Creating a wonderful website

Creating clear websites with targeted contentImagine a shop that’s open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

You look forward to visiting that shop because:

  • the staff always deliver great service, and
  • you can find what you need easily without too much trouble. That’s precisely what your website could – or should be like.

With a little time, thought and effort, there is no reason why your website can’t become the (online) shop of your (or your customers’) dreams, in other words, a wonderful website…

What are you saying?

Is it clear what your website is about and will your visitors quickly understand what you are offering?

If you aren’t clear yourself about what your message is, it’s fair to assume that prospective customers or other visitors won’t be clear either.

In a nutshell, know what you are offering (or selling), say so – in plain English – and present the benefits to your intended audience.

Who is it for?

Now let’s take a closer look at audience. Your website should be written and designed with a particular audience or group of customers in mind.

For example, a website that sells accessories for 9 to 12-year-old girls should use the right words, images and colour schemes that would appeal to that age group.

A website in shades of corporate blue with images of well-dressed office workers and written using sales jargon, would be as unsuitable for this target group of girls as a website in a baby blue/green colour scheme showing very young boys playing.

Road test your content on your user group on a regular basis to make sure you get and keep the right message for your target customer group.

Buy now or bye bye

If you sell using an online shop, your website will no doubt be the tool you use to achieve your sales.

One of the best ways to successfully sell your products online is to make it easy for your customers to buy once they arrive at your website.

Of course, you have to attract the traffic to your website to begin with, but we will cover this in a future post.

Test your website’s usability by running some simple tests. For example, try buying from your own site. Start by looking for the products or services you want to ‘buy’ using the search facility or by navigating through the site structure.

Rate how easy or difficult it is to complete your purchase, and note down how the experience could be improved.

If any of these areas does not work for you, you can be sure they won’t work for your customers.

Be prepared to test out any other tools on your website, and to fine tune what’s there so that it works better.

Your website is now well on its way to being wonderful…

Post written by DEBBIE THOMAS on 10 December 2010.