Does Your Website Design Produce the Leads You Want?

download (17)When a website design converts, this means that the design lets your website become more efficient in making sales and getting leads. Most of what is presented in this article entails service types of business (dedicated to educators, plumbers, electricians etc.), and not so much about e-commerce. As we go over them, write down if you have got it or not and whether or not you are putting it into practice, since that may help you arrive at an action list of things you need to apply on your site.

10-Second Rule

The first one on the list is called the 10-second rule. When a visitor lands on your website, they are not deciding if they should buy or not. They are deciding on whether they would stay or go. Also, the 10-second rule is, in reality, closer to five seconds nowadays based on a person’s attention span. Your objective should be to let visitors know who you are, what your work is, and the benefit offered by your brand or business.

Primary Course of Action

You do not only need a primary course of action on your homepage, but also on all the content pages of your website. You need to focus on the primary course of action you want your visitors to take on a particular page, and the other course of action, if there is one.

Direct to the Point Information

A lot of online businesses lose their former/potential customers because of too much information. Certainly, you want your customers to learn a lot about your company, products plus all your policies. At times, though, it is best to just mention key points that will entice customers, and link up additional info if ever a visitor feels the need to explore the subject matter even further.

Non-Intrusive Offers

When you say non-intrusive, what does this really mean? This just means that it is important not to spam customers with the items offered on your site. Marketing is an essential part of your business, and whenever you have a sale or offer trials, make them visible to customers – but make sure to do it in a pleasant way by means of colors and images, since these are vital. However, do not scare them off or spam them with pop-ups or too flashy images. Provide them with the trial they want.

Pictures and Colors that Look Inviting

Colors have the ability to stimulate our senses, while pictures influence us into making our final decisions. When you choose the colors that best suit your site, this does not mean that you will use your favorite colors, but those that will look inviting to your customers. Always think about the audience you want to target. If you are selling car parts, you would not opt for a shocking pink layout. Also, you should not use colors only because they match each – other such as black and pink – then lay the red company logo above, along with every contrast available on Photoshop. Also avoid using images that are too intrusive.

 

Web Design Tips for a Successful Small Business Website

download (15)When small businesses are about to build their first website, some of them hire the services of local developers while others turn to agencies or sometimes feel challenged to do it on their own. We are willing to help those who are confident enough to build their own website.

Now, what are the common errors that many businesses make in designing their site? Do they lack content or have too much of it? Are elements too close or too far from one another? Is it difficult to navigate the website because of inconsistencies in color? There must be some mistake and you need to find them.

Content

Your small business website will typically have several pages, containing contact info, a sitemap, about us sections – which are essential, but many of them will meet their own needs. However, it is only through content that people can learn about your business.

What you need to do is make sure that the content displayed on your website reads well and makes sense. When you take things like content for granted, it may mean that you will also take other aspects of your business for granted.

My advice is for you to focus on call-to-action and to make sure that your messages encourage visitors to take action. You should be able to integrate the environment of your business into your website.

Design

It is a common practice to place your logo where it is easily noticeable – like at the middle of the header or on the top left corner. Placing it somewhere else could confuse or distract customers, so follow practices that are proven to be effective.

Ask the help of a friend or office mate to give his/her opinion regarding the colors you have chosen for your website. This makes it easier to know if your website is comfortable to read and browse whenever another person gives a second opinion. Or else, get more ideas by sending it to others.

Another crucial aspect is navigation, since it is the way visitors find what you want them to on your website. Therefore, be sure to make your site easy to navigate. Provide a space for your navigation links and don’t make it appear like a category selection.

Completeness

This usually happens with startup businesses. They start with a few team members, and when things are picking up when it comes to design and development, they have totally forgotten about how the current website looks. So, you should never publish content that is not entirely ready.

Make your website more interesting by including online stores, a contact form, photo galleries or great, relevant content. Besides making your website rich with content, make it Google-searchable to enjoy the advantages of organic search traffic.

If you need to put the front-end things of your website on hold, try to create a coming soon page or something similar. Just make sure that visitors do not see discontinued pages or incomplete features.

 

Web Design Focused on Selling

download (16)More businesses have transferred their services online and, as they started to experience the Internet world, there has been a greater need for websites that are designed to sell. Though an eye-catching website may accomplish the purpose of developing a strong brand, good looks on their own are not enough to sell the products/services being offered. You need to incorporate the element of marketing.

