Is your website fit for purpose?

Blog | 2nd May 2017

As part of my work as a marketing consultant, I have consulted on hundreds of musicians’ and arts organisation’s websites. The majority of web work I do is via my company Bright Ivy and starts with the same question. ‘Is my website good enough, and if not, what can be done to improve upon this?’

In order to assess whether your site is TRULY fit for purpose, I’ve devised a list of basic questions you should ask yourselves to ascertain the answer.

1. Does my site reflect the quality of what I’m selling?
2. Is it clear and accurate, allowing visitors to navigate my information easily?
3. Does it immediately display my primary offering or does it make my visitor search for what they need?
4. Does it reflect my personality?
5. Does it stand our from competitor’s sites?
6. Is it mobile optimised? i.e. does the design automatically adapt depending on whether people view it on a smartphone or tablet?
7. Does it load quickly on both desktop and mobile devices?

If the answer to all of these questions is no then a new website should be a priority for you. You WILL be losing out on potential customers and work, and you’re not presenting yourself in the best possible light.

If the answer to all of these questions is yes then you’re already doing a great job and can really start to focus on some more of the technical aspects of website functionality. These include creating great content, effective SEO, and better CMS and optimisation strategies to drive more traffic to the site.

If the answers to the questions are mixed, it might just be a case of fine-tuning your site rather than starting again.

99% of websites could do with a little (or a lot) of tuning-up. Wading through all of the information on the web that tells you ‘what constitutes a good website’ can be daunting. Lots of this information is actually dished out by web-design companies whose own sites aren’t even fit for purpose so it’s hard to know what is and isn’t true.

Website must haves
I’ve put together a list of what I believe are the essential aspects of a good website. Working closely with musicians, promoters, arts organisations, press, and audiences give me a fantastic perspective on what people within the industry expect, and more importantly, need from a website. In my opinion they are necessities, and no work undertaken by Bright Ivy is started until our clients understand, and agree why each is important.

  • Easily navigated
  • Clearly structured pages
  • Accessible and error free across a wide range of browsers
  • Prioritisation of content, with logical journey flow for the visitor
  • Clearly laid out and presented
  • Have enough unique and regularly updated content to keep visitors coming back
  • Based around its viewers’ needs, not around what it’s selling
  • Make a lasting impression on existing and potential customers
  • Has a visual identity and design that reflects its owners personality and shows its product in the best possible light
  • Mobile responsive and optimised
  • Have good SEO optimisation
  • Load quickly
  • Engage with viewers at any given opportunity
  • Display contact information prominently
  • Prominently display the company’s most outstanding features and focus on them throughout the whole site
  • Use rich images and satisfying, well-organised content, including videos
  • Explain how its products or services will benefit customers
  • Don’t be afraid of white space. It helps to reduce cognitive load for the visitors and makes the information presented more digestible

If you are interested in website design, consultancy, or website audit enquiries please get in touch with me.