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Investing in Web Design
In the 90s, small business websites were little more than a menu of services (typed in a multi-colored comic sans font in some cases). Larger companies spent tons of money on their digital pages and often rolled out a domain name and site for each product release. Typically, these digital landings only consisted of three pages of content, but the flash and java programming involved usually went over the top to impress customers.
Modern era websites tend to be less showy and more streamlined. You can avoid overspending by avoiding flash design and sourcing a great design team. The focus on flash-based distractions has been redirected to developing strategies that win loyal visitors and higher conversion rates. With an emphasis on development, businesses are able to assess what works and what doesn’t, so they can tweak their digital properties regularly. Website development investments now fund design strategy, content creation, and marketing for one business site (with additional product pages attached).
Do Your Homework
Market research is essential to the website development of a strong business landing. The golden marketing rule applies here as it does with other products and services: Know your customer. Understanding your target market can help you to design a web landing they’ll want to visit often, and it will help your team members to develop the right language and mood to engage prospects within promotional social networking environments. Outline a marketing plan that includes successful approaches your team has researched, and decide how to implement them into your digital properties. Maximize your strengths, and keep an eye on your competitor’s weaknesses. You may want to include a digital service or amenity that your competitors aren’t bringing to the market.
Establish Your Storyboard
Before embarking on the design of a full website, it’s crucial to know what you’re “building there.” Much like the design of a building or interior space, it’s important to establish the vision you have for your site before having your coders rush in. There are two important areas to focus on when you’re drawing up your initial website development plans:
Decide on an overall theme for your site that’s in line with your company’s branding. You don’t have to go over the top, but work with a color scheme and aesthetic that enhances the logo customers will see at the top of each web page. A uniform website communicates professionalism to visitors. In turn, this instills trust in the professionalism of your services.
While blogs are popular in the current age, you’ll want to decide if they’re right for your business site before committing to one. Blogs work best promotionally when they’re vibrant enough to engage with an audience, and they’re maintained at least once or twice weekly. If you’re interested in providing a more static experience, consider offering a repository of reading materials. You can offer eBooks, downloadable articles in PDF format, or listening materials that are downloadable as MP3 files. Additional options include web chat (for leisure or customer service), moderated forums, and purchasing pages that offer users the ability to buy services from you directly.
Before your coders begin designing the site, assess the reactions of your team, and make the changes that seem most essential. Tweak your storyboard until you’re absolutely satisfied with the final blueprint.
Utilize Beta Testers
The beta testing phase of website development will make you aware of any usability errors before a launch. You want to be sure your pages are streamlined, easy to understand, and bug-free. You can have your team members perform beta-testing, but gathering outside opinions is also valuable. Your team will know the website like the backs of their hands by this time. Bringing in a pair of fresh eyes can help you catch errors and distracting elements before your launch that team members might miss. You might even find beta testers from among your current customer base who would love to beta test the site for a special promotional item or discount.
Spread The Word
The key to spreading the word effectively is to avoid “spam-tactics.” The marketers who yell the loudest don’t attract site visitors; they attract an irritated anti-audience who’ll make it a point to avoid them, or tune them out in the future. Savvy marketers rely on clever campaigns and repetition. Your branding might seen by customers daily, but you want each time to be as fresh and interesting as possible. A successful campaign is an important aspect of website investment.
Through careful planning and an iterative approach to website development, your investment will ensure that you find the “voice” of your digital landing. From there, your audience will follow. Make efforts to encourage conversation with and amongst your visitors, and always take the feedback you receive seriously. Your customers are sure to have excellent ideas that you can implement in future site updates.