Growth accelerator for startups & scaleups
Functionality and imaging are both important. Realize that most visits to websites are very short. People determine within seconds whether they are on the right website, and in most cases they choose to click away. That is why it is crucial to think carefully about your website:
What feeling does my website give and what do I offer?
Why would an interested person stay on your website and not go to your competitor? This question is almost always difficult to answer correctly, because the choice to stay on your website is often instinctive and answers such as 'looks better' or 'offers better information' are not meaningful. There are all kinds of design rules that are known to work/fail, but to really stand out you have to validate a lot to know what works. Many entrepreneurs underestimate how much work goes into creating a good website. Don't get discouraged, take it step by step. Below you will find some important information.
The big advantage of using a professional web designer is that he quickly helps you find a good website. Of course, look at the sites he has already developed and whether the web designer suits you.
Still, you wouldn't be the first to be disappointed about the website your web designer created. A web designer builds the website based on what you provide. If your branding / appearance is not clear, if it is not clear what your company stands for or if you do not provide good texts, you will see this reflected in the website. No matter how good your web designer is. So make sure that your web designer gets good input from you.
Even if you are completely satisfied with the delivered website, there is a good chance that you will want to make adjustments to your website after a few weeks or months. And that makes sense, because your website is now in use. You receive feedback from customers and you also further refine the positioning of your business. These are opportunities for improvement. And handy if you can adjust this yourself right away. Make agreements about this with your web designer.
Moreover: if your website is the heart of your company, you are constantly working on improving / adjusting your website. After all, the market and customers are constantly changing and you have no choice and to adjust your website accordingly. However, these can never be major or fundamental changes, because that would mean fundamentally changing your business. If it is more fundamental, always work from adjusting the business strategy.
In the market fit phase you determine whether customers are willing to pay for your product and whether you have enough paying customers. The profit margin and amount of customers must be sufficient for a profitable business model. Customer experience (or emotion) are important drivers for purchasing. So your website shows this experience. The relevance of experience differs from product to product and from customer group to customer group, of course. You cannot ignore to pay attention to customer experience. Therefore you also validate the operation of the experience of your website. Experience and branding merge here. Practically this concerns logo, use of color, font, images, etc. Keep the website small in this phase, because you're in the validation phase. You will only expand your website at a later phase.
During the market fit phase you ensure more traffic to your website. You do this mainly by ensuring that you can be found via Google (and other search engines). The technique to enable this is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is a profession in itself and therefore a separate page is devoted to it. You can also use search ads on Google to ensure that you appear high in the search results and thus stimulate visits to your website. This service from Google is called Google Ads.
With Google Analytics you can analyze how your website is used. Use Google Analytics as early as possible, because as soon as you have a website you want to know how your website is used and learn from how your customers navigate through your website.
The screens of the phone, tablet and desktop differ in size. A website that you have developed for a desktop does not look OK on a phone and vice versa. Web design packages offer possibilities to support you in easily creating pages for different devices, but nevertheless this takes extra time that you might better spend differently. It makes sense to validate your branding/house style in an early phase for each device. Before you develop the full website for all devices, it's recommended to wait until the validation is ready. Aks your users at an early stage what their preferred device is. In Google Analytics you can see which devices they actually used when they visited your website.
For the security of your website you need a security certificate (SSL certificate). Your web host service provider usually offers a (free) service to request this certificate for you. Please note that the certificate has a limited validity (often 3 or 12 months). So make sure you don't forget to extend this if your website provider does not offer an automatic renewal.
If your startup is in the product fit phase, the first question is: 'what is the purpose of my website'. The answer should be: am I solving a customer problem? In this phase you focus entirely on testing the hypotheses made. Any energy you spend on other things may be unnecessary time and energy spent. This phase is mainly about validating/falsifying hypotheses. Of course, this assumes that you have a group of people from your target group you will lead to your website. Resist the temptation to spend time "beautifying".
The characteristic of this phase is fast iteration. If you want to make an adjustment, you should be able to do this immediately. So make sure you have a web designer on the team who is readily available or do it yourself. The current web design tooling is easy to use, so you can do this yourself. Of course you first have to go through a learning curve, but you have also done that with many other tools.