Every inch of space on a business website is crucial to its success. This includes empty spaces too. As a business website designer, you must make every inch sell. These are the steps to design a successful business website.
Research and analysis. Visit the business, talk to a representative. The goal is to gain a concise perspective of what the company stands for and what benefits they offer. What’s their “unique selling proposition”? What kind of presence do they display? This will determine the look and feel of the company website. For example, the layout of a child education camp website will have a very different layout and feel than that of a real estate website.
Design prototype. Draw a sketch of a layout plan. This will serve as a web design blueprint. It helps to come up with a proper layout if it’s tangible and it’s something you can easily change and adjust as necessary.
Consider font style. Font style is like the tone of someone’s voice during a conversation. It’s an expression of its own regardless of what is said. If someone tells you they’re really happy in low, depressing voice, how much would you believe them? Just the same, if you see a real estate website in Comic Sans (comic book font) how seriously would take that business? To establish a strong business presence, choose a font that supports the company’s message.
Consider graphics. Use graphics and photos to help sell the product. Photos help to visually relate the product’s benefits to a specific market. For example, acne-fighting products target young audiences. The benefit is clear, healthy skin. Acne product websites show off photos of young people with clear, healthy skin. Weight loss website banners show men and women with healthy, fit waistlines. Measuring tape is often added to further emphasize the benefit. Graphics and photos serve to visually prove the results of the product.
Build the website. Just like the construction of a building, first lay out the plan or the blueprint, then build it from the ground up. I enjoy this part. It’s like bringing something inanimate to life. Putting element of a website together and making it look and function right is rewarding in it’s own way.
Marketing. This is the key to a successful e-commerce website. Marketing takes an ordinary business website to the next level. Putting your website in front of the right audience takes the most amount of effort. Keyword research, creating back-links, data, results, analyzing, adjusting…it goes on. Any successful internet marketer will tell you it’s a daily process.
Here’s a secret tip not many business website designers know. This is something professional marketers use as leverage to get ahead – and it works!
Competition research. Analyze the top 5 e-commerce websites in your niche. Your successful rivals reveal what works in your niche. Your looking for everything I mentioned earlier: font style, layout, graphics and photos. Find out what keywords they use. Look for a common color scheme in your niche business’ websites. All of this speaks volumes about who the target audience is and how to sell to them.
Business web design isn’t only about throwing some content together in a nice little package for the world to see. There’s so much more to building a professional e-commerce website than meets the eye. The research, design process, and marketing all have a major roll in determining the success of an e-commerce website.