Sometimes, making a good first impression is the ticket to happiness. Charm the pants off your future father-in-law, you’re set. Show your customer that you are the best at what you do, and that you care about them, and you make a sale. But how do you take that online?

“Think of your Web site as your welcome mat, or your virtual storefront,” says Oneupweb’s CEO, Lisa Wehr. “You need it to make a great first impression, or you may never be given the chance to make a second.”

And as Wehr puts it, when it comes to using your website to drive sales, conversions and loyalty to your brand — pretty alone just won’t cut it.

Going Beyond the Design in Web Site Design

“Everyone is a Web site designer these days, from ad agencies that just abandoned print to teenagers working out of their garage,” Wehr says with a laugh. “But there’s more to Web site design than knowing how to code and making items visually appealing on a page. If you want your Web site to do something other than sit there and look nice, you’ve got to partner with a digital marketing agency that understands the principles of action oriented design.”

Wehr explains that today, there are more ways than ever to reach and interact with your customers and prospects. From social media marketing, widgets and iPhone apps to search engine optimization and paid search marketing, your company has an unprecedented ability to be everywhere your clients are. And so does your competition. This means having an effective Web site has never been more important.

“With each digital channel your level of exposure grows exponentially, resulting in increased traffic to your company Web site. It’s what you do with that traffic that will determine your company’s level of success — or failure,” she says.

Does your Web site incorporate SEO-friendly design, custom audio and video work, advanced social sharing features, cutting-edge Flash design and top-notch usability and function? According to Wehr, it should. That, and a whole lot more.

“Consumer expectations are now at an all-time high. It’s critical that your Web site be able to exceed those expectations, and turn traffic into sales,” Wehr says. “The cool factor alone won’t get you anywhere these days. There has to be some strategy behind it. Visitors to your site need to find it useful and engaging before they’re willing to act.”

As Wehr points out, that is exactly what the Oneupweb team specializes in.

“When we partner with a client to do a Web site design, we bring in a special team made up of graphic designers, copywriters, SEO specialists, marketing gurus, social media experts and more. Before we ever start mocking up a wire frame or a Web page, we talk about strategy, the goals our client is hoping to accomplish with this Web site, the audience we’re targeting, and all of the elements that need to be included — well beyond design,” Wehr says. “Then we work with the client, not around them, to ensure the end product not only meets their standards, but blows them away.”

The Customer is Always Right

Wehr is quick to mention, however, that in the end a Web site should not be built for its company — it should be built for their customers and prospects. While it needs to convey who the company is in both wording and design, it needs to do it strategically.

Do you know where your customers are focusing when they visit your homepage? Do they even see your call to action and your contact information, or do they give up, and click off the page to a competitor?

“With state-of-the-art eye tracking technology, usability audits and focus groups from Oneupweb, you can determine exactly what your audience is looking for; which leads to greater conversions and sales,” says Wehr.

And as Wehr puts it, that’s how you make a great first impression, and keep your customers coming back for more. A good starting point is with Oneupweb’s free white paper: Revolutionizing Website Design: The New Rules of Usability. Download your free copy here: http://ht.ly/2kTOq. You can also attend their free Webinar on Tuesday, Aug. 24 by registering at http://digitalroadshow.oneupweb.com/.

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