When building a new website, or rebuilding an old website, you’ll want to try and establish your brand so that you can be identified as unique in your market. Doing this is not always easy, and depending on your market it can be very difficult. Whenever I’m involved in a build or brand project I try to follow these points below to help me along the way to hopefully building a great brand that can be conveyed through the web design, functionality, etc.
Domain Name – Choosing a great domain name can be difficult to do, especially when so many are taken already. This domain name will most likely be your company name so that adds to the importance of this name. I suggest keeping it short and simple and don’t be afraid to using something that plainly describes what you do. Example: www.bestballroomshoes.com.
Color Selection – You want to choose colors that in most cases are complimentary and there are many tools on the web to help with this. Find a color wheel to help with your selection and don’t forget that colors can create emotions as well, so maybe read up on color theories, etc. Also, if you are an ecommerce business, choose white as your background color. Check out http://www.wellstyled.com for a couple great color tools.
Logo – Keep your logo simple. Don’t try to include images of people in the logo, or technical photo’s etc. You want your logo to be strong and simple and convey to your audience the kind of business you are. In most cases you’ll want to hire a professional to help with this step if you don’t have someone in-house.
Come up with a catchy slogan or tag line that you can use on your website, business cards, ads, etc. that will help keep your business jumping back into your customer’s mind when given the chance.
Determine if you want to brand your business as a family owned business, or take a more corporate approach. Look at Coca Cola vs. Jones Soda for example. Same industry, very different brands…although I do realize Coca Cola is one of the most successful brands ever created.
Make use of your About Us page – this is a great place for you to help define your brand as your customers read about who you are and what got you into the business of X.
Don’t forget about the little old favicon. The favicon can often get missed when building a new website. Make up a favicon and use it.
Hopefully these tips are helpful. If you have any suggestions please share them. Thanks.
Today is a guest post: I was able to nail him down, and interview web developer Doug Justice, who runs a Gilbert Web Design company here in Arizona. I appreciate Doug taking the time to answer some questions about making a web site convert better. I have been getting lots of web design and conversion questions lately and I wanted to get answers from IMO, one of the best in the web development industry.
A former computer programmer for Siemens Health Systems, Doug’s expertise in the web development and design industry has allowed him to complete simple web design site face-lifts to developing large scale applications for title insurance companies and Convention & Visitors Bureaus across the country. His number one rule is to design a website or an application with the end user in mind, since if the end user can’t figure out what it is you are trying to have them do on your website or web application, then your website will never achieve the success you would like it to.
Tips For A Better Converting Web Site:
Me: From your experience, what design elements make a better converting site?
Doug: A site that works first of all. You also need to have good navigation links available for the user to get to where they need to go, and by design the site to “lead” the user from point A to point B is also very critical. Next a good color scheme and design that catches your users’ eye and is not just a page with hundred’s of ads or just words is one of the most important keys to a well-converting site.
Me: What are some web design tips that you would give a new to Internet business owner?
Doug: First of all, do your research and make sure that you have a good product at the right price. Then make sure your users can go from searching for the products or services on your website to either your checkout page or contact page (if services based)…in other words….make sure your website works. Finally, make sure your website has a “professional” look and appearance to it so the user feels as though you’ve put some thought into the site and want them to feel comfortable about their purchase of products or services from your website. I mention the design aspect last simply because you can go to Craig’s List and it’s about the simplest looking site ever on the face of the earth….but it works well…people know how to get their products sold or purchased, etc.
Me: What do you wish clients understood about the web design process?
Doug: I’d have to say understanding how a web development company operates with multiple clients is first and foremost. We at Justice Solutions want each of our customers to feel as though they have our ears whenever they need us, however the reality is that in order to offer services at reasonable prices also means that we need multiple customers to stay in business. So with multiple customers means multiple timelines and if something is thrown off by even the slightest of delays by one client…the chain reaction that can cause is huge. If there was a close 2nd that I wish clients would understand is that with so many variations of browsers and computer configurations and operating systems out there, sometimes you will run into situations where we just can’t replicate what another user reported happened on the application or site. We’ll try as best we can, but sometimes even the end user’s ISP (internet service provider) installs software which physically blocks some applications we need in order to run the website. We hate saying, “It’s not us”, but sometimes it really isn’t something we can control.
Me: Does proper site branding (ie Logos, Colors, Banners, Images etc.) help with the sites conversion rate?
Doug: Definitely. Let’s take 2 sites who each have the same product and the same price. If you go to the first one and it looks unprofessional…..colors don’t seem to match, different fonts are used all over the place…even in mid sentence, you may say, “Ok….good prices…but let me still check for some other stores who may have this product.”. Now they go to a site which has a great layout, good color theming to it….well branded with a professional looking logo, etc. and now they notice it’s the same price as the other, unprofessional site. Which would you choose?
Me: Anything else (other web design tips) I missed that might help someone create a better converting site?
Doug: I think keeping a finger on the pulse of your site is really a major key to having a successful site that converts. By that I mean making sure you have a good site traffic software where you can see where your users are coming into the site and where they leave from. Tracking shopping cart abandonment rates is huge as well…but pay attention to what they are putting in their carts. If you see people putting certain items in their cart and converting…but then notice that other products are being placed into the cart and not purchased, you could have a problem with the pricing of that item….or maybe a shipping cost issue, etc. Finally springing for live chats is well worth the minimal cost those companies who offer those site plugins normally charge per month. If you’re a small business owner and you’re really looking to increase your conversions….watching the users and being there to answer their questions right when they’re at that moment to purchase can really help convert your sales.
Conclusion on Interview/Guest Post
I would like to thank Doug again for taking the time to guest post, and answer some questions that I have been seeing asked a lot more frequently as of late (especially to me personally from readers). He’s brand new to Twitter, but promises to keep his new account jam packed with updates, and tips from the web development industry. Feel free to subscribe to his web development blog, where he already shares a wealth of information.