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Knowing When to Start Again

Web Design: Knowing When to Start Again

I’m probably going to sound like a broken record but I’ll say it again anyway; every business whatever its size, must now have a website in place. In 2013 online shopping witnessed a massive boost and the experts at Retail Research labelled ecommerce the fastest growing business in Europe. It is safe to say that the online platform is continuing to grow without so much as a sign of stopping any time soon!

Are we surprised? Personally no, with faster and easier internet connection considered a normal part of life, electronic devices owned by millions and businesses offering cheap online shopping experiences, the only thing surprising about the online boost is why more businesses are not doing enough to capitalise on it.

From clothing to television and even to food, as a nation we now know that anything and everything we want is easily available online. Having said that, this ease doesn’t necessarily mean that shoppers are sucked in by the first business they come along. As online shoppers we are now smarter than ever and have a number of expectations that today’s websites must fulfil but if these expectations aren’t fulfilled we will happily find someone else!

Does your website meet today’s criteria? Below are the main points today’s online shoppers will consider before they get anywhere near making that sale...

  • Clear Website Design- This is a point that has been made time and time again but it cannot be stressed enough, a clear website design is crucial. From simple colours, to good use of imagery, simple navigation and only the important bits of content; a clear, easy to use and engaging website is key.Are your products and information easy to find? Your customer reviews easily accessible? And your checkout process as smooth and of course as safe as you can make it? Why not also consider an adaptive or responsive design in order to ensure you can appeal to users across all platforms. Online shopping is all about making life easier so ask yourself whether or not your website is doing that?
  • Seamless Experience- With 2014 predicted to be the biggest year for mobile sales, it is important that all websites offer a seamless shopping experience. Have you ever been on your lunch break or on the commute home from work and started watching a TV show on your favourite streaming site only to finish it off on your laptop, desktop or even TV when you get home? Sites like Netflix provide this phenomenal seamless experience but ecommerce sites are now starting to do the same. One of the best examples is Amazon; those with an account can start shopping anywhere and everywhere, leave their basket half full and go and do the washing up or set off to work, why? Because later when you log on and from a different device those items will still be there, giving you a chance to finish what you started! This kind of seamless experience is still relatively new but is becoming a fast favourite amongst the consumer public, a luxury that brick and mortar stores are unable to offer.
  • Accessible to the Search Engines? – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve come across a beautiful website adorned with some of the best images whose owners will often ask “why is my website not ranking?” It is frustrating to say the least but it appears that many website designers are still creating websites that just look pretty and nothing else. Unfortunately there is more to a website then just how it looks. One of the crucial aspects that must also be considered is layout and structure. How has the site been organised? Are there clear sections? Is there an obvious path through the site and can users get from one page to another with natural ease? A lot of these issues are easily neglected by designers but as factors which are crucial to SEO, they should be considered when designing a website. If a sites structure is not well built and the site itself is disorganised from the get go, it does not matter how great it looks; ranking will be the most difficult task you face.

2014 is definitely going to be a year dominated by the online market. With just a few months left till Christmas shopping begins, I can only imagine the boost that the ecommerce market will witness.

Now is a good a time as any to ensure you have the right kind of website in place.

Give your current site a refresh or even start from scratch but ensure that you’re giving it your all for what will no doubt be one of the biggest online years to date.

Web Design: Knowing When to Start Again

By Maria Ahmed

26 August 2014

Having spent some time working within PR, Marketing and Journalism, I have found that my heart lies with Search Engine Optimisation and am currently the SEO specialist here at UC4. I work daily to ensure that whatever your industry and whatever your business size, you have a fighting chance of reaching the millions of people accessing a Google search. 

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