When we consider what makes a great website for a small business, there are a number of things that come to mind: ease of navigation, aesthetics, design and the slightly mythical SEO.
If all of these factors are top notch, you should have an exceptional website on your hands. However, we all know that websites don’t always do their brand justice because of poor graphics, sloppy SEO or clunky loading times.
At the 2017 Webby Awards, ‘In Space, We Trust’ was voted the ‘Best User Experience’ award. If you hop onto their site, you will be spellbound by the originality of design, the interface, and intuitiveness. Very much a stand-alone art project, this site encapsulates a journey through time and space that the user controls via the arrow buttons on his or her keyboard.
Although businesses across the country won’t be stealing this functionality for their websites, there are lessons to be learned that can be implemented within the business world.
Be specific to your sector
With the ‘In Space We Trust’ art project there is nothing generic about the website design they have chosen to run with. All too often websites look bland and samey. Companies are striving for simplicity, monochrome and top or sidebar menus for navigation. This conformity is leading to websites from many different industries looking the same. You may land on a website and not be able to decipher quickly enough whether you are viewing the homepage of a baker or a bricklayer.
It pays to think a little outside the box and go with something new and different from your rivals. If you work in the field of corporate law seek out a law firm web design that will make other attorneys jealous through their ability to create niche content that appeals to the target user. Consider yourself as the viewer of your website and work out what it is that you really want to see on your homepage. Static menus are boring and becoming obsolete so break away from the crowd and do something new.
The elusive search engine optimisation that your website requires can make or break your website. You could have the most unique and easy to navigate website in the ether but if no one can find it, what is the point? You need to ensure that your website has exceptional coding, specific keywords and is able to analyze the relevant data that tracks the traffic coming to your website.
If you find SEO unbelievably difficult to fathom then it may be wise to outsource this business function to external experts. Companies now specialize in providing bespoke SEO services to businesses ensuring that traffic is driven to their websites. They may even guarantee a surge in visitors, a spike in sales or a rise in profits, such is their faith in their own skill set.
The online world is where millennials communicate with one another. Where it was once the humble telephone before morphing into the cell phone, communication is now via Whatsapp, Facetime, and social media. Your business needs to have its finger on the pulse and be willing to move with the shifting times. Technological advances are moving at breakneck speed, and it’s imperative that you can keep up.
Finding a voice online can be challenging but necessary to connect on a more human level to a consumer base. If you are selling baby clothes, you’ll want to appeal to wealthy mums. Take on a chatty and informal tone on your social media feeds and within your blog content. Be their online friend and a fellow mum showing off the benefits of your products. The hard sell is now passe as the more savvy consumer wishes to read high-quality content online not a well-oiled sales pitch. Type ‘In Space We Trust’ into Google and you’ll find hundreds if not thousands of mentions of their beautifully constructed website. If you venture onto the website itself, there is not one sales pitch on there. They allow the design, concept, and vision to speak for itself in the hope of generating revenue to further their art project.
Building your customer base and generating a following is vital if you are to build the momentum needed to create sales and generate profits. Your brand needs to be out there and shared. If your website emulates the ethos of your company, is aesthetically pleasing while at the same time having a touch of flair and originality, you could be the next People’s Choice contender at the Webby Awards.