Market research is essential for staying competitive online. Business owners and professionals who understand the value and benefits of conducting market research for website design are in the position to provide their brand with all the assets it needs to stay ahead of the competition when making major business decisions.
In today’s article, our web design agency in Chicago explores ways to execute constructive market research for website design. In the following lines, we’ll talk about the importance of gathering market research for website design as well as provide you with valuable tips to help your website and brand message make a strong and effective impact.
Table of Contents
- Do you know why is market research important for website design?
- 4 key benefits of conducting market research for website design
- The scope of market research for website design
- Still have doubts about how to put market research in use?
- Final thoughts
Why is market research important for website design?
Let’s start our discussion by investigating the most important reasons for putting market research at the top of your to-do list for website design. The most comprehensive way to do this is to answer a few questions regarding the parameters based on which your website is designed. By answering these questions, our clients helped us conduct constructive market research as part of our web design services:
- What are the main objectives you wish your website to achieve?
- Who will be your website’s primary visitors?
- Which other sources may they use to get informed about your industry?
- What is the typical sales cycle for your website?
- What are your competitors doing to attract customers?
- Will your website serve to promote your brand or to conduct commerce?
Making efforts to gather as much information as possible is an essential part of your website strategy. The amount of energy you invest in proper market research for website design before dedicating resources like time, budget, hardware, software, and human effort makes the difference between a good website and a top-of-the-line website. Premium websites not only allow businesses to gain an edge over their competitors but also provide better recall value, thus giving your brand a perfect tool to beat your competition in the market.
Besides covering various aspects of website design and development, market research for website design also includes social data and statistics. That provides maximum insights into your target audience and helps you make informed decisions on how to design a perfect website for your user personas. Whether you are using a business-to-customer or business-to-business model, it is crucial to perform extensive market research in order to gain a competitive advantage and connect with your clients.
Key benefits of conducting market research for website design
Market research helps you understand the needs, concerns, and motivations of your target audience and use that information to keep them engaged on your website. Whether running a promotional or eCommerce website, the picture in which you present your brand on your web pages, if done correctly, ultimately leads to more brand exposure, higher levels of trust, and more meaningful connections with your audience. With that in mind, here are the key benefits of executing constructive market research for website design:
Market research helps you to stay focused
Customers should be at the center of your focus, so conducting market research for website design can help your web design company meet and even exceed their expectations. That’s why, while evaluating what is important for your business, you need to consider things that are important to your customer base since your opinion may be different from theirs. Market research helps you tap into their needs and wants and provides insights into the way to maximize your time to execute short and long-term goals. It will not only help you get more web design ideas but also define a website creation process so it becomes easier for your web developers to follow.
It highlights the opportunities for a better return on investment
While every business owner strives to be successful and grow their business, the path to achieving these goals can often be obscured. Gathering market research data for website design can help you put that information to use and find more opportunities for a better website return on investment (ROI). For example, investing effort in better understanding your target audience will allow you to craft attractive calls to action and organize your content in a way that will secure better website ROI.
It helps your website and business evolve
Utilizing market research helps your website and your business evolve in a way that meets the long-term needs of your audience. By failing to do so, other businesses will outrun you and gladly take your place in the industry. It is vital to keep in mind that websites don’t have an unlimited lifespan, so you should always be looking for fresh website design ideas and digital marketing strategies that will help you stay relevant.
Market research guides decision–making process
By using market research data for website design, you are reducing the risk of failure. For example, significant website changes you are considering, such as ways to implement mobile-first web design or how to comply with the best practices of typography in UX design, can all be evaluated based on research regarding your business sector, product category, and audience demographics, competitors, and so on. Comprehensive market research will guide you during every step of the website design process and help you meet the latest trends in the website design industry. It will also allow your web developers to expand a website’s lifespan and get positive feedback from clients.
The scope of market research for website design
In general, market research can be divided into three types regarding the scope of the research. These are:
- Quick research
- Long research
- In-depth research
In this section of our article, we’ll explore each type in terms of the methods they use, the time required to complete them, and how they can help web developers build better websites.
Quick research can generally be completed within a couple of hours. It starts by creating a brief based on the client’s answers to a set of questions. The information gathered this way allows agencies to outline the estimated budget and the time it should take to create a website. The research continues by investigating the client’s competitors, identifying the similarities and differences between rival websites, and getting a general overview of the industry. Based on quick research alone, agencies can usually create a basic website that meets industry and search engine optimization standards while adhering to clients’ wishes.
Long research takes anywhere between a couple of days to a week to conduct. It often happens that the client cannot provide a clear picture of the website that would satisfy their needs, thus requiring more communication via phone calls and emails that will allow you to learn more about the normal operating cycle of a client’s business.
Besides getting familiar with the competitors, size market opportunities, and the industry as a whole, it is also essential to understand the project’s scope and the client’s current online presence, as well as gather analytics data on the existing website’s performance in order to obtain more website design ideas. That helps you design and develop a solid website with a longer life span that will save your client time and money in the long run, often resulting in clients retaining the services of your web design agency.
