I’m pretty confident, as a business owner or startup you want to know how to design a website (or get a website) that:
- Makes you more money
- Makes more sales
- Builds bigger customer lists or databases
- Increases your marketing penetration
- Adds valuable leverage to your brand
- Allows your business to drive dominance in your market
Here’s what you must know to ensure you know how to design a website that really does capture leads, make sales, and make your viewers know they landed in the right place. Using this process will increase your websites effectiveness by 10 times or more, and end your feelings of being severely underleveraged in your online presence.
Don’t go to a web designer. This may sound counter-intuitive to most novice business website owners. But here’s the bottom line. When you want a home or a building constructed do you just grab an architect and say, “make me a building for my business”?
Or do you first figure out what you want to do in the building, and how many people it is for, and activities will take place, etc.?
If you go to a web designer first, you will get a beautiful web site if you’re willing put up the bucks. Sadly, 99% of web designers only care about how your site looks to you, and have no clue as to what your website should do for your customers.
Since you want a website where people take action, a web designer is not where you begin.
- Don’t copy (model) your competitor. For 99.9% of you (your local competitors’ website, regardless of how lovely you think it is) is not something you want to emulate because it does not get the new visitors to take action. The top two reasons this is true is because they all contain the top 2 deadly marketing mistakes. We’ve covered these previously so they won’t be detailed here. Nevertheless, these killer mistakes are in their websites because they went to a designer first and have no clue they got robbed (not really the designers fault).
- Start with analyzing and knowing your market. We’ll get to specifics in a moment. Some may be thinking this is obvious. If so, then why do yours and your competitors’ websites all contain the top 2 killer marketing mistakes, and nearly all your websites rarely convert a cold visitor? Think about the question you just read, but not too long, because the solutions follow.
Even if You’re a Total Web Design Novice Just Do This
- Stop thinking or caring about design. When beginning your website, how it looks is totally irrelevant. So forget about design completely when you begin. You must be focused on strategy, and not on design. The design will be the easy part, once you know the strategy. There is no such thing as a design strategy. There is design and there is strategy. They both must be separate, and the strategy must come first because you want the design to facilitate your marketing strategy.
Understand the philosophy or purpose of your website. Tactical marketers and designers will tell you things like: it should be easy to navigate, it should be standards compliant, it should be mobile friendly, it should educate visitors, it needs to look good to build credibility, etc. Certainly these things matter in a design so they provide a list of good elements for you to know.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what any of that “stuff” is that’s good, because the less you know about design, the better your web strategy will be!
Your website has one big overarching goal:
- Facilitate the customers or prospects buying decision. That’s the philosophy.
If You’re a Non-Profit, Blog, or Charity This is What You Should Do
- Understand the philosophy of your website. For non-profits or charities, or blogs that need to get paid, the philosophy is the same. A “sale” for a non-profit or charity is most commonly getting a donation, or have someone join you. The action is still the same to the customer – get out their credit card and send money from them to you, or give you something of theirs – time.So don’t make the mistake that because your business is a non-profit or charity you need a different philosophy. Our long experience with non-profits since 2006 shows the only philosophy is to facilitate the customers or prospects buying decision.
- Review your website. Ensure everything on your website facilitates the purpose. I mean everything. Anything that does not ultimately facilitate the buying decision or donation decision of your prospect should be removed.
What to Do to Get Started Knowing How to Design a Website for Your Business
- Ask yourself what action or actions do you want your prospects to take when visiting your website? Seems like a simple question, and it is. You certainly have a number of actions you want the visitors to take. Write them all down, in the order you think of them. Focus on customer actions.
- Ask yourself what information do you want your prospects to learn from your website? This time you thinking about information, not about taking action. Often learning something is key to getting the action. Write everything down you think of in the order you think of them.
- Finally, ask why do customers/prospects come to your website. This is vital because this is about your customer reason for being there, and not about why you want them on your website. You must think like a customer and why they would be looking for your services or product. Write these answers down in the order they come to you.
What to Do With all This Information
- Now you should re-visit the previous three questions. When reviewing each question, prioritize the response for each. You will now have your priorities for the functions, information, and actions your website should facilitate for your business.
Layout your website. This can literally be done on a piece of paper. You lay it out to satisfy the number one priority in each of the three lists you made when answering the three questions. You ask yourself, for example, for your number one priority of what action you want the customer to take when visiting your website; what can I do to properly incentivize the action.
For example: If you want the prospect to call you, what should you provide on a page (not a design but simply what you should provide) to get the customer to call? Is it a free audio, a video explaining something, a free guide, etc.
It could be lots of different things. You choose what it should be. It should be something of real value to your prospect.
- Do the same thing for the other two questions. It’s the same process. What will you do to satisfy the number one information you want to provide and for the number one reason a prospect visits your site. Ultimately, you will do this for all your answers to all three questions, but start with the top priority.
- Make these top three things instantly and immediately available on every page. There are many ways to do this, but the bottom line is, get them prominent on every page.
What Your Website Layout Will Look Like
First, please note, if you have never done this before, you will have to take some time thinking about it, and re-hashing it to ensure you have it right. If you have a sales team, then ask them these questions and see what they say. You might learn something about your sales team in the process.
At my company, ThinkBigandGrow Media, we use 4 different web page layouts.
You might think, “Only 4 web page layouts?”
Yes, because every layout can then literally be translated into thousands of unique designs. The best part is, the finished design will facilitate your web marketing strategy perfectly. Ninety-nine percent of all web designers cannot do this unless you can completely translate your strategy into a layout.
We know our layouts convert and get action from years of testing on our own sites and then putting the best to our clients’ sites.
When you decide you’re really understand how to design a website that makes sales, this process will do it. To make this easy for you, our company runs this process for you and we guarantee we will develop a website which make you stand out from your competitors and dominates your market with sales. Click here to request a Website Strategy Discovery.