Why you should carefully select a website designer
We were talking to a college educated graphic designer a few months ago who was contributing to a start-up company's website. The layout she had suggested interrupted the natural flow of the eye as a page was viewed, thus failed in functionality. When asked about the layout, her reply was, although the functionality was indeed interrupted, the layout looked better as she had drawn it. She also agreed that her layout might cost the business potential customers, however she was completely opposed to making changes because she liked her layout.
There are thousands and thousands of website designers across our country. We noticed that as the economy started to go down in 2007 and 2008 that a proliferation of new design companies sprang up around the country. The reason is that website design is relatively easy to do physically and the business can be started with minimal start-up capitol. However, in our experience, the majority of website designers are designers, not marketers.
Why would you trust your marketing to someone who is not experienced in marketing?
Often the website is the first impression many customers have of a business and can be the deciding factor in beginning a business relationship. As such, it is one of the most important marketing "brochures" your company will ever produce. Why then, do so many entities contract with people who know little or nothing about marketing to build that "brochure"?
The bottom line is that your website is a marketing brochure. It should be designed, or at least reviewed, by someone fluent in marketing who also has a good knowledge of internet marketing and the psychology behind internet behavoir.
One of our coaches reviewed a website a few years ago that was doing okay, but the business owner felt that it should be doing better. We recommended a complete site change. The new site was minimalistic and did not have the "flare" of the original website, but was designed specifically to impact the business owner's target market. The website we recommended is still in use today, well over three years later. Many people have told him that he needs a better site with a modern look, however he has resisted the change because the website is making him a lot of money, to the tune of a few hundred thousand dollars a year.
As a business owner looking at your website or starting to develop a site, there is one thing that should drive the design and content and that is, "Who is your target market?" Determining this fact should be the backbone of the entire site. Aspects you should consider are age, education, gender and race.
--Use age-appropriate pictures. Use pictures of people in the age range you are targetting.
--Geriatric targetted websites should be simplistic with one menu that has easy options. Font sizes should be larger with a script that provides the option to make text even larger. Text should contrast with the background; think black font on white background.
--Use more pictures and graphics with less educated target markets. Children's websites will be heavily weighted with graphics while websites focused on people with doctorial college degrees will have much more text. In many areas of the United States tenth grade is the average education demographic.
--Color schemes targetted toward females should be paler colors such as soft violets, baby blues, pinks, etc. Women tend to read more than men so more content could be included on the site. They can also be harder to convince to purchase, especially if the product is technical. The more technical your product or service the more the content should be broken into simplistic parts.
--Men gravitate toward bolder, darker colors. Men prefer more graphics. "How-to" content should include a lot of pictures with less wording. combined graphics with text super-imposed on the graphic.
--It is NOT racist to design your website to target a specific nationalistic group of people. However, it is also not wise to disregard other groups who may also need your product or service.
--The African-American and hispanic demographic tend to like brighter colors or darker,complimenting color schemes.
--Use pictures of people that reflect the target heritage.
Look over your current website or proposed layout and consider your target demographic. The target group is not always you. For instance, if I was designing a website that sold prosthetic limbs, but I am not missing any limbs, then I am not my target market no matter how much knowledge I have about the prosthetics and their use.
Max Marketing Coach can review your website and provide improvement input. Visit our website review page for more information about this service.
Publish date: January 27, 2015
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