Before building web design strategies for your website, you need to understand the purpose(s) of your website. It is important that you identify the purposes of your website first. Your website purposes will help you to identify your website types and web design strategies.
The easiest way to determine the purposes of your website is to ask why it exists. Most websites exist to meet one or more of the following purposes.
|Website Purposes||Website Types|
|Website for generating leads||Lead Generation Site|
|Website for selling products online||Ecommerce or Only Store Site|
|Website for selling services online||Online Service Site|
|Website for building user community||Publication or Media Site|
|Website for delivering customer services||Support Site|
Your website may have one or more purposes based on the nature of your business. The key for web design strategies is to make sure you understand your core or primary website type and purpose.
The Lead Generation Site
The purpose of a lead generation site is to generate business leads. The goal is to design a website for capturing prospective customers or converting a stranger to a prospect. The lead generation site can be sub-categorized by the brochure site, the catalogue site and the consultative site.
Web design strategies for a lead generation site -
1. The design layout and graphics
“Design layout and graphics” means the look and feel, content organization, page templates, the colors, typography, space, logos, icons etc. The design layout is very important for a lead generation site because it makes the business look professional, credible, and trustworthy. For a lead generation site the design layout and graphics are fundamental.
2. Make it easy to contact you
As the goal of a lead generation site is to capture prospects, therefore main core of the web design is to make it easy for visitors to find and contact the business. A conversion process of a lead generation site is – a phone call, or completion of a contact form, or a request via email. It is a good strategy to have contact us information on every page.
3. The value proposition
The value proposition is essential for a lead generation site because they need to explain who they are and why they are good choice for visitors. This type of website also needs to explain visitors to understand their problem and how the business will solve their problem. People are only interested in themselves, so the lead generation sites need to address visitor’s self-interest.
4. Give visitors free stuff in exchange of contact information
Educating visitors and building relationship with them is very important to convert a visitor to a prospect and a prospect to a customer. Giving away some free materials like white papers, e-books, research papers, reports, case studies etc, will help to build authentic and relevant relationship with visitor. Interesting and interactive content will also encourage visitor to like your social media sites and share your content.
5. Use conversion formula – Call to Action
The lead generation site may use one or more following “Call to Actions” for converting a visitor to a prospect – Contact us; Call us; Send us an email; Request a free consultation; Get a free quote; Register now; Request the report; Download your white paper; Subscribe to our e-newsletter; Join our LinkedIn group; Like us.
The Ecommerce or Online Store site
The purpose of an ecommerce or online store site is to sell products online. The goal is to design a website for converting a visitor to a customer by selling products online.
Web design strategies for an ecommerce site -
1. Visitor must find a product easily
It is the most important for an ecommerce site to help visitors find a product quickly. The core design strategy is to create easy navigation and content organization for reducing finding or searching time of a product.
2. Product page is your landing page
It is essential for an ecommerce or online store site to make the product page as the landing page in order to motivate visitors to make a purchase. A landing page is a specialized page with the following characteristics:
- Fulfill the promise made to a visitor
- Provide content to help that visitor to make decision
- Call that visitor to take action
3. Make sure you answer the questions of shopper’s mind
It is important to answer the questions that shoppers have in mind when buying something online. Here are some questions – Am I paying a fair price? Can I trust this business with my credit card number? What if I am not happy with the purchase? Will shipping charges wipe away my savings? These are the questions that cause buyers to abandon the purchase. You need to have some answers of these questions on the checkout process.
4. Use conversion formula – Call to Action
The ecommerce site may use one or more following “Call to Actions” for converting a visitor to a customer – Buy now; Checkout; Add to cart; Add to wish list.
The Online Service Site
The purpose of an online service site is to sell services online. The goal is to design a website for converting a visitor to a trier and a trier to a customer. Example of Online Service Site – Google Apps; Analytical applications – Google Analytics; Hootsuite; online marketing automation system like – Silvercorp, Manticore; web hosting sites, etc
Web design strategies for an online service site -
1. Turn visitors into triers
It is important for an online service site is to allow prospects to try demo of the service before they buy. It is a prospect desire to use and see results of the service before subscribe or become member. Your service offer page should be designed like a landing page so that visitor can turn into triers easily.
2. Encourage them to login to your service
In order to convert a trier into a buyer, an online service site must use communication channels to encourage triers to login so that they can get the benefits of the service. If they become expert in the use of the service then probability of becoming customers is very high.
3. Use conversion formula – Call to Action
The online service site may use one or more following “Call to Actions” for converting a visitor to a trier – Try it now; Join today; Become a free member, Request a trial; Start your 14-day trial; Start Downloading.
The Publication or Media Site
The purpose of a publication or media site is to build online communities. The goal is to design a website for converting a visitor to a loyal and frequent visitor or to a subscriber by creating relevant and valuable content. Examples are news media sites, online magazines, blog sites etc .
Web design strategies for a publication or media site-
1. Make sure related content are grouped and presented to improve findability
It is very important for a publication site to organize related content and group them by time, by type, by topic or subject, by interest, by author, by community, by popularity etc. Navigation, content categories and site search are important design elements for a publication site. Site search is crucial for many visitors who are looking for specific information.
2. Make it easy to subscribe
One of the primary goals of a publication site is to motivate visitors to subscribe. The publication site may offer free subscriptions for pushing the latest and interesting content to visitor’s email addresses or paid subscription for allowing customers to access high quality valuable content. The design strategy for subscription process should be simple enough for a visitor to find and subscribe easily.
3. Content mix for connecting visitors through different media channels
You must develop different types of content that are suitable for different delivery channels to attract, engage and retain visitors. For example video content is suitable for your youtube or any video networking site, graphics or infographics are suitable for some other social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook etc. Your appropriate format of content will encourage visitors to like or share your content across social media channels.
4. Use conversion formula – Call to Action
The publication site may use one or more following “Call to Actions” for converting a visitor to a loyal visitor or a subscriber – Subscribe; Join; Like us on Facebook; Follow us on twitter; Become a member; Try it for free; Start your subscription; Get instant access.
The Support Site
The purpose of a support site is to deliver customer services. The goal is to design a website for supporting existing customer base through tips, FAQs, helpdesk etc. This type of website is typically useful for essential service providers. Like government, utilities companies etc
Web design strategies for a support site –
1. Easy login to customer account
For a support site the web design strategy should focus on easy login for the customers. Most of the time customers visit the website to see the use or consumption of the service.
2. Tips for saving money
As a customer we always want to save money. So it is important for a support site to provide tips for saving money or better performance of the service. The website must have content on tips, self-troubleshooting etc.
3. Make it easy to find helpdesk
Customers have troubles or questions using the service in a most efficient way or fixing the service immediately. The one of the design focuses would be highlighting help or support center link on the website so that customer can find it easily. FAQs or “How do I” is an important content section for this type of website.
4. Use conversion formula – Call to Action
The support site may use one or more following “Call to Actions” for converting an existing customer to a loyal long term customer – Call us; chat with us; submit your questions; Login to your account;
- Your Customer Creation Equation – Brian Massey