Transcript of "Get real results from your website"
Getting Real Results fromyour Website
Aims of the SessionThis session aims to equip you with an understanding of whatmakes a successful website and how human and technicalelements achieve thisYour Presenter - Pauline Randall – Florizel Media Ltd
Housekeeping• Timing of session• Fire Alarm and Fire Exit• Other administration• Introductions
Workshop Objectives• As a result of this session, you will be able to:• Explain what makes a good website• Criticise your own website and others, taking into account equalopportunities legislation which applies to websites• Set measurable and achievable goals for your website• Prepare a high level brief for a new or revised site• Prepare a brief and work with suppliers to create an effective site
What Makes a Good Website?• Clearly defined purpose• Content – relevant and up to date• Design – look and usability• Accessibility• Domain name• Contact-ability
Clearly defined purpose• What do you want website visitors to do?• Buy something?• Book something?• Call you?• Fill in a form?• Like you• Comment on something• Tell their friends• Write down what the intended purpose of YOUR website is
What Should My Site Contain?• Clear contact information• Enough product/service information• Personal touches – where appropriate• Real life – reviews, testimonials• Added value – downloads, articles, resources• Innovate!
Key points• Site layout• Navigation – don’t forget that not all visitors arrive on the home page• Brand consistency – colours, logo etc• Images – size, relevance• Think of your target audience• Mobile versions – how will a visitor using a smartphone or a tabletnavigate your site?
Planning site layout• Create an information flow diagram• How do site topics relate to each other?• How would you navigate the site?• How will your customers navigate the site?
Hard to readHow to create content for the Web EnvironmentThere are a number of critical factors in creating content for the web. First of all, besuccinct. This is important as people read information on computer monitors 25%slower than on paper. One approach is to write your copy then to try to reduce it by atleast a quarter.Next is to make your text scanable. For this use such techniques as strong headlines,bullet point lists, tables, links and bolded words.It is always advisable to use plain language that everyone can understand and keepyour labels as meaningful as possible to avoid confusion. Also, try to keep to one ideaper paragraph and try to avoid having too many ideas on one page as this can beconfusing.And finally, try to use sans serif fonts in your website as they are more legible onlinethan traditional serif fonts. It is also worth remembering to keep all text high contrastand highly legible if you want the user to read it as quickly as possible.
Easier to readHow to create content for the web environmentThere are a number of critical factors in creating content for the web. First of all, be succinct. This is important aspeople read information on computer monitors 25% slower than on paper. One approach is to write your copythen to try to reduce it by at least a quarter.Next is to make your text scanable. For this use such techniques asStrong headlinesBullet point listsTablesLinksBolded wordsKeep it clearUse straightforward language, stick to one subject per paragraph and don’t try and get everything onto one page.Watch your fontsAnd finally, try to use sans serif fonts in your website as they are more legible online than traditional serif fonts. Itis also worth remembering to keep all text high contrast and highly legible if you want the user to read it as quicklyas possible.
Usability testingGet some people who don’t know their way around your site todo some testing• Ask them to find something• Get them to go through the buying/enquiry process• Find out what they thought of your navigation/design etcThere are sites that will run usability tests for you – you may getmore honest answers than you will from your friends!
AccessibilityConsider the type of physical disability your site visitor may havethat makes it difficult to use a standard computer:• Visual – poor eyesight, colour blindness or total blindness• Motor – difficulty in using a keyboard, mouse or making precisemovements• Cognitive – difficulty in understanding the language or thecontext of the information given.
AccessibilityTechnical issues which may affect the viewing of your site include:• Small screens• Slow connection• Old software• Old web browsersRefer to BS8878 for current guidelines http://www.access8878.co.uk/Website accessibility checker: http://wave.webaim.org/
Colour contrastAvoid thisAim for thisOr thisOr thisIf you’re not sure - http://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/
Consider the following …www.thisismywebsiteindunfermlineandimakecakes.co.ukwww.maryscakes.co.ukThink of what happens when you remove the spaces…A database of talent representatives called Who Represents?www.whorepresents.com
Give your customers choices• Not everyone wants to phone or email so try and give your visitorsa choice• A contact form• An email address• A physical address• A phone number• And make it easy for them to find – it shouldn’t take a lot ofsearching to find your contact details.
You need to be found!• Online• Content• Keywords• Titles and descriptions• Blogs• Pay Per Click (PPC)• Social media• Email signature• Offline• Any printed materials• Business cards• Brochures• Pop-up banners• Print advertising
CREATING YOUR WEBSITEHaving defined your purpose and planned your content you need toactually create your website – either yourself or using a developer.This section will guide your next steps.
Site Technology• Static• Data Driven, content management systems• Flash
Static• Pages manually updated• Specialist software vs text editor• Suited to brochure style
Dynamic• Database working with HTML pages• Easy to update• More difficult to customise pages• Consistent design as standard• Essential for shopping carts and large sites
Flash• Rich media experience• Can cause compatibility/accessibility issues• Search engines find them hard to index properly• Suited to media orientated sites – music, film, high profilebrands• Won’t run on a Apple software so excludes iPhones, iPadsetc
Your website is nevercompleted!• Keep content updated• Check for broken links – other pages/sites may move or close• Always check your position in search• Regularly check out your competitor’s websites• Keep an eye on current trends but don’t forget that your siteshould be accessible by your customers
Summary• Balance of technical and soft skills required• Be clear about site goals• Choose development to suit skills and budget• Refer to accessibility legislation• Always review your position