Creating an online presence is a crucial part when trying to grow your business whether it is small or medium-sized. The first step is the launch of your website and with this comes different management responsibilities to ensure you’re generating traffic and continuously growing your customer base. Below are some tried and tested tips on setting up a successful online presence that apply to every stage of the online journey.
Often, the most common question when it comes to website building is how to create a good design. In this case, hiring a designer is a really useful investment. Designers have great knowledge in visual communication and problem-solving. With their expertise and skills hiring a designer can be a great idea, why not make things easier for yourself.
However, a designer may not be within your budget right now and that’s okay! There are so many features in design that can be learned and applied on your own. Here are some tips.
There is a big myth about design and that is that it’s all about how the site looks. It’s important to get an understanding on what design actually is. Visual styling can be used as a tool however, design is more than this. Design is all about contributing to intentional decisions and a focus on identifying and solving problems on your sight from the beginning. Rather than asking yourself about what the site looks like, ask WHY. For example, start with “why are we putting an image in that place” rather than “what should the image look like”. A practical solution can be formed through clear knowledge on what the problem is. Be sure to ask the right questions rather than only looking at superficial details.
Once you know the value of WHY in the process of designing your website, you need to ask yourself “why are people coming to my site?”.
People usually have a few answers for this question but there is always one main reason why customers are interacting with your site. This action represents the most success to your business. Let us take a shop as an example, this action may be to buy a certain product. For a social network it may be to sign up. This main action is your Primary Win and should align with the goals of your particular audience. You can refer to your defining your target market success sheet to ensure you know your exact target audience.
Once you know your win, begin by looking at your calls to action. Analyse language that encourages people to interact with your website. Different calls to action may be used, for example “add to cart” or “sign up to our newsletter”. When analysing these make sure that your primary win is clear and ensure that the language used, the content, and the patterns of design encourage customers to take action.
There are also secondary actions, these may be used as other ways for customers to interact with you for example as a product seller, you may have a support forum and a shopping cart. These secondary actions should not take attention away from the primary win, having too many calls to action make it difficult for customers to know how to engage with you. Keep it clean, don’t overcrowd things with too many options.
Common patterns have evolved on the internet that people now expect when they are browsing the web. Most websites have a header with information such as the company name and logo. A site navigation tool is usually found on the left side of the screen in the header. A footer is also found on many websites with contact information and other details such as legal notices. The main content can then be found in the middle.
With the design of your website, it is so important to keep things simple. The more complex a website is to navigate the less likely the customer is to continue browsing it. When laying out your site, here are some patterns to follow.
Provide the content in a hierarchical structure, where the most important elements have the most visual weight. Create your headlines larger and bolder than your content, for featured stories create a larger image than supplemental stories. Colour, shape, typography and imagery can be used to aid the hierarchy.
With a visual design, less is more. Limit your colour palette and use neutral colours, for example, black is a good option. Pair the neutral colour with 1 or 2 accent colours which can be your brand colours. When using accent colours for text or background, ensure that there is a contrast making the content readable.
When it comes to picking a font, use one font for primary headings and one font for main text. The main body font should be easy to read and used in small, dense paragraphs. With headings the font can be larger. Thin and light fonts, as well as thick bold fonts can become hard to read and should be avoided. Google provides a great font pairing tool which allows you to look at different font combinations.
Here are your savvy tips for building a website that your customers will love. If you need more assistance or want to learn more about building your website or growing your customer base, why not take a look at the other free resources you can find on the website or book a complementary 30 minute discovery call and find out how I might be able to help. Click here to book your call now!