Build a Tour de France winning website. Matthew Johnson - Head of Marketing & New Business by Matthew Johnson, Head of Marketing & New Business

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You wouldn’t rock up to the Tour de France, untrained, armed only with a pretty bike, and expect to win, would you? 

All too often humans allow how something ‘looks’ to determine how ‘good’ it is perceived to be. Great design balances functionality, performance, and aesthetic, usually in the simplest way possible. In the same way that a pretty face does not imply intelligence among people, a pretty website does not mean it will perform the way your business needs it to. It could be damaging your business if the website neglects things like the user experience, information architecture, SEO, calls to action, testing, etc.

One of many timeless quotes on design that encapsulates this message comes from the late Steve Jobs. He stated: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Not only does this represent Apple as a brand and him as an inventor, but it encapsulates how every great designer measures success. It has to work first, and then it has to work beautifully.

Whether you are focused on getting more inbound leads, collecting emails to build a list, or simply educating your audience, your website should have specific, measurable goals to generate a worthy return on your investment. It must then be tracked and consistently improved or updated to outperform your competitors.

“Great design balances functionality, performance, and aesthetic, usually in the simplest way possible.”

Consider an athlete competing in the Tour de France, one of the world’s most gruelling sporting events. What are your chances of winning when comparing bikes A & B? 

Bike A: Wheelmen copper-plated, python leather bicycle - £30,000
Bike A: Wheelmen copper-plated, python leather bicycle – £30,000

 

Bike B: Pinarello Dogma F12 - Tour de France 2019 Winner - £12,000
Bike B: Pinarello Dogma F12 – Tour de France 2019 Winner – £12,000

You could be the fittest and most ambitious rider on the course, but you have no chance of winning if you buy bike A. Everyone on the course will beat you because the tools you invested in are not suited to the task ahead. The bike looks great, but it is not designed to compete in a high-performance sport.

On the other hand, bike B has been developed by experts with decades of experience, is tailored to the individual athlete, built for performance, and optimised for speed, navigation and security. The bike is operated by an ambitious athlete in peak condition who also has an expert coach to advise on course strategy and to help with training. For the rider to increase their return on effort expelled, together the coach and athlete should track performance and make small, continuous improvements over some time to fulfil their maximum potential. The result is a great experience for the audience (spectators, sponsors, pundits, etc) and the user.

The same sentiment applies to a well-managed web development project. The following may sound familiar: 

A website should be developed by a team of in-house experts with decades of experience, entirely personalised to the client, and built with specific goals in mind to enhance performance. It should be optimised for speed, navigation and security and have clear goals which determine what success looks like. The web partner should also be able to advise on strategy. For the client to increase their return on investment, the web company tracks performance and makes continuous improvements over some time to fulfil the site’s maximum potential. The result is a great experience for the business and its users/customers.

Aesthetically speaking, top riders look good as a result of the relentless effort they put into training and improving performance. TdF winners don’t spend 2 hours preening themselves before the day’s race because it really doesn’t impact performance. A great aesthetic comes after the toughest part (training) has been done. For us, that means after a discovery meeting, brand consultation, desk and field research, technical and behavioural analysis, and so on. If done correctly (and your designers are as good as ours) ‘good looks’ is an expected output of all of the hard work that goes into building your website.

If you’re still wondering why we’re comparing competing in the Tour de France to building a website: 

  • The equipment you chose is a critical success factor when competing against other top riders (businesses).
  • The rider (business) must choose the right coaching staff (digital partner) to deliver results. 
  • Once the rider (business) buys the bike (website), the work is just beginning. 
  • The bike (website) must be functional and help the rider (business) achieve their goals.
  • The strategy must be tailored to the rider (business). 
  • The bike (website) needs to be fast, secure, and easy to navigate.
  • Tracking performance and making continuous improvements to technique and strategy exponentially increase your chances of winning. 

Companies that continually invest in their websites get the best return on investment. A post-launch strategy is vital as it is this stage which provides the most tangible results for businesses. As stated, the work is just beginning once you have your new website, so you must make sure you have a clear strategy in place and you choose the right digital marketing activities to propel your business forward.

To discuss a web project, or to get some advice on improving your website’s performance get in touch today by giving us a call on (0)20 8293 7740 or dropping me a line: matt@contra.agency.

 

Matthew Johnson - Head of Marketing & New Business by Matthew Johnson, Head of Marketing & New Business
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