If you want your web design company to emerge as a leader in the web performance market, performing in-depth market research before every web design project is a must. In-depth research takes 15 to 20 days of concentrated effort and includes multiple aspects and stretches over several phases:
- Design QA checklist
- Marketing material
- Mobile support
- Content management system
- Native app
- Technical requirements
During the initial research phase, you need to gather as much information as possible on the website-related marketing collaterals, such as offline publications, brochures, newspaper publications, annual reports, promotional posters, and more. That’s usually followed by discussing brand-related topics like colors, symbols, design preferences, and brand messages. Keep in mind that this is an extremely important part of research as a successful website must reflect the business’ brand message and the company’s image. Preparing a list of web design questions for clients before consultation calls will allow you to obtain valuable insight into a client’s needs and wants.
In the second phase, you should talk to your client about how they plan to manage content on the website, third-party software integration, and data synchronization across multiple platforms and devices. This way, your web developers will know whether a client needs custom tools, which will allow them to organize better in order to save resources and speed up the process.
Phase 3 revolves around the hosting facility and the domain name. If your agency doesn’t provide website hosting, ask your client to find a third party for these services. However, offer your opinion about what type of hosting is the best option for their website based on its scale and normal operating cycle. During this phase, you also need to get a deep insight into the domain name system tools market in order to find an attractive domain name accordant to your client’s business.
During phase 4, you’ll be utilizing Google Analytics or other tools to gather data about website performance, content discovery, page views, etc. While doing so, it is vital to compare the data with competitors’ website performance. That will help you set future website optimization goals as you better understand the sheer scope of improvements needed.
Phase 5 can stretch up to three days, during which you’ll schedule and conduct in-person meetings with the client and stakeholders. We advise you to use these meetings to go into detail about your client’s business, the products or services they offer, and their overall digital marketing strategy. That will help you better understand the client’s needs and wishes regarding website design. It also gives you an opportunity to use your experience to perhaps suggest some things to be done differently or some features to be included that your client overlooked. Discussing website design ideas with clients is essential, as both sides can benefit from it.
Throughout phase 6, you should talk with your client about their reasons and ideas for setting up the business. Discuss the structure of their business, strategies, priorities, and reasons for launching a particular product or service. Also, do some research yourself to find out how the product or service fared in the market.
Phase 7 includes researching the website’s target audience and creating user personas. That will allow you to design a website that appeals to the client’s ideal customer in terms of visuals and functionality. It also helps you outline a proper user flow – how the target audience would navigate the website from entry to exit.
During the final phase of market research, you get the chance to interact with the website’s target audience. Whether it’s leads collected through the existing website or those you gather by surveys, get in touch with them and try to find out as much as you can about features they expect to see on the website, as well as things that would motivate them to come back.
All the data you gather throughout these phases creates a huge repository of information you can put to use whether you are designing a brand new website or attempting to revamp the existing one.
How to put market research in use?
For web design agencies such as ours, designing an excellent revenue-generating website is more than just a process of choosing between content management systems such as WordPress vs Hubspot and coding necessary functionalities. It is, in fact, the attempt to align the client’s business goals with the audience’s needs in order to create an all-encompassing user experience. Executing market research requires patience and resources. However, it is crucial to not ignore it, as comprehensive market research will allow you to design websites that deliver satisfying results. We use the data collected through market research to achieve the following:
Customer journey development
Before the actual design takes place, we outline the ideal customer journey. We do this by using user personas and sharing our thoughts with our clients. Striking balance between clients’ wants and the target audience’s needs is vital for creating website navigation and providing a premium user experience design. Digital marketing strategies that are based on pure guesses without any user analysis usually lead to lack-luster results.
Co-creation and innovation
This is a concept of inviting both customers and clients to create the website together. Though they might not be familiar with all the ins and outs of website design, their innovative ideas can help the website stand out from the competition. That’s where creativity and conceptualization take control in creating an interactive experience for the end-user. It allows us to merge elements that the audience finds valuable into the client’s primary website concept. However, you need to take extra caution not to exceed your client’s budget. Adopt the ideas that make the most sense, fit into budget constraints, and leave the rest for later use, whether during the website maintenance or redesign.
One of the most critical aspects of market research is the ability to design a mockup website. Concept testing should help you get a better insight into how users understand web design elements that you plan on implementing in the final version of a website and how easy it is for them to navigate. You have an option to design multiple mockups, test each of them with the target audience, gather feedback, and let your client decide on which to carry forward.
As the website design cycle nears launch, it is crucial to collect user feedback regarding load times, aesthetics, and navigation. That allows you to iron out critical issues and obtain last-minute website design ideas that will help you improve the end product before the website goes live.
Even after the website goes live, chances are there will still be space for improvement. Being consistent with your user analysis campaign is vital because thorough market research allows you to specify those areas and have your web developers work on them later. For example, websites often require tweaking in order to improve search engine optimization results.
You should aim to gather as much feedback as possible, perform critical factors analysis, and boil it down so your web designers and web developers can put all this information to use.
Executing constructive market research is vital for staying competitive in the online market. Whether you are designing a brand new website, visually revamping the existing one, expanding on functionalities, or simply refreshing your content, credible and authentic market research can help fuel your web development decision-making process in a way that best resonates with your target audience. The benefits of market research extend even beyond your website. The knowledge you gain throughout this process can be valuable in other business areas, such as organizing your physical storefront, evaluating advertising opportunities, and finding ways to better communicate with your target audience.