Web design to create an effective website

What does it take to get a new client and customer ?

It usually takes multiple contacts and interactions before a new person to your website becomes a paying client or customer.

And it takes an online plan.

Most businesses don’t work one out – they build a website, then separately get stuck on one or 2 things, like occasional emails and a Facebook page.

There’s a great chart of a customer journey that I saw recently at Web Profits that graphs out the full path a new person took from first visiting their website, to becoming a paying client. There were about 30 steps from first landing on their website that included …

  • downloading a PDF
  • opening 4 emails ( out of 7 sent )
  • filling in a form
  • reading an offer page, then checking 3 other pages
  • talking with someone
  • reading further pages on the website

This is pretty much what it takes us to get a client too, though I’ve never flowcharted it all out – it involves a lot more than just having a website.

I’ve been developing websites for online marketing since 2003 and I’m quickly going to describe some of what I’ve found – info that will help you make the right decisions in setting up your business online as a complete system, that includes your website, but actually takes a lot more.

Although a website is usually the main location for a business on the internet, to be successful it needs to be connected up to a lot more sites and services. The meaning of web design is coming to include these things, and good website design involves including the site as part of an online strategy.

Effective web design

  1. A website needs to be as easy as possible to keep current so that new people don’t see a dead, out-of-date website and offers can be made encouraging them to get in contact with you. Content Management Systems ( CMSes ) like WordPress and Joomla have been making it easier and easier for people to handle their websites, so that they don’t need to have high technical experience to get a lot of things done.
  2. Websites need to be easy to read and navigate on any device – iPads phones and desktop computers. Otherwise you lose the visitors and leads.
  3. The graphic design of a website and what it’s got on it needs to be what the visitors or businesses clients say they want, not what the website owner guesses they want. Survey your customers and build a website they want to visit.
  4. In most cases a website is a marketing tool. It should be part of a strategy & a website design should be about converting visitors into new clients and customers or getting you a lead or contact information. Websites need to be set up as part of an online marketing machine that gets you business.

Online marketing strategy

It’s actually not too hard to develop online marketing for a business if you know the blueprint. It can be quite fast getting the first campaign in place and after that it’s a lot easier to set up further campaigns.

So how do you get the first step of an online funnel going ?

  • If you have a database of emails & phone numbers for people who have an interest already you’re off to a good start. These people are hot leads and you need to put an offer in front of them right away.
  • If you don’t have a list of clients or prospects, then you need to put a system in place to start building up your contacts.

Getting people to visit a website is the first step. Then generating a return on investment involves making good use of the traffic, like in the example pictured in our online marketing setups page.

Once people have made it to one of your pages, they need to be convinced to leave you some contact info or get in touch. Then you can build up goodwill and take it from there.

Good web design involves planning the full marketing sequence, not just the website.



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