One big mistake that a lot of small businesses make—especially those who are just starting to dip a toe into using the web for marketing—is to forget about what the end goal is: to make a sale. Web crawlers that place your site in search engine results don’t make a sale, and neither do decision makers who demand that their site appeal to their own design preferences.
Designing your site so your visitors want to interact with you is the top priority. Here are three things that you should keep in mind when you’re having your site built or redesigned.
1. Know Your Buyer
Seems obvious, right? You’d be surprised how many business owners and managers can’t pinpoint their target audience.
Instead of committing to tight, targetable descriptions, these people start piling one audience on top of another until they’ve got a hodge-podge of people coming to their site who really don’t want to be talked to the same way. Another pitfall is the self-concerned owner or manager, who would rather design a site that appeals to his or her own sensibilities than their customers’.
If you don’t already know why people want to buy from you, ask your current or past customers why they chose you instead of your competitors. And here’s a hint: most customer segments are more interested in hearing about what your offerings will do to make their lives easier, and not the minutiae of details you can give them. That doesn’t mean you should hide those details, just lead with the most compelling messages and images.
2. Choose Business over Beauty
Get it out of your head that websites need to be pretty. All they need to do is be useful, engaging, and above all persuasive for your audience. That doesn’t mean that your site shouldn’t be attractive, but keep your eye on the ball and make sure it appeals to the target audience. If you’re trying to get the attention of new moms in from 25-35 years old, for example, your site should have an entirely different aesthetic than if you wanted to sell to a business where the decision maker is a 55 year old man.
There is one thing you should keep in mind on that note—beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and so should your website. If your site isn’t responsive (that is, changes its format based on which device the visitor is using), then you’re at a disadvantage against your competitors whose sites are responsive. With so many people browsing on their phones, tablets, laptops, and PCs, you need to be ready to accommodate your visitor no matter where they’re coming from.
3. You Have Access to Data—Use It!
So many people seem to think that their website is static, like a billboard or a brochure. In reality, it’s a living, breathing tool that you can change to suit your needs. But to find out what those needs are, you’ll have to let it tell you.
Use data measurement tools like Google Analytics to find out where visitors going on your site. There are a few other factors you’ll want to keep your eye on outside of your site, like where its listing comes up in search engine rankings, but making connections between those exterior factors and how many people are actually buying from you or contacting you is really the core of the exercise.
If you’re not getting the results that you expect to, take a look at where people start dropping off or bottle-necking. Use that information to make discreet revisions, changing some specific aspect of one page instead of redoing the whole site. Making small tweaks based on informed decisions, you can get incremental wins, or jump ahead by leaps and bounds.
Are you getting ready to build or rebuild your website? Set up a free consultation with Allshouse Designs an Online Marketing Agency in Bothell, Washington