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Your website is essential to your marketing strategy. It gives the first impression to your target audience, impacting your customer’s experience in many different ways. When your customer looks for a solution, a beautifully designed and optimised website will grab their attention and give your product the attention it deserves.
As a matter of fact, the website’s aesthetics, usability and functionality are vital tools to your business long-term online presence and success.
The most successful companies are those that give their customers what they want. That is why you need to be clear on who your target audience is and what they expect from your business. Identifying your target audience will impact how you plan your website.
Identifying your users
Just like the business comparison, the best websites are those that provide their visitors with what they want as easily and as quickly as possible.
There is a vice-versa operation here. It is an interconnection between the website and the target audience that brings positive results to both your customers’ experience and your business growth.
There are many ways your website design will impact your target audience. But, without a doubt, identifying and understanding your audience and what they value, the information they want and the tasks they wish to perform equally impact the correct planning of the website design.
You and your web designer should work together to plan and create the perfect website. Your web designer will be able to prioritise the content your audience needs, the information you give online and develop a suitable design structure for the website.
Why is Web Design Important to your Small Business
Nowadays, governments want businesses to be “born digital”. The Australian government is pledging $800 million worth of investments in cybersecurity and the National Broadband roll-out, wide-reaching plans to accelerate the uptake of 5G technology and fostering skills and capabilities. These are investments to support small to medium enterprises and expand their digital profiles.
Investments like that show the growth and economic power of small business plans and their influence on the business market. Web design is an active part of that. Consider the context in which your business is and the message it will need to show to target buyers for success.
It is one of the most significant parts of any online marketing strategy and has a massive impact on your audience experience.
5 Ways your target audience is impacted by your web design
They are crucial aspects that impact the customer experience your audience will have and influence the navigability, the loading speed, the value, the actions and the trust connection between you and your customers.
Content is king. When a visitor arrives at your website, they need to understand what your business does or what service you offer at a glance – because visitors don’t read the website, they scan it – to decide if they want to stay and find what they are looking, or leave. Clarity is the beginning of trust-building.
The content needs to be concise, clearly explaining what you do and why they should do business with you. A professional website designer will be able to coordinate your business ideas, editing and writing with intuitive and familiar navigation styles to help the visitors find the information they want.
If you are in a hurry to find a solution to a problem, what would you prefer: to puzzle through a labyrinth of passages and paths or speedily find the answer at full tilt in front of you?
The impact of your site’s appearance will play a full role in your first impression on new visitors or reinforce your expertise to older customers. Hence, regardless of which style you choose, the appearance must be attractive and modern with up-to-date, current design trends.
Examples of Current web design trends include:
Parallax Scrolling technique – the sense of immersion in the virtual experience when the background image moves at a different speed than the foreground image;
Straightforward, easy to read fonts with full-page headers– reading online has its tricks. Legibility is essential for the triumph of a website, especially if visitors are using mobile devices. The font needs to be easy to read and unobtrusive. Bad fonts and bad layouts distract your visitor and chase them away;
White space – it helps visitors move through the site going from one element to the other smoothly and creates a visual hierarchy that brings understanding and allows the eyes to rest;
Use of playful cursors to add some spice to your design;
Custom animation with 3D illusions that add another layer of depth to the design;
“Hero” images – full-width graphics at the top of a website article summarising the text below. They serve as a glimpse of your product or services, and tell the visitors what to expect from the rest of the site;
Responsive design – crucial to 2020 websites when most of the internet search is done through smartphones. When visitors search your website, they need to get a clear, beautiful and functional experience and be able to find the information they need;
Asymmetric layouts – a continuation of a great web design tradition, only playing it better! Asymmetric layouts can be very functional. The result is a fresh, exciting and engaging design that will bring an incredible experience to the viewer;
Keep up with the continual change of colour palettes – every year there is a new colour. In 2019, it was yellow, in 2020 it is blue, and the forecast for 2021 brings warm, muted and comforting hues with revitalising bright colour pops. The design colours should reflect your product or service, matching your brand’s message, and they need to grab the viewers’ attention and engage them with your brand.
People are visual creatures; therefore, graphic designs impact immensely on the response they offer and the understanding of your product or service. Web design sets the first impression. There is nothing to replace the first impression. If the first impression is outdated, the visitor will leave. And they will go to the competitor’s page!
Your website is for your customers
Your website is not built for yourself; it is built for your target audience. Only and foremost, for them. It needs to function in a way that your audience will be able to navigate and understand.
For instance, if you have a blog, take your target audience to the critical parts of your website. They will appreciate learning about you and your company in the “About” page. It should be easy for them to contact you. Make sure your contact page is correct and takes your customer to the proper place. If you have a Call To Action (CTA), ensure the button is valid and takes the customer to the correct contact. Everything on the website needs to be tested and validated.
