With more than one and a half billion websites already up and running, and a truly staggering amount of new content being uploaded every minute, how on earth does a new website get itself seen by its target audience? Back in 2012 web statistics specialist Netcraft reckoned that 140,000 new websites were being added to the WWW every day. That number has grown since. Today, more than 400 video hours of footage alone are being added by users every minute!

Add to this the fact that users are getting more, rather than less impatient, and that attention spans seem to be getting exponentially shorter, in parallel with the huge growth in web content, and you have a real dilemma for website designers.

There is, however, no shortage of advice to “newbies” about how to make their website stand out, and how to be sure that your site really does convey the things about your company that you want it to convey.

For Rory Skinner, founder and CEO of the website design company Creatify, there are two aspects to a great design, and they both need to be addressed carefully. The first is all about getting the technical side of things right, the second is all about aligning the site’s aesthetic appeal with the key messages and/or branding that characterize your operation.

“The technical side cannot be overlooked, because with the competition that is out there on the web today, you can’t afford slow page downloads and you want to optimize your site so it is found by search engines and is at or near the top of user’s searches.  You also can’t afford to have a site that is weak on security, which is why we use a best in class, highly secure hosting service,” he explains.

Creatify uses what Rory calls human-assisted Artificial Intelligence (AI) web design software to create high quality optimized code with fast page downloads, that will score well on search engines like Google.

On aesthetics, the important thing for users is to be very clear about two things, the target audience they want to reach, and what they mainly want their website to achieve for them. “Once we have the target audience and the main purpose and branding of the site clearly articulated, we can build a very distinctive website,” Skinner says.

The best sites these days tend to be very free of clutter and to present their main messages in a couple of clear phrases. Detail can always be added via the equivalent of a “for more click here” button. However, Skinner points out that there is clear evidence that growing numbers of users no longer bother to click on the “more information” buttons. They want all the information right there, instantly, presented in a visually appealing and very succinct way.

Scottish companies looking to establish themselves internationally, have quite a neat advantage over the competition, in the shape of the .scot domain name. This offers a very powerful way of identifying and branding the company as “Scottish” right in the URL. 

Even where a company’s products and services are generic, and have nothing specifically Scottish about them, apart from their location, there is a clear benefit to be had from Scotland’s great reputation around the world. The .scot suffix is also great for the domestic market. A recent survey of Scottish consumers found that a sizeable majority of respondents thought they would be more likely to buy online from a company that clearly identified itself as Scottish!

Show your Scottish connection with a .scot domain at www.dot.scot

Read article: A direct route to outstanding branding for Scottish SMEs