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Website Design 101 - Customer Focused

by Brian Rideout • March 23, 2018

Many of client's are very anxious to get started with their website design project. They often want to rush right into "What is it going to look like?", "What colors are you going to use?", "What do you need from me?" While we applaud their enthusiasm, we often have to calm them down a bit, put on the brakes and take care of some planning first. Hence this first post in a Website Design 101 series titled Customer Focused.

We need to remind our clients, while it's their site, it needs to be for their prospects and customers or it won't be successful. Whether their customers are a caterer or a contractor, cleaning lady or a chef, if those customers don't find it immediately useful they'll be gone faster than you can say "They clicked the back button in their browser".

Website Design 101: Who Is Your Website For?

Think before you design or create content...

  • Who is your customer?
  • Why are they here?
  • What problem are they trying to solve?
  • Does the website convince them that you have the perfect solution to their problem?
  • And does it do so in seconds? Because seconds is all you have to grab their attention and draw them into your site.

Website Visitor Personas

It helps if you can think of your ideal customer, give them a name and think about who they are. "Harry Homeowner" for instance looking for a Scottsdale roto rooter to clear his shower drain. Be sure to answer questions like...
  • How old are they? As it may affect your user interface and typography (larger fonts for an older audience).
  • Are they male or female? Men and women are drawn to different colors, in general women have a preference for softer colors where men like bold primary colors.
  • What country are they from? Different colors mean different things to different cultures. For instance in Japan the color orange denotes love and happiness where here in the U.S. orange means caution and we would typically think of red for love.
  • What is their level of education? Your website copy needs to be written at a level easily understood by your site visitor. A site meant for an average blue collar employee that may not have gone to college is going to be different than one written for a graduate course at a university.
  • What is their income level? Are they price conscious looking for a bargain or is speed, quality and convenience more important to them.
The more closely you can tailor your website to your ideal customer the more successful it will be in converting site visitors into customers.

Your Website Visitors Don't Care About You!

Most website visitors are at your site because they have a problem to solve. They don't care about you other than how you can help them. There are two things you can do on your website to convince them you are the solution to their problem.

#1 - Feature case studies or project profiles that show how you have solved similar problems for others. This an easy way to share what you do and how you've helped others, but you'll find that it's very easy to put together this type of content. Just feature a project you completed once a week and you'll have 52 great pages of content a year. Content that will show you solve problems, but also content that will be keyword rich that Google will love and laser focused to your target customer.

#2 - Testimonials or we've switched to naming these reviews anymore because your customers will likely search for "Your Product or Company + Reviews" on Google. These reviews from previous customers provide social proof that you did indeed solve that client's problem. Its an easy next step for them to imagine you solving it for them as well. 

Don't ever forget who your website is for, and you'll have a website that converts site visitors to customers far better than a website that is all about you!


About the Author

Brian Rideout is the Chief Pixel Pusher of BANG! Web Site Design. A veteran in the industry (sounds better than saying he's old) he's been helping businesses succeed in the game of Internet Marketing since 1996.