When looking at a new website brief it’s important to understand the main functionality and purpose of what the site is designed for. Understanding this clearly up front enables a smooth briefing and coding process, working with your developers of choice. It will also give you a good idea of how much the site will cost to design and build to ensure its priced correctly.
Given we’ve created over 4,500 websites in our ten years of supporting agencies in their web development requirements we feel we know a thing or two about this subject so we’ve put together a short guide to the three main styles of website design that we regularly see.
Brochure Style – The Shop Window
This is the simplest website brief that we get which is simply designed around the style of how a company’s introductory brochure would be designed. These sites usually have limited functionality but present a strong brand presence online to ensure the organisation is listed when people are searching for a given product or service. It’s often seen as the online shop window that can draw a prospect in to look further at the company and often gives them that all important first impression.
The site would usually follow the format of; homepage, about us, service/products and a contact page.
Things to consider;
- The site build and cost will depend on the number of pages needed and also if any added functionality is required, for example any specific forms or widgets or tools that can be used such as an income calculator for an accountancy firm
- The style and design that the client wants the site to look like – the client should propose what existing sites they like which can act as a starting point for the designers
- Don’t scrimp on design – as the site suggests this is a shop window to the company so it gives that all important first impression to the brand and what is on offer
Business to Business – The Lead Generator
If the website is for is targeting other businesses then the site will usually have an aim to generate leads and opportunities for their sales team to qualify and close. Therefore as well as being the shop window, the website will need to be built to ensure users can easily make an enquiry and pass over their contact details to be followed up.
For that reason the structure of the site needs to be built with the buying journey in mind, to guide users through a series of steps to build trust in the brand and give assurances that they would want to work with them. In a complex B2B organisation they may also be targeting several different people and roles throughout the company so different targeted messaging across the site will also be important.
From a web development perspective there may be different aspects to consider such as any technical widgets on the site that assist the prospect in deciding on using the brand such as a mortgage calculator for a Wealth Manager. The site may also need to be integrated with any marketing automation technology used or with a CRM system to ensure leads are nurtured correctly and feed seamlessly into the company’s sales processes.
Things to consider;
- Think about the structure of the site to take prospects through the pages to any ultimate goals and call to action buttons
- Assess the structure of the forms needed to capture data, ensuring they are fully secure and GDPR complaint to avoid any data sensitivity issues
- Consider any technical integration with systems such as marketing automation (for example HubSpot) or a businesses CRM
eCommerce- The Money Maker
The final design for consideration is whether the business needs a transactional site to take payments and sell products. Careful consideration is needed again in the structure and user flow of how the site is built to ultimately ensure that the visitor is funnelled through the buying process to make a purchase on the site.
Given the site will be taking personal financial details, the process of how this will be done needs careful consideration especially around the security of the payment pages. Integrating an off the shelf eCommerce tool such as Shopify is the easiest way to build this out and this also comes with the added assurances around security already built in. Ensuring there is an SSL Certificate for the site is another key part of the build to ensure its developed correctly for this purpose and is encrypted for any transactions made on site.
Again integrating with any CRM or email systems used for keeping clients up to date with their purchase details or future offers is also an important part to consider when scoping out an eCommerce website build.
Things to consider;
- Consider which eCommerce tool you will be using to integrate with the site (i.e. Shopify, WooCommerce or Magento)
- Ensure there is a clear conversion rate optimisation strategy to allow as much site traffic converts to paying customers as possible
- Security plays a big part in any eCommerce site so make sure all the necessary SSL certificates and site security measures are in place
Here at Gooey we have a range of expertise in different site builds that have been gathered over the 10 years we’ve been working with agencies.
If you have any further questions on this article or a project you’d like us to give you some help with please feel free to get in touch; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on: +44 (0)161 237 3114.