I’m a firm believer that every good startup needs to have an even better website. Websites act as useful tools for potential and current customers to learn about what a company has to offer. At SQream Technologies, we just launched our new, redesigned website and took the following 5 steps into consideration during the process.
Tip #1: Know before you go!
Determine your target audience before building your website. Understanding who your customers are before presenting them with your product or service is crucial for creating customer engagement. If your audience is more technical for instance, you might want to use technology based visuals and lingo. Marketing to CEO’s, however, might require less technical talk and more company benefit based information. If you are catering to B2B companies, you may want to consider including purchasing decisions and the importance of your product. Knowing who your audience is before building your website is vital for determining correct content, useful visuals and the overall appearance of your website.
Tip #2: Win them over
Customer engagement is key. Always be sure that your website allows for engagement with your audience. Your visitors came to your website to discover how your product/service can benefit them. Yet reading about your company and product isn’t enough – you need to ensure that your customers are capable of direct contact. Include a forum for questions, a contact page, a company blog and anything else that would allow your customers to personally communicate with you and others. Also be sure to grab your customers attention within the first few seconds of entering your site. For example, we decided to include a brief, yet informative company video in the middle of our homepage. This video immediately captures our customers’ attention and makes it easy for them to learn about our technology without having to read a boring text.
Tip #3: Be social!
Social networks are a must! Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedln, YouTube – all of these social networks must be included somewhere on your website. Connecting with your audience in this way allows for extra engagement and familiarity with your product. We placed all of our social network icons on the header of our website, allowing for fast and easy access to all of these sites. Some of you might be thinking, “What good do social networks do anyway?” The answer is ALOT. Twitter, for example, can do wonders for your website growth and content. You can find thousands of articles on Twitter that could provide you with ideas for your own website content. These social networks can also increase your site traffic when you use them to promote new updates and happenings on your website (PR, blog posts, career openings, etc.). The more you promote on these sites, the more people will become familiar with your company and your customer base will begin to grow.
Tip #4: Content really is king
Keep your content short, sweet and direct! Your customers must be able to understand your company/product/service within the first seconds of entering your website. When building your site, be sure to use clear and understandable language which will appeal to your target audience. Let them know who you are by providing brief, yet specific details. Don’t overflow your audience with too much information which might confuse and disinterest them. For example, we’ve included 3 text boxes on our homepage which contain brief, yet important details regarding our technology, database and latest blog posts. This ensures that our site visitors are immediately presented with information about what we provide and how it can help them.
Tip #5: Keep it friendly
Your website should always be user friendly. Make sure that your website runs at a fast speed, that your buttons link to the correct pages, that your font is clear, that your company logo is present and that your customer feels comfortable navigating through your website. Post links to your most important pages on the header of your website, allowing your audience to easily find and access the information that they are searching for. It is always a good idea to include a search drop-box or bar on websites which contain a lot of information. On sqreamtech.com, we’ve included links to our About Us, Technology, Contact, Careers and Blog pages on our site header. These are currently the most relevant pages for our audience which is why we placed them in an easy-to-access area.
Think of your website as the most accessible form of your startup within the cyber world. Now, think about how massive that world is and how many people have access to your website (basically anyone with an internet connection and computer/smart phone). Carefully map out the goals of your site and always keep in mind that first impressions usually have the biggest impact on customers.