By Steve Hoag

dominate your competition online with great design

Capitalism is all about beating your competition to a pulp. It’s dog eat dog, and not all dogs go to Heaven. I understand that every industry is different, but for the sake of this article let’s assume that you and your competitors are more or less the same. Similar prices, product, strategy etc. So how to you beat someone that is a mirror image of yourself? By going the extra mile of course!

Using data and research to drive website design decisions

Data is king these days. Everyone wants actionable data that they can use to make informed decision. When it comes to website design, there are some different types of research you need to focus on. First of all, you need to truly understand who your customers are, and design your website around their needs, not yours. Using customer surveys or doing online secondary research can provide valuable insights into what your target segment wants/needs from you. Secondly, learn to use programs like Google Analytics, and truly become a master in interpreting the information they provide. Factors like abandonment rates, and hotspots on each page can help you identify how users are using your site, and where problem areas are. Use data like this to continually optimize your site design, so that you always your finger on your customers’ pulse.

Responsive Design

 One of the latest trends in website design is responsive design. This basically means designing your website so that it adapts to fit any device’s screen. More and more people are using mobile devices to access the Internet, which makes this new trend all the more important. Companies are steadily making the changes necessary to optimize their websites for mobile devices, but it hasn’t necessarily become industry standard yet. By utilizing responsive design in your website you will be going the extra mile, and making sure that anyone and everyone can use your site.

Strong Central Message

Content is arguably the most crucial part of website design. Your site may have a great layout, but customers won’t be coming back if the content isn’t compelling. Having a strong central message is critical. You need one that will resonate with your customers. This is true regardless of industry. Create a compelling reason for your target segment to think that your company has more to offer than anyone else. Focus on benefits over pricing. Pricing can change, but a strategy that revolves around identifying customer pain points, and responding with benefits is harder to imitate.

Awesome Branding

Branding is critical at every stage of a company’s life. As a small fish in a big pond it is even more important. You need to convince potential customers that you can hang with the big boys, and beat them at their own game. One of the easiest ways of doing this is through successful branding. Make sure your site looks as professional as possible, and be sure to select a strong logo. This will help to make your company look bigger than it is, and instill more confidence in users.

Simplicity – Less can be More

Trying to do too much at once can oftentimes inhibit your ability to be successful at anything. It’s the same idea when it comes to websites. Minimalism can be a great approach. Make it easy for your customers to see the important points, while giving them the option to read more details if they want to. Try to keep website copy concise, without babbling. Also avoid going overboard with media. This can really impact the professionalism of your site. Stick to what is absolutely necessary. Focus on readability when it comes to font choice, color, and size. There can be people with varying degrees of vision viewing your site, and maximizing accessibility is important.


Another key area to focus on in your company's website design is maintaining a high degree of transparency. Since people don’t know much about you, you need to be really upfront with everything. This means providing easily accessible contact and business information. Anticipating any questions your customers have before they ask them is crucial. Make sure to address typical ones like what you sell, who you sell to, pricing, benefits etc.

View User Profile for Steve Hoag Steve is a recent graduate from UW, and the Marketing Coordinator at Fast Track. He primarily has experience in the tech and start-up industries. When he's not busy promoting Fast Track, he's watching Huskies or Green Bay Packers football. You can find him on Twitter @steven_hoag .
Posted by Steve Hoag Friday, November 29, 2013 2:52:00 AM Categories: B2B B2C enterprise SMB web design website