Surge Blog

How to Successfully Plan a Website

website tips 2

Thinking of designing a new website? Maybe you already have a website but wonder about its effectiveness… At Surge we have developed our website design process and built up some good understanding and knowledge about the wonderful world of website design.

Here are our 3 top tips to help you understand how your website should perform. If you would like more information then, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Surge.

Understand your target market.

Some web designers have sold websites to clients which satisfies that client. That makes sense doesn’t it… The problem arises when that website doesn’t perform as well as hoped for because it might not have been designed for the customers of that client. Makes more sense doesn’t it… A website is much more than a pretty picture or slick graphics. It requires a user interface designed with the end user in mind. Your target audience or end user is extremely important as this is the group that the site is being designed for. The more detailed and specific you can be on who they are… the better. The design of your site can be centred around what they are expecting and can appeal to their specific needs as a user.

Having more than one target audience is common and in most cases your website can appeal to different groups at the same time though the use of different user paths and appealing call to actions which help each user to get where they need to be. Understanding your end user can really be the difference between a website success and failure.

Master your message.

How do you measure the success of your website? Success needs to be measured in relation to purpose and it is always advisable to understand what the purpose of your website is. Do you want your end user to make a phone call, fill in a contact form or complete an ecommerce transaction?

Having a clear vision and understanding of what you want your potential clients to see when they come to your website allows you to make assured decisions around the website’s design and structure. While many sites these days incorporate a scrolling element and have long pages (especially on the homepage), it is still very important to prioritise your information and to set up an information architecture that can be assessed and reviewed even before deciding on design of buttons, colours and finish. The correct order of information on your website, according to your end user, can make the difference between a successful website and a stagnant one.

Realise your limits.

There is a common idea in today’s social media driven world that you have to be active on as many social media streams as possible. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, flicker, YouTube and on and on and on. Many website owners start life with their brand new site with all guns blazing on social media and website blogging activity. However, problems begin to arise when the newness of it all fades. Suddenly, you realise that you have not updated on Facebook for a day, your blog is not up to date, and you cannot remember your Twitter password… Oh no, what can you do?

We would encourage anyone starting off with a new website or considering an upgrade to spend time to consider their social media activity. If most of your target audience for your website are on a certain social media platform, then it is a very good avenue to begin directing them back towards your site. If you are doing social media for the sake of it or because someone else is doing it well, maybe you should reconsider. One of the biggest turn offs on a website is a social media feed that has not been updated in months, or a blog that has not seen a new post since the site was first developed. An active feed or blog gives a user confidence and encourages interaction. An inactive presence will give the opposite effect. Knowing what you can and cannot sustain in social media and blogging worlds will allow you to confidently decide on what is right for your website integration.

If you have found that your social media has stagnated, your site needs to be updated, your content has become stale or that you’re just not striking the right chords with your target market, then please feel free to drop us a message. Or you could just say ‘Hi’. We’re friendly and we’d love to hear from you here at Surge.

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