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The Importance of a Website for Your Business

 
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We have officially entered into a digital world… a while ago. That’s a fact that most businesses or entrepreneurs have chosen to accept. Just like your products or services have adapted over time to client changes, your outlets have all become digital. Even word of mouth has become digital! Sites like Yelp or Thumbtack let reviews from complete strangers sway your decision in choosing where to get your next professional service or product from. I’ll admit, I even listen to these strangers. When I am on a mission to complete a project that is completely outside of my knowledge, I tend to use an “anything instant” sort of approach to gather my initial research. I then usually land on a few websites and narrow it down to the company with the most appealing look (and branded message for an added bonus).

Remember appealing is interpreted in so many different ways. I can’t tell you how many past clients of mine still used outdated and non-responsive sites as the starting point of “a good website to model after”. As a designer, it is my duty to point them in the right direction and show them why my interpretation of appealing is intertwined with purpose. Their concept of needing a site to appear professional in a digitally competitive world is a good starting ground, but making it easily accessible and tied to a purpose is your ultimate goal.

Where to start? My best piece of advice for any newcomer on the scene is NOT to go into it with the idea of just needing something fast, simple and cheap. This is an extension of your business that should fall in line with the same core principles you hold for the company. Simple websites can produce some incredible results for your business but make sure it falls online with your brand. Remember that your website is, a lot of times, the first image people get of you. If you showcase a half-ass unfinished site, then people are going to think your work replicates that.

Next up is content. Sorry, let me reword that. CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT. I can’t stress this enough. A lot of people interested in having a professional looking digital presence to communicate with the rest of the world need to remember that your web designer just met you. Within time, he or she will have a better view of how you would like your business to be presented. However, at the beginning stages you want to offer as much information as possible in the form of copy, photography, brochures, presentations, and videos. Anything and everything is helpful.

Businesses that are just starting may not have a lot of content or any at all. If this sounds familiar, consider re-working your business strategy into one that begins with an original brand design - a service I offer that can be viewed here. Ultimately, branding is your starting ground and the core of executing a website that appears universally whole. Every link, graphic, icon, color, and attitude need to be tied together to show there is a consistent and cohesive thought behind your presentation. Kind of like going on a first date and realizing he/she has more to offer than just their looks. The looks are the initial selling point but the conversation and personality are what keep you interested. Branding is no different. Selling your service/product with personality allows customers to get to know the human aspects that lie within the digital realm.

Last on the list is to never forget the power of mobile capability. 2017’s Black Friday sales from smartphone users accumulated a third of total online revenue. In 2018, the traditional brick and mortar shopping day spiked to almost 40% (6.2 billion in online revenue) on smartphones. It’s been climbing and climbing as eCommerce sites have been becoming more powerful and easier to use. I believe these statistics prove more to the testament of smart design than the typical “anything instant” approach I talked about earlier. Web designers and developers are not only making it easier to help people find your products online but also turning the process into a more enjoyable experience.

Basically, the more mobile friendly your website is, the higher the chance a user will land and stay on your page. You have to remember that the human mind is extremely fleeting. One minute you’re comparing prices online for products that can elevate your business, while moments later you find yourself searching for guitars made out of rare woods (welcome to my life). The harsh truth is that it now takes only seconds for a user to switch interests and find another company that offers your same service or product and in a better laid out manner. This is why mobile optimization has become an industry standard for designers worldwide. We have to always think about catering to the “now crowd” and implement strategies that benefit your business in a modernizing world.

If you are interested in website services that are catered toward your business’ specific needs, contact me here. Remember to include as much information as possible in the fields about the intended purpose of your site. We can then discuss in person or over the phone about a more detailed approach to craft the perfect look and voice your company needs, transferred into digital form.


 
Arie Opzeeland