Doing business on the internet involves more than just having great products and/or services — it also involves having a website that people want to visit, spend time browsing on, and become loyal customers to. Many people often overlook a strategic and professional web design, but without all the right elements, your website may end up being lost in the archive of millions of websites on the internet that very few people know about or visit.
Want to create a website that attracts more than just friends and family members? Then read on for 7 essential strategy & design tips to improve the effectiveness of your Website!
Focus on the user experience
There is no doubt that having your own website is accompanied by a feeling of ownership on the web; however, this is not the goal (for most). The purpose of building a website is to attract visitors and generate sales for your business. It’s therefore fair to say that a website that fails to attract visitors is essentially useless. For your website to be attractive, it has to meet the expectations of your target audience and one way to ensure that this happens is to find out what these people are looking for in a website. Today’s web users are looking for websites that can give them the information they want in very little time, regardless of the device they are using. So your first assignment is to make your website responsive for mobile devices and optimized for speed and performance.
A large number of internet users visit websites on their mobile devices while on the go, and its safe to assume that this trend will continue for years to come. It is vital that your website is able to adapt to the device your visitors are browsing from and not lose any vital content between them.
There was a time, not too long ago, when complex flashy websites were all the rage. However, these days, many are no longer impressed by this gimmicky web sorcery we know as flash. Today’s internet users are looking for websites with very little or no complexities, just straightforward websites where they can find information quickly with subtle design elements that make visiting your website a pleasure.
To make your website shine, three things that must be properly controlled are the design, usability, and functionality. This means choosing a simple minimalist design that contains only necessary and important components. Websites like these are not only pleasing to the eye; they load far faster, leading to a better user experience and reduction in bounce rate. If your website looks busy and cluttered, it will take more time to load and also take visitors a longer time to get the information they need reducing your chance at a conversion. Don’t forget that page load speed is a critical factor that determines the page’s eventual ranking.
Keep your navigation simple
As previously mentioned, visitors are no longer willing to spend much time looking for the information they need. If they can’t find what they want on your website in a short amount of time, they will look elsewhere. Your job is to make their browsing experience as seamless and hassle free as possible.
The secret lies in keeping your navigation simple. When you have too many links and options, you may end up confusing your visitors. Simple strategically-placed navigation will make it easy for visitors to reach every part of your website and help them locate what they want quickly. If you have a very large website with many pages, then you can break your navigation into parts. Above the fold in the header of the page, another at the bottom, and the rest can be presented as internal links.
Try to avoid using complicated terms in your navigation. For instance, it is easier for a visitor to understand ‘About Us’ than ‘Corporate Information’.
Whatever you do, remember that the easier you make it for visitors to get what they want, the longer they will spend on your website and the higher your chances of a better page ranking.
Use clear CTAs
Call to action buttons are needed if you want to boost conversion rates on your website. They are an essential part of every website as they tell visitors what action you want them to perform.
If you do not have clear and persuasive CTAs, your visitors will end up leaving your website without carrying out any useful actions that could ultimately lead to a sale. This is why effective CTA buttons should stand out, be strategically placed, and be very clear about what they do.
Use these two simple tips when creating your CTA buttons:
- The color of your CTA buttons should contrast appropriately with the color of your website. For example, if your website has a white background, using blue will help your users to easily find the call to action.
- The text on your call to action should be captivating enough to attract the interest of your visitors. Rather than use words like submit or subscribe, use words that tell your users what they stand to gain if they click on the button.
An ‘About Us’ page
You may not know it, but customers are interested in placing a personality to a website. They want to be sure that there is an efficient and trustworthy person or team behind the website before they make a purchasing decision. This is why having an ‘About Us’ page is essential to the success of your website. Unsurprisingly, it is one of the most visited pages on any website, this page helps establish the legitimacy of your brand and website, building trust with your customer and encouraging sales.
A good ‘About’ page should be able to tell the story of your business, provide valuable information to visitors, and give them an insight into how you run your business or service. It may also contain some of the milestones and goals you want to achieve as a brand.
If customers cannot find a visible means of contacting you, it raises a red flag. Whether you run a local operation or an international business, customers want to be able to get in touch. Customers want to trust that you can be reached in the event of a problem or issue arising.
This is why having your contact information is very important. You don’t even need to have a separate page for it – at the footer of your website, or in a sidebar widget, you can put contact address, phone numbers and social media handles. This will greatly boost your credibility and can also help tremendously in local SEO with proper semantic coding practices.
“With the increase in spate of cybercrimes, it has become of paramount importance that website owners observe best practices when it comes to security of their website and its users”
George from Freeparking – a NZ base web hosting company
Whether you are running an ecommerce business or a simple business portfolio site, visitors want to be reassured that their details are safe with you. It is even more vital if you accept any form of personal information on your website. For your website to compete successfully in your niche, having a secure website is vital. The statement above sums it up perfectly.
It is no longer expensive or difficult to install an SSL certificate on your website (typically about $70/year with free setup for a basic certificate). Not only will it give your visitors peace of mind, it will also boost your credibility with search engines.
Furthermore, keep in mind that mistakes are bound to happen from your end or that of your customers. For instance, customers who want to subscribe to a cheap and reliable web hosting service provider already have www.freeparking.co.nz/domain-names/search/ as the URL to key in. But a simple typo like www.freeparkin.co.nz may lead them to a malicious duplicate spam site where their personal information may not be secure.
Therefore, purchasing similar domains that look and are spelled alike with proper redirects will help redirect users to the primary page they are looking for.
We hope this article has given you some ideas about how you can improve your website and increase exposure and sales for your business online. Contact us today if you’d like some help improving the effectiveness of your web presence and increasing conversions for your business online!
Have any tips of your own? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!