03 Mar What goes into a website
A lot. In fact, a team of diverse skills will make sure that your website catches the attention of those drunken gnats referred to by Forbes.
You will have various marketing channels to reach your market. Google Ads. Outbound calls. Search Engine Optimisation. Adverts. Sales team. Digital and print media adverts. Social media. Each has a different role to play in attracting sales. You need to know what role your website must play in your marketing mix because just like the elements mentioned above, a website cannot be all things. How does your website compliment or support your total marketing effort? Be very clear on this otherwise your website will be all over the place.
So a prospect searches for your product or service and hopefully your website comes up on the first page of Google. Now it’s you versus 5 or 6 other websites plus the 3 or 4 sponsored listings. What makes them choose you? What differentiates you from the others? It comes down to how quickly they can connect with you. To connect, you need to know what’s in their heads. At this stage, they’re not looking for widgets (they know what you offer, they Googled ‘widgets’). You have 3 or 4 seconds for them to gain a sense of “I like them. I think I can work with them”.
A short discussion with your Brand and Design agencies brand strategist will set you up for success.
3. User experience.
There are two key disciplines involved in crafting a satisfying user experience.
UX – which deals with emotions – is all about a person’s perceptions and responses that can result from the anticipated use of your product, system or service. It is all about emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions physical and psychological responses. Your website has to win that battle for the browser’s mind.
UXD or UED is the process of enhancing user satisfaction through improving the usability, ease of use and importantly, the pleasure created by the interaction between the user and the product or service information in front of them.
Ideally, you want a UXD (User Experience Designer) working on your website. Insist on it!
4. Copy writing
We have spoken about ‘brand’ and ‘UX’, both of which deal with surfer emotions, but how do we evoke emotion? The copywriter is not only describing your product or service accurately but also trying to optimise the chances of keywords and phrases moving you up the rankings. In addition to this ‘dry’ side of copywriting, they’re also using words to create the emotions that you’re looking for. Note: Emotions that you want! You cannot leave this to chance. For example, what is that first short sentence that the website browser sees? What grabs the drunken gnat browser into instant soberness?
So if you thought that a website was just about design and coding, it becomes clear that there’s more to it. In Sherpa, our Creative Director is also a qualified UXD so that fits nicely together into a seamless thought process. Before committing to designing the website, ask for a wireframe so that you can make sure that all the content is catered for, that the website flows and it is user friendly. Talk to the website designer about latest design trends because you don’t want to go live with something outdated. Let the creative designer also explain the strategic use of ‘white space’ to you. White space can actually be any colour but it creates an emphasis on key points and also allows the browser’s eye “rest” from clutter. At this stage, the creative designer has been fully briefed by her Sherpa colleagues and can design within a structured, planned framework. This framework includes Brand, UXD, UX and Copy Writing requirements, plus she has also had lengthy discussion with the website developer to ensure that her approach is workable.
The website developer or coder now picks up the project, building the website and making sure that it works as planned. He or she will also be making sure that the coding is done in such a way that it works for SEO (search engine optimisation) purposes.
Coding can demand at least 50% of the time allocated to website design and development. Here, the importance of Agency and Client agreeing on the wireframe referred to earlier is critical. Once coding commences, any changes to structure can result in additional costs to the client and the worst case scenario is a complete restart.
Given the complexity of website projects, Traffic or Project Management is a key area of any development, especially as your project will generally coincide with others. The Traffic Manager works with all the parties involved, including the client, making sure that the website is delivered on time and within budget.
Sherpa shields our clients from the complexity of projects but will educate and inform the client in order to ensure a pleasant experience with a world-class website emerging at the end.
Sherpa Brand & Design
+27 83 677 7342
We have splendid offices in the Vineyards Office Estate but are still working remotely so please contact me on my mobile phone or by email.
Founded in 2006, Sherpa is a multi-skilled Cape Town-based Brand & Design agency. We also have many clients in Gauteng, and have successfully served clients in UK, US, Australia, Windhoek, Sudan and Congo. We believe in the personal touch and most of your interaction with Sherpa will be with our CEO or Creative Director.