So, You Want a Website? Part 2/6

This is the second post of a six-part series that is covering each of the key elements that go into building an engaging and effective website. You can read Part 1: Your Website Is Your First Employee here.

No matter whether you’re designing a logo, business cards, or a website, the principles of good design stay the same. At a level higher than color theory and simplicity and legibility and repetition are two questions that cut to the heart of every design:

  • Does the design communicate your brand accurately?
  • Does the design communicate clearly to your users?

01. Does your design communicate your brand accurately?

Your brand consists of more than just what you’re selling, more than what graphics you use, more than what content management system your website is built on.

Pillars of your brand include:

  1. Your mission and vision and core values. Why does your brand exist? What does your brand hope to accomplish? How does it hope to accomplish it?
  2. Your story. What made you decide to start your business? How did it come into being? How can you tell it in a way that makes someone feel connected and want to be part of your story?
  3. Your voice. How does your brand communicate? Casually/formally? Humorously/seriously? High-end/everyman? Graphics, videos, copywriting, etc. fall under your brand’s voice.
  4. Your product/service. What are the features and benefits? What is the unique value proposition (UVP)?
  5. Your customers. For whom is your product/service? What do your evangelists say about it? What do your critics say about it? Both make up your brand.

You need to know these pillars before you get anything designed. I’ve created a free Brand Q&A PDF to get you started. Fill it out, provide those answers to your designer, and your project success should triple.

02. Does your design communicate clearly to your users?

The number one way to tell if your design is working or not is through leads and conversions. Are you getting leads? Are those leads turning into conversions? Are those conversions coming from the users you expect?

If no one is buying your product/service or the people buying your product/service aren’t the people you’re trying to target, there’s a disconnect somewhere.

If you haven’t worked through a personas exercise recently (or ever), start by signing up for the free Hubspot Academy. Then, watch these two short videos. It’s one of the best explanations I’ve found. Once you know the basics, here is a Google Doc template or a Word template you can use to create your personas.

Come back next Monday for Part Three of “So, You Want a Website?”
or download the whole PDF now!

So You Want a Website? PDF