A website should form an integral part of any business’s branding, marketing, and sales strategy. These days, it’s a key thing to get right. 
 
This means that website design is more important than it has ever been before. It has a significant impact on the way customers perceive your brand, and affects the ways you appeal to new customers and retain old ones. While there is no official rulebook for creating websites, over the years a grammar has certainly developed, with designers establishing convention for what works and what doesn’t. 
 
We find that our clients have a pretty good idea of what they need their website to represent but will still have a few questions. And we listen. We find that these are the things they ask us about most frequently. 
 
 
1 - Will my website work for my customers? 
Studies show that you can't expect people to spend much time on your website looking for what they expect to see. Therefore you have around eight seconds to make an impact when somebody lands on your site. That’s really not much when you consider the majority of your online marketing budget could be spent on this tiny amount of time. Our clients always ask us to make these first few seconds count and make the correct impact. 
 
We do this by using clean and minimal design that places the brand and your core sales messages, value propositions, and unique selling points at front and centre. We use bold visuals helping your audience connect and pay attention to colour schemes and cohesive design elements that neatly connect the design with the desired outcome of the time spent on the website which also involves collecting an enquiry with the use of prominent call to actions. 
 
 
2 - I need to look professional. Can you do that for me? 
A website needs to create the impression that the business is professional and capable - in many cases the visitor may just be checking into the website to check your business has its ducks in a row before using your services. It needs to establish authority and trust. And this is achieved by using a combination of the right design elements and avoiding mistakes with things like awkward to read fonts, poor or irrelevant stock imagery, and questionable colour schemes. All these things are easily avoided with the use of a good web design service like ours, where we plan before we design! 
 
 
3 - Will my new website look trustworthy? 
This is a core concept behind brand success. Great design can be integral in winning over a potential client and making it apparent to them that you’re a business that can be trusted to deliver. Well-written, useful content is also key to gaining trust - both for your visitor and for helping Google to rank your site appropriately. An instant win on trust is to start collecting reviews and display them. 
 
 
4 - Will it work well? 
The initial visual impact of the design can establish all the above. It can create a sense of professionalism that builds trust. It can have the big, attention-grabbing impact that makes those first 8 seconds so important. 
 
However, this initial attention grabbing should pave the way for a longer visit where visitors then go on to use the website and take more of your message or service into consideration. 
 
None of this will lead to a positive outcome unless the website also functions the way it should. The site needs to be responsive and work across different platforms and channels as well as being fairly intuitive. 
 
 
5 - Will my visitors know how to use the website? 
As good design is common design, your website should be a familiar experience to other websites the visitor has used before. This is the cornerstone of functionality. The way the site is navigated, the placement of the links, slides, tabs and various call to actions can all have a big impact on the way users will experience your site. Customers probably know from their own experience that a poorly constructed site can be incredibly frustrating and will not tolerate a poor site for long. Our design team always work out the best experiences for your users. 
 
 
6 - Will the navigation be clear? 
This is one of the fundamental principles of great user experience. Websites need to be clear and easy to navigate. This means having visible and well-marked out tabs and buttons. Once you have the attention of the user after the first 8 seconds, then you need to make it easy for them to find their way around your site, reaching the pages that are of most interest. 
 
The two main ways of navigation style are breadcrumbs and drop-down menus. Breadcrumbs boost the searchability of your pages by showing a visual that features the user’s location within the hierarchy. This decreases the number of actions a visitor will need to make to move on to a higher level. Drop-down menus have a list of items that appear when users click on the menu title. 
 
 
7 - Will my most important information be prioritised? 
Great design should try and establish a clear system for organising the content of the site. This should ideally make all the content as easily digestible as possible. All the important data should be highlighted on the page. We do this by using the right typeface, using white space effectively and also by the use of sidebars, headings and pull quotes. In the industry this is called visual hierarchy, and here at it’seeze Ashford your web consultant will work with you to make sure this is the case for your website. 
 
 
8 - Can you make my website look visually attractive? 
You need to make sure that your site looks great and has real visual appeal. This is achieved by using the right colour schemes and design elements. This kind of visual appeal does not have to be expensive and there are a few visual tricks that can add some extra appeal. Let us know which style and any inspiration sources you have to help inspire us. 
 
 
9 - Can you make our story compelling? 
Telling a story is a great way to cultivate positive emotions for your brand. We can do this by trying to focus on emotions such as excitement and happiness. We will work with you to try and develop a brand story that gives the user a reason to try and explore more. We think of your website as an excellent platform to create your story and connect with your customers. Copywriters are especially good at this and if you require compelling copywriting we recommend the use of these. 
 
 
10 - Should I have pictures of me or my team on the site? 
People are behind every business and every great business story. That’s why our customers are always asking us to make their sites more human. We can achieve this by using good quality and original pictures
 
This sometimes means we can focus on the people who work in the business or even some of the customers themselves. Trying to add a human element to the website is great for building the trust that we spoke about in an earlier point. 
 
 
 
Nick Templeton
 
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the kinds of things we are asked in our free consultations. We aim to deliver all the above and more to our clients. We understand that your website is an essential tool for your business and that it needs to deliver as part of your marketing and sales strategy. We’ll work with you to establish what you want to achieve from your site, how you want it to look and which design elements are most important. And we can make suggestions about how to maximise all the above based on our years of design experience. 
 
If you would like to know more, then get in touch with a member of our team here at it'seeze Ashford in Kent.  
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