The Internet has had a dramatic effect on business; traditionally a marketing department looked at screen and printed media as the best way to advertise; these forms of advertising have increasingly been seen as an irritant by consumers, something that interrupts the enjoyment of viewers or readers.
What has replaced this type of advertising is the concept of websites that get and retain the attention of potential consumers. There are a number of challenges for a business to achieve consumer attention and it certainly needs the expertise of professional Internet companies that understand how the World Wide Web works and how to fulfill their client’s requirements.
Another major behavioral change has been the huge increase in the consumer actually buying online after researching a subject and being given alternatives to explore.
There are a number of aspects here; the design of a user friendly website that is easy to navigate, quality content that catches the attention and retains it, and an ordering process that is easy and secure. This presupposes that the client’s business has a competitive product that the consumer wants of course.
The responsibility of the client is their products and the services they provide; the website designer can handle everything else and that includes the work that might be needed to get the website towards the top of the search engines so that it will be ‘visible’ to an interested audience. This audience is very valuable because it is actually an audience that has already expressed an interest in the subject through the search engines.
In terms of the design aspect, experience has taught what works and what doesn’t work; that expertise will adapt a client’s ideas on colour, font, image and content into the design but use a structure which is readily recognized technically. It involves dialogue between the designer and the client so that both sides understand what is required and how it will be achieved.
When it comes to ‘visibility’ among-st the host of websites on the World Wide Web, the search engines are continually changing the way in which they rank websites; the way they effectively make them ‘visible’ to general enquirers researching a subject. People working every day with the Internet have the knowledge to adapt their work to take such changes into account. It is a matter of constantly monitoring and looking at a website’s statistics, looking at its traffic and identifying which pages are being accessed more than others.
Information creates ‘authority’ status
E commerce has increased enormously but it is not necessary to have too many sales ‘lines’; a website can get a reputation for being an authority on a subject with regular blogs inviting questions and comments. Answering questions and providing those responses promptly and offering further news will reinforce a website’s strength in the rankings. Sales are a natural consequence of regular traffic to an authority website and this is something that an expert designer is able to provide.
It is just a matter of making contact and explaining what the business wants to achieve and beginning a dialogue to get the project moving.
Steve Smith is a freelance writer who lives on the South West coast of Turkey in the small town of Dalyan, famous as a nesting site for the endangered loggerhead turtle. He writes on a range of topics from current affairs and economics to consumer affairs and ecommerce web design.