targeted website design

Here at Designer Websites, we have worked with clients from a huge range of industries to build websites that sell baked goods, birdseed, lifting equipment, ladders and more... With all this web design experience under our belt, we can confidently say that targeted website design is a vital part of building a successful site for any client.

Today we're going to take a look at what ‘targeted website design’ means and show you how you can implement it, so that your website attracts the right kinds of people who’ll convert time and time again.

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Questions to ask your web designer

There are lots of people out there who call themselves web designers. But if you want a quality website that delivers real wins for your business, there's a huge difference between a professional web design company and an amateur working out of their bedroom.

Thanks to free tools like Wordpress and Wix, just about anyone can put together a basic website using a pre-existing template, and regrettably, there are plenty of so-called 'developers' who will charge you an exorbitant amount of money for something that you could easily have done yourself.

Before you pay someone to create a website for you, ask them the following questions and make sure you're going to get your money's worth!

1. Can I see some examples of your work?

Never agree to hire someone before you've seen what they're capable of. Any experienced web designer will be able to show you a portfolio of their previous work or send you some links to websites they've created in the past. If your prospective developer hesitates to offer you any examples of what they can do, that's a huge red flag and you should probably look elsewhere.

(By the way, if you want to see some of the websites we've created, check out our Web Design Portfolio.)

2. Do you build every website from scratch?

In our blog post about the advantages of bespoke web design, we explained why a bespoke website - built from scratch, specifically for you - is generally a far better investment than a template-type site that's based on a pre-built system.

Of course, a bespoke website will cost you more, but that extra cost will net you the following benefits:

  • A unique design that's tailored to the needs of your audience
  • Ongoing support from professional developers who can create just about anything you want
  • Improved security, making it harder for hackers to target your site
  • Far more flexibility and scalability - crucial for a growing business

Most modern businesses can't get by with just some text on a static web page. Whether you need a booking system, a secure online checkout, or just the ability to add and edit content at the drop of a hat, you're far better off with a bespoke website from a team of developers who can translate your big ideas into user-friendly online solutions.

3. How long will it take to get my new website live?

You obviously don't want to hire a web designer who's going to take the best part of a year to deliver what you need, but you should also watch out for developers who tell you that your new site will be live within a week. If they're able to turn a whole website around that quickly, they're probably not doing a very good job of it.

A well-constructed website takes time to create. When we take on a new project, we spend a fair bit of time...

  • Getting to know the client's market and their target audience
  • Checking out the competition to see what we're up against
  • Performing keyword research to find out what people search for
  • Working with the client to settle on a design they love
  • Mapping out what pages the website will include
  • Optimising the website and its content for search engines
  • Testing the site to prevent errors and eliminate bugs

You wouldn't eat a pork joint that's only spent a few minutes in the oven, and you shouldn't be satisfied with a website that was slapped together with no research or planning.

4. Will my website be mobile friendly?

As of November 2016, more people are browsing the Internet on mobile devices than on desktop computers. When your new website goes live, many of your users - perhaps even the majority - will view it on their smartphones. So you'd better make sure that your site looks just as good on a small screen as it does on your PC.

We've worked with a wide range of different companies over the years. Some of the websites we create get as much as 75% of their traffic from tablets and mobile phones, and even our B2B clients, whose average customer is someone working at a desk in an office, tend to rely on mobile and tablet users for about a quarter of their website visits these days. There's no way around it: if your web developer can't deliver a responsive website that's easy to navigate on all devices, you're going to alienate a sizeable chunk of your potential audience.

5. Will I be able to make changes in the future?

The world is always changing, and while you might be 100% happy with your website when it launches, it probably won't be too long before you want to make some tweaks. Perhaps you'll expand your business and start promoting a new set of services. Perhaps you'll hire an extra pair of hands, in which case your 'Meet the Team' page will need updating. Perhaps there'll be a global pandemic and you'll want to reassure your customers that you're still open for business. Who knows what additions and changes you might require in a few months' time?

