Website design is critical for your business success. When you open a web page, do you read it or do you scan it? We all want instant gratification to quickly find what we want. A well-designed website will engage readers and help you achieve your goals. This guide will look at why web design is essential and look at what you should consider to get the best result.
Web design can be defined two ways.
1. Referring to the design of the website displayed on the internet and the consumer experience. The experience of viewing the page includes its layout, the content contained and the graphic design.
2. To create and maintain a website using a process of planning, conceptualising and arranging content. Website design uses specialised software and templates combined with human creativity.
WHY should I care about good website design?
The best layouts for sales are deeply influenced by conversion science (study of converting a user’s interest into a sale). This means layouts are critical for marketers who want more subscribers, leads, and sales.
A visitor’s first impression of your website is critical! Layout and design are what influences that first impression.
More than 90% of first-impressions are design-driven. A visitor will form an opinion of your site in less than a second.
A recent study indicates that nearly 50% of all web visitors will decide if your site is worth their time based on design alone.
Colours and graphics contribute to a website’s design. Still, it is the layout that is most important when it comes to user experience and digital conversions.
WHAT makes a good website?
Simple to use – users should not have to work out how to use it
Intuitive – makes information easy to find
Streamline – marketing fluff or clutter is removed
Engagement – convince readers you are worthy of their time
Easy to read – simple text and layout means lazy readers will absorb
Consistency – colours, fonts, and imagery are consistent and on-brand helping visitors connect with you
Responsive – ensures superior experience no matter if consumed on a desktop, tablet or a mobile
Fast – our patience is stretched if a web page takes too long to load
For information on steps to create a website refer to our guide to building a website to boost your brand
HOW do I ensure my website design is effective?
Let’s face it, not all of us are creative, and if we are, we may not then have the skill set to briefly explain a product or service. The net result is web design takes a specific set of skills that may collaborate with several individuals with different abilities.
Web design has become much simpler with the availability of user-friendly software tools and the availability of template-based building tools. You have many options to do it yourself or completely outsource the project to something in the middle, like getting some help with some graphics. See our guide on graphic design.
Some key practical attributes of a good website:
- Use lots of white space to highlight the headline and call-to-action
- If the visitor wants to learn more, they can scroll down
- Simple (cut-down) menu that makes finding what you need simple and intuitive
- Show an example of the solution at work
- Visitors can understand why they would need the solution, which helps to push the conversion
- Have a call to action that is static – it’s always prominent, even as visitors scroll down and continue to read
- Keep the menu static, so readers always have access to other content
- Ensure the layout is pleasing and easy to read so visitors will be engaged
- Use clearly marked headings with simple explanations and links for more info
- Have information to learn enough to drive a conversion based on someone skimming
- Use words and images that will draw attention
- At the bottom of a page list out links that make it easy to navigate the site with minimum clicks and scrolling
- Put essential information above the fold requiring little visitor input (landing page info on screen)
- Ensure your menu items are simple to understand, and you should have a practical website layout to drive more sales
- Video can be an effective way to tell a story quickly. Ensure the video is short and clearly explains a customer benefit
- Use pop-ups to collect customer data and consider an exit pop-up to reignite interest in your site
Good web design is only part of the equation of having a successful business. If you have a product that no one wants or your pricing is not right, the best website is unlikely to solve this. For more helpful info see our guide on marketing to grow your business.
You need to be credible. The design will get you eyeballs, but you will never see them again unless your content is of high quality and relevant to the reader.
Don’t be afraid to use offers. This offer could relate to price, availability, bonuses etc. There is a reason year after year, retailers use sales to boost sales.
Test your new site. Ask family friends, business associates etc. to look at your new site and give their frank feedback. Don’t accept the answer “Good” ask them specific questions.
SUMMARY – Website to drive sales
Having a website and something to sell is a start, but that website must be engaging to attract a buyer to look further and persuasive to help you close a sale. You can do some simple things with the website layout, content, and graphic design to give your site an unfair advantage over your competitors.