Websites have one (and only one) purpose: Engagement.
Web design that engages the eye of passers-by is the first bit.
The bit that most designers think is the first and last bit;
It isn’t of course.
Real design starts with engaging the eye then quickly – very quickly – focuses everything on engaging the user in a conversion process that goes like this:
That’s it ...
But you need a mini plan for each.
We'll get to the strategy in a bit ...
If there was a fifth.
I guess it would have to be: ”Someone who becomes your spouse.” (Although I haven't a screen shot for that.)
Anyway, if your website stops at the first step — if the design doesn't enable a visitor to become a reader of the sales content, then it has failed the visitor and your goal.
If your website doesn’t lure users in and when they start reading the content help them quickly and easily graduate into a paying customer (or subscriber), then once again you’ve failed.
You see where I’m going here.
But even if your site does convert people from interested visitors to avid readers to confident customers, you’ve still got work to do with ensuring they cross the finish line as brand evangelists.
Web design’s purpose is engaging people long enough for all this engagement magic to happen.
And to get this conversion process magic to work, you need to be there. Watching. Measuring. Analysing and Refining every interaction.
But what about that “Ah-Ha!” moment?
Well, pull up a chair ...
First, I want to ask you a fundamental question ...
What separates content that gets shared 10 people from one that shared by over 2000?
Neat design? Great content? Luck?
Let’s try another question:
What do you think a good conversion rate is?
Well, in all honesty a good conversion rate is simply better than you had last month.
But is it getting there, going up and up and up?
Somehow, I doubt it but I'll let you do the math:
Conversion Rate =
Total Number of Sales / Number of Unique Visitors * 100
Lead Value =
Value of Sale / Number of Unique Visitors
If the answers NO it's because your website was conceived in such a way as to guarantee its own obsolescence.
The sooner you realise that the above process-flow is broken — the sooner you can move on to get real results.
Read these and answer with brutal honesty:
- What didn’t go well?
- Which emotions did you experience?
- Was it launched on time?
- Did your designers stay in scope and on budget?
- Did it perform year on year as expected?
Hopefully it all went swimmingly, but mostly not.
And to be fair, this isn’t always the fault of the designers:
You probably dreamt too big. Overlooked vital stuff. Changed your mind a few too many times.
But you see, this commonly accepted design cycle of dream big, push it out, watch it fail, dream big again ... is broken.
It never works as expected. In fact, it’s designed not to.
Gabe, from Square 2 Marketing, sums it up eloquently,
The traditional web design model is totally broken. Whether you’re an agency or business, it leaves you extremely vulnerable to project failure and often does not produce optimal results.
The blunt reason:
We learn more about customer behaviour, their needs and interests, AFTER launch than at any other stage.
This, right here, should be your first big ...
When an issue is encountered — and there’ll be a lot of them — test and tweak it until you’ve moved under or over or through the “road block”.
Problems are always temporary. There’s always a workaround.
Technology has also made it easier than ever to engage with and track customer behaviour so you’ve no excuse not create a better customer experience.
So long as you focus on the “customer journey” first, not just your big pipe dream, you will get it right.
So long as you help your audience with some small wins so they can see the bonus of a big investment in your big picture, you’ll also get it right together.
Adding value is a two way exchange.
And when that happens.
Everything changes ...
But you need to work to keep that attention!!!
Like we said earlier, attention and engagement are a 4 step process, a relationship building exercise, not a 2 year event.
Instead, it's best to work on a slower, more methodical way of growing your online business based on refining those 4 short-steps that build genuine, deep, lasting trust.
Which means getting the right foundations first.
Now, all the ideas I’ve discussed here leverage 7 different strategies I’ve studied over the years, which we’ll go into on the following page.
But the key is to understand that instead of dreaming big and failing, we are dreaming small and building from there.
Here’s a neat way of thinking about it:
Why’s it all so important?
Because it’s a numbers game.
Grabbing attention is getting sooooooo crazy expensive right now.
Consumers are getting wise and the cost of improving those numbers is souring with it.
The days of £1-£2 cost-per-click [CPC] leads are wrapping up, soon you’ll looking more towards £8-£9 CPC.
SEO is getting tuff too.
So if you're current conversion rate is limping along at 1.0% it's wise to allocate some of your Ad spend on notching up the conversion rate a % or 2.
Here's the new framework ...
- Visitor focused — Empathise with your customers problems better. (Like I'm talking to you on this page.)
- Reader focused — Create some compelling content. Dig deep into solving problems. Make it easy to read. Choose a great font (!Important).
- Customer focused — Deliver an extraordinary customer experience. Try to over-deliver.
- Evangelist focused — Be somebody. Establish yourself as an Authority. Lead by example.
- Publish in smaller steps and tweak the bejesus out of everything (design, messaging and layout) until you have a conversion rate winner :-)
And finally …
Here's what the 7 step framework looks like when all the extra bits are added ...Continue to page two …
You will waste almost no time figuring out how to “begin” your next website redesign.