How to Determine Website Design Priorities for Your Business
What Are Your Website Design Priorities?
Often when our team works on a website project, the client seems focused on a particular design aspect. Maybe it is something they liked or noticed on another website. Perhaps it is the latest cool web design trend. But it may not be aligned with their website design priorities.
If you want your online presence to support your business objectives, it is essential to determine your website design priorities at the beginning of your project.
The Importance of Your Website
A well-designed website is a crucial aspect of any business. Think of your website as your home base. It’s where most of your customers go to get information about your brand and what you offer. So if you don’t have a good website, it can deter customers and result in fewer conversions and sales.
The website is so critical. However, it can often become frustrating for many businesses. Getting your website right can take time, and it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start or aren’t having any success.
Determining the website design priorities for your business depends on your business objectives. Your primary focus may be:
- Offering a service
- Selling a product
- Gaining subscribers
- Increasing search visibility
- Marketing an event or venue
- Promoting a cause or raising funds
Different Aspects of Website Design
There are many aspects of web design, and knowing which areas to focus on throughout the process can be challenging, as there is no one right way to go about it. Is functionality more critical? Aesthetics? User experience? Security?
These are all reasonable things to worry about when you are trying to design a new website. But the answer can vary depending on your brand and your company’s specific needs or goals.
Below, we’ll explore the different elements of web design to help you understand what they are and which ones might be a priority over others, depending on your brand.
The first step in deciding your website design priorities is to go through all the different elements and think about them regarding your company’s specific needs and goals. The web design process can differ for every brand, so just because one company does it one way does not mean you should do the same.
For some, the user experience might be an essential element of web design. Cybersecurity may be the focus for others. In the end, all of the below factors are important. Of course, you should consider all of them, but when you are just starting out and perhaps don’t have the time or money to focus on them, it’s helpful to identify each one to determine what is most important for your business-specific needs.
Website Design Priorities
Brand awareness should be one of your top priorities if you are a new business. You need people to know about your brand in the first place before they will even go looking for your website. Once they get to your website, your brand identity should be clear and easily recognizable.
Focusing on establishing your brand identity through brand awareness will help you connect with people so they will remember you. In doing this, you will establish a new customer base, and those customers will become more loyal to your brand and recommend you to others.
Think of brand identity as your first impression. If you leave a wrong first impression, you aren’t going to attract any customers to your new business. Still, if you leave an excellent first impression, you will more quickly establish yourself as a brand to keep an eye on, which means you will grow your customer base and start making sales.
So good branding is critical when designing your website as a new business. Effective branding means having an appealing logo, a good brand story that tells customers who you are and what you value, and other memorable brand elements and aesthetics, such as attractive and recognizable color schemes and imagery.
More searches are happening on mobile devices than ever before. Nearly 60 percent of all searches are happening via mobile. So what does this mean for website design? First, ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly and responsive is imperative.
According to Google Developers, “The desktop version of a site might be difficult to view and use on a mobile device. The version that’s not mobile-friendly requires the user to pinch or zoom in order to read the content. Users find this a frustrating experience and are likely to abandon the site. Alternatively, the mobile-friendly version is readable and immediately usable.”
If your company heavily relies on pleasing your customers, as most should, user experience should be one of your top priorities. Customer-focused businesses tend to succeed more because they prioritize their customers’ wants and needs. The more you show your customers that you care about them and their experience, rather than seeing them as dollar signs, the more likely you will succeed in growing your business.
User experience is a big-time buzzword in the digital marketing space these days. However, if you are unfamiliar with user experience, commonly called UX, stop designing your website and do some research. User experience is more than technical back-end tactics, like optimizing page load time. It is also heavily linked to how users navigate your website and the ease of use in which users do it.
So, if you are a B2C business, user experience (UX) design is essential. B2B businesses should also have good UX design. Still, it is even more crucial when you are B2C and trying to appeal to large customer bases, as 50% of consumers believe that UX affects their opinion of a business.
You can create a better user experience by following these steps:
- Understand who your target customer is — You can create a customer persona — essentially a description summary of most of your customer’s demographics. Demographics can include age, identity, experiences, and location.
- Identify the problem — Listen to your customers. They may typically encounter a common problem among your site or other sites during their purchasing process. You can gain this data through surveys or other customer service queries.
- Solve the problem — Once you find out what common issues your target customers experience, brainstorm ideas on how your business or your site’s features can solve that problem.
All of this indicates that UX design is often primarily about function. Instead, it’s about designing a website that provides the best experience possible for your customers by solving their problems and giving them what they need.
So, if you are an e-commerce business, how easy and satisfactory your website’s shopping and checkout process plays a significant role in the overall customer experience. In this case, your UX design should focus on making it easy for your customers to find the products they are looking for and checkout without any significant issues.
