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What makes a good website?
Now there's a question...
The definition of “what is a good website” can be subjective depending on people’s tastes and their motivations and even their mood.
For some, it’s all about the design being pleasing to the eye, for others, it’s plain practicality. Every customer of ours has a different concept of what they want from their new site.
The vast majority of our clients will ask us to build a website for their business, not having a single idea of how they would like it to look, leaving the web designer to come up with an idea and build something.
As soon as the first draft of a web page is exposed to the client, then suddenly the client realises that they do know what they want and then sometimes decides to take over a portion of the design and alter the structure and most often the colour scheme of the site.
This is fine, and all experienced website designers and builders are used to this and will adapt their design to their clients specific requirement, so the client is happy that they have a site that mirrors their needs and the web designer gets paid.
All too often, a marketing executive will commission a new website for their company with all the corporate design and the banners and logos and the search optimisation techniques that makes their boss happy, and then once the new site is launched, that’s it.
The marketing executive gets a pat on the back, and everyone moves onto the next project, now trusting the brand new website to do its job.
And there’s the thing…what is that job?
As well as not knowing what their new website should look like, very few clients know what role their website should play within their operation.
We have heard marketing people say that they just want their site to convey their corporate policy, which is fine.
At least they have a strategy.
That strategy may be to advertise and give information about your product, or it could be to actually sell your item or just to collect information about your customers. Your website should have a strategy.
- Your website should be pleasing to the eye.
- Your website should have a corporate identity if applicable.
- Your website should be technically nimble and up to date.
But all of this means nothing if your customer - your end-user doesn’t enjoy their visit to your site...
How many times have you made an online search only to leave that website less than a minute later, feeling frustrated and already onto another site and so on.
Yes, me too, along with plenty of others. We live in an impatient world where we expect things to happen NOW.
That means that when a visitor comes to your site and wants an item of basic information such as an address, a phone number, a way of contacting you perhaps, they will expect to have that information within seconds.
If they don’t, they are gone, perhaps forever. This is a lost customer or a lost opportunity. This is the equivalent of a person visiting your premises only to find a receptionist drunk at the reception desk, unable to deal with your enquiry adequately or to point you towards anyone else who can help.
You would walk out wouldn’t you, and try to find someone else that offers the same service.
The same thing happens online, but quicker.
That is why these days, many designers have moved away from the multiple page style website, offering instead a single page on which you scroll down to get the information that you need. There are examples of this on the “our work” section here on webdesigninfrance.com
There are generally navigation buttons somewhere at the top of the page, and clicking one of the links scrolls you down to the relevant section, this saves time waiting for a page to load up, which also pleases Google.
So at the top of the page you would have a corporate identity and a strong clear message as to what the website is about, followed by information about the company, product or service, and then perhaps a map indicating the whereabouts of your premises if applicable.
Website forms are essential these days for purposes that are dependent upon your style of business or your strategy. A contact form is actually better than just displaying an email address; a customer can quickly input their name and details without having to pull up their email account, so have both on your site.
Put your Customer First Second and Third.
Ask about our special deal, get a starter site up and running for just 125 euros. Offer ends at the end of this month.
Another use of a web-form is to collect customers details which are then stored, enabling you to contact those customers at any time in the future. This is very popular with businesses that have different products to wave in front of their online customers such as retail or marketing.
Every time a new product comes out, an email is sent out to all of the people who have signed up. This is particularly effective because it saves on advertising costs, and the people who have given their details have shown that they already have an interest in that particular service, so they are more likely to buy or get involved.
Finally all websites must be able to be read and understood properly on any tablet, smart phone or laptop. These days it’s no use just having a miniaturised version of your website displayed on your mobile phone, you need to be able to easily read the chunks of your website without using a magnifying glass!
Bear in mind that most of the internet traffic is generated by a mobile phone or tablet, in fact around 50% of the worlds traffic is generated by the phone alone.
This is incredible when you consider that in all of our years designing and building websites, whether that be in France or the UK we have been asked a handful of times if the clients website was compatible with a mobile phone or tablet.
Thank you for reading thus far, we hope that you now feel that you have a greater understanding of what makes a good website, and most importantly what you want from your site.
Don’t forget, we can create your website in French as well as English, and having written this piece, we would expect you to demand that we put our money where our mouth is and build you the kind of website that your customers deserve to use.
Thank you for visiting our site, we genuinely hope that your business in France is successful.
Need to Learn French? – Not for an exam but to get by in everyday life? …Look no further! On our team we have Kathryn Bohme who is dual lingo, and teaches both English and French. You can find out more about this and her other services here. Yourbusinessinfrance.fr