A Simple Solution for the Single Most Common and Crippling Mistake Made By the Best Website Designers

Posted: Thursday September 1st

You knew you could find a cheap or free design template, but that wasn’t the path you chose. You wanted your internet business to stand out, to be different. It would feature original content. It would be useful. It would be a website your spouse, your friends, and maybe investors would love to visit. This wasn’t about building just another anonymous website designed to get a few random clicks. This was about building something: something real, something substantial, something you could be proud of. You needed a beautiful web design.

Website owners who want to create or redesign a quality website will often begin by visiting the design showcases of elite web designers. Those who do are often impressed by the sheer ingenuity of the web design elite. A good designer can turn a staid website on the benefits of actuarial accounting into a destination visitors will find delightful and view as authoritative. Other designers encourage sales with light and airy designs that can alter a visitor’s mood. Still others make the most internet business in the world seem fun and absorbing.

But before you hire a high-end web designer, you should be aware of one extremely common and crippling problem: most do not design websites with advertising in mind. Talented, high-end designers are mainly concerned with the look, feel, and mood of a design. They may also focus on a website’s usability. But advertising? Advertising is an afterthought. Designers will often not incorporate advertising space into a mock-up until the very end of the design process. Sometimes, they will neglect to incorporate ad space into a design completely.

This is often the fault of the customer, not the designer. A customer may tell a designer he is building a finance website that will include a blog, a stock ticker, and space for material from regular columnists. The designer, accordingly, will create a website with these components, plus a header, footer, and menu. Sometimes it is only after the design is completed that the customer looks at the design and begins to wonder where he will put his ads.

Professional design schools are also to blame. They teach students to focus on navigation, content, colors, footers, and other usability design elements and may as a consequence completely ignore the importance of advertising. In addition, high quality designers may feel that the advertising or product placement aspect of a website is less interesting and exciting than its colors, its ‘flow,’ or its background graphic.

The solution is simple. A savvy entrepreneur must communicate the importance of advertising to the designer clearly and unambiguously throughout the collaborative process. When he does, the final design will yield better results.

When speaking with your designer, do not describe your website as a mere finance website. Tell the designer you are building an AdSense or affiliate marketing internet business. Then refer to the website as an “AdSense-driven finance website” whenever you discuss the project. Candidly explain that the business will fail if the design does not direct the attention of viewers to advertising. The principle is simple: a designer will design differently for an “affiliate marketing carpentry website” than he will for a “carpentry website.” Insist throughout the process that the design direct the focus of visitors to advertising or affiliate links.

Wise internet entrepreneurs explain that they expect all design mock-ups to feature space for advertising from the beginning. Some designers may nevertheless provide an initial mock-up that does not incorporate ads and explain that “I wanted to just get the basics down, we can add the advertising later.” In this case, firmly explain that the ads are “the basics” and will be the lifeblood of the website. A website with an ineffective header or navigation menu might succeed. But it cannot succeed if its design does not direct proper attention to its advertising.

Finally, remember that you, not the designer, are the final authority on how your website will look. You are paying the designer, and have a right to a design that meets your specifications. Respect the designer’s expertise, but do not allow him to create a design that is more artistic than useful.
Internet marketers that follow these simple guidelines will find profits and communication improve markedly.

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