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F8CREATES - WHAT MAKES A WEBSITE WORK?

Home / News & Opportunities / Blog / August 17 / F8CREATES - WHAT MAKES A WEBSITE WORK?

Date: 21/08/2017

A website needs to load and function correctly. But for it to really work, a website needs to lead its visitors to complete a predefined goal as effortlessly as possible.

With this in mind, your first job when defining how a website should work is to establish what the goal is. A website’s goal can vary greatly, but common goals include the sale of a product, converting a visitor into a customer, informing them about a topic, or simply encouraging them to pick up the phone. There can, of course, be multiple goals, but they should be well defined if a website is going to be successful.
 
Here at F8, we encourage our clients to think about their websites critically. If you’re selling a product or service, you should regard your website as your top salesman, generating leads and closing sales. Your website should be your best adviser!
 
A commonly made mistake is focusing all your efforts on the homepage and not enough on the other pages.
 
Think about it - website users will arrive at your site from all sorts of starting points, e.g. Google, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and etc. The majority of users coming from Twitter, for example, are not going to be landing on your homepage at all; they are more likely to land on the latest engaging piece of blog content that you’ve just shared, a freshly published case study, or a new product or service.
 
With this in mind, can you see why it’s important to focus on all pages as if they’re the main landing page?
 
SEEING YOUR WEBSITE THROUGH YOUR VISITOR'S EYES
 
A useful exercise is to put yourself in the mindset of one of your visitors and try to see it through their eyes. Once a visitor lands on your site, they need the following questions answered as quickly as possible:
 
·         What is this page all about?
·         Why am I here?
·         What do I do next?
 
All of this happens within a very short amount of time. Try it some time; pretend to be one of your users looking at your website. I find a good way to get in the right mindset is to search for your own company on Google. Click through on a result, and look at the page as if it’s
the first time you’ve seen it.
 
Does it answer the questions above? Is it engaging? Does it make you trust the website? Do you feel lead towards the goal of the website?
 
So you’ve just launched a burger restaurant(?)
 
Let’s say you’ve just opened a new burger restaurant.
 
The main goal of the website is to encourage users to book a table. Our hypothetical visitor has seen your social media launch campaign and clicked through to your homepage.
 
Do they know within milliseconds that this is the website for a restaurant? You will need a smart, on-brand header with a clear message to tell them this site is about your delicious food and infectious atmosphere.
 
Is it obvious why they’re on your page? Have you enticed them enough with your content and images to make them want to eat there tonight?
 
Some enticing product shots of dishes accompanied by some glowing customer reviews will build the desire to come to your restaurant and eat your food.
 
What do they do next? Is it easy for them to complete the goal? Large, clear calls to action
linking to the table booking page, accompanied with a phone number, will make this decision
as easy as possible.
 
Looking at your website in this critical manner should open your eyes to how well each page
works for your business.
 
I hope you find this exercise useful and it helps you to make your website more successful, whatever its goal happens to be. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop me a line at greg@f8creates.com.
 
www.f8creates.com

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Greg Smith

Co-Founder & Director

Greg keeps the F8 machine running smoothly and steers the creative direction of our projects.  He is an experienced designer and techie with a passion for art and design. As well as the website and design areas of F8, Greg also leads the Exhibit 3D team with his coding skills. Greg fills much of his spare time sketching and drawing people often with an iPad and stylus – you can see the results at gregcreates.com.

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