Top 10 Secrets For Web Design Success

Top 10 Secrets For Web Design Success

Creating a web presence for your business? Award-winning Madison, Wisconsin-based web designer and marketer Christopher Parr offers the inside scoop on what you should know — and what you should avoid — when building a successful website for your business.

  1. Know your audience. Create a site for the customer, not what someone in your company or an agency “thinks” the site should say or do. Also, consider the new visitor — look at your site with this fresh perspective — and explain who you are and what you offer at a brief glance. Offer tools for your customers to opt-in for communications. Allow them to subscribe to your enewsletter and connect with you on social media.
  2. Simplify the site. Less is more. Make it fast and easy to navigate. The colors and images should naturally flow from section to section. Put content and links front and center by eliminating clicks. No one wants to hunt for information, so create a customer-centric web destination.
  3. Update frequently. No one will return to your site if the content never changes. Give potential customers a reason to come back for more. From their point-of-view, a stale site reflects the nature of your company. Integrate with a WordPress blog and social media updates. Share the latest news, spotlight your employees and tell your story.
  4. You get what you pay for. Not all designers and developers are created equal. Put the money into it and build a site of value that will last. Consider it a significant investment for your business.
  5. However, not everyone needs to blow their budget. If you’re a local business, sure, create a brief site that includes directions, phone numbers and an e-mail address. Have an “about us” page and link out to your social media channels. But there’s no reason to build an $80,000 wiz-bang site powered by an expensive CMS with distracting bells and whistles. Don’t be talked into something you don’t need. However, focus on security (an SSL certificate) and web site speed. It is important to remember that well-designed websites look good aesthetically and function well behind-the-scenes.
  6. Be prepared for a long and bumpy ride. Regardless of what anyone promises, it’s not easy to create an online presence — especially an e-commerce site. From selecting Internet service providers to working with developers or implementing consumer service software, the process may take twice as long as expected.
  7. No presence is better than a bad presence. As customers compare sites and services — a quickie site created by your nephew with WordPress or SquareSpace might be a turnoff. You may be the best in your field, but first impressions are everything.
  8. Cruise the competition. You might be able to catch their mistakes before you make them online. Learn by their strengths and weaknesses. Tell your story and amplify it to the world, and have it strongly connected to what you want to measure (lead generation, sales, signups?). Your site measurements should report on your site’s goals, which in turn should be your business goals.
  9. Get the facts. You may go with a developer because you admire one of the sites they created — but the designer who created the site is no longer there. Or, perhaps they just host the site — someone else designed it. Ask who’s working on your project; find out skills and experience; call their clients and ask if they delivered as promised.
  10. You’re online. Now what? With the glut of Web sites, it’s hard to get noticed. Be proactive; include your URL on billboards, letterheads, business cards and ads. Avoid blowing your entire marketing budget on that Superbowl ad. Submit the site to search engines and directories, promote it on communities (Reddit, LinkedIn) and initiate cross-promotions with other sites. Connect your site to the leading social media channels.  Buy banner ads on relevant sites or purchase keywords on Google. Most importantly, provide excellent customer service and deliver as promised. Basically, you’ve just begun.

About Christopher Parr

Christopher Parr, CEO of Parr Interactive, is an award-winning writer and online marketing strategist. Since 1995, the Madison, Wisconsin-based internet pioneer and marketer has launched numerous successful web projects, viral videos and online marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and startups.


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