The design of your website isn’t just about making it look nice.
It plays a vital role in how users see your company, interact with your products and ultimately choose whether or not to buy from you.
In fact, 75% of users will use your website design to judge whether you’re a credible company or not.
If they don’t think your business is credible, they won’t buy from you. They’ll exit your site and go straight to a competitor, which is bad news for your business.
To make matters worse, you won’t get long to convince them otherwise. Most users decide whether to stay or leave your page in just 10 seconds.
Don’t get too put off though, as well designed websites are simpler to achieve than you think.
All it takes is a simple, 7 step process to get it right.
1. Set your goals
Every website has a purpose.
It could be anything from encouraging visitors to buy designer handbags, selling tickets to nearby events or getting users to book a financial consultation. Whatever it is, there’s a unique function that every website is trying to perform.
Before you begin making your own website, you need to set your goals.
This will help you get a clear vision of what your website should be. It will also help ensure that every single element of your website is built to help achieve this goal, which is great news for your business.
2. Outline what you need to achieve your goals
Now you’ve got a core goal, you need to start thinking about the specifics you need to make it happen. This is called your scope definition.
These are the certain pages and features that essential for your site.
- If you’re selling a range of winter sports items, you’ll need product descriptions and information for everything you’re selling as well as a checkout system for people to buy your products.
- If you’re a photographer, you’ll need a gallery of images that you’ve taken for previous customers.
- If you’re a beautician, you’ll need to list all the services that you offer, the hours you’re available and where you’re based.
In addition to these specific features, there are other pieces of information and pages that you should include to help improve your website’s credibility. These include contact information, terms and conditions and an ‘about us’ page that outlines why users should trust and buy from your company instead of a competitor.
3. Create your sitemap
The next step is to create your sitemap. This is a literal map of all the pages that will be created on your website and where they are placed.
Sitemaps serve two main functions in creating your site.
Firstly, they are a practical to-do list that details how your website will flow and everything you need to create for it.
Secondly, sitemaps show your user journey.
This is because sitemaps detail how users will find information on your website and the journey they will have to take from one page to the next.
Ideally, you want to make your customer journey as short and simple as possible. After all, the fewer hoops your users have to jump through, the more likely they are to buy from you.
So, take time to think about your customers and the best way to map our your site to make it easier for them.
4. Create your content
Content is the backbone of your website.
It’s this that does the selling and ultimately convinces your visitors to take an action. That’s why it’s important that you get it right.
When creating content, remember to explain everything in clear, easy to understand language.
Stay away from using jargon or complicated terminology. After all, if users can’t understand your product, why would they buy it?
Most importantly, tell your customers what’s in it for them. Create benefit-led content that gives them the exact reasons why they need your product or service, and why they need to buy it from you and no one else.
5. Design your website
Once all this planning and background work is in place, it’s time to design your website.
When designing your website, try not to get caught up by dated gimmicks that will age your website in a few years.
Instead, keep it simple with clear and easy to navigate designs that your customer will understand. This will also help keep your loading speed low, preventing users from going elsewhere.
We recommend creating the design of your website after creating the content. This helps make sure you don’t get caught out trying to make things look good without offering any value to your customers.
By creating your content first, you have all the elements you need to help stick to and achieve your goal.
6. Test with real people
User testing gives you real-time insights into how people actually see and use your website.
It’ll be a way of identifying any weak points, any way the website doesn’t make sense or even places where a function may be missing. For example, a user might search for something on your website and be surprised when they can’t filter the results down.
When testing, don’t use family, friends or anyone who’s been involved in creating the websites. This will prevent you from getting accurate results that can improve the design of your website.
Instead, get real people who match your customer profile to test the website. These are the opinions you need the most, as they’re the ones who are going to be buying from you.
If you haven’t got the resources to set these tests up yourself, websites like UserBrainare excellent ways to test them for you.
Once user testing is complete and any adjustments are made, it’s time to go live.
Keep in mind though, just because your website is live, it doesn’t mean the work is done. You need to track and monitor your results, keep your website up-to-date and test any changes that might increase your sales and conversions.
Need an extra hand?
Websites are complicated. Although you could do it all yourself with DIY website builders, you’ll be spending a lot of time and energy making something that could potentially do more damage to your sales and conversions.
Because websites are vital to attracting customers online, it might be better for you if you call in the experts.
But, that doesn’t mean you need to go to an expensive web design agency.
You could spend less money finding freelance copywriters, designers and developers to create your website, using platforms like Fiverr or UpWork.
Alternatively, you could go to companies like Adzooma. With an in-house team of experts, Adzooma create benefit-driven web pages custom to your company, all within 5 working days.
Whatever solution you pick, remember to design your website around your customers and the goal you want to achieve to maximise your success.
Image Credits: Web Design from Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock