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Best Website Award Winner 2013

Posted On - 12/05/2014 09:34:17

2013 Winner: Best Website

Steven Keating, Colley Gate Computers, Halesowen.

About the Award

The web offers every business a potential ‘shop-front'The web offers every business a potential ‘shop-front'. ‘High-street' retailers can use one to extend their presence and marketing considerably. B2B businesses can make themselves far more visible and accessible to prospects.

Given people's preference to ‘Google' rather than look in directories, being on the web is not optional it's a must.

Best Website recognises great websites. It's open to all businesses, be they B2B or B2C, and can be non-commerce and/or ecommerce related. The Award is only for one website so if you have more– perhaps one for business and another for consumer customers – you'll have to choose. Excluded is anything related to the use of PC configurators – this is covered under ‘Best Use of PC Configurator'.

Why did you enter?

Colley Gate Computers had just given its website an overhaul – a bit tired and ‘samey', they took their inspiration from the recently launched Windows 8"We'd just given our website an overhaul" says Steven, "it was tired and ‘samey', it just didn't stand out. Windows 8 had just launched and that was our inspiration."

He continues "As for entering, we were proud of what we'd done and just thought why not? We were absolutely chuffed at winning and getting the recognition."

Who is your shop aimed at?

With Steve's shop selling across business and home users he wanted a design that would work for both. "I liked the Metro style" he says, "it gives the site a contemporary feel." And with that Steve's site took shape.

With some 644 million active websites globally, yours is just one competing against huge tried and tested brandsBest practice #1: Use your website to sell locally

With some 644 million active websites globally, yours is just one competing against huge tried and tested brands. Being online is more than just having a website – why would anyone choose you?

"We cater for business and home users in our area" says Steve. So with that Steve's design features his address, opening hours and his Award win prominently in the banner. This website shows a clearly reputable local business selling locally.

Best Practice #2: Use your website to sell you

Your website may be the only contact a prospect ever has with you. So it must clearly convey you're trustworthy and approachable or they'll likely click-on.

"The home page is aimed at the retail user and the Business sub-page brings up the business tiles" says Steve. Right in the middle is an ‘About' tile with a picture of Steve's shop. Click through and there interior shots and other tiles like ‘meet the staff', ‘our customer charter' and ‘what our customers say'. This website shows a shop staffed with real people genuinely helping customers.

Best Practice #3: Give visitors a great experience

While content and navigation are important, user experience hinges on design – looks are criticalWhile Google reports around 3 billion searches daily, the majority of traffic is people being social, looking at things or finding stuff out. Surfers are overwhelmed with choice.

Your user experience has to be better. That means everything about your site – everything – must make visitors want to come back.

Frankly much of that boils down to content, usability and, critically, presentation. Over 90% of the impression your site creates - the trust it inspires - comes down to design. Looks matter!

"Our homepage allows us to communicate different messages at a glance once without it becoming messy or confusing for users" says Steve. Certainly, his use of live tiles presents a tidy ordered homepage with clear navigation. Combine this with a distinctive colour palette and this website's looking good.

Has winning the Award helped?

"Hugely" says Steve "we wouldn't have got coverage in the local press without it." Combined with Steve holding an open day – see ‘Best Event or Activity' – he's seen website visits increase 25% to 40,000 hits/year. "Business is up – it's manic right now."

Will Steve be entering next year's Awards?

"Yes", he says without hesitation. "We don't do anything half-hearted so need to concentrate on the Awards we didn't win. We want to make a big splash with our shop management software."

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