Creating a website that speaks to your customers

It takes a person only 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website. That might be fear-inducing as a business owner – but you get to decide what that opinion is by making informed decisions about the design and experience of your website. 

Given that 94 per cent of first impressions are design-driven, and 75 per cent of users admit to judging a company’s credibility based on their website’s design, it’s crucial to build a website that has a positive impact on your customers. Building or refreshing an existing website can feel overwhelming and you might not know where to start - and that’s where Rebel.com comes in. 

Here are five ways to make the process smooth and stress-free:

1. Understand your target audience

Understanding the audience you’re serving is crucial when it comes to building a website. 

Ask yourself these questions about your audience:

  • Who are they? 
  • What do they want or need? 
  • What are they likely to respond to when it comes to tone, imagery, content, and colour? 
  • How do I want them to feel when they visit my website?

You want customers to feel something when they interact with your brand – whether it’s trust, safety, support, fun, etc. Write down the answers to these questions and keep them as a reference as you build your website – you’ll be better equipped to make design and content decisions.

2. Research and inspiration gathering

Set the foundation for your website by researching other websites and design that inspires you. Explore outside your industry. Take screenshots of websites and features you enjoy and make notes about what you liked whether it’s colours, layouts, imagery, content, tone – all with the lens of what you want for the site you plan to build. 

3. Plan your pages out

Make a list of all the pages you need – such as homepage, about us, contact us, store, media, press, email sign up and so on. From there you’ll want to make a list of the sections each page will need. Once you have a list of pages and sections, you can start on your content. 

4. Write your content

Think about the story you want to tell on each page. What will the user be thinking when they land on it? Brainstorm questions they might have and answer them in your content. Once you feel you’ve addressed those – think of one action you want your user to perform on each page and focus on that. Keep it simple and focused on one call to action.

5. Draw it out

Now that you’ve got your list of pages and your content, you can sketch a basic layout of how you want your website to flow. This will help you visualize how everything is going to flow for each page, and it makes it easy for you when you actually start the building process with tools that Rebel.com customers use like Weebly – a drag-and-drop website builder that takes the stress out of managing your presence online. 

Follow these steps and you’re well on your way to building a website that connects with your customers. If you still feel overwhelmed and not sure where to start, have someone else build it for you! Rebel.com offers an affordable website design service for all types of businesses.

Miranda Boisvert is the Marketing Manager of Growth & Partnerships at Rebel.com. She’s passionate about strategy, design and teaching businesses and solopreneurs how to share their stories online.