As an interior designer, your focus is making sure your clients have what they need in the styles and spaces you think are best. That’s why you were chosen – for your experience and understanding of design, not to mention your impeccable taste.
The problem is, if design and image are very much an important part of what you do, why would you have a mediocre website with a horrible, years-old design?
Most times, the very first thing a client will know about you will come from your website. Sure, word of mouth works sometimes, but more times than not, people will visit your website based on searching for “interior designer” in a search engine. Ask yourself this question: If you, as a potential client, clicked on the link to your website, would you be likely to hire you?
Interior designers live in a world where the latest trends can make or break you. The same can be said about website design. It’s just as important to keep up with web trends when it comes to the design of your site. Here are some things to keep in mind before planning your new site.
You Shouldn’t Need a Map to Navigate Your Site
Possibly the most important part of a website is the navigation. The navigation of a website is extremely important, especially for robust websites with many pages. Website navigation typically includes a navigation bar or list of labels that differentiate the pages of the website.
Good navigation should be easy to find and comprehend – making for quick and easy travel throughout the entire website.
You must be careful, however. It might be tempting to get carried away with designs and fancy typefaces. In most cases, making your navigation simple maximizes ease of use for your potential customers.
Brand Consistency is Important – Don’t Change Too Much
If you use your company’s logo frequently in print materials (i.e. business cards, pamphlets, letterheads, etc.), then the logo, logo/brand colors, brand messaging, and imagery used for print must be carried over into the website design.
You want to stay consistent. Your potential clients need to be able to recognize your brand in all forms of communication. Often, when a brand changes its logo or anything visual, it can cause customers to feel uncomfortable, which can cause them to create a negative association with your company.
Remember, sometimes change is good, but you need to make sure you don’t completely change everything.
Make it Easy to Ready & Incorporate SEO
Most people are comfortable reading a web page the same way they read a book, from top to bottom, left to right. Web designers also take this into account when designing for a website. Many designers make sure to place the most important information on the upper left hand column. This will help get the message across more effectively for website visitors who could be current or potential customers.
What many people don’t know is that placing important information in these areas of a website also improves search engine optimization (SEO). When you include important keywords about your business into the HTML-based text, search engines such as Google can see your website easily, increasing your search engine placement and giving your website and company more overall visibility.
What You Have to Say Is Just as Important as Design
The content of your site is important for reasons besides the fact that it communicates your company’s brand position and promise. There are other very important elements that are considered when a copywriter creates the content and the designer creates the complementary visual environment for the content.
Making the message short and to the point, yet warm and welcoming, helps the reader remember the message easier. When there’s too much text on a page, the page becomes cluttered, making it more difficult for a reader to physically read the page, let alone remain interested.
By streamlining the content, the designer is then able to insert the text into their design, which typically includes plenty of negative space (which is a good thing). This empty space lets the reader’s eyes rest so they do not get tired reading.
Building – and Keeping – Trust
Building trust among your potential clients is extremely important, but will not happen unless you really get to know them and what they value.
Marketing tactics can act as a dialogue with them, which will be a great way to discover more about your clientele’s needs. By strengthening dialogue with the clients, you can implement what positively resonates with them in your new design. By making your website look more welcoming and trustworthy to visitors, you will see the traffic to your website increase, and an improvement in new business leads through website conversion.
You Don’t Have to Go It Alone
It’s not an easy thing creating a new website by yourself. You could go with one of those do-it-yourself sites, but what will separate you from the others who do the same thing? On top of that, will it look professional? At the end of the day, will you be comfortable with it?
Fortunately, there is a better way. Here at New North, we specialize in creating custom websites from the ground up. We work with you to discover what you need, what you like, and the overall best way to get it done.
You don’t have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for great web design. We’ve designed hundreds of sites, won some awards, and been back to tell you that what’s shiniest isn’t always what works best. It’s more about great brand – alignment of design, messaging and function – that really make the difference in your website design. Let us take your site design to a new level of visual and marketing performance to increase your marketing leads.
Contact us today for a free, no-hassle consultation. We’re here to help.