Content is very much still king, making content development a big-time priority for your website design strategy. When creating web pages, it is essential to ensure the content is long-form and detailed and to answer critical questions visitors want to respond to when visiting your website. Experts recommend filling in the page with a lot of content.
For example, 2,000 to 2,500 words have a better chance of ranking on Google’s first page. Think about how you can extend your content and make each web page naturally filled in with informative text.
One of the best ways to build a powerful website is to provide actionable advice via your content. What does actionable mean? Actionable or active content is a writing style that goes deeply into detail. It answers a site visitor’s question and shows the visitor how to do something.
For example, if you show a user how to navigate and easily use your software service on your website, be sure to have plenty of actionable content to guide them. Content also does not need to be text. Instead, you can use optimized and embedded videos on your website showing screen share and how-to details.
Designing a website involves much more than just throwing a theme on WordPress and waiting for traffic to roll in. It has become part design, part user experience, and part SEO. Site speed is in the middle of all these factors, making it a web design priority.
By designing a website with site speed in mind, you are ensuring that Google loves the site and that users can access the site information fast and without fail. For this reason, you need to carefully consider your website hosting options.
For instance, using a shared server could potentially cause speed issues since the website will share disk space and other critical server components with other websites parked on the same server.
To mitigate this risk, have a server plan that makes sense regarding site speed. A virtual private server can be helpful in this space. VPS hosting is now very affordable and keeps site speed a priority for you.
If you are unsure how well your website performs in the speed department, run a speed test using Google PageSpeed Insights, GTMetrix, or Pingdom. These tools can give you helpful tips on what you need to improve for optimal website speed and help you decide on hosting upgrades.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is technically necessary for all businesses. Optimizing your content will ensure you rank higher in Google search results, which means you will drive more traffic to your website and, thus, be more likely to increase conversions and sales.
If you are a unique business offering something that most others are not, you can likely get away with putting SEO on the back burner. However, if you have a lot of competitors that offer similar products or services, SEO should be a priority.
If a customer is looking for yoga classes, for example, and they do a simple Google search for yoga classes, many websites will likely pop up in the search results. So if you offer yoga instruction, you want to prioritize SEO to ensure your website ranks higher in search results; otherwise, competitors might constantly beat you to the punch.
If you sell something more unique, like bow ties for cats, there are potentially not as many other businesses that sell the same thing. So if someone is searching for kitty bow ties or bow ties for cats, your website might automatically show up higher in search results without SEO because there aren’t many other options.
Ensuring the data on your website is secure is always a wise decision if you want to avoid cyber attacks — but some businesses should worry about this more than others. FinTech companies, for example, that deal with a lot of sensitive data should make cybersecurity a priority.
B2B companies, as well, that deal with major clients that expect them to keep their information private and secure should also focus on quality website security. Essentially any company that holds a lot of sensitive data on their website, or asks for client information through online forms, should prioritize the safety and security of their clients and their company.
How do you know if your website design and development efforts are paying off? By tracking data and analytics. A website is never finished. There are always tweaks to be made, whether capitalizing on new industry keywords using landing pages or optimizing for speed.
There are hundreds of ways to increase retention and conversions, but before you do that, you have to figure out what metrics you should try to improve.
To know what tweaks need to make, you will need to track metrics using data from Google Analytics or other online platforms. For example, set metrics like three-second site speed and 100 conversions per week, track them and adjust your site until you hit your metric goals.
Once you have made those essential tweaks, be sure to track them. You may find some tweaks do not work as you theorized, so it is back to the drawing board. Unfortunately, website design is not a one-time, set it and forget it.
Setting Your Website Design Priorities
You may have many essential website design priorities at the forefront during development. The above website design priorities are the tip of the iceberg but among the most important. However, implementing them into your development strategy is a significant first step toward design and launch success.
From SEO and site speed to user experience and tracking metrics for further tweaks, make the most of your website’s potential from the start. Website design is no longer a singular thing. Instead, it involves several factors from multiple digital marketing assets. So what is your top website design priority?
There are numerous other things that your business might want to consider when building a new website. Still, brand awareness and design, UX design, SEO, and cybersecurity are four of the primary elements of web design that tend to matter most.
So it’s essential to take a close look at these four things to determine which ones should be a priority. Then, once you get the most important elements out of the way, you can start to work on the rest of your web design as time and budget allows. We are here to help!
We Can Help You with Professional Web Design
Our professional website designers can build a website that appropriately reflects your business or product brand now and moving forward. But first, look at our portfolio and read our case studies.
Then, if you believe we are a good fit for your business web design needs, let’s talk! We offer a full range of consulting and design solutions for businesses and product brands.
Let’s talk if you are unsure how to determine the website design priorities for your business or product brand! Our team will listen to your concerns, evaluate your needs, and develop a list of things you need to prioritize on your business website.
What Are Your Website Design Priorities?
What are your website design priorities for your business website or online store? Do you have anything to add to our list? Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit as well.
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By Gregor Saita
Co-Founder / CXO