Designing a website for your business takes a lot of time and money. If you aren’t doing it yourself, you have to find the best designer available to do it for you. If you are a web designer, you will still need to invest in tools, resources, domain, hosting, etc, just for starters. So you certainly want to get it right on the first try.
Thinking about it, we have put together a list with 10 tips that will ensure that your website will correspond to your target audience’s expectations. And they become mandatory if you like that it actually works for you, as in your traffic being boosted and your marketing goals being achieved. So let’s get it started.
Tip #1 – Do some research
This first thing you will have to do is some research. And the second thing you will do is more research. If you want to engage your readers, you need to know what they want, and the only way to find it out is by asking them.
So, go to forums, Facebook groups, Quora, and check what they are talking related to your product or service, for starters. Also, formal research methods, using questionnaires, surveys, interviews, and so, never lose their effectiveness.
Tip #2 – Have a look at your competitors
Your competitors will have a lot to tell you – the successful ones, of course. Have a look at their websites carefully, and see what they have in common – this is the best way to distinguish a marketing decision for this or that colour from a personal choice.
Also, spend some time with the best templates available for your industry. It is very likely that who designed them did some market research so to create templates that would suit your kind of business. Meaning that you could get some insights from them.
Tip #3 – Beautiful isn’t always the best quality
Forget everything you know about what is beautiful here. Remember that beauty is usually based on a very particular opinion, so you will never make all your clients happy at the same time. It is just a lost cause.
Plus, it is very likely that your website will be seen on different devices, such as a computer, a mobile, or a tablet. And it will change the way it looks like, even if you have the best responsive design.
So, make sure that your website is pleasant and align with what your users expect, but it is more important to be efficient than pretty.
Tip #4 – Think about content
Content is the king, as they say, not design. No matter how much it breaks your heart, your design should be prepared to make your content shine, to create a memorable user experience, and not the other way around.
Think about how your design can help your content to stand out, to become easy to read and to increase the number of conversions (if this is your goal). Make it clear, so that it won’t stay on the way – people will tolerate a weakly designed website if it gives them the info they need, but they won’t stay long navigating there if the design just makes them confused.
Tip #5 – Customize as much as possible
Even though this is a very hard thing to do, you should always have customization in mind. Not that you need to be bothered offering a pallet of colours so they can pick their favourite to the background, or anything like this.
What we are talking here is of never just using a template as it is, or importing a payment method widget and leaving it there as you got it. Put a bit of a personality in every detail you can, and it will make your user more comfortable and engaged.
Tip #6 – Remember your marketing goals
Even if you are solely in charge of the web design, you should never forget the marketing goals involved. Actually, this is one of the first questions you should be asking your client about before starting to create their website’s design.
And this is because you need to have a direction, and this can only be achieved by having the website’s goals in your mind all the time. It will help you to make better decisions from which font to choose to more complex tasks.
Tip #7 – Put yourself in their shoes
At this stage, take some time to do a bit of theatre, and put yourself in the user’s shoes. Think about what you would be looking for, which side of the screen you would look at first, where would you click, and how you would navigate on that website. It will give you plenty of insights about what to do and prioritize.
And don’t forget do it again after getting your first attempt of design done, so you can make any necessary adjustments before publishing it. It is very common to be carried away by our own opinions during the design process and completely forget about the users’ needs, so double checking is never a bad idea.
Tip #8 – Try some A/B testing
Now, that you have published your website, it is time to make sure that you have made the right decisions. And a great way to do it is by going for some A/B testing. This method consists in publishing two versions of your website with just a small difference between them.
You can, for example, test different colours for your buttons, or background. Or different font sizes. So you can check which one works best for your audience. Results might take a while to come, especially for new websites, but it is worthwhile.
Tip #9 – Check the metrics
An essential thing you will have to do in order to ensure that your design is corresponding to your target audience is to consistently check the website’s metrics.
You, or your clients, probably have already set both Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, so make the most of them. Check their statistics, what they have to say about your audience, and find out the strengths and weakness of your website. And get ready for tip number 10.
Tip #10 – Make adjustments
With your A/B testing results and your metrics in your hands, you must make the necessary adjustments as soon as possible. Don’t underestimate the importance of doing it, neither take it personally. Just get the job done.
Also, don’t be concerned thinking that your user will be shocked if you change your design overnight. People are quite used to this kind of adjustments, and, yet, you can do it slowly and step-by-step if you think that your users are more sensitive.
To sum up
Making sure that your target audience will be happy with your website, and come back for more relies on dealing with your design in a very professional manner.
You need to be able to deliver the best user experience that you can, and you won’t be able of doing it if you don’t know enough about them for starters.
With enough information in your hands, you can build your first design, and test it. You will need to check your metrics, so you will know if you are going in the right direction.
You will also have to be ready to make adjustments whenever necessary. And by following these tips, you are much more likely to have a successful website, which your target audience will be happy to share away and to convert on it.
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