Lacking a solid Web design strategy wastes money, loses clients, and can harm your business much more than if you had no website at all. But why?
Because, website design is not about “the design.”
All “website design” is not created equal … but this is the No. 1 related misconception adopted by small businesses on the Web.
Fact: Crappy Web “Design” HURTS Business. Is Yours on the Right Track?
When conceptualizing a new website design, there are a few critical facts you must consider.
For instance, one recent MarketingProfs article made the point that many business owners jump into Web design (or redesign) decisions with no other goal than to cure their own boredom. What that means is that the owner simply “grows tired” of looking at the same website design for months on end. Then, they push for a change for no rhyme or reason – and with no goals in mind.
Umm. If you want to waste your yearly operating budget, this is a rapid-fire way to do it.
Admittedly, I made these sorts of “fly by the seat of my pants” decisions early on in my career, in the late ’90s. But as I was an avid split tester, my goal was always to improve results when I changed a design, and I never stopped until I achieved that outcome. But I did take an unnecessarily time-consuming, roundabout way of getting there by not mapping out goals until after the new design was conceptualized (and, in some cases, completed).
Ugh, huge mistake.
Though I didn’t technically waste money, as the design was done in-house … in approaching the redesign in an unfocused way, I wasted time I could otherwise have been spending on income-producing activities. And so, income did suffer.
And since we’re being so honest, I’ll admit that I still find myself occasionally wanting to make decisions based solely on my own restlessness or boredom with a website’s existing design. But because effective Web design is truly a process, I manage to nip this counter-productivity in the bud before damage is done – before taking any action on my daydreaming. Whew.
Because after all these years of creating goal-oriented websites, my thinking has been sufficiently rewired. Even if I catch myself wanting to change a website simply “for the change” rather than for a goal, in the subsequent planning process for that design, my inner marketer kicks in – and I begin the (re)design process by making decisions based solely on the results I want to achieve.
That’s the key. Every proposed website addition, change, feature, or function must accomplish something for your business.
In fact, if you approach the decision as redesigning your website to improve results, increase sales, boost sign-ups, downloads, clicks, calls, leads, conversion rates, or whatever your metric, then guess what…?
You generally will achieve just that, because you’ve already programmed your mind (and tasked your Web design company) not to stop until a result is achieved.
This was a somewhat long-winded way of making this critical point: You must decide which metric you’d like to improve before you have your Web design company make one change.
Web Design Doesn’t Matter. Results Do
For the launch of my own Web design company , I crafted a press release with the headline “Web Design Doesn’t Matter” … and that statement is so real. It was risky and I knew the company could lose a few potential clients by taking this stance … but only the select few that were unable to realize anyway that their websites should be about achieving goals.
People don’t come to your website to see how beautifully you’ve designed it today.
They come to your website to accomplish a particular goal.
You’d better make it doggone well easy for them to do so, or they’re out of there – and fast.
So Should You Even Redesign Your Website?
The answer to this depends on how your site is currently doing – and why.
If it’s completely tanking and not getting any results at all, a website redesign could be smart.
If you’re getting “some” results, but not enough for the effort you’re putting in, your site may simply need a little tweaking over a complete overhaul.
However, there are many variables that go into why a website is failing: sales copy, marketing, design, cohesiveness…So if you already have a website and you’re not sure why it’s underperforming, your Web design company needs to analyze your current marketing strategies and website as a whole to be able to determine what’s causing those dismal results.
Is Your Website Designed to Lead People Toward a Goal?
Results-oriented Web design gets people to take action. Therefore, if your website isn’t accomplishing that, here’s what you do: chat with a designer who understands Web marketing, to have them evaluate your analytics (current website traffic) to see where results are lacking.
Then, get them to devise a website design s-t-r-a-t-e-g-y to counteract and eradicate negatives found, accentuate the desired positives, and just do the doggone thing.
If you don’t yet have a website, it’s OK: you’re actually ahead of the game.
Again, get with a Web design company that understands Web marketing before you decide what you want your website to look like. In fact, clearly define your goals and discuss – as a team with your designer – the ways in which your website should be set up to achieve those.
Your Website Design (or Redesign) Must Be Based Around Just this Sort of Strategic Planning…
…or else the only “result” you achieve will be a colossal waste of money, time, and resources. Most small business owners can’t afford that level of waste. Can you?
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