So, you’re building a new website? Well, one of the goals of every brand is to build a website that’ll help them reach a wider audience, expand brand visibility or grow their business.
This is probably one of the reasons you want to build a website too. And yes you deserve it completely.
But, beyond desiring to build a successful website, there are a lot of factors you need to put in place. And these factors will combine together to determine the success of your website in the long run.
Meaning that for your website to become successful by helping you achieve your goals, these factors must be put into consideration while setting up the website.
So, what exactly are these important elements of successful website design?
They are diverse. And all of them in no specific order will always play a role in the overall success of your website.
In the following paragraphs I’ll be mentioning these 7 important factors you should consider when building your website and how they can help you to evolve a more successful website.
The first three factors are going to be focused on you and your brand, the second segment is going to be targeted at your users while the last part will focus on the search engine.
Now, here, we go…
One of the primary factors you want to consider while building a website is your goal.
So, why exactly do you want to build this new website? What do you want to achieve with the website after it’s all done?
These are some of the questions I ask my clients each time they approach us for a web design project.
These questions are very important to the success of any web design project and you as the potential owner of a new website should be set to provide answers to them, as you get set to build your website.
The reason is because; your answer to these questions will be fundamental to the success of your website.
It’ll affect the way the site is set up and the things you’ll be able to achieve with the website. From your layout to the structuring of the website including usability, up to the content you’ll post, as well as the cost of the website itself.
So, you need to take out time to figure out the goal you want to achieve with your website. And you need to be very clear from the beginning while doing this.
If you’re building a website to showcase your business, communicate that clearly to your developer. If you’re creating the website for any other purpose also communicate to your web developer or designer as the case may be.
Not only will doing this help you to get the right professional advice or set up the right infrastructure, communicating your goals clearly will make it easier for your developer to set up a structure that will help your website whether you intend to scale in the future or not.
Your domain name is one of the most primary factors you want to consider while building a website.
The reason for this is not far-fetched. The domain name is the name of your website. It’ll both serve as your URL and your brand name online.
If you’re already a well-established brand offline, you need to consider getting a domain name that’s similar to your existing brand name before building a website.
Where you’re a new brand that’s just starting afresh, you want to consider choosing a domain name that’s suitable with the brand you want to build either as a personal or corporate brand.
Another factor you want to consider while choosing a domain name for your website is the availability of the domain name. This is very important especially where you’re already an existing brand.
As an existing brand, there may be instances where your preferred domain name has been taken up by another entity. What can you do if you get into such circumstances?
If this ever happens to you, then you may need to use an alternative domain name or buy the domain name from the other entity in possession of it (if they are willing to sell).
Another thing you need to consider as regards domain name while building a website is your target audience, geographical location audience or nature of business.
As a small business targeting a well-defined local audience, to increase visibility, you might want to use a country code top level domain (ccTLD) alternative for your business.
With this in place, instead of using an xyz.com as a domain name, you might go for something more local like xyz.uk or xyz.co.uk, if you’re based in or targeting an audience in the UK.
While the former domain name is targeted at an international audience, the latter targets a specific audience in the United Kingdom (You can always replace the .uk with your country).
So, who are your target audience and what exactly appeals to them in terms of aesthetic and usability?
While building a website, it’s very easy to ignore your target audience and build the kind of platform you want because it’s literally all about you and your business.
But that’s not right. Your website is primarily about your target audience. And they are also the ones that’ll use the website to reach you directly, patronize your services or consume your content.
You have to respect this fact and make your website appealing to them.
Understand your user demographic. If your website is targeted at a non-English speaking audience, consider writing in the language of the majority of your audience but at the same time, include a translator for the other part of your audience.
Identify with your target audience. If you’re representing a brand that targets a particular gender or cause, keep your website branding and design to reflect the audience.
Consider your audience demographic.
If you’re an ecommerce website that sells directly to a young and urbane millennial audience for instance, your website design, content and imagery must put into account features that this audience can identify with.
