Media in a Box has been involved with hundreds of website builds over the years, and though technology has advanced, we do still find that business owners and board of directors have big knowledge gaps for website design and development. Some factors seem to be applicable regardless of the size of their business. However, it seems to be smaller businesses that fall foul more than larger businesses, and it is these businesses that have a lot to lose, with smaller amounts of budget, smaller amounts of resource, and smaller amounts of time.
These days, a website for your business is just as important as to how your bricks and mortar presence looks. It is this point we are going to start with, how the site looks? If you are reading this, and are looking for a website at the moment, I would suggest that you have an idea, in your mind’s eye, of what the website will look like? That’s brilliant because the design of your website is really important. It is your identity, a representation of what your business stands for. The other crucial point is that people make a determination about you, based on what they see. This is why the website design needs your input. If you do not get involved with your developer and do not guide them in what you are looking for, telling them what you do and don’t like then you will receive something that you are not happy with. However, it is also important that you listen to your developer as well. Listen to the things that they have built which have worked really well in past designs, and delivered a fantastic user experience for other companies.
User experience is crucial. Your business does not have a God-given right to conversion. Users are coming to you for a reason. The question you have to ask is, “Can your prospective and existing users find what they need, in the shortest number of clicks?” We always ask our clients to think about their own experiences when looking at websites, and searching for things. As consumers, we know what puts us off when searching on websites. If we cannot get to where we want to be, if we cannot find what we need then we bounce off the site and go and look at a competitor site. It is about the design, but it is also about the information that we find on a website and the speed at which we can access it.
So, here you are, you have decided on the framework and design of what your website will look like. This is almost like the bodywork on a brand new car that you have designed. But what are you going to put under the hood of the vehicle? Will it be a Robin Reliant engine or the engine of a Ferrari? The website design can be the slickest, most appealing in the whole of the world. However, if the content is not relevant, not appealing and the images are of a poor resolution then it is more than likely that people are put off. The written content is important. It is what entices people to engage with your business. It is also important that search engines like the content you are uploading as well. It should be relevant to your business and the products and solutions you supply. The page titles should represent the main elements of what the content is about. These are generally the keywords that are most relevant to the content and the keywords that your audience are using to find you for this product or solution. Paying that little bit extra for a good developer to write the content for you and a little bit extra for a skilled photographer to come and produce fantastic high-resolution image set for you is, in our opinion, massively important. Not only does your website have a better chance of ranking for the keywords that are the most important to your business, but the imagery also looks professional and gives the user the experience you deserve. In addition, the imagery can be used in other things you may have like a brochure, some leaflets or new point of sale merchandisers. In a competitive market for most businesses, this could be the difference in increasing business or not.
Then we come to powering the website. Hosting is important. The speed of websites is now a significant ranking factor for search engines. If your developer has built a good website where compression has been completed correctly, images optimised then you need a speedy hosting option as well. It is amazing how many businesses buy hosting with levels that really restrict their business. Getting the correct level of bandwidth, the type of server that the hosting company is using, whether it will operate seamlessly when you have major traffic spikes, and whether your business is sharing a server with 15B other companies are all things that you should consider. Cheap is not always best. The other major consideration for when your business is choosing a hosting company is the support desk. Can you get hold of them quickly, do they respond to email quickly, do they operate out of hours (because you know that your website is guaranteed to go down at night or on the weekend)?
Having a good web design company with good developers is crucial. It is important that the web developer you choose understands how search engines work as well. If you are launching a website then it is important that the website has the best chance to be found. A good design is important but it is not the be all and end all. The content needs to be search engine optimised and the images tagged properly. Ensuring that your chosen developer is providing good hosting is another consideration.
We at Media in a Box love designing and building websites. Nothing gives us greater pleasure than seeing a website go live. We build with search engines in mind and our hosting is of a premium level. We generally give at least one year of hosting free of charge when we build a website. Our support desk is always on hand, or our partners within the business. Though we are not the cheapest website design business, we are not the most expensive either. One thing we can guarantee, we build websites as if they are for our own business.
Website design and development does not have to be challenging to your business, or time-consuming. If you are considering a new website then we would love an opportunity to talk to you. You can contact us or call us on 01233 878233.