You only have one chance to make a first impression.
They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but let's face it, most people do. And as they also say, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." When potential customers visit your website, what kind of impression does it make? It's crucial to have a website that is polished, professional, easy to navigate and inspires confidence in the visitors who are considering giving you their business. One misstep can lead to a user clicking away from your site, never to return.
10 Tips for a Great Website Design:
Before you contract a web design company to start building your new or redesigned site, it’s best to take some time to make plans about your desires and goals.
1. Gather together your existing marketing tools. Tools such as letterhead, brochures, packaging and the like. Are you satisfied with the look of your current designs? If not, this might be a good time to revamp your total look, including your logo. If you are satisfied with them, then they will help inform the look for your new website.
2. Take a look at your existing website if you already have one. What do you hate about it? What do you like about it? Just because you’ve decided it’s time for a redesign or an upgrade of your technology doesn’t mean you need to throw everything out the window if there are parts of the site that are great and working well.
3. Check your stats. While you’re reviewing your own site, it’s a great idea to look at Google Analytics or another tool that will help you determine some key statistics about your current site. Your site designers can help you interpret these numbers and see if there are trouble spots or underperforming areas of your site, and determine why that might be.
4. Check your competition. Go to Google and type in the search terms that are most relevant to your business. Look at the top three sites that come up to get an idea of what your competition is doing. Do these sites have any particular attributes in common? Make a note of it. Perhaps they all include an excellent mapping feature. Write that down, it may be something you should have as well. Make note of any features that stand out as being particularly eye-catching or helpful. Notice how their sites are organized. Also notice what is confusing or doesn’t work particularly well. Make note of anything that you think would be advantageous on your own site.
5. Think about your audience for this site. Do they have any special needs? Are they tech-savvy or tech-challenged? It will help your web designers to know whether they are creating a site to appeal to community college students, affluent soccer moms, active seniors, or upper management at Fortune 500 firms.
6. Consider your inefficiencies. Take some time to think about how you currently interact with your clients, how you respond to customer service inquiries, what are some of the tedious tasks that your staff spend a lot of time doing. If you don’t know, ask your employees. Keep these in mind when you consult with your chosen web design company. They may have ideas about how to create online solutions to cut down on the time spent answering the same questions over and over, making reservations, processing payments and more. However, also be mindful of the time and capabilities of your staff and whether they will be able to keep on top of these new online tools. Having an online forum for users to ask questions that no one ever replies to is worse than not having anything at all. So plan accordingly.
7. Plan your site for mobile first. “Mobile first” is one of the hot catchphrases in design today for good reason. More people now access the web via their phones than on laptops or desktop computers, and this has a great influence on how your site should be laid out. Any new site should now be designed to be “responsive,” meaning that it will adjust its layout based on screen size. Any reputable web designers will be practicing mobile first already, but it’s something to keep in mind as you go forward. Large detailed graphics don’t work well on mobile, they are too hard to see and read. Compact, simple, clean designs and images look best.
8. Create a site map/hierarchy for the organization of the site. This will almost certainly change as you go through the design process, but it’s good to be able to give your web design professionals an idea of the scope and size of the site up front.
9. Start writing content now. Website launches are frequently held up by the web designers waiting on content, files, photos and the like from the client. Start putting that all together now.
10. Test it out. This is so crucial but many businesses skip the step of thorough, unbiased testing before launching the site. Recruit volunteers from outside your company, and watch how they interact with the site. Or hire a firm that specializes in this sort of work, it’s not that expensive, and it can be quite eye-opening. Terminology or simple features that seem self-explanatory to you and your staff can often confuse or completely stump the uninitiated. Small tweaks made after this process of testing can lead to great improvements in usability for your customers.
A great website experience is a blend of engaging content, clean coding and the latest technology. At InSourcingOut, we strive to incorporate these features into every website we build in order to create the best possible user experience. Whether you need a brand new website or are looking for a redesign, we can create that great first impression. We design and customize websites to fit your target niche and increase your traffic. Whether you simply need a basic site with a few pages of information, or a complex shopping destination, or anything in between, we've got you covered.
We focus on creative and results-driven solutions to generate brand engagement, and more conversions with tangible results. Robust site architecture, creative design, quality coding and an eye to your marketing strategies are just a few of the important factors that make up an integral part of our web design process. Our friendly experts are ready to help you realize your business potential online, and we maintain an open channel of communication throughout the development process to ensure that you are satisfied with the end product.
We look forward to working with you!
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