Before you settle on a web developer, you should make sure that you'll always have the option to edit and improve your website when necessary. If there's something you'll need to update regularly (e.g. special offers, promotional banners, customer testimonials), you should mention this up front - your web design agency may suggest setting up a content management system (CMS) that allows you to make those changes yourself instead of having to go through them every time an update is needed. Of course, there will always be changes that you can't foresee, so you should also ask your web designer how much they'll charge you for future developments.

If your business needs a new website, Designer Websites can help! Here are some of the things our clients have said about us...

"Working with Designer Websites was so easy - they knew exactly what I wanted and executed it to perfection!" - Alana Spencer, Ridiculously Rich by Alana

"The websites that we have created in partnership with Designer Websites are just incredible. Thank you for your hard work and continued support." - John Sheppard, eTrader

"We are so pleased we chose Designer Websites to overhaul our site. They did an amazing job and were a pleasure to work with." - Andrew Buckingham, Slide Candy

Give us a call on 01446 339050 to discuss your requirements with one of our expert web designers!

Request a Free Web Design Quote

Website design psychology

Did you know that every detail on your website, from the colours to the typeface, has a psychological impact on your users? Website designers can influence the way someone feels when they visit your site by choosing design features that have a desirable psychological impact.

You're probably thinking: "Surely if my website looks nice, that should be enough?" Well, not necessarily. You can have a website that looks great, but if it doesn't appeal to the mindset of your target audience or reflect your brand positively, it probably won't convert as well as you'd hoped for.

Don't worry - you don't need a degree in psychology to understand the impact of different web design features. We've put together this helpful guide to introduce you to the psychology of web design. It's worth keeping these things in mind if you're thinking about a new website, but of course, our specialist website designers are always on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Structure and Layout

The structure of your website is fundamental to its success. Why? Because you want your users to find the things that they're looking for quickly, but you also need to add clean spaces for their minds to rest.

Websites that are over-cluttered and messy can be incredibly difficult to digest, so even if your page features all the photos, videos, and information that you deem necessary, you might be overloading users and driving them away.

We always recommend a website design that orders things in a logical way and features clean spaces between page elements and in margins. Keeping the features of the page relevant and concise will also help users to decide whether or not your website is a good fit for their query in a matter of seconds.

A clean, well-organised website is bound to make a good first impression and will psychologically reassure users that you aren't going to waste their time.

Colours

You've probably heard of the link between colour and emotion before, but in web design, this takes a more sophisticated form. Thinking beyond the typical 'red equals danger, blue equals sadness' conventions that we learn in school, colours can convey a lot of information about your business, so it's important to choose your colour palette carefully.

You've probably noticed that websites tend to have a neutral colour like white, grey, or mauve as the dominant colour throughout. This is because neutral shades are a great base for more interesting pops of colour, and they aren't too overwhelming for the user.

Different colours can be used to hint at the nature of your business. We tend to see cooler tones like blues and greens on more professional or 'serious' websites (our own site is just one example). Meanwhile, warmer tones like pink and orange might indicate a more creative or 'fun' business - take our clients Sweets in the City, for example. You can learn more about the relationship between colour and web design in our in-depth blog on this topic.

Typefaces

In the same way that the colours of your website can impact the way a user feels, so too can your chosen typeface. There are some typefaces that we subconsciously associate with traditional/professional businesses. These tend to fall under the category of serif fonts (fonts with feet). Some examples are Times New Roman, Georgia and Palatino.

In contrast, sans-serif fonts (without feet) have a more contemporary feel and are often used by tech companies to suggest modernity. Some examples of sans-serif typefaces include Helvetica, Arial, and Tahoma.

That being said, there are hundreds of different typefaces to choose from, so don't feel limited to the examples listed here. As a rule of thumb, choose a typeface that complements your brand while still being easy to read across all devices.

Price Order

We've already discussed why the visual layout of your site is important, but did you know the order in which you list your products and services has a profound psychological effect too?

One psychological phenomenon that online shoppers are subject to is anchoring bias. This meant that the user's perception of your products rests on the very first products they see (and become anchored to).

