When designing a website, many people tend to get caught up in the fun of trying different designs. It is important to remember that when you design a website, you are designing it for a particular audience. The fact is that the design you choose for your website should reflect your target audience. A website that does not relate to their audience's desires will not see an increase in sales.
When designing a website, the first thing you have to do is define your target audience. Websites are about communication; therefore, you have to determine who you are communicating to. For instance, will your audience consist mainly of men, women, a certain age group, a certain ethnicity, etc? You have to determine why they are coming to site and what they are looking for. Targeting a wide range of people may increase website traffic, but not sales.
You also have to think about the product. For instance, a man surfing the net will not be going to sites advertising women's make up. An elderly person will not go to a site selling acne medication. The idea is to attract shoppers who are looking for your specific product or service.
Once you have identified your target audience, you need to create the right look that will encourage them to make a purchase. This includes the appropriate graphics, advertising and promotional materials, and relevant content that they will find appealing. You also have to consider ease of navigation. If your audience is not that computer savvy, having an easy to navigate website will be beneficial.
Marketing techniques must be considered when designing a website. For instance, if you are selling wine, are you targeting experts in the wine industry or the general public? If you are targeting experts, you do not want to "dumb down" the site. Experts will have a wealth of technical knowledge regarding the wine industry and the wine itself, so you should present a marketing design that speaks on their level of expertise. Another example to consider is if you are selling a line of women's clothing. You have to design the website based on the type of women purchasing the clothes. For instance, are you selling casual wear, maternity clothes, or professional clothing for the office? Your website will deliver either a professional, relaxed, or family orientated design.
Your content and advertising will need to centre on the type of environment the clothing will be worn in. All of these details will help you pick the most appropriate design.
Other design aspects you have to consider include: the most appropriate graphics and sounds, keywords that will reach your target audience, the type of information you will provide that is both relevant to the customer and the business philosophy. As well, you must consider the level of audience interaction that will be expected. This can include discussion forums, entering contests, completing surveys, providing feedback, etc.
Understanding your audience and their needs is essential to creating and maintaining a successful business website. It is important to remember that you may not get a perfect design on the first try. You will probably have to make some minor adjustments. The key point to remember is that your site should be built around your customer, and not your own personal preferences. As well, you may receive feedback from visitors regarding your website which will allow you to fine tune the design.
Designing a website with the customer needs and desires in mind is a critical part of running a successful business. Ultimately, whether one is designing a website for a business, or creating websites for their clients, the design of a website is blended with the business marketing concept.
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