hicklvesting launched a completely new corporate website last autumn: new design, revised content and a more specific audience targeting. We were supported by creative designer und web development expert Anton Barchukov: In this article he clears up the top 4 myths of creating new business websites.
The triumphal march of “Homepage-Builders”, which can be used to “tinker” with a company website in short time, has decisively changed the point of view of professional web development. A website can be created within hours and the result still looks professional, according to the marketing appeal of the construction kit manufacturers. What remains unmentioned here, however, is that the aesthetic appearance of a website construction kit and its performance, in terms of loading time and responsive design cannot be compared to the distinctive design solution that has been individually developed for a client in the corporate sector, its needs and customer requirements.
Even if the technical side of website programming is disregarded, a successful corporate website, which generates traffic and thus customers or, as a minimum, consolidates the corporate image, involves a time investment. Brand communication, user experience and quality content require prior consultation and ongoing correction laps. Close cooperation between the various roles such as designers, developers and, last but not least, the client is essential to achieve a convincing overall image on the website and thus of the company.
Nevertheless: The pure development time does not have to get out of hand, it can even be quite short if the preparatory work is right. The hicklvesting website was programmed within three weeks because a well thought-out concept served as basis for it right from the start.
The design of a new corporate website is not only about images, colours and typography. It is above all about a convincing structure in which the website user can find his way around. It is all about a good user experience. A new visitor must be able to easily find the information they are looking for on the website without getting bored. Many companies focus mainly on the appearance of their site and fail to offer exciting content far from pure product presentation: Content that tastes good to the fish and not to the angler.
A competent developer helps the corporate client with his experience to find a good balance between user experience, aesthetic design and relevant content. Not to forget: Connecting the corporate website to web analytics is a must-have to continuously optimise the website based on “hard numbers”.
The optimal user experience of the hicklvesting website was a defined requirement from the very beginning.
Mobile is everything. Responsive web design allows websites to be displayed perfectly on different devices – for example, desktop computers and smartphone. Years ago, it was not necessary to create a version optimised for all devices, but today this is an essential part of design and development. Layout has to be adapted for all screen sizes, because the mobile internet has finally taken hold – even when it comes to providing information to smaller businesses like the hairdresser next door. The share of large screens is steadily decreasing, everything is queried and done on mobile phones, so the mobile-first approach is a priority for developers and content producers alike. A new corporate website must look and be handled just as perfectly on the smartphone as on the desktop version.
For the hicklvesting website, six adapted versions for each typical display resolution were created and implemented for each subpage. Special attention was paid to the mobile navigation!
After going online is before going online – the development of a website is an ongoing process. In order to keep up with the latest technical developments, a successful corporate website must be regularly provided with security enhancements as well as system and plugin updates. Even functions that were omitted before the launch due to time constraints can be added in a modern CMS without much effort.
The hicklvesting website is updated regularly, both to keep the code base up to date and to delight users with new features.
Good content brings sustainable success to the website and relevant traffic. What is good content? Website visitors have a specific concern when they click on a company website. It is important to know and serve the target group’s needs. Many companies present their expertise and products from the company’s point of view – this often means images and texts that are too small-scale and not service-oriented. A change of perspective brings the decisive success: What is the target person looking for on my website and how can I successfully provide answers? The challenge is to put the user searches for certain keywords into a relevant relationship with your own products and services. This is the key for successful SEO content and website copies that are read and motivate people to want to learn more – about the company and its products.
hicklvesting is itself a content producer for strategic SEO texts. The content of the new agency website focuses on user-relevant information, supplemented by current, entertaining industry news.
Anton Barchukov is an expert for design-affine websites, he is freelance creative director in a web agency and founder of the company klargedacht. Anton lives in Berlin.
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