If you sell products and services locally, your web design is critically important to your online marketing efforts. However, your web design isn’t really about how it looks, it’s all about how it works.
What does web design mean?
To most people selling products and services in their local community, web design refers to the layout and look of their small business website. As a result most of their web design focus is on the layout and look of that website. The reality is this; the layout and look of your website isn’t important if nobody every sees it.
Your Web Design Must Have Purpose
Websites are built to communicate with people. Marketing is a communication process. If you sell products and services locally you need to communicate effectively in the local community if you want to grow your business and make more money. Since websites are a marketing tool, the purpose of your website needs to be “to effectively communicate with potential customers”. Therefore your web design focus needs to be on making it easy for you to communicate with customers and potential customers.
How Web Design Will Help You Communicate with People
To have a web design that helps you communicate effectively with customer and potential customers you need to know specifically how your customers make purchasing decisions. When you know how purchasing decisions are made, it makes it easier to incorporate a web design that provides information that your customers want and need when they are considering making a purchase.
Fortunately the consumer purchasing decisions making process has basically remained the same for thousands of years. The consumer decision making process is this:
- Recognize a problem or desire.
- Look for solutions.
- Compare the options.
- Make the purchase.
- Evaluate the results.
How Your Web Design Can Positively Influence Purchasing Decisions
When consumers recognize that they have a specific need or desire, they look for solutions that will satisfy that need or desire. In our world today they use the Internet to start that search. In order to get found online and attract new customers, your web design must enable you to tell people what problems or desires your products and services solve for your customers.
One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that your web design enables you to post information that specifically answers the questions that your customers typically have. For example; if you own a lawn care service you might post articles on your website that answer these questions. How do I keep my lawn green in the summer? How often should I fertilize my lawn? How low should I cut the grass? When you can provide information that is useful to people and directly related to products and services you sell, you’re essentially starting an online conversation that provides people an opportunity to learn how to ultimately solve a problem or satisfy a desire.
Use Your Web Design to Make Offers that Are Clear
After creating a section of your website to post information that helps solve problems and satisfy desires, your web design needs to clearly highlight what products and services you provide that solve those consumer problems and/or satisfy those desires. To do this effectively you need to make offers.
Offers don’t necessarily need to be in for a coupon or other financial incentive; offers can be in the form of professional services, time saving, experience related, location based, quality related and so on. Offers add value to the products and services you provide. Making offers clear helps consumers compare options in the decision making process.
Your Web Design Needs to Promote Your Credibility
Online consumer reviews are no longer a novelty, there a fact of life. If you’re not using online reviews to promote your credibility and attract new customers, you’re not effectively using the Internet to market yourself and your business. At the very least your web design needs to mention your credibility and invite consumers to see and read your online reviews. If you don’t have any online reviews you need to get some. If your online reviews aren’t very good, you need to know why and fix the issue or you need to really consider doing something else for a living.
Your Web Design Needs to Have a Call to Action
A call to action is an invitation for customers and potential customers to do something. Unless you are selling products and services online, a simple and effective call to action on your website is a clear contact us button. That button can lead visitors to any number of ways to directly communicate with you.
Your Web Design Should Incorporate Links to More Information
This additional information can be in many forms; it can be product and service pictures, links to social networks, professional groups, licensing agencies, product and services specification pages and so on. What these links do is to help differentiate you from the competition and provide potential customers more information that helps them make decisions when they are comparing purchasing options.
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