Turning Your Visitors into Customers with Proper Website Design
Turning Your Visitors into Customers with Proper Website Design
When you think of a bad website or proper website design, what are the first images that come to mind? Maybe it’s the cluttered home pages of the early 2000’s littered with flashing gifs, ridiculous moving font types, and every word on the page appeared to link to something random. Or maybe on the other side of the spectrum you think of a site that looks unfinished, with too much negative space, not enough content, and its links are broken or confusing to navigate.
As it turns out, it’s actually easier than you might expect to harm your website’s potential if you are not considering the small details. In this article, I am going to run you through some of the do’s and don’ts of basic website design. These features will ensure your website’s aesthetic and functionality are demonstrating top-notch experiences for online visitors.
You, Your Business, and Your Website Theme
The very first step in creating an effective website is making sure that you understand what goals you’d like to achieve by creating one in the first place. Is your website an E-commerce hub intended to sell products or connect people to your services? Maybe it’s an information and biographical site about your company. It could even be as simple as a blog space or portfolio of your works that directs people to your business.
This question will determine the type of theme and tone your website should maintain throughout the design process. For example, if you are intending to sell high quality jewelry, you may want your website to reflect a degree of sleek and refined simplicity that allows the jewelry itself to catch the visitor’s eye rather than distracting images or features of the webpage. Or if you are promoting a local law firm in small-town Georgia, it may be beneficial to center your website’s theme around familiar places, people, or hometown niches that visitors can relate to and feel comfortable with.
Start simple by trying several designs out on your “homepage” as it will be the anchor for the rest of your website. Note that simple website themes are both trendy and effective.
Pages, Layout, and Content
Now that you have landed on an idea of what kind of website you want to create and how it should feel, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to lay it out.
It is easy to go overboard with too many pages on the website if you have a lot to say about your business. You’ll want to keep your pages and subpages condensed and easy to navigate. Remember, your homepage is your anchor, so focus on what absolutely needs to be said or displayed as the first impression of your website to visitors- and don’t load it up with too much. For nearly every type of website, you should have some kind of header, footer, or both displayed somewhere on your homepage. These simple tools can house contact information, website copyright, or company branding.
Anything non-essential to display as a first impression on your homepage should then be neatly divided into pages and subpages. There are a couple ways to do this, but for most websites, I recommend a navigation bar somewhere at the top of the webpage. This is where most users will typically expect to find links to other pages on the site. The content on this bar should NOT change anywhere else on your website; we are trying to shoot for consistency here.
Below you can find an example of our company’s navigation bar. Notice that, because we are a service company, we categorize our pages from left to right with relevant topics visitors come looking for: Who we are, who we serve, types of services we provide, and how to contact us. Under “Services” we offer in-depth subpages on each topic to ensure the visitor is confident we are the company that best fits their needs.
Images and Color
Utilizing images on your webpage is incredibly beneficial for both the viewer and the SEO of the site, however, you do not want to overload the pages with uneccesary graphics. Let’s once again consider the theme of your site. What color scheme does your company logo have? What color scheme are you using on your homepage and subpages? Have you used any images on your banners or homepage background? Match the images with your tone.
Your site will appear more professional if you are simple and consistent with image aesthetics and color throughout the site. If you are using photographs, try to search for photos that use the same colors and lighting or display the same kind of actions and energy as other photos on your website. The same goes for if you are using drawings or art; make sure that they feel consistent in nature as you add them. This method will also give your website a unique feel and demonstrate that the page was not hastily thrown together. Another benefit of using custom graphic designs is they tend to be smaller in size and display quicker upon request. This improves overall ranking by maintaining excellent response times.
While some websites use more images than others, it is best not to have your images exceed your content. One common method currently being utilized by website designers is adding a single image alongside each subheading section of content, as seen below.
User Experience and a Call to Action
Websites should be designed with one common theme- ease of use. Every page on your site should streamline and funnel your visitors toward a call to action. Make sure your links are all functional and add value for the viewer when they click on it. For example, if you are selling coffee beans through your website and use the term “Hulling” to describe how your beans were harvested and sorted, it might be worth adding a link that adds more value to the customer.
You could link to other pages on your site with more detailed information, or backlink to credible outside sources. Be careful about adding too many links on a page though, as that can hurt your Google ranking or simply distract the visitor. The purpose of utilizing links is to provide viewers a path simplifying their experience while exposing them to information they seek.
Buttons are also an easy way to guide the customer to useful pages. Whether it’s a “Contact Us” or “Checkout Items” button, keep placement and size in mind. I suggest having at least one or two call-to-action buttons on each page that can either take the viewer to a contact form or product listing page depending on the type of business you run. Using websites to bring in revenue should be at the finish line for all business owners. Place these buttons as though they are the cash registers by the exits of grocery stores and electronic dealerships- make sure the customer has found what they needed, and complete their experience with a final transaction or form to keep in touch.
Simplicity in design and user interaction will make your website not just a tolerable experience, but an enjoyable one for your visitors. In the long run, these visitors will likely become customers, and benefit your bottomline. For most people in the 21st century, your website will be their first impression of your business. Create something intuitive to use and painless to look at then sit back and watch your business grow!
If your website is in need of a fresh new look, or an update, our team of experts is not only ready to listen and learn about your company and market, but develop an interactive solution that will attract traffic and increase conversions. Contact us at www.reinerleads.com for a free evaluation.