Just a few years ago, website designing was considered a science – something that only web-technical professionals could excel at. However, the changing world of consumer behaviour means that a good website now needs to be less concerned on website code, and more focused on delivering a great, client-focused web experience.
As a small to medium business today, if you want to compete and be successful in your niche, you need to ensure that your web designing strategy is customer-focused.
The need for consumer-focused designs
Prior to 2008 – just before the recent financial crises, one could argue that it was an internet landscape largely dominated by online retailers. If you went online back then, you could see a definite trend where the average web design agency focused more on technology-driven website builds.
- • Sites were designed with plenty of bells and whistles
- • A lot of flashy imagery and sound was used to get visitor attention
- • Webmasters cared more about features and functionality than they did about “conversion” and “stickiness”
Today, all that has changed; and that’s largely because of three paradigm shifts in online consumer behaviour:
- • Times are tough, and consumers and clients are looking for alternatives – you need to hold onto your client base by continually appealing to their loyalty – and your web site design strategy is the best means to do that
- • Margins are slim – and shrinking, and the competition is tough. Even a slight distraction caused by the competition, can attract clients away from you, severely impacting your margin. Your website can serve as a means to continually provide attractive offers to clients, making them more “sticky”
- • Technology is changing – and if your website design doesn’t keep up with the competition’s technology – and even exceed it, clients will likely abandon you.
As a result, most website visitors browsing online sites today aren’t impressed all that much by cascading styles, pop-up graphics or flashy, scrolling banners. In fact, the new buzz word for the average web design agency is: Minimalism – which translates to more consumer-focused substance and less distraction!
What website visitors want
So, how to ensure your website supports your business; and what should you do to ensure you are doing all that’s required to give your visitors what they are looking for?
Well, for starters, if you haven’t re-visited your web design in a while – say in over a year or so, it’s high time that you took a critical look at every aspect of your online presence. Most importantly, here are eight things that you can do to ensure your website is consumer-focused, and not simply a technological marvel to be appreciated only by geeks:
- • Be mobile. Be social. Be agile. Be responsive. Over 60% of consumers shop on-the-go, are drawn to a product or service via social media, and prefer websites that let them shop on smartphones, tablets and desktops simultaneously. If your website design doesn’t conform to these trends – you’ll be in great trouble!
- • Continually refresh your websites’ look and feel. Clients hate outdated-looking sites, so if you want to appeal to prospective customers, give them what they want – fresh-looking website design!
- • Offer new deals on your website: Change your pricing slightly; Change your product/service mix often; Offer “bonus stuff” and discounts. Start up a points system that clients can redeem with additional purchases
- • Bring constant updates to your content. After stale coffee, stale content is what internet surfers hate the most. Have your web designing agency provide you with frequent content updates.
- • Offer “free stuff” in exchange for contact details – like White Papers, EBooks and other downloadable content. You can then use that goldmine of contact data to run targeted ads and sales campaigns
- • Embed videos and other interactive content into your website
- • Offer domain expertise: Provide fresh information and recommendations about developments in your niche; Share breaking news, new research, ongoing comments
- • Create polls and surveys to keep your audience engaged
Following this simple 8-step website revival strategy can mean your web designing approach aligns more with your business goals – which should be all about monetising your online assets – as opposed to simply having cutting-edge technology on display.
Working with a professional web designing agency will ensure that your existing tech-focused websites are quickly transformed into consumer-friendly online presences, where casual visitors are quickly converted into paying customers!