You finally got the approval to move forward with a new website design. So you start thinking about images, responsive web design, colors, fonts and the project moves forward, but if you are only thinking about pictures, fonts and colors, I can almost guarantee you are setting yourself up for failure. If the conversation about converting traffic from the site never came up or you didn’t talk about customer engagement, you may want to put your design team on hold for the moment while I explain.
Your Design Needs to be Customer Centric
So what does “customer centric” mean? It means first and foremost you need to create the site with your customer in mind. What are their needs? What is going to make them click deeper into the site?
Re-read your website text. What does it say? Does it talk about you or does it talk about how you are going offer solutions for them? From the very start, you want to engage your visitor.
When your customer lands on your site, what problem are you solving for them?
I’ve seen plenty of sites that greet their visitors with bold exclamations of size, experience, talent, etc., however, what does it mean to me. Solve my problem and you will have my attention. Tell me you understand and I will reach out to you.
If you are a business, it is very likely the visitor to your site has a problem that needs to be solved. Imagine walking into a store and rather than being asked how they can help you, they immediately say what you are looking for is right over here before you even ask! That is what your website should be doing for your visitor. If I come to your site looking for pink bikes, don’t tell me that you have been selling bikes for over twenty years and you have sold millions of bikes, just show me pink bikes. I don’t have time for your history.
Is your call to action clearly defined?
Putting your phone number in the header is not a call to action, it is a convenience. Think of it this way, if you are at a networking event, do you start the conversation with call me at? Your website is constantly networking for you. It is gathering potential leads twenty-four hours per day. It is your most important sales person. Your website will have more chances to convert sales than any person you could hire. You need to take advantage of these opportunities.
Even if you really want the customer to call, how are you tracking conversions? I think it is a missed opportunity having a single number for all your marketing materials. How do you know what is working? At the very least, get a separate number for your website and track calls for that number. You may find that your website may be working better than you think
Your new design should now be clear
Once you start to think in terms of converting visitors, your design will start to shape itself. Rather than having the visitor scroll down the page below a giant image to get to your information, you may decide greet them with the reason they are there instead: to find help or a product or whatever the reason is that they are coming to your site.
A well planned website will lead the visitor to the solution that you can offer them and to an easy way to reach out to you. If you offer many solutions, offer multiple paths. Make it clear what you want the visitor to do. Don’t assume anything. Your next great customer could be technically challenged. Why make it difficult for them?
The actual layout and design (photos, colors, fonts) should be your last topic of conversation because once you defined the content, everything else should be supporting those objectives. Don’t get me wrong, your site still needs to be professional and well designed, but as in many successful designs, form follows function. Your website should be no different.