Struggling to think how your home renovation focused website should look?  Or scratching your head trying to figure out why your website tuned to this market is failing to deliver?  A brief trip to a cafe via a magazine shop could spark some inspiration.     

First, let’s think about the humble home focused magazine and the purpose it has.   

If I were to compare it to a marketing channel, it would be a mixture of Pinterest and Facebook with a good-sized dollop of Instagram.  What it is not, is a deep knowledge resource to help you complete the perfect renovation project or find the ideal property in your chosen suburbs. Think light on content but heavy on inspiration.

Armed with this knowledge, I suggest you get up from your desk, move away from the screens and head to your nearest magazine retailer. Once there, simply stand in front of the many titles on offer and slowly align yourself so you’re in front of the home inspiration section. Yep – there should be a whole section of them, both local and international, all focused on inspiring the would-be home renovator for their next project.

With the growth of digital, I’d have thought running a magazine would be a challenging business. But you don’t see one or two – you see a whole section.

Let that sink in. There’s a bundle of demand for inspiration in this category.  

With such a demand for inspiration and such a competitive space, how does one magazine stand out from another?  

For the new magazine purchaser in this section, it could well be the cover photo. Notice how none of the photos are of the editorial team smiling back at them. Nearly all will be beautiful shots of recent renovations, with the occasional pleased renovator strategically placed so as not to clutter the shot – most likely glad that, a) the renovation is finally over and, b) they are now showing off their work to the magazine’s readers.

Web design cue #1:  Beautiful images prominently placed on your website will make you stand out when you’re trying to attract the attention of those looking for inspiration.  

But what about the seasoned magazine reader?  What attracts them to pick one magazine over another?

My wife Claire reads a lot of these types of magazines.  It’s one of the reasons ARK focuses on the home renovation industry – we both love homes, and Claire especially so. Ask her how she picks her favourites and she’ll tell you it’s all about the type of homes being shown and the style of editorial content that’s wrapped around the images.  

It’s nice sometimes to see amazing homes from afar and dream, but when you’re in serious renovation planning mode you need inspiration that’s usable, not just dreamable.

Web design cue #2: By carefully curating the images of your work, you can help attract the type of customer you want. Throwing up a random list of jobs that you just happen to have images for willbring in a random group of customer types.  

I suggest you pick two magazines from the options available and head to a nearby cafe. Order your favourite beverage and take your time to look through the titles you’ve chosen.  Notice the speed at which you devour each of them, flicking from page to page with the occasional image slowing you down and tempting you to read a bit more. You’ll probably go from cover to cover within a few minutes, and then flick back to look at the sections that caught your eye.  

So what caught your eye?  

I highly doubt you were drawn to a certain paragraph of text on, say, page 12 that made you want to go back and read the whole article.  In nearly all cases when I do this myself, I go back to learn more about the content that’s wrapped around an image I like. Try for yourself and see what happens to you.

Web design cue #3: Great images capture the attention required to allow great content to be read.

And there you have it – the magazine / coffee combo to point you in the right direction with your next web design project.

Here at ARK Advance we don’t build websites – we have fantastic partners who do this for our customers.  Our job is to make those websites sell in the competitive home renovator markets.  Ensuring they are designed with this market in mind makes our job a lot easier.  

Contact us here to learn more about our services.