For example, if you list your most expensive products first, everything that the user sees afterwards will appear cheaper. Conversely, if you put your budget items first, you risk making your main line of products look overpriced.

Psychological studies have shown that anchoring bias is almost impossible to avoid; however, people who are more familiar with your products and pricing are less susceptible to it. With that in mind, it's important that you anchor products to the top of the page that are reasonably priced and a good reflection of your product portfolio.

When users land on your category page, you want them to see products that are cheap enough to be a good deal, but not so cheap that they're compromising on quality. Here are some more tips to help you make your category pages convert.

Trust and Confidence

The final thing to consider is whether or not your website design establishes trust and confidence. Whether you're providing legal advice or selling clothes, you need your users to trust you if you want them to convert.

We live in an age where digital scams and computer viruses are an everyday threat. At a brick-and-mortar store, customers can see the people behind the brand, ask questions, and even base their buying decisions on how friendly/helpful the staff are.

Online, you rely entirely on your website to provide the same great experience and make customers feel secure enough to part with their cash. There are a number of web design techniques you can utilise to help with this.

For example, you should refrain from asking for personal details like email addresses right off the bat. An immediate invasion of privacy before someone has had time to become familiar with your brand might be enough to send them elsewhere. Similarly, avoid adding multiple pop-ups and overlays, as these can appear spammy and make it difficult to browse the site smoothly.

Make a good first impression with a clean and logical structure, make it clear what you expect from your users at an appropriate time, and put security measures in place to put users at ease. Use a secure, well-recognised payment system like Sage Pay or PayPal, let users create password-protected customer accounts to store their personal details, and make sure your website is protected with an SSL.

Get all of these web design features right and you can create a website that's psychologically pleasing to your customers. If you're looking for web designers who can help create the best possible website for your business, get in touch with Designer Websites today!

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Improve your category pages

When you're trying to design a category page that will help drive sales, it's crucial to keep the customer's experience at the forefront of your mind. By navigating through your category pages, users should be able to easily find the products they're looking for and place their order.

At Designer Websites, we've been designing category pages for years, so we have a great understanding of what really works for our clients. We spoke to our lead designer, Jenna, and asked her what makes the perfect category page:

"We would always recommend that you use good images that are relevant and high quality, an interesting H1 heading that includes your page's keywords, and text that's short and relevant. Try to put your best-selling / most popular products towards the top of the page, and change them frequently so the pages look slightly different for returning customers."

Let's look at some of these different elements in more detail. You might find that some of these features are missing from your category pages, in which case, this might be a great opportunity to make some improvements.

1. Optimising Your Text

You want the text on your category pages to be concise, relevant and properly optimised for search engines. To achieve this, you should make sure that your category pages include a keyword-rich H1 heading and relevant information about your products.

Think of your category pages as a means for customers to get an overview of your products before making a purchase. You should try to describe the products or services on a category page using a few concise, easy-to-digest sentences, so users can quickly determine if they've chosen the right category.

In terms of SEO, you should try to include a range of keywords that are relevant to your category to increase the likelihood of your page ranking highly in the search results.

For example, if you own a cake business and you want to optimise the text on the category page for 'chocolate cakes' you might target keywords like, 'best chocolate cakes', 'chocolate sponge cakes' and 'chocolate birthday cakes'. You might find it beneficial to keep the text under the H1 (that users will see first) short but include more keyword-rich text towards the bottom of the page to improve your chance of ranking.

If your site is optimised effectively, someone searching for a 'chocolate birthday cake' should be taken to your category page where they can view all the chocolate cakes you offer. Someone searching more specifically for a 'vegan chocolate cake' might be taken straight to a product page instead, where they can read a detailed description of the vegan chocolate cake you supply and place their order.

2. High-Quality Images

When your business operates through an ecommerce website, customers are deprived of that real-life touch, feel and browse experience. It's important to use relevant, high-quality images on your category and product pages to really bring your products to life!

