6 Steps to Winning Web Design
Your website is the core of your online marketing.
Most marketing, online especially, brings visitors to your website and the main purpose of a website is turning visitors into customers. In marketing terms, this is a conversion. A conversion can be someone buying a product from your online store or making contact about one of your services. So you want a website that converts.
A bad website will mean you spend more on other marketing services like SEO, PPC and Email Marketing, but you don’t need more visitors if they are not becoming customers. The better your website is, the higher the conversion rate you will have.
There a lot of “Web Designers” who can build you a website without any real planning that will display your services or products, some images and contact information, but is this what you need?
The answer to this is simple, no. Here are 6 steps to winning web design.
1 – Analysis & Investigation
Analysis and investigation are always the first stages of any website and we like to ask these 3 questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What is the purpose of your website?
- What are your website’s goals?
As an example, let’s say you are a wedding dress maker looking to go online.
Your target audience is 18+ year-old females who are getting/plan to get married.
The purpose of the website would be to increase sales revenue for the business by attracting customers to either go to the local or online store.
The goals of the website would be to make it easy for people to see what you offer, how to get in touch and allowing people to make a purchase.
We then go onto the next stage of investigation:
- Who are your competitors?
- What are they doing?
- Do they have a website?
- What can we do better?
Staying ahead of the competition is becoming more and more important, the need to stay ahead is essential as falling behind can cost you more than the investment of keeping up and keeping ahead.
2 – Planning
So now we know what you want from your website, we can plan out what needs to be done and how we are going to go about it.
Initially, this is simplified into 3 basic elements that are at the core of your website:
A wireframe is a skeletal model of your website and web pages giving an idea of how it going to look to make sure we are on the right tracks.
A sitemap is a list of web pages that will be part of your website and how they can be navigated to, they also tell search engines what to crawl when visiting your site.
Technology used on a website is very important, this could mean building your website on WordPress, so it is easily content manageable or Magento, to give you an e-commerce platform to sell online.
3 – Design
At this stage we focus on the key elements of your site to incorporate branding, or the message you want to company and website to portray.
This is broken down as follows:
- Visual Style
- User Experience (UX)
- Customer Journey
User experience, user interface and customer journey are essential when it comes to design. The overall usability is the difference between a good, nice looking site and a great site that converts.
4 – Content
An incredibly integral part of any website is the content that is going to be displayed on it. Some content you should definitely consider:
- Copywriting (Text Content)
This will all not only be optimised for your visitors but all for search engines and play a huge part in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
A very well known phrase in the industry is “Content is King” when it comes to ranking well in search engines and isn’t to be taken lightly. With search engines primarily focusing on relevant, quality content that attracts natural backlinks from quality sites, you will be giving your site the best chance possible with quality content.
5 – Development
This is where the “bricks and mortar” of your website is, the stage where it is actually built. This stage will involve:
- Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
- Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
- Responsive (Mobile Friendly)
In 2015 we reached the tipping point of where mobile queries hit 50% overtaking desktop, so we believe all websites should be built with this in mind to work across all devices, this is where the “Responsiveness” comes in.
6 – Testing & Deployment
We’re nearly there, but we are not done yet. Before deploying a site it will be tested thoroughly, some of these tests will include:
- Functionality tests
- Web browser compatibility
- Fix any bugs
Once everyone is happy the site is ready to go live we deploy it, but we’re not there just yet, as part of this deployment we will:
- Monitor site behaviour
- Manage any future updates and maintenance (optional)
- Ask ourselves “Are we happy to put our name on it?”
As you can see, having a new website is not a task to be taken lightly (or put in the hands of amateurs!).
Our name goes on every one of our websites and we want to be as proud of it as you are.