In the digital age, there are so many things to consider when launching your startup online. As Bill Gates once said – “If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.” In the 21st century, we’re all glued to our screens even more than when Bill founded Microsoft back in 1975. So it’s more important than ever that we do everything we can to increase our exposure online. And a fantastic website is definitely the way forwards.
Startup web design can be daunting because you want everything to be perfect. This is going to be the product you launch to the world and the place your audience comes to find out more about you. If you want to stand out from your competitors, you’re going to need to make sure you have these 6 things…
Simple and convenient navigation
This might seem like I’m stating the obvious, but if someone can’t navigate their way around your website – they won’t stay on it for very long! You want people to enjoy their experience using the site, stay in it for as long as possible, and keep them coming back!
Start by thinking about how you’re going to separate the content within your website. What pages will you need? When you’re thinking about this, don’t try to reinvent the wheel – the more simple and easy it is to use – the better.
If you have a number of different services, try not to be overly specific and create too many subcategories. It’s fine just to have ‘Car Valeting’, for example. You don’t then need to have ‘Hoovering’, ‘Wheels’, ‘Windows’ etc, because you’ll end up with a hundred different navigation buttons.
The aim of a startup web design is for someone to spend as much time possible on it, and return at another point. A bad user experience like finding it difficult to get around your website is not going to make them want to come back.
Another top tip is to have what’s known as ‘sticky navigation’. This means the bar remains at the top of the screen as people scroll through your content, making it even easier to click through to different pages, no matter where they are on your site.
Display clear CTAs
A CTA or ‘call to action’ will be something that encourages the reader to do something immediately. You can put these in numerous places on your website. It can prompt people to contact you, download something, or even visit another page on your website.
Without a clear call to action, most people would click off and it would end their visit to your site. They may get to the end of your blog post, for example, wanting to learn more about a product. But without a CTA linked to your contact page, they’re not going to know how to do that right away.
A call to action can even put an idea in their head and push them to make a decision on something they didn’t know they wanted! Make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find their way to you. This is how you’re going to convert them. A CTA makes the customer’s next step crystal clear.
But what should you call to action say? It could be a number of things but you should remember to keep it clear and simple.
It should contain simple-to-follow instructions, relevant to something that is most important to your business at that moment. It could ask them to download your new ebook. Another option is a ‘contact us now’ banner that clearly displays the company contact information. Or even a ‘follow us on Twitter’ CTA if you’re trying to get social numbers up.
Anything you would like people to do because it will benefit the company – add a CTA.
Optimise for mobile
A game-changer for startup web design. Mobile equates for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide, so it’s just as important your website is equipped to be used on mobile devices as it is on laptops and PCs.
Having a responsive design means – no matter the device or size of the screen your customer is using, the website will still be presented in a clear, usable way.
Less is more for mobile users, unfortunately. If this means refining your content and cutting back on certain parts, then you may have to do so. This may seem counter-productive but think about the competition for a second.
At the end of the day, you want your business to stand out from your competitors. But if you’re putting out a desktop-only website, you’re already off on the wrong foot. You can pretty much guarantee that your competitors are optimising for mobile because that’s how people are finding you nowadays.
Try to keep it consistent.
If your desktop website has a specific branding design – don’t completely veer away from this when you come to the design for mobile. Customers will get confused and it won’t be the most user-friendly experience. This means you could be losing out on leads and sales.
So keep it consistent and keep it mobile-user friendly!
Incorporate interactive elements
Interactive design on a website could be anything from moving/video backgrounds to a design that allows you to customise your own product (if you offer this of course.) It will make the customer feel included – like they’re directly interacting with you and the business.
The benefit of these interactive designs is the prolonged user experience. If people can feel like they’re part of the bigger picture, they’ll want to learn more. Include them in your business by giving them something to watch or do while they visit. They’re getting something from you before they even make a purchase.
This will better their journey around your website because they will feel more fulfilled than you would just from reading a newspaper. Allow them to play an active part in the process of them moving from lead to closing customer.
If this seems daunting, don’t worry. We can help with your startup web design and point you in the right direction.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
The biggest reason behind utilising SEO techniques on your website is to get it ranking highly on search engines like Google. This way, your audience will see you over your competitors and it will help draw in traffic to generate leads.
If your website isn’t designed and optimised in a way search engines favour – you will be bottom of the pile when people search for things you can help them with!
A great place to start is ensuring you clearly explain what it is you do. This way, people and search engines will pick up on it right away. If no one can tell what you do from your website – something is wrong. Clearly defining your brand means thinking outside of what people can actually see on your website.
When you pop up on the first page of Google, you want it to be clear that you can solve the problem your customer has. By seamlessly incorporating keywords and phrases related to your business or industry – you’ll start appearing to the right audience.
Once you build yourself a positive reputation – backlinks are going to be gold for your SEO.
A backlink is formed when one website links to another. They provide a backbone of trust and credibility between you and potential customers. But also between you and search engines.
If Google can see that someone else has read and vouched for your content, it’s an immediate green flag to bump you up the ranks. You’re now presenting as a reliable source of information and rich content which is invaluable for the reputation of your business. It also allows customers to see that other companies trust the information you’re giving to them and it acts as a great form of indirect feedback!
They liked what you created, so they’re going to send other people there too.
We provide our top tips for SEO in this blog, so if you’re still not sure where to take it – have another look here!
Startup web design: How can we help?
At Delivered Social, we understand how hard startup marketing can be to tackle head-on. That’s why we offer a range of digital marketing services, including Web Design and content creation, among other things. Our Free Social Clinics are a great place to start thinking about how we can help and where you want your business venture to go! Contact us and tell us how we can help.