If you’re reading this, you already have a website or be looking to set one up in the near future. However, there are millions of websites out there, and they all look different. Inevitably, there are far more poor websites than decent ones. So, what separates the good ones from the bad?
Any half decent web designer should be banging on to you about a ‘call to action’. This is the main thing that your website is trying to get visitors to do.
These could range from:
A good website will have the ‘call to action’ highlighted on pretty much every page. This means that the customer should be able to perform it very easily.
For example, if you want them to register with your site, you would have a sign-up form on many of your web pages, not just the ‘sign-up’ page itself. If you don’t have room for a sign-up form on every page, you would have a button linking your users to the ‘sign-up’ page instead.
This will then make it pretty hard for any interested party not to sign up you before leaving your website, as you’ve reminded them enough. You may need to give them an incentive to perform your ‘call to action’ – for instance, offer them a discount code on your services/products if they sign-up to your newsletter.
“I subscribe to the mantra of choosing a few key things for a website and doing them well!”
Of course, as well as having a clear message, your website also needs to look good. It also needs to be appropriate to your audience.
If your website looks unprofessional and doesn’t appeal to your customers, they will likely click off it. After all, your website is a reflection of your business – so it needs to look the part! If your website is outdated and has broken links and features that don’t work, your customers will assume this is how you do business and lose trust in your services.
Likewise, make sure your website is designed with your customers’ preferences in mind. For instance, if your clientele identify themselves as dignified and classy, a bold and brash website with pastel colours is unlikely to align with their ideals. However, if your audience identified as fun and spontaneous, this design may appeal to them.
Have a look at what your competitors are doing design-wise, or even unrelated businesses that you perhaps aspire to in terms of image. This will give you a good idea of what direction to go in. If you are using a web designer, communicating this information to them is essential to end up with a website that will appeal to your customers and win you sales.
Not necessarily. While it may be tempting to want to throw in animated graphics and videos all over the place, they can detract from your website’s overall message and purpose.
Make sure the features you add in have a purpose. If you want icons to be animated, for instance, ask yourself why you want this. Perhaps this is to draw your users’ attention to them, as they relate to your ‘call to action’. If this is the case, then this is fine. However, if your reasoning is just ‘because it looks cool’, then you should probably re-evaluate your decision. Every decision you make for your design should relate back to that ‘call to action’! Otherwise, you’re just wasting time and money on things you don’t need.
You can have a perfectly good website without lots of fancy features, if you have an attractive layout, good images, and easy navigation for your customers. The easier you make it for users to navigate to their desired area of your website, the more likely you are to keep them. If they have to keep clicking through lots of links and wait for animations to load, they will become frustrated and possibly leave. This is the opposite of what you want them to do.
I subscribe to the mantra of choosing a few key things for a website and doing them well!