You might be surprised to learn that your current setup is potentially losing you clients.
Even with beautiful images, a nice web design and what you think are well chosen words, your prospects could be hitting an exit button in frustration.
If you’re not creating a seamless and intuitive website experience for your target clients, you’ll lose them to your competitors, who do.
So what needs to change?
A core function of your design firm website is to encourage and direct prospects toward a particular goal. For interior designers like you, the goal is of course to get people contacting you to enquire about your services.
However, various stepping stones and pathways need to be created before that usually happens. You need to form what’s known as a ‘user journey’, whereby you subtly guide visitors, from page to page, all the while increasing their enthusiasm for your design services.
First time visitors to your website have little patience. They’re going to give you just a few seconds to impress. Who can blame them? There are dozens of good interior designers in your region for them to check out, each one with nice portfolios.
The best design service websites catch the attention right away. Within seconds the visitor knows what the site is about and what you as the designer have to offer them. These sites are easy to navigate and don’t require second guessing as to what they should do next.
The importance of understanding your prospect
Creating a great website experience requires an exact understanding of your target client base. Who are they? Where do they come from? What are their problems? How can you help them?
Many interior design firm websites fail to communicate their understanding of the pain points their prospects face. The pain points being the frustrations, worries and desires their ideal client has that leads them to look for design help in the first place.
More specifically, what drives them to look online for a designer and what they are seeking to achieve when visiting your website. It might not be what you imagine.
When you have a clear overview of all these details you can then optimise your website for a fluent and cohesive reader experience that results in action beneficial to the both of you.
Adapting your current website to match the needs and desires of your ideal interior design client doesn’t necessarily require a major overhaul. A few simple modifications and additions can greatly benefit the user’s journey around your site.
What improvements can you make this weekend?
1. Make sure your Homepage has a clear message that leaves no ambiguity.
State clearly and briefly what type of design services you provide. What’s your value proposition? What benefits do you bring to people who hire your services? What buttons should they press next?
Your Homepage is usually the first entry point for new prospects. They need to know within a few seconds what you’re all about. Don’t be tempted to let a beautiful decor photo do the talking. If you’re a famous interior design firm you can get away with this but not otherwise.
2. Keep things simple.
This includes both copy and design. You want prospects to take a certain route. Anything which distracts from this goal is a problem that needs removing.
Write copy that is concise and to the point without embellishments. There’s a time and place for creative writing but it’s not on your design firm website. Refrain from clever graphics which take an age to load. Make sure your About, Services, Portfolio and Contact links are very clearly visible. Don’t make people squint or look for some magic box of links to open.
3. Maintain your brand consistency.
You want your content, design and layout to be of the same style right throughout your website. The tone and wording you use on your Homepage needs to flow through to the other pages. Choose whether you want to come across as formal or relaxed and then stick to it.
The blog section can be the exception although this also needs to look like it’s a part of your overall brand.
4. Have Calls to Action (CTA’s) on every page.
A CTA is an instruction you give to your site visitor. An example would be “call now to find out more”. Don’t leave your prospects to take the initiative on their own. People like to be guided to the next step and have a propensity to do nothing if there’s not an invitation or signpost.
Every page should have a call to action of some kind, from the Home and About pages all the way through to individual blog posts and case studies. They can be as simple as nudging people to your bio or services section. The type of CTA all depends on how close the prospect might be to making that first contact.
5. Don’t make your website all about you.
This applies especially to your ‘About Us’ page. It may seem illogical at first but your bio page and website should be focused more on your potential client than about you as a designer.
It’s important to highlight your skills and experience but these should be in the context of how you can benefit the client. You need to talk their language and see how they will see you (and how they need to see you) rather than how you see yourself. That’s when you make special connections happen.
Your interior design website can be a client magnet if you create the right content and combine it with good design and an intelligent user journey. If you’re not getting many prospects contacting you online then optimising your website certainly needs to be a priority.
If you need some guidance or a few questions answered on this subject then get in touch and I’ll be happy to help you.
Image via Unsplash.