Many companies nowadays, even the small ones, have a website because they know it helps broaden the reach of their business… it allows them to access customers they never could have before. However, a poorly designed website will lead to poor results and, naturally, a well designed website can lead to a wildly profitable online asset.
Web design is a simple concept but a hard process, and it’s not just about the looks either. You need to remember that the site you have created must be able to pull in the right audience and then convince them that they should trust you as a brand.
You have to spend the time to determine the kind of site visitors you’re targeting, the flow of information, your ultimate goal and lastly how you should design your website in a way that will create a positive user experience.
Luckily you have found this guide which will provide you with the starting foundation to help build a wildly successful website.
#1 – Establish Your Goals
Before you even think about starting your website you need to know exactly what you want it to achieve. For example, do you want to sell products, get leads (via email or phone?), attract people to your online course, raise awareness about a movement, etc.
One question you can ask yourself is “how do my clients currently interact with my business?”. You will find (not always but often) how your customers deal with you in the “real” world is how they want to deal with you through your website. If your customers call you more then they email you then it is a good idea to have your website goal being phone conversions aka plaster your phone number everywhere in your design.
#2 – Know Your Target Audience
Every marketing guide starts with this idea, so maybe it is worth listening too. You must know who you’re targeting because if you don’t it is impossible to determine what will be effective or not.
For example, if you’re targeting young college students, you can use bright and vivid colours, but if you were targeting lawyers you might use sophisticated language and more traditionally structured layouts.
If you don’t know who your customers will be then you might be better starting with an affordable landing page style website like this one until you know which direction to grow in.
#3 – Know Your Brand’s Image
Knowing your brand’s image is vital because you’ll have to build a website that works on par with your established brand identity. Just think, if your brand is perceived as formal and conservative, it’s best to use a design that reflects this, if you don’t, you might confuse your current customers who go to visit your new website.
On the flipside, if your brand is perceived as more relaxed and casual, you should use a design that conveys these qualities (e.g. friendly images, light colours, etc.).
#4 – Be consistent
Once you have a design… stick with it! Work out the fonts you are using, the text size, colour scheme and all those sorts of things and then DON’T change them. Nothing makes a design look worse than inconsistency. You should also use the same design style as in your logo, advertisements, letterheads, business cards and all of your other business assets.
This is vital not only from an atheistic perspective but it also helps build a recognisable brand over time.
#5 – Look for Areas of Improvement
Once you have your website designed and built, sit down and have a 5 minute coffee break, then you need to start going through the data. What can be improved? Is the website mobile optimised? How are people using the website? Do I need to add another call to action in the services page? Test everything and assume nothing.
We have a saying “A website is a business asset and so it should be treated as such”. A website needs maintenance, updates and improvements constantly to remain a wildly successful tool.
#6 – Remember to Take Baby Steps
Remember to take baby steps because creating an excellent web design isn’t a simple process. Without the help of an experience professional you have a long but manageable road ahead as long as you don’t bite off more than you can chew. You need to be careful when designing your website, which means you need to continue learning about what works for your industry and your audience.
Sometime, it can be best to start small and build big.
Remember, your company doesn’t need a website… it needs a website that works.