Great Website Design
Every day millions of individuals search online looking for the right business to connect with. Every day there are millions of companies and individuals across the globe who are seeking new customers to help grow their business.
At some point the two will meet. This point of first contact is often the website of the business that has been found by the searcher seeking a related product or service. Great, part one of the Internet marketing Holy Grail has been achieved – your website has been found!
To achieve success in part two of the Internet marketing Holy Grail means converting the maximum number of visitors to your website into contacts and then valuable paying clients or customers. Thus, to address the question of what constitutes ‘Great Website Design’, we can thus break it down into two constituent elements:
• Conversion Rate
The visibility of your website on the Internet is a critical first step in determining the level of success you will achieve online. Let’s be clear, you may have the most stunning, brilliantly designed and usable website ever built – but if hardly any of your target audience ever find it or get to see it then it won’t amount to much! It is apparent then that a pre-requisite of future success must be that your website is designed and optimised (from the ground up) to be found – as often as possible!
Achieving maximum visibility for your website ensures that your website will be found for relevant searches, before your competition, and places your business in pole position to win new customers by the superiority of your offer(s) delivered through your website.
Getting your website found on the Internet is about understanding and utilising the benefits of ethical search engine optimisation (SEO); pay-per-click (PPC); maps/places and local search engine listings; social media to deliver referrals and recommendations; and listings on high quality authority Internet directories.
The above list of five (visibility) resources is a good start point to begin establishing the prominence of your website online. Note we use the word ethical when listing SEO as a tool to use for increased visibility. There has and probably always will be two schools of thought as how to approach SEO for the best results – i.e. higher search engine rankings.
Our advice is to ALWAYS steer clear of the SEO tricks, quick fixes, and spam approach. Do your own research and build your website relevance and online reputation thoughtfully, gradually, for real people (not for search engines), with care and attention, and always for the long term.
Great website design should be primarily concerned with delivering on the objectives you have established for the website. For most this will be concerned with maximising the conversion rate of visitors to the site to those who go onto make contact via telephone, e-mail or social media.
So, just as we have outlined above what tactics are available to webmasters for improving the visibility of their website. What are the constituent parts which deliver a great website design and a high conversion rate? The below list is not meant to be definitive or exhaustive, but represents an informed opinion on what we consider to be the 8 prime design drivers:
• Simple, Clear and Consistent Navigation
• (White) Space
• About Us or You (See Company Website – Who Are You?)
• Up-to-date Contact Information
• Call to Action
• Great, High Quality Images
• Responsive Web Design
Great website design is not just about looking good. A major factor in what motivates visitors to the website to go on to make contact is how easy the website is to use and navigate etc. This is often referred to as ‘website usability‘. A foremost authority and author on usability is Jakob Nielsen.
For the purposes of this article there is little merit to be gained from going into enormous reams of detail on the subject of website usability. For those looking to widen their knowledge, here is a good place to start.
Just a final note on the subject of website usability. It is important that you consider the developments in technology and the questions surrounding the type of device that might be used to access your website in the future. So for now, as an example, you should be thinking about and making considerations for mobile usability. More information on eapb web design services.
Paul Brewster. April, 2014.