Avoid Choice Paralysis

There is a marketing phenomenon called “choice paralysis”. This occurs when the users are provided with too many choices. While giving an option is great, customers may become confused when presented with several choices. No one wants a buyer’s regret, wherein he/she chooses a product then changes his/her mind later on. When customers spend more time than usual in selecting an item, they become paralyzed.

If customers are given too many choices, this causes them to avoid a particular service or task in most cases (Paradox of Choice), and this is what designers should keep in mind when it comes to designs.

As a solution to choice paralysis, make it simpler for consumers to find the product/service that best suits them. Let them know why a particular option is great, then recommend one they should choose. You can highlight the top-selling products by means of visuals, and entice potential customers. If they feel that the product does not fit them, they will try another one, but in case they become confused, you can prevent choice paralysis with a “default” choice.

Display the Product

When you go to a physical store such as a grocery, you can see, inspect and even taste the food products for sale. Your decision to buy is based on the available information like appearance, smell and taste. Are the tomatoes already ripe? Are the strawberries as sweet as they look? Does the bread smell freshly baked?

If you plan to sell Web apps or services on the Internet, you have to do show the product as in a physical store. It is surprising to know that some websites selling software do not display screenshots of their apps. Though these are intangible digital goods you can neither touch nor smell, they can still be seen.

People can easily judge products based on what they look like. For them, appearance is an indicator of a product’s usability, whether this idea is right or wrong. This is called the aesthetic-usability effect.

Direct Attention

You should be able to guide your visitors all through your content. This can be done by aligning items in a consistent, flowing manner and using images to guide the eyes. For instance, you could use a big arrow to focus attention to a particular direction. When visitors notice the arrow, they would want to follow where it leads to.

Write content in such a way that it will flow into something. Scattered descriptions of features look confusing and make your visitors get lost, except if all points lead to calls to action. To make sure that your visitors do not miss out on anything, arrange everything in a straight line to make users scan along it. Let it end with the ultimate call to action, like a download link or a signup.

 

Web Design Tips for Small Businesses

download (14)Add Contact Details

Visitors should be able to contact you, so make sure that your phone number is displayed clearly on top and bottom of all pages. Add your email address, and if possible, your place of business in the footer, at the bottom bar of each page. Create a page with all your contact information, including a map, direction, operating hours, and leave a portion in which visitors can fill out their personal information.

Make Your Brand Look Professional and Consistent

Animated graphics and smiley faces should be used in your emails to friends instead of your website, since the latter should look professional to reflect your brand. It is best to choose the same colors as your logo. Use one or two font sizes consistently throughout the site. Graphics and photos should also look professional and complement one another. When in doubt, make it simple.

Simplify Navigation on Your Site

Make navigation buttons/tabs consistent on all pages. As earlier mentioned, facilitate navigation by means of the F-shaped reading pattern with the use of links, buttons or tabs positioned on the top or left part of the page. In addition, you should:

Limit primary navigation up to eight tabs, with five being the ideal number.

Make sure clickable elements are consistent when in comes to font, size and style.

Add a header and footer on every page for information and key links.

Include a progress tracker, or a so-called Breadcrumb, near the top of every page. It should look like “Home> Catalog> Product #1”, making it simple for visitors to backtrack.

Place Important Information “Above the Fold”

In a newspaper, the top stories can be seen on the first half of the page, referred to as “above the fold”, which is also applicable to your website. A recent Nielsen report reveals that 80% of visitors will not go over the entire page of a site therefore the most important information should be found close to the top.

Put the business name and the logo in a noticeable spot.

Use a powerful headline/tagline to highlight the things you do.

Add special offers to attract more visitors.

Outline your services/products with the help of visuals and menu bar.

Visitors should know what to do once they land on your homepage, which is the “call-to-action”, so you need to include your contact details, a form to be filled out and perhaps an option to download info. Remember that while “above the fold” is a moving target because of the increasing use of mobile devices, it is still essential in web design.

Make Sure Your Site Loads Fast

When your site takes too long to load, like more than 3 seconds, visitors will leave and instead navigate to your competitor. To make sure that your site loads fast, keep the size of images smaller, but with good quality, and limit the amount of photos, videos, videos, as well as social media sharing buttons.

Build Trust and Credibility

Your website should be a tool by which potential customers get to know more about your products/services. To look more credible, your site should include what you offer, feedback from customers, links to articles about your business, any awards received and logos of organizations in which you are a member – like the Chamber of Commerce.