Getting the design of your website right is crucial for its success. Most visitors won’t want to take the time to get to know it and browse at a leisurely pace. If they aren’t hooked in the first couple of seconds, they are highly likely to leave.
And while there is no universal website design formula that will work for every brand, there are some general guidelines you should stick to. Let’s show you how to design a website targeting your ideal customers.
Write a Clear Value Proposition
The first thing you can do to capture the attention of your ideal customer is to craft a clear and appealing value proposition. It should be written in a way that your audience can easily understand, and you want it as brief as possible.
This does not mean you need to try to squeeze all the benefits of your products or services into one sentence. Instead, use your homepage’s header as a limit. What reasonably fits there will work well. If you leave enough room for ample negative space and other design elements, you will have room for several sentences.
Look at Smash.vc and their value proposition. They clearly explain who they are, what kinds of investments they are interested in, and who might benefit from working with them. This is enough to get the ball rolling as well as to discourage anyone who is not a good fit.
They’ve used a straightforward, casual tone that shows they are laid back and easy to work with, too.
Offer an Immediate Conversion Opportunity
Warming up and nurturing leads is an integral part of sales and marketing. And while you certainly don’t want to push a sale as soon as a visitor lands on your website, you do want to give them a short and immediate path to convert.
You are doing this for all those who are already familiar with your brand and have come to convert. These are people who don’t want to spend too much time browsing but would prefer to convert immediately.
Other, less keen visitors will also benefit from the strength of this message. Look at Startup Resources. They have a signup box in the header of their homepage. This allows visitors instant access to their newsletter and saves them time from scrolling and reading the rest of their copy. If they are interested, they can jump right into it.
Plus, the clever CTA copy emphasizes the benefits of conversion: access valuable tools to grow your startup.
Tie the Design to the Niche
In order for your website to truly resonate with your ideal customers, try to come up with a design that will immediately and unequivocally connect you with the niche or industry you are working in.
Of course, this will be easier in some niches and much more difficult in others. However, even the smallest design elements can go a long way. For example, if you are a law office, you can incorporate some of the traditional scales-and-scrolls motifs used by a lot of your competitors. If you cater to dog owners, you can include some unobtrusive paw prints.
The key is to keep these design elements moderate and seamless. Going overboard can cause an adverse reaction and make you come off as less professional than you really are.
Love the Night Sky did a great job with their night sky and planets motifs. They clearly tell a first-time visitor what the website is about, and it adds an interesting touch. It’s not too garish or too distracting, though, so the content itself can shine.
Provide Helpful Guidance
Another thing to consider on the path to ideal customer conversion is how you can overcome the most common obstacles. Depending on the nature of your business, this might be the cost of shipping, the difficulty of choosing the right product size or colour, the benefits of the product, and so on.
One of the best ways to tackle all of these issues is to create content that will address each specific question. Most importantly, devoting time to buyers’ guides and guides on how to choose a specific product model will go a long way to help alleviate a lot of concerns shoppers may have.
Cold Plunge Facts does this very well with their articles and reviews. They’ve made an effort to explain what cold plunges are and how they improve our health, and they also review a lot of different cold plunges and explain who they might work for well.
Their content is easy to read and understand, even if you have never heard of cold plunges before.
Align Your Language to Your Audience
The way you speak to your target audience will significantly impact how they feel about and respond to your website. If you don’t resonate well, they are not likely to develop any kind of deeper bond.
Consider the impression you are trying to make. How do you want your ideal customers to think about you? Use an appropriate tone of voice and language to achieve that goal.
For example, if you want to be seen as highly professional and proficient, you will want to use a more formal tone of voice. If you want your audience to see you as one of them, you can use jokes, puns, and references that will resonate well.
Look at Meowingtons. They speak cat proficiently and often make cat-themed puns that most cat owners appreciate. This makes them much more relatable and puts the customer at ease while browsing, even if they are not aware of the effect a simple choice of words can have.
Keep Your Pages Light
You don’t need to overwhelm your audience with information in order to get them to convert. On the contrary — sometimes, the less crowded your pages are, the better.
How many elements and how much copy you include on your pages will also be dictated by the nature of your product or service. If it’s something new or unfamiliar, it’s worth offering a bit more explanatory information. If your audience is already armed with plenty of knowledge, or if the product or service is self-explanatory, try to keep your pages as light as possible.
ThemeIsle does this very well. Apart from a couple of pirate puns, they focus on directing traffic. They provide simple CTAs that will take a visitor to see their themes, plugins, posts, or company information.
They don’t waste space by over-optimizing their page with unnecessary keywords or superfluous explanations.
Show the Product in Use
If you sell physical products, showing them should be a key part of your website design. This is, after all, what your ideal customers want to see.
The more angles, uses, and situations you can show the product in, the better. This will help customers better imagine what the item will look like in real life. It will also help them imagine it becoming a part of their life.
Don’t forget to lean on user-generated content as well. The photos your customers share will always be more authentic than anything you can artificially shoot, so use them as often as is feasible.
Take a look at Biaggi. They have a great collection of product photos on their homepage. Notice how they show plenty of products and have an Instagram carousel. Plus, they even feature a video that demonstrates how to use one of their most popular products.
Provide the Right Kind of Social Proof
Finally, in order to design a website that has a higher chance of resonating with your audience, make sure to feature plenty of social proof. Depending on your target customers’ profiles, this might be ratings or reviews, social media content, or references from major publications.
Take some time to consider what your audience is looking for. Whose word and opinion is likely to sway them the most? Will being featured in an influencer’s video be effective? Or would they like to hear from someone just like them who is trying to achieve the same goals?
Ahrefs have done a good job with their social proof elements. They feature testimonials from a variety of users. This way, they are able to target all segments of their vast audience.
The “# users joined Ahrefs in the last 7 days element” is another great social proof signal that is meant to cause a bit of FOMO and prove that their tool is both popular and still growing.
Have you already employed some of these design tactics on your website? If not, which one of them do you think would resonate with your audience the most?
Take your time to think about these tips and the best way to make them a part of your design and marketing strategies.
About the Author:
Natasha is a web designer, a lady of the keyboard and one hell of a tech geek. She is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs and share her knowledge about IT, digital marketing and technology trends. To see what she is up to next, check out her X Dashboard.