The Ultimate Guide to Web Design

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The essential guide to web design for businesses

Whether you’re looking to build a brand new website or need a refresh on an old one, you’re probably aware of the critical role web design plays in capturing leads and converting your web visitors. Designing an effective website isn’t only about attractive graphics and useful content. Planning must go into the design process, so the website supports your business goals and customer segment.

The entire web-design process incorporates four key elements:

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Your business goals and customer research

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Design and user experience

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Building and launching your site

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Analysing data and growing your business

Each proceeding step is based on your prioritised business goals and the customer research you’ve done, so you’ll want to get these right from the outset.

User-friendliness and best-practice user experience (UX) principles can assist with things like SEO, conversions, and branding. Once you have the design finalised, you can proceed to host and launch. Growing your business through capturing, analysing, applying your data, as well as learning how to convert visitors into customers – is another essential stage in the process. It’s critical because that’s how you fully leverage a well-designed website.

So whether you’re looking to refresh your old website or start a new one – get to know the top considerations in each step. This will set you up to pick a great design and development team and give them useful feedback along the way. Explore these resources so you can start with a clear understanding of the entire process.

Chapter 1

Business Goals & Customer Research

Your website is more than a digital pamphlet. To maximise the potential of your website for revenue generation, you need to work out your business goals and objectives. Rank your goals. Then determine your top objective and call-to-action, and reinforce this throughout your whole site.

After defining your goals, you can then work with web developers to integrate analysis tools into your website. With web analysis tools and a clear baseline, you can track progress to continually improve the performance of your website.

Doing customer research is a critical component of building an effective website. After all, servicing your customers’ goals is the driving factor behind your business goals. So, what do your customers want to see? Customer research should include a current-website audit, which should cover vanity vs. actionable metrics, as well as a consideration of the user-friendliness and the flow of information on your current website.

If you don’t have a website at the moment, you’ll want to perform a customer base analysis to cover customer personas – to identify and categorise them. In all, your customer research will give you a clear picture of your customer segments(s), which will inform your website design and marketing strategies.

As you proceed with the web-design process, keep a few things in mind. Remember your website is an opportunity to make a great first impression to prospective customers. Working with a complete solution provider like EB Pearls is the best way to end up with a result-driven, efficient website.

Go deeper with these insights to assist with your business goals and customer reach:

Chapter 2

From the Bottom Up: Design & UX

A user-friendly website incorporating best-practice UX design principles will help you promote your core message, generate more leads, and convert customers. Begin by defining the user experience, navigation, basic structure and information architecture, and layout of your website. With well-designed navigation, you can direct how users flow through the website and guide them to the right information to help with their purchase decision.

Elements to consider include content like a blog or news page, core information like Contact Us and About Us, navigation menu bars, footers, breadcrumbs, and primary and secondary pages. Use the wireframing process to optimise the blueprint of your website, then solidify UX and flow while focusing on user action to obtain a quality user experience prototype for your site.

Great visual design breathes life and personality into your website, so make sure your design team understands visual design principles. Aesthetics and correct branding tone, along with ease of navigation are the top priorities. Provide your design team with the wireframe and design assets like logos and graphics. Be effective in your feedback as you work with the design team, and integrate colours, font, and white space.

Design and UX are also critical for conversions. To turn your visitors into customers, always focus on giving your users what they want in the way they want it. Proven website strategies for converting visitors include compelling headlines, building connections, using simple language, minimising distractions, conducting A/B testing, and ensuring your buying process is easy. Work with your design team to continually refine your website conversion strategies for long-term success.

Explore design, UX considerations, and maximising website conversions in depth with these:

Chapter 3

Building Your Website & Launching It

Taking your website from design completion to launch requires hosting. Website hosting in simple terms means finding an apartment where your website will live. Your hosting service provides a server from which your website is loaded for your visitors and customers. Depending on your traffic and bandwidth needs, you might need a shared hosting service, VPS hosting, or dedicated hosting. You’ll want to understand the difference between each option to make the right choice for your website. Consider bandwidth, programming services or languages, and uptime guarantees when choosing a hosting plan and provider.

Once hosting has been arranged, your development team is ready to turn static images into dynamic pages. Check your content structure is finalised, and familiarise yourself with concepts like frontend development, backend development, and modular content so you can provide useful feedback to your development team.

As you get ready to launch, make sure you’re taking advantage of the key optimisation measures and considerations. Your website should reflect SEO principles so your developers can hand off your website to your SEO consultants, who can assist with generating more traffic. Get to know concepts like organic vs. paid traffic.

Once you’ve launched, continue supporting your website goals by analysing your visitor analytics and by applying an effective marketing strategy.

Go deeper with the website-building and launching process by reviewing these articles:

Chapter 4

Analyse Your Data & Grow Your Business

To continue fully leveraging your website as a growth tool, you need to analyse your website data. Top tools like Google Analytics, Moz, Hotjar, and Optimizely will help you with testing, tracking, data analysis, and report generation, so you get a clear picture of how your website is performing. Using these tools, you’ll also be able to track SEO outcomes and find out what content is working.

Get to know core terms like conversion, dimension, bounce rate, and A/B testing and why they are so important for your website analytics. In all, you’ll be empowered with the right tools to discover who your users are, how you’re acquiring them, what they’re doing on your site, and how well your website is converting them into customers.

Analysing your data goes hand in hand with specific growth strategies. You now have a great website, so what do you have to do to keep growing the right types of traffic? Keep paying attention to user experience, navigation, and page and site responsiveness for everything from mobile to desktops. Consider integrating video content to generate interest and build trust. Other elements to incorporate are landing pages, auto-responders, live chat, and call-to-actions.

You can also accelerate your growth with a growth-hacking plan, with the help of a growth hacker. An expert can help you capture early traction by setting a clear goal, exploring long-run strategies that might not generate an immediate profit, upselling and cross-selling, and using freebies and competitions. Encourage referrals and provide valuable how-to content that encourages purchases. Other ways to grow include creating an amazing product, working with the right partners, and creating a sense of exclusivity.

Learn more about analysing your data and growing your business online with these resources:

It’s Time To Start Building Online

Your website is one of the most important investments you can make for your business, and it is a be powerful tool for growing your sales and accelerating your business growth. While your web design and development team can guide you through the process, you’ll want to learn as much as possible about each of the four stages before you get started. Doing so helps you make critical decisions about your website as well as provide valuable feedback to your design team. It can also ensure the website you end up with achieves what you intend it to. Creating a great website is an involved process requiring technical and design excellence. For these reasons, it’s essential to work with a team who has a strong history of excellence.

EB Pearls is Australia’s most trusted digital agency, with a team of experts focused on delivering creative and results-driven solutions for your business. We’ve completed over 38,000 successful projects for our happy clients. Whether it’s mobile, web design, UX, ecommerce, or apps – our outstanding team of over 160 designers can help you reach your business objectives. Contact us today for a discussion about your website design project.