Developing a top-notch website for your brand during the web development phase isn’t a luxury or future indulgence…it’s an absolute necessity. Any potential client will always use the initial impression of your web design to judge how professional and skilled you are, so you can’t afford to present them with an inferior website. There are six equally important aspects to consider when you’re moving towards your website development. Let’s take a look on how to start and what standards you should hold your web designer to.
This may seem obvious, but it’s helpful to really dig into all the sorts of content you can provide. Here’s a few relevant content types, and the best ways to feature them on your website.
- Page Copy: Keep the tone of your copy consistent and concise. Whatever your tone – professional, humorous, etc. – it should have the same voice throughout all the sections of your website. Pay attention to SEO-rich keywords and phrases, but take care to weave them through your copy organically and naturally; not only will readers recognize obvious attempts at keyword placement, but the algorithms that search engines use will, as well. Make sure your copy is informative yet easy to read.
- Images: New readers are far more likely to linger and absorb your information and branding when you have beautiful high-quality images on every page. Cell phone snapshots of your store front and staff just don’t cut it anymore, so definitely consider professional photographers and editing, as well as talented designers who can seamlessly integrate these images into your website. Your logos and branded material should similarly meet the same standards across all your pages…and don’t forget your more mundane pages, like shipping or payment portals.
- Blog: Having a comprehensive and updated blog is more important and beneficial than you might think. Make a well-thought out editorial calendar, with blog posts that not only highlight your brand, but that provide informational and educational resources for your readers that aren’t necessarily tied to your products. Remember, establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field will deliver more benefits than you think, and make them much more likely to be shared. A regularly published blog that enlightens your readers will keep them visiting over and over, which boosts your traffic significantly.
Content should be a big part of your overall vision. It’s not something to wait for the last minute for, nor to pass along to a random employee who might be unprepared to produce quality and relevant content. There are many contract writers and photographers that can put great content together, so don’t feel the need to sacrifice significant time and budget in order to get this very important step done.
User experience, as anyone will tell you, is tantamount to developing a quality website. How your user moves through and navigates your website needs to be smooth and intuitive, and the alternative could potentially cause your visitors to jump off your site quickly. Choosing an experienced and savvy website development team can be instrumental in making this experience optimal. A few things to consider:
- Flow Charts: Users typically don’t want to go through too many steps or clicks to get to where they want to go. Composing a user flow ahead of development will give you a firm framework to assure that your users are getting the best experience without delays.
- All Teams On Board: UX might seem like a developer’s territory, but you need input from all your teams to make it truly great. Sales, marketing, and even shipping will have valuable insight to how your users go from discovery to conversion. Give them a forum to give their opinions, and carefully sift through their various solutions to come to a unified solution.
- Pay particularly close attention to the results of your testing procedures, especially the ones that received your MVP. Make sure you got all the answers, even the extra ones that reviewers gave above and beyond your initial questions. These extra tidbits of how your users maneuver around your website might give you the extra edge for final development?
All the quality content and UX fine tuning available won’t be of much use if your website doesn’t have the code and capability to run fast enough and keep up with any rapid popularity. You need to think ahead, and that means starting from the get go. Investing in your initial coding and development initiatives will certainly pay dividends, so know that paying for this on the front end (rather than waiting to be smacked with slow performance and costly updates during your growth period) will almost certainly reward you later. Superior technology stacks and progressive coding work will ultimately pay off.
Compatibility refers to your website’s ability to adapt to various browsers and devices easily. Most users, including the majority of younger consumers, use multiple devices to go through their digital journey, so making sure your beautiful website is compatible with all the available ways of viewing and experiencing it to its full capability is definitely a key issue. Browser versatility is a must, as well. While Chrome controls 62% of the current browser usage, there are 5 others that make the list, including Safari and Firefox. One small line of defective code could prevent your website from working on any available browsers, including other overseas options. Be certain you are testing your compatibility across all browsers and devices early and often.
Code is the core of your website and keeps it running effectively and efficiently. Your code needs to be meticulous so that it can scale as your grow users and functionality. This should be a priority from the beginning, so make sure your developers keep that in mind throughout the coding process. Coders should perform “stress tests” often, and be sure to compress their data when they can. If this all sounds too technical for you, just remember to communicate to your developer that you want the code to work the same for the first 100 users as it will for the next 1,000,000.
Having a DevOps team who maintains your code and efficiency of your website is crucial if you want to scale so when you’re shopping for website partners, make sure that they offer DevOps services.
Search Engine Optimization is a constant issue for any website developer. If your website can’t be found in a relevant search, then all of that hard work and beautiful content won’t see the light of day. There are several factors that can boost or sabotage your SEO power, so keep these in mind.
- Links: If you have existing external links that bring traffic in, make sure to check them often. Broken or lost links can exist and cause damage for a long time before you realize it, so make certain you are manually checking your links consistently.
- Algorithms: Google and other search engines change how and why their algorithms reward or punish you almost constantly. First step is to be in the know regarding which algorithms are in play, so keep an eye on the SEO news with custom alerts. Factors like low-quality content and too many advertisements can suddenly divebomb your traffic, while organically placed keywords and links to other quality reputable sites will help.
- Original Content: This goes back to the blog section above. The more quality original content you have, the more you’ll tick up on the searches. Again, make your content more educational and entertaining, rather than too self-promotional and jammed with keywords and phrases. Your audience will also be way more likely to share thought leadership posts, anyway.
Articles like this give a much wider scope of the things you need to know about SEO, but make sure to stay current with the never-ending changes that happen often.
We threw a lot at you with this post so let’s simplify it and take a look at the six pillars of website development from a high level:
- It’s important to have a dynamic content strategy so that you engage with viewers on all levels
- UX needs to be a priority and your website needs to be easy to navigate so make sure you pick a team that emphasizes UX.
- Make sure your code is top notch quality so that the website can scale and perform flawlessly
- Test your website on multiple devices and in multiple browsers so that you can ensure your website is compatible
- Code is the core of your website so don’t be tempted to take any shortcuts when it comes to coding
- Ensure that your site follows the latest SEO practices so that it can be found by search engines
Do you think Koombea might be the right partner to create or optimize your website project? Check out some more information about how Koombea develops websites and feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation.