There is something that everyone knows better than others, yet no one is really sure about at all. We’re talking about the features and principles that help turn an ordinary website into an absolute success in 2022. This post is not a deep dive – we rather introduce general planning principles and attempt to share some general know-how.
We summarised the key takeaways from the article below. If you would like to learn more about these key aspects, just keep reading further.
THE PEN PICTURE
Businesses cannot afford not to own a well-functioning website anymore. Looking at the global market, 51.4% of the global population uses the internet on a daily basis, especially for administration, information exchange and communication. Their fragmented focus breeds impatience: there is an abundance of studies (such as this, or this – and this to name a few) that prove that a website has roughly 3-5 seconds to grab the users’ attention, or visitors will soon start adding to the tally of site bounces.
Websites provide solutions for a wide range of services and needs. Thus, it is difficult to formulate general design and sitebuilding principles that prove true in most to all individual cases. Money talks, and one thing is for sure: if a website is financially lucrative, if it fully serves its function and users are satisfied, we can safely say it is ‘successful’.
USER EXPERIENCE & FUNCTIONAL DESIGN
It is imperative, however, to accurately assess how these conditions can be met. To achieve this, we have to explore the expressed and possibly omitted needs of our users. By implementing steps along these lines, one aspect for running a successful online presence can already be ticked: User experience has to be above all.
The basics of user experience are primarily determined by two factors: ease of use, and emotional engagement. With the former, we have already revealed the second important aspect: make your design functional and usable.
In order for a website to be catchy not only because of its looks, but also because it is a breeze to browse through, the following conditions must be met:
- Effortless navigation
- Logical structure
- Essential questions that your website needs to provide answers for:
- Who are you and what is your trade? How can I reach out to you?
- Is your website for me? Am I part of your target group?
- Why are you better than your competitors?
SAFETY, CREDIBILITY, APPEAL
In 2022, however, this alone is no longer enough, emotional engagement (in terms of safety, credibility, appeal) is key. This can be achieved if the following aspect is also met: let your website be emotionally and aesthetically pleasing. Following the previous train of thought, the best way to influence our users’ emotions is to use clear messages to answer additional questions:
- Now that I have arrived at your website, what do you want me to do? Moreover: what do I need to do?
- How does your service work and how much does it cost?
- Why would I trust you and not your competitors?
- What do others say about you?
DON’T FORGET TO CONVERT
Websites that prioritise for users’ goals will also serve and complete their own conversion goals (as the 4th aspect). As users are impatient and crave a seamless experience, their journey from arrival to checkout should be as short as possible – the less clicks the better. In addition to optimising the conversion funnel, the first and most unavoidable principle of treating impatient users right is lightning-fast site speed.
However, instead of testing in the sterile environment of PageSpeed Insights, the loading speed perceived by the human eye is a much more adequate measure. Speed is also closely related to optimisation for mobile devices. A successful and current website is responsive to all types and sizes of devices alike – including desktop! The rationale behind this is that research on a desktop device precedes making more serious decisions – as data suggests.
…OH, AND DON’T FORGET TO TRACK AND MEASURE EITHER.
However, optimization is not conceivable without the right amount and depth of data. Just as users are interested in the company’s other communication interfaces, corporate image, other (offline) contacts, feedback from other users, seemingly irrelevant data can be worth its weight in gold in certain situations. Therefore, it is important that every single action and user activity on your website is trackable and measurable. Placed in the right context, datasets that we thought were useless can help explore opportunities that bring monetary benefits in turn.
Get in touch if you would like to turn your website into a money making machine in 2022.
www.unsplash.com: John Schnobrich, Firmbee