Web Design Tips from Our Local Marketing Expert
Web designers are artists by nature. They will concern themselves primarily with how the site looks, rather than focusing on creating a site that maximizes your earning potential. Let’s take a look at a few pitfalls that many web designers get caught up in and how to avoid them when creating your site.
What are the demographics of the people we expect to have on our site?
Demographics are a very important issue when designing a website. Are we dealing with older people? Are there more female decision makers than male decision makers? How educated is the average visitor to our site? How wealthy is our average visitor? All of these things will affect how you wish to present your business online. Your target demographics will have an effect on the following aspects of your website:
- Fonts and font sizes
- Photos and graphics
- Use of social media and its incorporation into your site
- Contact methodology (includes forms, coupons, white sheets, phone number, email)
- Promotions and features
What information do we want them to see?
Another thing that many web designers overlook is determining which pages are needed for the site and which pages need to be featured in building your site. Over the years, I have seen many creative sites built without the pages or the information that potential clients want to see, or pages that are buried in the navigation or are hard to find. A rule of thumb is: every time you make someone go to a different page, you will lose a third of your audience. It is for this reason we need to keep in mind what the audience wants to see and make it as easy as possible to find it. You can do this in the following ways:
- Navigation Bar – This is the main navigation on your website. Usually there can only be between 6-10 pages on the top line of the navigation bar. We need to make sure that they represent what your potential customers most want to see and the easiest way for them to navigate to your sub pages.
- Featured Content – This is generally represented by spots on the main page that feature another page of content on the site. This could be a rotator image, a featured section on the home page, or promotions on the site.
- Sub Navigation – On sites with over 40 pages, it is often important to have sub navigation on secondary pages. What information is most important and most likely to be valuable if you are on a given page, and how do you want them to be able to access that information?
What pages or routes do we want to make them go down to get the information they want?
Routing website visitors is often something that is overlooked. If you are remodeling a kitchen, an example of the path you would want a client to take would be to go from the home page, to the Kitchen Remodeling page, to the kitchen remodeling gallery page, to the FAQ page, to the contact form. How can we make it easy for the customer to take this optimal path? Featuring pages on each page and making the navigation clear are two prime examples of how to do this.
How can I capture their marketing information?
This is one of the last things that web designers think about when designing your page. It is important to have a number of places available on each page for someone to get your contact info and reach out to you. When your target customer is ready to reveal themselves to you, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you. It is also important to vary how they can contact you, as each person has their preferred way of communicating to you. Some examples of ways that you can capture their marketing information include:
- Phone calls
- Form submissions on the Contact Us page
- Coupons and special offers
- Mailing list requests
- White paper requests
- Free consultation requests
- Social media
Am I converting a significant percentage of visitors into customers?
One question I often ask my clients is: How many people per 100 visitors turn into leads? Customers? Usually the response I get is a shrug of the shoulders and an, “I don’t know.” This is a very important and valuable tool in determining how you should promote your business online and something that Higher Images takes very seriously. We set up goal tracking and call tracking with our clients to learn these important numbers and see where to optimally invest valuable marketing dollars into the future. This ensures the best return on investment for my client’s advertising budget and lets us know when to tweak our marketing strategy.
Does your website provide adequate information to the Search Engines?
This is my specialty, and it’s something that most people don’t think about at all. It is important to have content related to the search terms that you want to show up for on the search engines. If you are a steel roofing company, you will never show up for the search term “Steel Roofs Pittsburgh” unless you have content for that term. Sometimes it will require additional pages of information in order to be visible for all search terms. We work with our SEO clients to find out what searches they would like to show up for and in turn, develop a slit of all pages that a new site will need.
Are you giving them an opportunity to be a champion of your business?
Once a visitor to your site becomes a customer, do you make it easy to tell people about their experiences with you online? Now more than ever, Google and Yelp reviews shape how your business is seen and perceived online. It is important to develop a proactive strategy to shape that conversation online to be most beneficial to you and your business.
Higher Images prides itself on creating digital marketing solutions that produce exemplary results for small business owners in the Pittsburgh area and beyond. If you are considering upgrading an existing website or creating your first website, contact one of our digital marketing specialists at 412-203-1996 and learn more about how Higher Images can be the difference in your online success.