If you keep your audiences’ needs while you design the website, you will understand that just adding pretty “lotties” to it is not going to be enough. Your beautiful message needs to answer your customer’s questions and navigate with them to the solution only your product can provide. If they feel comfortable and familiar while they navigate, they will stay, stay longer, and learn the information you will tell them and help them make a decision. You might have a customer!
Your website needs to be visible
Functionality, also means your website needs to be search engine optimised and responsive.
Many practices influence how your published content will be crawled and indexed by the search engines. Your content needs to be visible to search robots. Web designers are a group of professionals who will make you loved by the search robots.
Your website visibility and traffic can be optimised with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) software tools that will help you research your competitors, find traffic-driving keywords, build quality backlinks and use internal links wisely.
It means you will need to tell search engines how to crawl your website. That is not an easy conversation, for sure. But good software optimisation can give you better control of what the search engines will find and avoid common pitfalls that can prevent key pages from getting found. But, do you know what all search engines seek? Content! Content is anything that can be consumed by searches: video content, image content, text content.
In their fascinating article, worth reading to learn about SEO, Mos Pro says, “if search engines are answer machines, content is the means by which the engines deliver those answers”. Clear!
Your website needs to be responsive
Nowadays, most people are using mobiles devices in their searches. Old websites that would not respond to different screen sizes are so “past week”. Modern websites have to provide access to information from a multitude of devices, from desktop computers to smartphones. If you want to keep your target audience, you need to give them positive experiences irrespective of the device they use. You must integrate responsive design. Valuing your customer will keep them engaged and interested in your website. And they will stay on your page longer.
Your website needs to load fast
Your website must load as fast as possible because more than half of website searches are abandoned if the page takes more than 3 seconds to load. That is right! Well, I can’t count how many times I have left a website because of its delay. We don’t have time. And if that website doesn’t load, others will!
And additionally, people will not return to websites that take long to load because of the negative perception of a company that would allow a lousy website. And what happens when a customer is not happy with the treatment they get? They tell other people, their friends and their family, about their bad experience.
A professional web designer will know how to use performance best-practices for website performance to improve the website’s user experience, scalability and SEO dramatically. They will keep the website loading quickly, comply with SEO practices and reduce web hosting costs.
The impression you create on your site’s visitor earlier than they start reading your site. The format your website is presented shows how professional and respectable you are. They show how much you value your customers and how you want to be seen by them.
Your clients will see how much you value them through pages like About Us, Professional Staff Photos, Customer Results, Testimonials, etc.
It is vital to dedicate time to talk about your business, how you started or ideas that have influenced your decisions. The customer will appreciate learning the values of your company, essential traditions, celebration times, or other important matters and events that make your business what it is today. They will value learning that your employees are happy because they will recognise these emotions are part of your service. They will make you unique!
Customer results and testimonials highlight your professionalism because they show that you have your customers in mind. Customer-focused businesses are 60% more profitable compared to others that are not centred on the clients.
Customer-focus also reflects on the clarity your customers will have while they find what they want quickly when they navigate your site. Web designers will know which best-practices navigation styles to use as they will adapt your website to your audience’s needs.
For instance, drop-down menus are an easy, familiar way to use sub-navigation with a clean design layout that will impress your visitors who can choose where to click on.
We know that the main objective of websites is communication with the target audience. Positive user experiences are essential. And it would be important to say that communication should never be confused with a beautiful visual presentation. Images, photos, texts and other design elements should work together to produce a clear and cohesive brand message to the user. A professional web designer will create a website that communicates with clarity, even considering the short time the visitors will give to think if they want to stay or leave the website.
5. Your competitors are doing it
Another reason, if the previous ones have not convinced you, is the impact of knowing that your competition is doing it. Your competition is using the website to impact their customer experience, and if you are not doing it, you are losing it.
The competitors’ website is giving an impression of the customer service they offer. The target audience will know how they will be treated by looking at your competitors’ website. If you don’t put any energy on your website design, your target audience will see that you will not put power in serving them.
You need your website to stand out from the competition. If their website is more appealing and performs better than yours, you will lose leads to your competitors. Even if your prices and services are similar, the website should be the opportunity to let your business stand out from the rest.
The Quality of Web Design
You have seen how important the web design of your website is. We treated only the more significant impacts, but depending on your line of work, there will others. When you design your website, keep in mind that it has a critical role in your online marketing strategy. Investing in a professional to develop your website will produce the best results for your business growth and help your customers work engaged with you
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Image by John R Perry from Pixabay
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