So you have a winning idea for the business, and you are working hard to implement it successfully. Your website/app will play a key role while you are trying to grow your business.
Having a great site can help you to get your customers. According to a study by Clutch.co 64% of small businesses have their website, and it will grow up to 94% by 2019.
Why is it essential to have an attractive website?
- It represents your company and your brand (logo, colours)
- It helps to differentiate you from your competitor
- Your website is your salesperson that interact with your customer for the first time
- According to Google research, 89% of B2B researchers use the internet during the B2B research process. So if you do not have a good website, you lose the customer
- It helps to improve credibility. According to research having a website helps to enhance reliability. Below studies shows what customer looks for when they visit your website.
So, having a great website is the first chance to make a good impression. Let me brief you about how great sites are built. According to a study by Stanford below points are essential when you are creating your website:
- Beautiful design
- Mobile Optimized site
- Best user experience
Let us look at them one by one.
1. Beautiful Design
If you have 0.05s to make the first impression then why to compromise on website quality? It has to be impressive to make the visitor stay on your website for a longer time. There are various parameters which add value in website design and you must consider them:
a. Make your site structure aligned
Whatever design you are selecting make sure all the design elements, texts, and images are aligned with each other. You don’t want your customers to see your website cluttered and lose credibility.
b. Uniform Fonts and colours
Use uniform fonts and colours throughout all webpages. Fonts and colours can impact how users perceive your brand, whether they are triggered to know more about your product/services, their engagement on site or they are distracted because of the wrong choice of colour and fonts.
I would suggest hiring a design expert who knows the science behind the effective use of colour pallets and fonts to attract user attention.
c. Use relevant images
Images are the dominant medium to convey your message. The user will always prefer images which grabs attention rather than a boring site without any images. While choosing the images, consider your audience, their behaviour, perception so that it will positively impact the audience when they visit your website.
You have to make sure your images are not slowing down your website. Using large photos or videos may hamper your page speed, and in this fast-paced world, no would like to visit a slow website.
2. Mobile Optimized site
As per Google’s study, 75% of users prefer a mobile-optimized site. If your site is mobile friendly, there is a high probability that they will return to your website and become your customer.
So make sure your website is running smoothly on all platforms and is browser compatible.
3. Best User Experience
Users might forget content on your website, but they will never forget the experience they got while browsing your site. Keep in mind your audience persona, put yourself in their shoes and think whether or not they will like your site’s UX. You have to consider the following aspects while designing UX:
a. Site Navigation
The site should be easy to navigate, and the user should be able to browse through all the site pages without any confusion.
b. Link logo to the homepage
Logo of your website should be given a link back to your home page.
c. Do not hide your data
Avoid using techniques like accordions, carousels to hide data as it makes the user decide whether to click or not based upon the title. It makes the user experience complex.
Choosing the right technology for your website/app
You have two options to build your site. Either you can design your website with the help of CMS, or you can choose programming technologies like PHP, Angular /Node.js/JS to build the website.
While the first option looks easy to implement, I would suggest going after it if you have an informative site with only a few pages to display. If your product/service demands to have a complex and dynamic web design you might face below problems while working with CMS:
- It becomes complex to customize CMS as per your needs & full customization is not always possible
- CMS can put a load on the server
- They need to upgrade & maintain regularly
In this case, it is always a great idea to hire a team of programmers and design a website/app as per the needs of your business. You can employ either an in-house team of the developer or outsource the work.
If you have an online business and your website needs to be updated frequently, then having an in-house team of developers is advisable. Let me share some widely used technologies that you can use to build the website:
1. Front-end technologies
2. Back-end technologies
Some of the popular back-end technology includes PHP, Python, and Ruby. PHP is used widely as it is easy to use and easily installed on servers.
3. Database technologies
The database technologies that you can use are Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MS SQL, MongoDB. Oracle is the most popular enterprise database which is used worldwide.
