Digital Insights
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Avoiding Common Website Design Disasters

Published: March 26, 2015

A professionally designed website is absolutely critical to the success of your digital marketing strategy. In today’s technology-driven marketplace, not having a website is as pointless as going to a networking event without business cards. Consumers in record numbers are turning away from traditional marketing media, and if your business isn’t well represented in the new digital media alternatives, one of your competitors surely will be.

Building a Website Used to be Stupid-simple
In the early days of the Internet, websites were as much a novelty as they were a marketing tool. Web design and call-to-action copywriting skills were basically non-existent, and practically anything you slapped together would draw the public’s attention and generate sales. Fast and easy profits were there for the taking and life was good.

Times Have Changed
Those days are long gone. Creating an effective website that converts visitors into paying customers requires professional design, writing, coding, and buyer behavior skills to name just a few. That’s a lot of moving parts to juggle, and a critical error or omission in any one area can easily cause your new website to crash and burn on takeoff.

How to Design Your Business Website the Right Way
1. Start with a clear understanding of what you want your website to accomplish. While it’s possible to design your website to serve multiple purposes, you need to establish priorities in terms of your website’s goals. Are you primarily interested in providing information about your company’s products and services? Generating leads for your sales team? Making an online sale? Encouraging a visit to your brick-and-mortar store?

2. Know your target audience. Different design approaches appeal to different audience groups. Just as you would tailor your sales language and style differently for a 20-real old prospect than you would for a senior citizen, your website will be more effective if it’s tailored to the specific buyer persona that represents your core target audience.

3. Reduce clutter wherever possible. Overly busy web pages make it difficult for your visitors to focus on your message. As any sales pro can tell you, a confused mind never buys. Try to focus on one primary goal or topic per web page.

4. Spend at least as much time creating your headlines as you do your body text. An effective headline will draw reader’s attention to your text and give them a compelling reason to read your content.

5. Choose your web page images carefully. Whether you choose photos or graphics, your images should directly relate to your text or to the page topic. Use the highest quality images that your budget permits, and use stock photos sparingly. There’s nothing more annoying for visitors than seeing the same photo of your “management team” on another website.

6. Design your site with the mobile device user in mind. Mobile is truly the wave of the digital marketing future as more and more users use a variety of mobile devices to access the Internet. Because Google has recently begun to punish non-mobile-friendly sites in the search results, it’s critically important that your website displays well across all mobile devices.

7. Include a strong call-to-action on every page of your website, preferably near the top of the page. Don’t assume that visitors will intuitively know what action you expect of them. At the very least, every page should include a link to your contact form where visitors can request additional information about your products and services.