Everyone knows the value of a great website but do you know how to build one? We sat in on Steve Dziedzic’s (Director of Product at the Knot) session about web design to learn from one of the wedding industry’s best innovators. Here’s what he said.
Keep It Simple
Skip all of the fancy stuff! Keep your designs flat (i.e. no 3D effects), choose a clean and easy to navigate layout and, for goodness sake, NEVER use music on your website!
Understand Browsing Habits
Make sure you are creating layouts that are easy for people to read. People read text in an “F” pattern and see images in a “Z” pattern. Keep your most important information “above the fold,” meaning up towards the top so that people don’t have to scroll and put any call to action buttons in the middle of the right side bar. Which leads into his next point…
People literally have a shorter attention span than a goldfish now so you want to make sure that people can easily scan through your website and find the information they are looking for. One of the most efficient ways to do this is by using patterns. Think about your home feed on Pinterest. Each image is neatly packaged in a way that allows you to quickly scroll through while still finding things that interest you. Go through your website and look for the natural patterns – your portfolio gallery, your reviews or testimonials – and structure your web design with clean and simple patterns.
Be Task Oriented
Potential clients visit your website because they are looking to accomplish something. Mainly, they are looking to hire a wedding planner for their upcoming wedding. What tasks would they need to complete in order to hire you? Guide people through your website and make it easy for them to complete the task of getting in touch with you because if it’s not easy, you probably won’t get hired.
Use Compelling Language
Choose your words wisely! Not only is your goal to tell a story about who you are and what you do (more on that in a sec) but you are trying to get people to DO something. Have you ever considered changing your “Contact Us” button to “Schedule an Appointment” or “Let’s Talk”? Different phrases can be more or less effective at driving action so take a look at your calls to action and maybe consider a simple revision.
Test, Test, and Test Again
The point of having a website is not to just have a beautiful one; really, the point is for your website to help drive your business. So ask yourself, “Is my website generating business?” You can get a basic answer by calculating your conversion rate.
Conversion Rate = Number of Inquiries ÷ Number of Visitors
The average conversion rate for a landing page is between 5 – 15% depending on your specific industry. If after you calculate your conversion rate you find that you have room for improvement, consider making a change or two to your website (you know, all of those ideas we just talked about) and recalculate your conversion rate after a month or two.
Fall in Love with the Why
The last thing you should really make sure you are doing is telling a compelling story. Getting married is an emotional experience so you need to make sure that you are telling your potential couples why you do what you do and not just how much your planning packages are. I always hear planners tell me how much they sacrifice for their couples: the crazy things they do; the unbilled hours they work; the extra upgrades they give their couples that come out of their own pockets. Tell that story and really show people exactly why it is you do what you do! Because, when you do, how could they not fall in love with you?
Interested in attending Wedding MBA next year?
Check out their website for 2016 conference information → www.weddingmba.com