4. Mobile App technologies
You have to analyze whether your business requires a mobile app or not. Decide the goal of building a mobile app and then go for it (if it is really worthy). If you are opting for native apps you can use technologies like Java (for Android), objective-c/ swift (for iOS), and Ionic/Cordova (for hybrid apps).
Deciding technology stack for your startup is dependent on the type of product/service that you are offering. It varies from case to case for each start-up. You have to have in-house tech expert to decide it, or else you can hire an expert for the same. If you want to read more about various technology stack, you can refer to this site.
Choosing the right team
Whether you are hiring an in house team or outsourcing the work, you need to make sure your website is in good hands. When you are a start-up, you can’t have the luxury to spend money on something which doesn’t provide any value to your business. Every penny counts when you are growing your start-up.
So choose your team in such a way that they understand the company’s vision and contribute to achieving that vision. There has to be a synergy in the company’s and the team’s vision to achieve success.
Building your in house team
You can follow below steps to build your in house team which can develop a great website/app for your start-up. This step will require you to select technology stack first and then search for experts in that field.
1. Sourcing front end developers
Write an attractive job description to get top talent in the industry. Then use various sourcing platforms to post the job description. You can use job platforms like Indeed, CareerBuilder, social media sites like LinkedIn, freelancing sites like Upwork, Guru to source the developers.
2. Assessing candidates to shortlist the best candidates
This step is the most critical step in building your team. Hiring a bad candidate who doesn’t fit your job requirement can cost you a lot. (Cost of bad hire is as much as 30% of employee’s first- year salary).
A start-up can’t afford to hire a team with skill-gap. Shortlist developers from the sourcing sites and evaluate skills with recruitment assessment tools like Interview Mocha to make sure you are hiring a job-fit candidate.
Once you develop your website you have to make sure it is running smoothly and is bug-free. To assure that you can hire a software tester who perform continuous testing on your site and make it a quality product. You can take help of QA online assessment test to assess & hire software tester for your team.
These tests will help you to identify relevant candidates whom you can invite for the process of interview. So even if you are not a technical person, this process will help you to find the right technical person, who can help you to build a website.
3. Interviewing the filtered candidates
You can take face to face interview or opt for video interviews. There are some useful tools which can help you to record asynchronous video interviews of the candidate and evaluate in your own time.
Evaluate scores from the screening and interview process and select the right candidate who fits in your team.
Selecting an outsourcing company
If you want to hire an outsourcing company, you can use below points to choose the provider:
- Go through their portfolio and check the previous work
- Client reviews on websites like Clutch.co
- Skill-set of developers
- Time Zone Preferences
Content is King
Content is an integral part of a useful website. Content represent your company to your audience as well as to search engines. So you have to effectively use it to educate your audience and create it while considering the best SEO practices.
Here are a few tips you can use while creating content:
1. Specify the purpose /offerings clearly
You have to specify your product/service offerings clearly so that users can easily understand what your product is all about, who is your target audience, pricing structure, delivery processes (if any). Writing a clear purpose will help your audience to understand your offerings easily.
Start writing your blog which will be targeted to your customer persona. Writing a “how to guide” can help you to connect with your audience easily. Writing a blog will also help you to:
- Increase your audience
- Educate your audience
- Generate Leads
3. Use effective CTA
Use “Call to Action” (CTA) for each page of the website to grab the attention of your audience and generate leads for your start-up. If you want to learn more about creating effective CTA, you can refer to this Hubspot blog.
4. Hire a content writer
If you are not sure what content to produce and how to make it SEO friendly, you can hire a content writer and he/she will take care of everything.
There are many ways to build a successful start-up. Building a killer website/app is an important step when you are growing your start-up. It is the primary face of your business, a place to showcase your product and a place to get your first impression on the minds of your targeted audience.
So what are the best practices that you follow or would like to share? Also, I would be happy to help you if you want to hire the right team for your startup. Let me know in comments below.