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Top 4 Lessons I’ve Learned as a Web Designer

With five years in the web design business, picnic social’s project manager, Laurel Brown, has become a seasoned pro in the industry, developing websites for a range of local businesses, from real estate to wellness.

To mark the anniversary, we decided to ask Laurel what life’s little lessons in the business have taught her.  She shared 4 observations that can help all startups planning to publish a website of their own. 

1. Design your website for your customers

While this may seem obvious,  Laurel has noticed this rarely happens.  

“A lot of business owners make websites for themselves, and not for their customers, who buy their services and products,” she said.

Laurel helps her clients by building them a website that resonates with their ideal customers. 

“I’ll point out that — here are [features] that are going to drive sales, here are the things your users want to see, and here’s how to make your site user-friendly.” 

By focusing on what appeals to the customer, your website makes the customer journey a seamless and enjoyable experience. 

2. Websites are complex, but a necessary investment

DIYers beware. While “build-your-own-website” platforms like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace are popular for start-ups, you’ll need more help to build and maintain them than these sites will let you believe. 

“Every item on the page — every placement, every word, every image, every colour, every font, everything has to be thought out and has to be based on strategy,” she said.

Laurel emphasized that while the website development process is complex, a good website is ultimately an investment — one that is worth every cent.

“Good websites are not cheap, but they are necessary,” she said. “ The reason is [that] every component is thought out and based on data and strategy. The decisions that are being made can really make or break the website…and the business!”

A picture of Laurel smiling with plants in the background and a lamp.
Photo courtesy of Laurel Brown

3. Think about your goals before planning your website

Before you start a website, pause. 

Think of your product or service. Think of how you’ll advertise your business — if you only thought of a website and organic content, then you may not be set up for success. 

Laurel encourages business owners to think of the brand they are trying to portray and what goals they are hoping to achieve with their customers.

Without goals, a business owner may not know what results they should be watching for to monitor their success.

“I’ve had people come to me with no business plan, no marketing plan, no idea about what they want to do, yet they want a website. And that’s fine,” she explained. “We can get them out there, but a website is only one component of your marketing plan. Looking at [your website] holistically is important to make sure that it’s successful.”

4. Experience does make a difference

“We are all online 24/7,” Laurel said.

“If you don’t have a website, and your competitors do — then that’s a problem.”

Laurel explained that websites are a professional necessity in this digital world. Features like usability or UX/UI are an integral part of nurturing leads into potential customers. Building high-tech features is only possible with an experienced web developer. 

“You need to create a website that is friction-less — easy to navigate, to read, to learn more from… because if your customers can’t access your services and products in an easy, understandable way, then they will go to someone else who can.”

Inspired to start your own website? 

Speak directly to Laurel and learn how to build a website that helps grow your business! Contact picnic social strategies for a complimentary consultation today.

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