When you are creating a new website for your business, there are a lot of things to think about: the overall message your website needs to convey, the specific content you need to write, the major things you want people to do on the website (like buying products or contacting you) and, of course, the look of the website. The look of the website, or the design you choose will be one of the first things people use to gauge your website and your business. The design helps build trust and Sell Online Course with your customer base. If the design is too unprofessional or not geared to the right audience, you will lose business.
Given the importance of a website design, it is usually a good idea to hire a professional website designer to help you create the right website design. A professional website designer has the experience to help you find the best images, fonts and colors to use as well as the experience to bring those together in a great layout for your customers. While using a professional designer guarantees a custom, unique design specifically tailored to your business and customers, a professional website design is typically not cheap. For small business budgets the cost can be prohibitive so many small business owners turn to free or really cheap website templates. A website template is not unique to your business. Despite that, it can still be effective if you select the right design.
Which brings us to the big question: What makes a website design effective?
Whether you are working with a professional designer or finding your own free (or cheap) website template, there are three key areas to evaluate in the new design of your website.
1. Is your call to action clear? In other words, what is the point of somebody coming to your website and is it plainly communicated within the design? If you are selling moon rocks, then the point of somebody visiting your website is to buy moon rocks.
Sure, the website’s text will help people understand what to do but since most people won’t read the text, the design must convey the point quickly and plainly to everybody looking at the website.
2. Easy To Use vs. The “Wow” Factor. Many designs and many of the free templates available try way too hard for the “wow” factor within the design. The “wow” factor is that super-cutting edge, flashy, show-off thing on the website. It might be that cool layout with the navigation and logo hidden at the bottom of the screen where nobody will find it. That “wow” element might be the design with the Facebook connect icons extra large dominating the top half of the page. It might also be that design with the video introductory page (with a video that takes five minutes to load).
However, the question to ask when it comes to the design is, does that “wow” factor actually help people get through your website and become your customer? Let’s return to the moon rock example. If you are selling moon rocks, and the point of the website is to have people buy moon rocks, you probably don’t want to force people visiting your website to watch a 20 minute documentary on the moon (no matter how cool that documentary might be). In other words, keep the design simple and focused on the person using the site. Ask yourself (or your designer) what a person would expect when they visit your website. If you are selling moon rocks, the person visiting your website expects a link to buy a moon rock right away.
3. Keep Search Engines in Mind. Search engines, such as Google and Bing, have to send robots out on the web to crawl through, or explore, your website. These automatic robots can get stopped by a poorly constructed website design.
If your design does not allow search engines to crawl to your website, your website will not show up when somebody is searching for terms related to your business. That can cost you significant amounts of traffic to your website and, more importantly, cost you a significant amount of customers. To ensure your website does show up talk to a website professional, such as a designer or web marketer. There are also “crawl tests” that you can find by searching Google or Bing.
Ensuring your website is crawl-able by search engines means you increase your potential audience significantly. Once you find that audience, you will get people looking at your website. Ensuring your website design has a clear call to action and is easy for people to use, will help that audience looking at your website turn into customers for your business.