Website Design 101
A website is one of the best and most important investments you can make for your business. Especially if you are an online business owner like me. It serves as the doorstep into your world for potential customers. Some gurus will tell you to skip the website, but I beg to differ. And beg you (yes, down on my knees, LOL!) not to listen to that advice.
If properly designed with an intentional purpose, it can serve you 24/7/365.
Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that. ~ Paul Cookson, Author
Now, before we dive into the platform and technical side of things, let’s make sure there is an understanding of how one can set their website up for success from the beginning stages of the design process!
The Foundation of Your Design:
Before we dive into the design aspect of things, we need to first cover what key goals need to be accomplished within your website. You need to know what you want to accomplish with your website and for most business owners, we want them to visit our services page and then take some form of action, such as contact us or complete a sale. Knowing the customer journey you want them to embark on is key to planning then crafting a website that results in profit.
“A successful website does three things: It attracts the right kinds of visitors.
Guides them to the main services or product you offer. Collect Contact details for future ongoing relation.”
~Mohamed Saad, Designer
As you continue to think about your potential client’s journey, you should also consider who your ideal client is. This will greatly affect how you approach your design. Considering your ideal client’s age, sex, occupation and device usage will help guide you to choose the right approach for your design. This is also where branding comes into play as well too!
While your brand is designed to attract your ideal client, it also becomes your identity too. As you choose colours, images, fonts and your logo, you want to keep in mind how you want your brand to be portrayed. Not to mention, how you want your visitors to feel. We have some great articles about branding that you can read about. Here is one of our audience’s favourite ones!
User Experience with Simplicity in Mind:
I promise we are almost to the fun part of designing! What I would like you to first understand is one very simple rule of design … keep it simple. You will find that not all designers play by this rule and many websites can be extremely overwhelming. They leave you frustrated and confused. (Which is the complete opposite of what we want for your ideal client’s experience to be!)
Here are some of the key components I want you to keep in mind with your design:
- Be sure to use your goals from above as your main guide when considering your call-to-actions. When a visitor visits your website, you want to be their guide through clear buttons and options for them to choose from. This also goes hand-in-hand with eliminating the user from thinking. Make everything as clear as possible for where you want them to click or go.
- Remove obstacles or user requirements for them to reach the goal. This means taking out extra and unneeded contact form fields or large blocks of content that aren’t necessary. Keep things short, simple and require them to take less action. It makes a huge difference with your overall user experience, I promise!
- Do not use numerous colors in your design. By sticking to a dark text on a light background or vice versa, it makes it very easy to read. Be mindful of the colours you are using and use them to draw your visitor’s attention by highlighting buttons and/or prominent areas of what you want them to focus on.
It’s Time … Designing with Confidence:
Now the fun part – designing! Here at VU, we recommend using WordPress with a really great visual builder plug-in like WPBakery or BeaverBuilder. These plug-ins are easy drag n’ drop as well as provide the most flexibility for a small business owner such as yourself. If you are looking to build a website for your brick-and-mortar, start an online shop, or something completely different, WordPress can handle it! We also use GoDaddy to host and manage our website as well as a handful of other really important site goodies like SSL certificates, website security — even our customized domain and email address.
You will want to start with 4 pages for your website … a homepage, an “about” page, a page that has your offerings and of course a contact page. You can add additional pages to the mix, but remember to keep your customer journey in mind along the way. And as you build, continue to make sure your pages support your customer journey and help them reach your main call-to-action.
In this blog post, we go over writing copy that converts for your website.
As you put together your pages, you want to make sure you test every aspect for device compatibility. The mobile version of your website is incredibly important as over 52% are using their phone most days. You can use the Mobile-Friendly Test from Google Search Console to easily see how responsive your website is before launching it to the world!
Wendy Clark, former SVP at Coca-Cola and now CEO at DDB Worldwide, famously said, “If your plans don’t include mobile, your plans are not finished.”
Designing your website can be quite the project but is also a fun adventure to pursue!
By making sure you keep focus on your ideal client, you will be able to easily set up a 24/7 sales machine for your business. Just know it is okay to make updates and changes over time. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time around … You just need to get your offerings and point across in the simplest, most easily accessible way possible.
You are on point and have all the elements of your brand in place but need some help getting them to virtually come together. We know it’s hard to be all AND do all … That’s why we bundled our most requested digital “untangling” services by social and web. Our sole purpose is to be the glue that manages your reputation in the online world. This way you have more time to do what you do best! While we take care of the rest!
Begin “untangling” with one of our digital glue (web) packages today.
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