You finally got the approval to move forward with a new website design. So you start thinking about images, colors, fonts, and the project moves forward. Sadly, if you are only thinking about pictures, fonts, and colors, I can almost guarantee you are setting yourself up for failure. Why? If the conversation about converting traffic from the site never came up or you didn’t talk about visitor engagement, you may want to put your design team on hold for the moment.
So what does it mean to focus on outcomes? It means you need to create the site with the results you want from the website and what the visitor wants from the website. What are they looking for when they come to your website? What is going to make them click beyond the homepage?
Start with re-reading your website text. What does it say? Does it talk about you, or does it talk about how you will offer solutions for them? From the very start, you want to engage your visitor.
I’ve seen many sites that greet visitors with bold exclamations of size, experience, and talent. However, what does it mean to them? How does that solve their problem?
If you are a business, the visitor to your site likely 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.
For example, if they come to your site looking for pink bikes, don’t tell them that you have been selling bikes for over twenty years and have sold millions of bicycles. Instead, show me pink bikes.
Putting your phone number in the header is not a call to action. It is convenient. Think of it this way, if you are at a networking event, do you start the conversation with “call me”?
Your website is constantly networking for you. It is gathering potential leads twenty-four hours per day. I believe it is your most important salesperson. 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 want the customer to call, how are you tracking conversions? I think it is a missed opportunity to have 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 or open a CallRail account and track calls from the site. You may find that your website may be working better than you think.
Once you start to think in terms of converting visitors, your design will start to shape itself. For example, rather than having the visitor scroll down the page below a giant image to get to your information, you may decide to greet them with the reason they are there instead: to find help or a product or whatever the reason they are there coming to your site.
A well-planned website will lead the visitor to the solution you can offer them and 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, and don’t assume anything. A poorly designed website could technically challenge your next great customer, so 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.