Have you ever paused to reflect as to why most commercial websites are not living up to their real potential, while others are?
Look at this problem from an online marketing point of view. After all, a website has only 2 main tasks.
- It should be able to represent the brand and all that it wants to portray
- It needs to work well 24/7
In other words, your brand’s website should be the ideal showcase for all your brand’s online marketing efforts. At the same time, it should also try to convince the potential customer to purchase the product.
The web design industry as a whole takes care of both these issues by designing websites that are not just eye-catching but also fully functional too.
The Aesthetic Appeal of Your Website
So how do you get a website that effectively represents your brand’s image? You can begin by spending some time and attention on the website’s ‘front end.’ That is the aesthetic aspect of the site.
However, when you’re trying to revamp the website’s front end, you must do it in a manner that doesn’t affect the ‘backend’ operations of the site.
For example, if the site does not open within a second or two at most, the visitor will lose interest even if the website looks great.
Your brand’s website should be the ideal showcase for all your brand’s online marketing efforts.
An Audience-Focused Website
Apart from that, great websites offer something to their target audience that they can resonate with. In some cases, a website designer will try to gauge the response of the target audience by using their own personal judgments.
They will use their own experience to create the best option for the website. This is not always the right approach. Especially, if the designer has no experience in designing a site for a specific target audience that belongs to a specific niche! In this case, their previous work will not be of any help because of the difference in the target market.
The best thing to do would be to study your competitors’ websites and get a feel of the kind of design features, colors, and fonts, etc. that are being used in your industry. If they have been around a long time, they probably do have a good understanding of their target audience.
You can then use their approach to get inspired for your own website.
Content vs. Speed: What Should You Choose?
Regardless of how great the front end or visible part of the website may be, it may not work if your website has not been set up properly and is prone to frequent breakdowns. It is extremely important to ensure that there is little to no lag time and that your site is crash proof.
Many websites go for optics and prefer content over speed. While content is certainly very important when it comes to generating and holding the interest of the target audience, it is not the only criteria. If the rich content integral to your website design creates latency issues, then it is a waste of time and effort.
Is a Website’s Speed That Important?
Ultimately, the faster the website opens and displays its content, the higher the chances of a potential customer making a purchase. So in other words, yes a website’s speed really is a crucial factor.
Apart from that, the algorithms employed by the more powerful search engines can also detect the speed of a website. This means that slower sites will end up at the back of the queue regardless of the value and richness of their content.
The faster the website opens and displays its content, the higher the chances of a potential customer making a purchase.
Latency: The Bane of an Online Business
Your competitors’ fast-loading websites will end up with a distinct advantage over your website. Not only will they end up being a part of the ‘holy grail’ of website visibility i.e. ranking on Google’s first page, but they will also be able to make quicker sales!
Since potential customers won’t have to wait to see a picture of their desired product, they might make the purchase decision on the spot. Ergo they will press the ‘buy’ icon instead of spending time browsing other sites that offer similar wares in the same product category.
As a general rule, the latency rate is inversely proportional to the interest of a potential customer. If it lags too much, the visitor will leave in search of greener pastures where they won’t have to waste their time. This will not just mean the loss of business for your company but also lead to your competitors’ long term gain as well.
Once a simple visitor becomes a loyal customer, then there will be no need for them to go through the hassle of looking for other products from other sellers. Once their purchase decision has been made, there is a high chance that they will eliminate all post-purchase dissonance by continuing to shop from the same website.
This is a win-win situation for any organization since they will be able to sell their products and services without spending a cent on advertisements to get buyers to visit their site. Conversely, if the person does not buy from you then it will become a very big loss and it will be a direct result of latency related issues.
In today’s highly competitive 4G smartphone-enabled environment, even a very small time lag can mean the difference between clinching that vital sale or losing a permanent customer.
This is why it is so very important for you to increase the speed of your website in order to remain ahead of your competition.
The ‘Pink Rose’ Bouquet Example
Let us look at a hypothetical eCommerce site. We will assume that it specializes in ‘Pink Rose’ bouquets and also promises speedy deliveries.
Now that we have ensured that the website does not suffer from latency issues and is very fast and reliable. Let us see what kind of graphics, designs, and content should be displayed therein.
The Importance of Having a Really Great Theme for The Website
If you are running a website, then you will have to factor in a very strong theme that complements the kind of products that you are offering. Since the theme of your online store is based on pink roses then you might try to use somewhat lighter color fonts that will easily bring out and also enhance the richness and depth of your products: roses. You can even superimpose them into the background.
What Kind of Text Should You Put on The Site?
Here you should try to come up with something innovative and unique while referencing the flowers in your inventory. For example, you can use different slogans such as “Experience the Power of the Flower” or “pick only the best since that is what we do.”
Or words with a similar refrain since they will have a similar impact. But here again, when writing down your content, it is very important that you should be able to come up with stuff that is both innovative and different from your competitors.
In other words, you need to come up with something that really ‘connects” with your target market and gives you an edge over your competitors. You can use a Valentine’s Day theme that will feature stories on how roses are the ultimate ice breakers between a man and his one true love.
Being Personal Can Get the Job Done
A flower is not just a plant alone. It does more than that. This is why your text, as well as the design elements of the website, must showcase the fact that you actually ‘feel’ your audience’s emotions as intensely as they do themselves.
In fact, you should always try and connect with them on a more personal level. This way they will be able to trust your suggestions and your judgment regarding that ideal multi-flower combination and bouquet for any special occasion.
Always Remember: Content is King!
The eCommerce website is both your showcase as well as your business store rolled into one. This is why if it is not always up to date or if it contains products that are not available or if it has any other dated material then it will fail in its purpose of attracting your target market.
Give Visitors Something to Look Forward To
Even if a prospective customer visits the website, he will not stay long but prefer to give his business to a site that is constantly uploading fresh content. This way, he will have something to look forward to, every time he comes to the website.
This holds even truer for an online business that thrives on a ‘fresh look,’ every month. But merely changing or redistributing pictures is not enough. Customers are smart and they will see through any obvious shortcuts that you may take.
This is why apart from periodically updating your database you will also have to refresh all of the ancillary information such as words, statistics and other content that will go with the images of your products.
Crafting good content and that too on a regular basis is not everyone’s forte. But judging how important it is, you must consider outsourcing the content requirement needs of your website.
Keeping Up With Your Website
Suppose a potential customer comes to your website and ends up reading the same blogs or sees the same products every few days, he will realize that both your products and your content are stale. This means that he will move on to find fresher content.
This is precisely why you should always try and update both your products as well as the information that goes with it as frequently as possible.
The Importance of SEO
For your website to get good results, SEO is yet another crucial element that you need to look into. With so many competitors in every industry, how does a business make sure that their website garners the most amount of attention from their target audience?
Search Engine Optimization helps immensely with this concern. This is what helps your website get a good amount of traffic which not just ranks high in quantity but is equally good in terms of quality too!
The thing about SEO is that it’s an ever-evolving field. You need to keep up with the latest SEO trends and techniques so that your website can get the best out of it. Sometimes it makes life easier for a busy business owner to let professional SEO experts handle this type of work for them.
In light of the above, we can safely conclude that creating a website is not just simple colors and fonts alone. But rather there are many different aspects of website design that you have to take into consideration if you really want your eCommerce site to turn into a ‘lean, mean growth machine.’
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