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How to design a website that converts

All too often companies treat setting up a website as a box-ticking exercise.

Companies will often contract out the task to a web design company and opt for something that looks stylish without considering the role that the website needs to play. It may seem a no-brainer, but websites need to convert. If they don’t, they’re a costly luxury and a huge opportunity is being missed.

So how do you go about creating a website that not only looks the part but also delivers in terms of enquiries, leads, and sales?

Consider your audience

Focusing on the needs, desires, and expectations of your target audience is key to creating a website that gets results. The closer it matches what your customers are looking for the more successful it will be. When you think about your audience expectations you need to consider them in the round, thinking not only about what they’re looking for in terms of goods and services but also what their tastes and preferences are when it comes to design and content.

What will your website look like and how will it appear on different devices?

Is your audience young, urban, and design-conscious and therefore looking for something that grabs their attention?

Or perhaps they’re more traditional, or simpler in their tastes and expect something functional and easy to use.

If you’re running a country hotel with an older clientele with large disposable income and particular tastes your website will have a very different look and feel to one for budget accommodation for city backpackers.

Understand your competition

As well as your own audience it’s important to take a look at how your competition has set up their website. However, just because your competitors have a website that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s working as effectively as it could be. When considering a competitor’s website you should approach it as a customer. Think about how it meets the needs of your shared audience. Does it provide them with what they’re looking for and how easy is it to navigate?

It might be that your industry or market niche has a very particular way of presenting itself which consumers will come to expect. These expectations are shaped over time by the choices that brands make, which means you will have to decide whether to mimic the market style, tweak it slightly or ignore it completely. If it’s the latter then you need to have a strong understanding of why you’re going out on a limb. Do you have good commercial reasons why you think the predominant industry style isn’t suited to your purposes and the needs of your audience?

After you’ve taken a deep dive into the websites of your competitors think about how you can emulate what works well and where you can differentiate your website in order to better meet the needs of your target audience.

Optimise for search engines and mobile devices

You can have an attractive, design-led website that showcases your products and services to maximum effect, but if your website can’t be found then all that hard work is wasted.

In order for it to be found it needs to appear in search engine results. To do this you need to pay close attention to SEO, both in terms of the content you provide and the technical aspects. A coherent SEO strategy is essential for your website, not only in terms of the number of people it brings to your site, but also in ensuring that those people are interested in what your business offers.

Increasingly, people access the internet via mobile devices, be that smartphones or tablets, so it’s important to ensure that your website works well on mobile devices. Search engine algorithms now prioritise sites that they’re confident will work on mobile devices.

Create an effective call for action

Ultimately, conversions mean visitors to your website need to feel inspired and motivated to respond, make a purchase, submit an enquiry or sign up. To do that you need an effective call for action. This should be clear, compelling and centred on both the needs of the customer and what you’re offering. If your SEO strategy is working it should be bringing people with an interest in your brand, products and services to your website.

Get the help of a professional web design company

Creating a professional website that combines great design, a coherent SEO strategy and a fool-proof approach to the technical aspects takes real skill. It also takes time and a range of different specialisms. Most people who are running a business will not only be busy, they’re unlikely to have the skills to create an effective website.

Anyone who is serious about their website will use the services of a professional web design company. At Dawn Creative, we take time to get to know all we can about your business. We then use our knowledge of web design, branding and communications to develop a website that showcases your offering and delivers results.

To find out more about our approach and how our talented team can help.

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