Not only is it highly recommended that you have a website for your product/service/company/brand, but it also needs to be designed with the above mentioned in mind. They all fit together and one without the other is like having a good bottle of 10yr old Cabernet Sauvignon and no bottle opener. All you are able to do is to stare longingly at the bottle, but you can't do anything about tasting what's inside, which is of course, rather pointless (and frustrating to say the least).
A high quality website is well-designed (both visually and structurally), has thoughtful and relevant content and is optimised well for search engines. This increases the chances of more people finding it, clicking through to whatever it is you're offering and most importantly, converting to become paying customers.
One of the first things you need to consider when designing your website is your visitors. What are the various segments they're looking for when they first come to your site? What information is the most sought after? This needs to be clearly visible and could benefit from being attached to a series of calls to action on your home page. You want their experience to be painless, effortless and intuitive. The better their user experience is, the better the chance is of them returning for more or converting.
Your brand image is obviously very important too and it goes without saying that having a Mickey Mouse website doesn't instil the sense of professionalism and high quality that you want associated with your brand. Here, having a design that is eye-catching and appealing helps ensure that when visitors land on your site, they want to stay and find out more about your products and services.
Some people, in an attempt to avoid paying for a professional website, try to create their own. This comes with high ambitions of creating one that equals the brilliant design and functionality of their favourite existing website. Sadly, all too often, the reality is far from this. It takes specialised skills, experience, technical knowledge and an eye for the finest detail to build a quality website from scratch. Not only that, it inevitably involves a team of people to put it together and make it work seamlessly. Unless you're skilled in user experience, content strategy, graphic design, front end and back end development and technical architecture (yes, you really do need all these skills to create a worthy website), then it's an impossibly ambitious project for just one person to tackle.
Getting an experienced company with a professional portfolio to build and design your website has huge benefits. Not only do you get to sit back and watch the process unfold, but more importantly, you can rest assured that the techniques and solutions they use to build your website are tailored to your specific business needs and requirements and are based on best practices. Very importantly, a professional company will be sure to give you an accurate quotation up front (and by accurate we mean realistic in terms of budgeted hours anticipated for the project.) With this in mind, remember that the development of a high quality website for your business should be seen as an investment that will provide benefits for many years.
If you're ready to take a back seat and let the professionals take control of your website design and build, then contact Lima Bean to find out how they can help you. www.limabean.co.za