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April 21, 2015 | Melanie Chandler

Designing a Website around ROI

Web Design ROI

People will always judge a book by the cover; it's just human nature. Likewise, if your website isn't attractive, visitors may not stay. But even the prettiest website can't hold visitors' attention if they can't find what they're looking for. Make your web design more than beautiful—make it a powerful tool that delivers ROI.

A happy medium between beautiful design and functionality does exist. For web design ROI, a website needs to:

  • Clearly state who you are and what you do
  • Talk directly to your buyer persona
  • Be visually appealing in a way that fits your brand
  • Use calls to action (CTAs) to guide visitors and capture leads


Visitors need to be able to identify what you do in seconds, or they might not stay. Once they know they're in the right place, you can hold their attention by targeting your buyer persona with each element of your site, from the design and functionality to the content and conversion path.

Your buyer persona describes your perfect customer: one who already needs, wants, and can buy your stuff. But once you've attracted the right customer and held his or her attention, you need to create pathways that can result in sales (a.k.a. ROI). The signposts along these pathways are your CTAs.

CTAs help visitors navigate your site by directing them to the things they're looking for, like your services page. They also help guide people to the places you want them to visit, like a special promotion or contact form.

CTA Placement and the Buyer's Journey

Earning web design ROI is largely about placing CTAs to guide visitors to the next logical step along the buyer's journey. Visitors are on your site for a reason. If you've done a good job of targeting your buyer persona, that reason is that they're interested in what you're selling, and the "next logical step" takes them closer to that purchase.

Let's start with the home page. This is often how visitors first view your site, and it's your best chance to make a good impression. There are so many questions to ask when you design your home page. What brought them here? What are they looking for? Are they trying to find specific information? Are they familiar enough with my brand to take advantage of a promotion? What is the meaning of life?

This is where your buyer persona comes in handy. These questions should help you decide which CTAs to create and where to put them on your home page, such as in a showcase, header area, or secondary attracts. Which CTAs you put on the home page depends on your business, but they often direct visitors to a contact page, products/services page, or even the About Us page.

Internal page CTAs often direct visitors to take an action, such as subscribing to your blog, filling out a form, or downloading an ebook. If you use closed-loop marketing software like HubSpot, you can nurture each new lead with emails and other content offers (all with their consent, of course). You can even see when they come back to visit your site again, including which pages and blog posts they look at.

CTAs redirect visitors to take action through a landing page, but you can also use short forms to convert visitors into leads without ever leaving a page. One example would be one-field "Subscribe to Our Blog" forms that often appear in sidebars or at the bottom of blog posts.

Say you have a visitor who found one of your blog posts through a social media platform, and now they're digging through your blog because they want more. You have them hooked! This is where the form comes in handy. They can subscribe to your blog without ever leaving the page, and go right back to reading your blog posts. Just make sure forms like this are placed logically on your site and are clearly labeled so visitors know exactly what they're getting.

You CAN have a website that is attractive and functional. Use web design to boost your ROI with strategically-placed CTAs and forms that convert visitors into leads. In short, the moral of the story is that you should use your site's visual appearance to draw them in, and use CTAs and forms to take them on a journey.

Not so hard, right?

BTW, if you don't know your buyer persona, start here:

Crafting Effective Buyer Personas-Click Here to Download

Melanie Chandler

Melanie Chandler

As design director, Melanie Chandler leads the design team and works with them to create consistently compelling and engaging website designs, images for digital marketing, and other visual content to communicate corporate identity and drive traffic on websites and social media.

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