traffic generation tactics:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Marketing
- PPC Advertising
- Email list marketing
The second step in conversion occurs when a website visitor becomes a lead. When this happens there is a simple information exchange taking place. In this situation, a company provides a piece of valuable content in exchange for a lead’s contact information and their permission to be marketed to in the future.
The third step is engaging and building a relationship with leads through marketing automation. An example of this is sending a follow up email after someone has downloaded an eBook from your website. This sequence of emails is designed to provide additional education to the lead and help nurture them to the point where their ready to make a purchasing decision one way or another.
The last step in conversion happens after someone has become a customer. Now it is time to turn them into a life time advocate for your business and keep coming back for more. Marketing automation helps to keep consumers engaged even after they make the first purchase.
The students in our course are working out their ideas with each other and setting goals about what they want to accomplish this week. You should do the same! Download The Complete Web Design Strategy Checklist and start putting your goals on paper. It will be worth your time!