Web Design: Directing and Maintaining Traffic


In the past decade or so, E-commerce has taken the world of business by storm. Not only do the majority of business now operate online as well as on the high street, but virtual giants such as Amazon have actually taken some big corporations out of business altogether. So, what is it about operating online that seems to come hand in hand with success? Well, when it comes down to it, online commerce benefits both the retailer and the customer greatly. Let’s start with convenience. The internet is unlimited when it comes to operating hours. By opening a store online, you can operate around the clock. This means that your business becomes accessible twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. When you bear in mind that the majority of people work throughout the usual store opening hours of 9-5, you lose out on a whole lot of business by working on a solely brick and mortar basis. Selling online eradicates this problem. Consumers can also buy goods from the comfort of their own home and have them delivered to the comfort of their own home, which is a whole lot easier than heading out to the local mall and having to spend money on extortionate parking. E-commerce also allows you to easily expand to a global market - when you set up online, your page will be accessible to people all over the world. All you have to do is to ensure that you offer international postage. You never know where your biggest market might be and this process may put you in touch with your next biggest source of profit. Then you need to bear in mind that operating online is a whole lot cheaper than forking out for commercial property, security, and members of staff to operate the shop floor. This means that you can offer products at a lower price, usurping competitors and bringing their customers into your open arms. So, if this all sounds good to you, it’s time to set up online. Here’s everything that you need to know about directing traffic to your page and keeping it there! 

Setting Up Your Website 

The first step on your journey is to actually set up a website. Now, this is likely to be the most time consuming part of the process, but as long as you put effort in to start with, you shouldn’t have to think about web design again for a long time once you’ve launched your page. So, it’s worth being vigilant. First, you will need to purchase a domain name. Ideally, this will be your brand name. Next, you will need to contact a web designer. While you could attempt to carry out the work yourself, you’ll need to pick up an extensive knowledge of CSS and HTML coding, and this can be a time consuming process. By collaborating with a professional, you gain the expertise of someone who already has all of this knowledge under their belt. You also gain their experience. A consultation will allow them to understand exactly what you want from your website. They can then bring your ideas to life! They will also be able to guide you in the right direction if you suggest something that is a little controversial or ineffective. After all, they will have worked on so many websites that they’ll have a good idea of what appeals to the consumer market and what doesn’t. You should also seriously considering making sure that your website is optimised for mobile use. Long gone are the days when people only accessed the internet through their desktop computers and laptops. At the moment, huge numbers of consumers are using their tablets and smartphones to shop online, so your website seriously needs to accommodate this and meet their needs by operating on these platforms. After all, you want your products and services to be as widely available and easily accessible as possible in order to sell the most goods and rake in the most profit. Over 2.1 billion people in the world have smartphones. Just think of all of the potential sales you could lose out on by simply having poor mobile web design!

SEO 

Once you’re site is up and running, you need to direct people to it. After all, you can have the most pleasing website in the world, but if nobody visits it, what use is all the effort you’ve put in so far? Every small business requires as much traffic as possible to pass through their web page in order to boost brand exposure and process as many sales as possible. Now, achieving this is where SEO comes into play. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is a commonly employed business practice which primarily focuses on getting as many search engine users to make their way to your website as possible. At this point, many people will question what search engines could possibly have to do with the number of people who access your site. But think about it. If you’re looking for a certain product online, what do you do? Hardly anyone will directly type in a brand’s website address into the search bar. Instead, we will generally input keywords or phrases into a search engine. When we browse the results, we generally limit their search to the results that appear on the first (or at a push the second) page. It’s pretty clear that you really do need your website to appear as high in the results as possible to get the most visitors to your site as possible. This is where search engine optimisation comes into play. Now, every search engine will operate in its own unique way and have different means of ordering results. However, we’d advise that you focus your efforts on Google to start with. This is because Google is the most popular search engine and is the go-to option for most web users. 1.7 billion people use it, so you should focus on what the majority of the market is using. Once you’ve got to grips with Google, you can then start to focus on Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines. Unless you have a thorough working knowledge of how search engines work yourself, it’s best to work hand in hand with SEO specialists who will be able to produce profitable results in short periods of time. 

Keeping In Touch With Visitors 

Once someone has reached your site, you want to be able to keep in touch with them. This goes for visitors who have merely browsed your items and customers who have processed sales alike. After all, just because someone hasn’t bought something the first time they’ve been on your site doesn’t mean that they won’t add future releases to their basket. This is why every small business website should have a mailing list. A mailing list is a list of people who give you their contact details in order to be alerted to new releases, special events, or other announcements from your brand. There are various ways that you can incorporate a mailing list into your web design. It could potentially appear as a permanent box at the bottom of each page, or could alternatively appear as a pop up on your landing page, inviting visitors to input their information and sign up. This will keep your brand in contact with them at all times and can encourage them to return to your page to make further purchases in the future. You may want to offer some sort of incentive for people signing up, as they’re unlikely to hand over their email address for no reason. A common incentive tends to be 10% off their first purchase or free delivery on their first purchase, which encourages people to spend as well as stay in touch! If you find that operating a mailing list entirely by yourself becomes a little too difficult or time consuming you should bear in mind that there are various third party companies out there who are more than willing to lend you a helping hand. Take Mailchimp as an example. This company will automatically collect all of the data submitted by people on your website in the newsletter sign up form. They also send out your custom designed newsletters and emails on an automated basis after you input the desired time and date for each notification to be sent out. You can then use their design software to create custom emails which will be automatically sent out to your mailing list at specifically selected moments. The design form allows you to make your newsletters and emails fit in with your brand design and aesthetic. You can ensure that everything is in your branded colour scheme, your logo is located in each email, and your brand name and contact details all appear in the header or small print! 

While setting up a website may seem like a long, difficult, and drawn out process, it really can be simplified with the help of the right professionals. What’s more? Your efforts will be rewarded with increased profit from the consumer market you’re catering to! If you follow the tips above, your website should provide your business with an exceptional return on investment.


I hope you enjoyed this article about how to properly set up and optimize your website for maximum ROI.

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