Make a Good Investment: 5 Ways to Lose Money on a New Website Design

Business.com / Marketing Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

You don't have to lose money on a new website redesign, a well-done site can pay for itself in a matter of months. Mind the approach.

It's incredibly important to stay up with the trends with your website; especially if by trends you mean responsive web design so it's accessible on many devices, simple and clean so people can navigate easily, and optimized for conversions so that people always know what the next step they should take is.

But some people get too excited about "trendiness", what they feel is aesthetically pleasing and stop focusing on how it's going to make a business money.

This is when a new website design might actually lose you money not gain you money as people generally are expecting when they invest in a new website design. So without further ado, seven ways to lose money with a new website design (and practical tips on how to avoid them)

Related Article:Get With the Times: How to Implement Responsive Web Design

1. Don't Look at the Analytics of What's Currently Working and What's Not

It's very important to know where traffic is coming from and what pages are leading to conversions. A good web design team will understand what's currently effective about your website from an analytics perspective so that they aren't re-inventing the wheel on stuff that doesn't need to be re-invented. 

How to make sure your business treats the website as an investment

Ask your designer or design team to look at your analytics and understand where people are bouncing, and where people are converting. If you don't have conversion tracking set up on your website, have them set it up so that you can get an accurate picture of what's currently working. 

2. Insist on Implementing the Newest Trends in Web Design at the Expense of Usability

The sales guy says you need parallax and a video background, and 12 thousand moving animated pieces so you cave. We need it to be hip. Just don't pop your hip out of joint, because stuffing needless fashionable or animated elements can be distracting and lead to heavy load times on key pages. According to KissMetrics, one second of extra load time can lead to a seven percent reduction in conversions. 

How to make sure your business treats the website as an investment

Let your designer or design team know that business goals are at the center of the new redesign, not making it fancy or pretty. In discussions about the design work, put an emphasis on how it affects the companies bottom line but allow for creativity when it serves that end purpose. 

3. Get Wrapped Up in Internal Team Politics and Label Things the Way Your Team Sees Them Not the Way Your Customer Refers to Them.

Nothing says "We don't care about you" then slapping on confusing industry jargon on your service page titles and not giving people what they expect or understand. Be considerate, be empathetic, focus on what your prime demographic will comprehend and speak to them first and foremost. Save your boardroom lingo for the board room. 

Related Article:One Size Fits All: How Responsive Web Design Helps Get You More Conversions

How to make sure your business treats the website as an investment

Talk to your customers and really ask them what they refer to a particular service as. Try not to influence their answer or re-explain. If you can do this well, and label things as your customers see them, you'll be laying the groundwork for a much easier to navigate website. According to the Motive Glossary, unless a website caters to a specialized trade it's "best to avoid jargon when creating labels."

4. Don't Vet the Design Team to Make Sure They Have a Conversion-Centric Approach

Some web design companies are really more of "branding companies" that dabble in web design. They are perfect for making something look amazing, they often have incredible websites themselves but drop the ball when it comes to creating client websites.

They fail to take a numbers-focused approach to web design and instead design for their own ego's and their understanding of billboards, brand perception and big spends on paid ads. A numbers-focused or conversion-centric approach to web design means that they care how the website really will perform in six months when it comes down to nitty-gritty numbers like how many people contacted you, and how many real sales came as a result of the redesign. 

How to make sure your business treats the website as an investment

Bring up the conversion-centric approach before you even hire a designer or agency. Ask them if they've been involved with A/B testing, or how they gauge whether a website redesign was effective. According to Minneapolis Web Design,  "The key is giving a designer or design team real number business goals, and trying to build a partnership together that goes beyond a one-time launch and becomes an iterative approach." 

5. Don't Make What Makes Your Company Special or Different Than Your Competitors Obvious

Make what you do better than your competitors dead obvious on your homepage with the images you choose, and the headlines that are most prominent. If you're dry cleaners, have a big picture of a smiling person handing off completed dry-cleaning in a well lit, pleasant environment. If you're a bank that dedicates endless hours to a customer service focus, be clear about that focus in your headlines. This is no time to be coy. 

How to make sure your business treats the website as an investment

Always ask your loyal customers or clients why they came to you over competitors. If they say it's because your service people show up on time and smile and you hear that again and again, your website should make that it's focal point, and include headlines that speak to that. Always go for the gut spend time crafting headlines and imagery that speak to the prime demographics emotional center. According to Copyblogger, "Getting to the emotional root is crucial for effective consumer sales." 

Related Article: Informative and Visually Appealing: 5 Important Website Design Considerations

You Don't Have to Lose Money on a New Website Redesign

You don't have to lose money on a new website redesign, a well-done site can pay for itself in a matter of months but it's important to be intentional about the angle you take with a web designer or web design team. To treat your businesses website design like the investment it is, have your designer look at analytics, focus on usability over trendiness, label things how your customers see them not how your internal team refers to them, take a conversion-centric approach. and go for the gut tap into your prime demographics emotional core with your copy and imagery.

Best of luck and my hats off to you. 

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