The first thing every web designer must do to create a profitable website is thinking strategically rather than creatively. No doubt, designing is a creative pursuit, but when profitability enters the picture, you need to start thinking in terms of whether the website's design can generate revenue for the client. After all, the purpose of every website is to market a business and its products and services. The design acts as a persuasive tool that aims to help customers make the right buying decision.
The job of a web designer is to ensure all design elements come together to deliver a fantastic UX.
Let's take a look at the 11 tactics that can help do just that:
Understand the Project Brief
The first step in design is to understand what the client wants. This is important because it helps you understand whether you can really deliver a design as per the client's requirement and whether the client has well-grounded expectations from the design. At times, the client might have a design brief that is not really well-fleshed out and lacks details. As a designer, it will be your responsibility to add the necessary details to the brief so that clients get an idea of the look and feel of their prospective site. The idea is to take charge of the design right from the word go.
Identify your Audience
Who are you designing the website for? The intended audience of the website should determine your designing decisions, in part. For e.g., a website catering to a teenage audience will need to sport a lot of graphics, multimedia and offer an extremely engrossing experience. On the other hand, if you are designing a site for a middle-aged audience, you have to pick and choose elements that this audience will expect and which will appeal to them.
If you do not know who your audience is, there is a very good chance your website design will fail to make an impression on them, leading to website abandonment.
Get Your Thoughts Sorted Out
The problem with contemporary web design is there is a range of options available as far as design elements, platforms, technologies, etc. are concerned and which can confuse even the best and the most experienced designers. So, you need to identify the right resources for your project; pick the ones that you know are absolutely crucial for your project. Make sure your selections fall within the client budget and can help you design a project precisely as per the client's requirements. This guarantees a design that delivers high ROI.
Impressing in Seconds
A website has as little as a few seconds to make an impression on its visitors; yes, that's right, only a few seconds. So, website designers must design websites keeping the 'few seconds' rules in mind. The choice of design elements must be such that they should be able to create an impressive value proposition immediately. Your design needs to start satisfying user requirements as soon as they land up on your site. Any delay will mean they'll just move on to another site.
Did you know that the use of the right images can help improve the conversion of a website? Yes, if your website has impressive imagery, it can result in better business profitability. One of the many reasons why this happens is that relevant images help increase the credibility of the website. Visitors are also prompted to go through the website because of these images. The right images with the right kind of emotive appeal can actually persuade website visitors to take a positive decision vis-à-vis the products on your site.
Clarity of Purpose
What do you want your website to do? Do you want it to trigger sales for your business, generate brand awareness, or use it to improve brand authority and reputation? If your purpose is clear, you will be able to take the right designing calls. In the earlier pointer, we discussed the use of images and seen from the context of purposefulness; designers need to use need-based images; these are the kind of images that either deliver or enhance the delivery of the brand message. This is not possible if there is some ambiguity in their minds about the website's goal.
The website design of the World Wildlife Fund is characterized by the use of compelling images that perfectly represent the purpose of the website. This is what clarity of purpose is all about. When visitors access WWF, there is absolutely no doubt in their minds about what WWF does.
There are some designers who think, websites with stunning visuals prove to be more effective. This might have been the case some years ago when visitors were impressed by the striking visuals of websites and formed a positive impression about brands based on the stunning visual imagery of their websites.
This isn't the case anymore. What visitors are looking for is easy and quick access to relevant information. What're more, simple websites have scientifically proven to be better. A simple design shouldn't mean a bad looking website.
The Apple website is a textbook example of a simple website with lots of whitespaces and which looks extremely elegant. It makes its point brilliantly.
Have you come across a site where the business's contact information is nowhere to be found? This is a terrible designing gaffe and tactical blunder. If a website visitor is unable to find contact information of the business represented by the website, it is a huge mark against this business. In fact, the business's reputation will take a hit. Visitors can form an impression that the business, for some reason, doesn't want to share contact information.
This is why every website needs a page that has been designed specifically to display the business's contact information. Every successful brand website displays the full spectrum of contact information right from its physical address to email and from its fax number to directions to its office on Google Maps.
Good Use of Calls to Action
If you want to understand the importance of Calls to Action (CTA) buttons, go through this article on HubSpot. It takes you through 17 of the best buttons and which make you want to click on them. Your CTAs must be properly worded, easily visible, and display urgency. It's important that your CTAs don't force people to buy your products or services, but convince them that your business offerings make the best choice for them.
Focus on fresh ideas all the time. Try not taking the route that everybody else does, as that can mean you come up with a boring site that doesn't excite its intended audience. It's important to understand that your website visitors are a jaded lot who spend a large percentage of their time going through all kinds of online resources, including websites. If your website design is similar to many of the websites they have visited in the past, there is a very good chance it won't make an impression on them.
Don't Try too Hard
Your website must not come across as something that is trying too hard to convert visitors into leads/customers. It must try to make its point without the visitor feeling that the website is overwhelming in its use of sales-specific information. When it comes to designing your site, you must focus on giving subtle hints to the target audience as to why your business is better than its competitors.
If you want to design a website that succeeds, you need to be able to clearly answer why and how the design elements and strategies used in the design of a website, can help achieve the website's (business's) goals. If you get this part right, there is absolutely no doubt, and you will have a more profitable website on your hands.