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You hope your website conveys certain values and ideas to your audience such as:
But, so often web design is sadly deficient in projecting these ideas. Business owners make mistakes designing their websites by not looking at their websites from their audience’s perspective.
Before designing a website for your business, consider the following factors:
You should be intimately aware of exactly who your audience is. What do they like? What is their age, sex, and other demographics? How does this knowledge affect what type of website you need to make for them? To do the research you’ll need access to your audience, which you can easily find via social media and other research online.
This will influence how you determine the technology on your website. If you are delivering digital products, you’ll need a protected shopping cart that will be easy for your audience to use. If you are delivering services such as writing, virtual assistant, or coaching services, you’ll need different technology to provide privacy and information to your audience in a way that’s simple for them.
After you understand those two factors, it’s time to get on to the business of building a website that does what you want it to do: attract your audience and convert them to buyers. The way you do that is that you take all the information you have learned about your audience and product and show your audience that you value them first. You do that through proper website design.
This might sound complicated, but all you need to do is look at some websites that are popular and used often to figure out which designs are working better today. For instance, currently a simple, clean design with easy-to-read text that works also on mobile devices is important. Understand how to make your site easy to navigate for your audience. Ensure that the colors on your website are appropriate for your audience. Thankfully, if you’re not versed in website design there are plenty of people you can outsource to.
It’s tempting to make the website content about you. However, even your “about us” page should be focused on your audience. This can be tricky and takes some practice. Every blog post, every bit of content including product and service descriptions need to be 100 percent focused on what matters: your audience and what’s in it for them. They do not care about you or your website other than what it and you can do for them.
Knowing this information, now take a look at your current website and look at it through your audience’s eyes. Evaluate whether or not you’re providing an easy-to-use website that answers the questions your audience may have and immediately tells them what you do for them.
Consider hiring someone to evaluate your site for you such as a business coach rather than a website designer, because they can give you a better idea of what your audience needs. A business coach won’t try to sell you technology you don’t need while someone who builds websites for a living might.
You want your website to perform well for you, but in order to do that you must put your audience front and center in terms of content, fiction and design. Ultimate, the real question is - what does your current website say about your audience? How does your current site measure up?
Rich Thurman’s passion is helping small businesses realize their full potential. With twenty years of real world experience in both small and large business, Rich has worked for and with both global industry leaders and small-town family-run storefronts.
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