Last week, Harper James sponsored a fantastic BusinessCloud event, celebrating the best of tech in the North West. The event saw entrepreneurs and successful businesses sharing their inspiring stories about how they’ve overcome difficult challenges and turned into lucrative businesses using innovative tech.

A common theme struck us when listening to these amazing entrepreneurs. Not only do they have a great service and product to offer the market, but they all have great websites too – from the design and user experience all the way through to the website performance.

Are you losing traffic from a poorly designed website?

Recent research has revealed that poorly designed websites can cost businesses a fortune in lost sales. Our Managing Director, Billy Evans, agrees: “Up to 75% of traffic to your website will form a good or bad impression about your brand within seconds – that’s potentially three quarters of your overall traffic you might be missing an opportunity to sell to! Crucial factors such as a poor visual design appearance, slow page load times and bad user experience can ensure page abandonment and most certainly impact your conversion rate and your bottom line.”

So what can you do to prevent this?

Billy provides five expert tips for designing and building an effective website.

1. Select the right agency to work with

The amount of clients that come to us with websites that were built by rogue developers and consistently break is alarming. Make sure you do your due diligence and put some time aside to research the different types of agencies out there. Don’t be afraid to ask the agency for examples of websites they have designed and built.

2. Be realistic about the budget you have

A high quality website doesn’t have to set you back a lot of money but you do need to make sure the agency and developer you select can design and build your website within your existing budget. Making a list of necessary versus nice-to-have features can help focus where spend goes. You can always build these updates into a second phase when fresh funding comes in.

3. Make sure you maintain your website

If you liken websites to like cars, you need to maintain them to ensure they run well. If you don’t invest in them, they breakdown or stop working as efficiently as they used to. Once a website is launched it still needs to be maintained and updated regularly. Many brands can easily fall into a false sense of security after a new website launch and quickly see a decline in speed, performance and uptime. You must make the essential SEO updates and carry out regular maintenance checks.

4. Generate traffic for your website

Good website design is paired with an effective website strategy and great content. How can you measure website performance if it isn’t driving any traffic? Supporting your website with paid and organic marketing efforts such as PPC, social and SEO really pays off when it comes to increasing your website and brand visibility online. Make sure you have another pot of budget allocated for paid traffic.

5. Design and development are a partnership

Agencies are there to bring the added value that not all in-house IT teams can offer. When working with an agency, it should be viewed as a partner and extension of your team to expand your knowledge. If you have a maintenance agreement set up, then your agency will carry out regular site updates and share your site performance tests with you, as well as sharing the latest game-changing technology.

Give your brand some love

If your brand and website is in need of TLC, you can speak to one of our fantastic Harper James team on 0845 45 88 444 to get a free quote or start a live chat with us today!

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