Startups face stiff competition for attention in today's busy and crowded marketplace. Whether your B2B or B2C, your customer base is inundated with information coming from all angles at every moment of the day and night. For that reason, it's essential that your website makes an impactful first impression and balances a pleasing and intuitive UI with the information the audience seeks.
Like it or not, failing to provide that balance in your website is more than enough motivation for your customers to quickly skip over your company and head over to the competition. To help ensure your startup's website includes everything you need to appeal to your audience, provide them with sufficient information, and lead them down the conversion path, Foundery 5 has put together a list of essentials that every startup should take into account with their website design.
Make Mobile a Priority
Gone are the days where mobile browsing plays second fiddle to its desktop counterpart. In fact, smartphone traffic alone accounted for over 52% of all website traffic in 2018. Needless to say, a design that is just as appealing on mobile phones and tablets as it is on a workstation's monitor is an absolute priority for every startup's website design.
Thankfully, designing a website that renders just as well on a mobile screen as it does on a desktop or laptop does not require you to reinvent the coding wheel. It does, however, mean that you must either possess extremely specific in-house knowledge or find a design partner that can provide viewers a seamless browsing experience, no matter the device or channel. Your audience will be able to instantly identify shortcuts, and that's something a startup can ill-afford when you're still developing your brand identity and trust from potential customers.
It's All In the (Domain) Name
While mobile technology has taken the pole position in website design in recent years, some old stalwarts still wield a mighty sword. You might not consider a basic necessity like your domain name to be as essential as dazzling creative and a user-friendly layout, but something as straightforward as your customer base remembering your domain goes a long way in developing a solid client base.
Just like your design's color palette, copy, and creative, a certain amount of psychology drives an effective domain name. Your customers will naturally gravitate towards comfort and familiarity, a notion that a memorable domain inherently breeds. Granted, with over 350 million domain name registrations as of Q4 2019, the number of available domains shrinks by the day. Still, use something as short, snappy, and representative of your company as possible to give your website every opportunity to gain traction and stay in the collective consumer consciousness.
Simple but Insightful
When it comes to your design layout and navigation, try to look at your website from the audience's perspective. As a startup, most of your traffic stems from new visitors to your site so, once again, a good first impression is essential. If the design is simple and approachable, people are far more likely to stick around and see what your organization is all about.
One of the more common mistakes is a crowded design that uses creative -- animation, video, or some other form of media -- just for the sake of using it. Every aspect of the layout should add value to the experience, from color to fonts to copy, and let users easily navigate the site, helping both current and potential customers find the information they're looking for. A muddled design that confuses the audience is far more likely to drive them away than impress them, no matter how advanced the underlying code might be.
The user found their way to your website by particular means, maybe through an SEO-driven organic search, the advice of a colleague, or just wild luck. Whatever the case, they're there for a specific reason, so make the most of the opportunity. The design should provide the user with convenient access to your business and contact information, insights on your products or services, and what makes you different from the competition.
Assume the audience has a busy schedule and doesn't have the time to devote towards a deep dive into your website. Therefore, that layout and navigation we just mentioned should provide a clear roadmap to whatever information the customer might want. Your website is a vital component of any inbound marketing effort, a key stage within the conversion process. Impeding that process is tantamount to harpooning your own sales success, making an informative design all the more crucial to your operations.
Make it Social
Today's online environment consists of countless intertwined channels. In other words, your website doesn't exist in a vacuum but should integrate your startup's social media presence as well. Try to make your communication lines open and effortless, allowing your customers to quickly and easily traverse between your website and other digital channels. The more barriers you eliminate, the smoother your conversion path and a growing customer base.
Sticking with the social theme, don't be afraid to flaunt your successes through embedded social commentary, maybe customer testimonials, star rankings and reviews, or anything else that speaks of reliability, quality, and trustworthiness. Of course, you must still be authentic with such social commentary as well as any other information or copy you provide, so choose wisely in what you ultimately decide to include on your website.
Although your website design plays a critical role in your startup's success, don't forget that you still have a business to run and market share to grow. That's precisely where Foundery 5 can add so much value to your enterprise, using our vast, hands-on industry experience to design a website that suits your needs and serves your customer base well. The stakes are too high to entrust your web presence with anything other than absolute expertise, something Foundery 5 emanates in everything we do.
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