One thing that online shopping allows for is a comparison between brands. Your customers might be considering products from several different competitor sites as well as yours, so you want to provide the best possible experience you can and secure the sale.

Going back to our cake business example, imagine a scenario where a customer is looking for a great chocolate birthday cake. They're considering three or four local cake suppliers, including you. If your chocolate cake category page is filled with high-quality photos of truly tempting chocolate cakes, and your competitors have a few low-resolution images to compare to, you'll (probably) win the sale every time!

3. Featured Products

Highlighting products on your category page is a great way to boost sales. Moving products towards the top of the category page and adding a bold border or an eye-catching sticker is a great way to draw the user's attention towards the products you want them to buy. It also provides users with a sense that they are getting the best option or deal available.

Even if users only spend a few minutes on your category page before moving elsewhere on your site, the emboldened products are likely to stick in their minds. They might even decide to come back for a second look if they feel they've missed out on a good deal.

With that in mind, you should use the featured products section of your category page to focus on best-selling products, products included in special offers, and products that you want to shift quickly.

Keep your category pages fresh and engaging by rotating your featured products regularly. That way, returning visitors won't be greeted with the same products over and over again.

4. Filters

If your business boasts an extensive portfolio of products, you might want to consider adding filters to your category page so users can quickly find the items they need. Filters are a popular feature of most ecommerce websites because they break down categories into smaller, niche groups of products that more relevant to the user.

Let's say you own a shoe store and a customer visits your site hoping to buy a new pair of black high heels in a size six. They're going to a party at the weekend and (as usual) they've left it until the last minute to organise their outfit. When they land on your site, they see hundreds of different types of shoes organised into categories by style.

Luckily, your 'high heels' category page allows them to filter the shoes by size and colour. This instantly refines their search so they can browse all the pairs of shoes that fit their criteria. They spot a fabulous pair and place their order - success! That's one more happy customer who might recommend your shoe store to a friend or leave a positive review.

5. Search Box

No matter how well structured your site navigation is, there will always be some users who prefer to head directly to specific products. That's where the search box comes in handy.

It's important that your database is organised so that the right products show up for the right queries - you wouldn't want a user searching for 'black heels in size six' to be faced with an array of blue trainers, would you?

Data from the search box can also provide you with insights into the products that are most frequently searched for by your customers. Perhaps they're struggling to find the products they're looking for; in which case you could tweak your site navigation so frequently-searched products are easier to find.

Alternatively, frequent searches could indicate that a certain product is very popular with your customers. In this case, you might decide to run a special offer or add it to your 'featured products' section to boost sales. Either way, having a search box on your category page will benefit you and your customers.

If your ecommerce website needs an overhaul, Designer Websites can help. Our experienced team of designers, developers and SEO specialists understand what websites need to succeed - contact us now to discuss your requirements!

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Ski for Agents Website

Skiing season will be upon us in just a few months' time, which no doubt means that countless snowsports enthusiasts are already starting to think about booking their visit to the slopes.

Our latest project, Ski for Agents, is designed to help travel agents purchase ski holiday extras for the globetrotting skiers and snowboarders who come to them for assistance. Agencies can register multi-level accounts with separate logins for the head office, other branches, different members of staff, etc. Once signed in, the streamlined design and user-friendly interface makes it easy for agents to get the very best prices on lift passes, airport transfers, and other useful extras, which they can then book online quickly and easily.

We relish a challenge here at Designer Websites, and this project called for a lot of bespoke functionalities, integrations, and unusual features - it was the sort of brief that would make lesser developers turn pale!

The Ski for Agents website has a custom-built and rather complex content management system (CMS), which allows our client to completely control virtually every facet of the website, including...

  • A truly flexible ancillary page manager
  • Language control
  • Resort and service provider control
  • Equipment management
  • Bookings management
  • Agents management
  • Ski extras control
  • Customised client invoicing

...and much more.

We specialise in tackling complex, demanding projects like this one! If you have an idea that can only be realised with a custom-made online solution, give us a call on 01446 339050 to discuss your requirements with a member of the Designer Websites team.

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