Aesthetic and Brand
Whether you’re an existing or a new brand, when building your website, you want to set up a website that’s both aesthetically appealing to your audience and in line with the brand you want to represent.
As an existing business, it’s possible you have an existing logo or brand color. Any website designer that knows his onion will want to design your website to reflect this brand.
That’s best practices and it’s also what we do. But there are instances where your brand colors do not bring out the design aesthetics or beauty of your website.
Where you meet with such situations, you can depart from your brand to some extent. Choose a color that emphasizes the design aesthetic without losing touch with the brand.
Always remember that even if yellow and black are the major brand colors that identify your logo for instance, it doesn’t mean that you have to make these two the only colors that define your website.
In the virtual world, your website needs less than 3 seconds to make an impression on a potential user. Within a split second, a user may click away from the website without ever returning to it again.
And usability is a major factor that plays a key role in this impression-making.
Now, usability refers to how easy it is for your audience to access or use your website for the purpose it is designed for.
It is an important element of web design that spans from the structuring of your website, the user interface, page organization, text to white space ratio, font and website content among other things.
You need to pay attention to this while building your website.
Here are questions that’ll help you fix usability related issues on your website…
Does my website have a clear navigation? You need to understand that beyond the paparazzi of owning a website, your audience need to be able to access and use your website with ease.
Find out, are they finding it easy to carry out whatever they want to do, while they are on the website.
For you to find out the current state of your website usability, you can run some test on the site after it is developed, to understand the functionality and how it works.
Is the website well optimized for performance? Slow websites can get your visitors clicking away, never to return again. So, while creating your website, there’s every need to get your website speed performance to optimum levels.
For instance, you need to test the speed of your website. Does the website load very slowly or is the speed level at optimum levels with that of other websites?
If you’re setting up an ecommerce website, have a walk through the ecommerce process from the moment a user lands on the website to when they make a purchase.
Find out, what are the steps involved and how easy is it to get through each of these steps when someone gets on the website.
Search Engine Compatibility
One of the primary drivers of growth to your website is going to be the search engine.
This is why at some point while building your website; you need to ask yourself, is my website compatible with the major search engine?
Can my website easily be found if someone searches for my brand name on Google?
Now, one thing we do for our client while building their websites is that we give them at least the basic search engine optimization that will get their website some visibility on the search engine, even without the major optimizations. A lot of web designers do this too.
Now, if you’re building your website on a content management system, you need to understand that a handful of these CMS, their templates, softwares and plugins are directly out of the box and search engine optimized.
In spite of this, there are also others whose templates and plugins are not search engine compatible.
You do not want this on your website and as much as possible, you want to clearly mention this to your website designer.
Is my website easily navigable for mobile users? This is a very important question you need to ask while building your website.
Even though your website is all good on desktop and computer screen, it is very important it has a compatible display on mobile devices.
Especially considering that mobile traffic presently accounts for almost 60 percent of all web searches and traffic. You don’t want to ignore this audience.
Also, another reason you need to lay emphasis on mobile compatibility when creating your website is because most search engines like Google for instance rely on mobile compatibility as a key factor in ranking of web pages.
Where your website does not pass the mobile compatibility test, you may have lower search engine ranking for your web pages and this will in turn affect your ability to drive organic traffic to your website.
In a nutshell, building a successful website is very possible but like I mentioned earlier, for this to happen, there are a handful of things you need to put in place.
While some of these factors may not be things you generally understand, working with your web designer, you can use this as a checklist to know what to expect from your web designer as far as the functionality of your website is concerned.
Now, one thing you need to always keep in mind while searching for a web designer is that a lot of web designers can over promise but deliver far below expectations. But, there are a few exceptions.
So, while looking for a team of web developers for your web design project, you can contact our team for a bespoke website design that will help you achieve your goals.
Now, there you have the important factors to consider while building your website. So, which of these elements of web design matters most to you? Lets hear you.