For most business owners and executives, it’s relatively easy to look at work folio samples or website mockups and find a preference. Most of us know what we like and don’t like when we see it. However, getting an effective website for your company isn’t as simple as choosing the right layout or visuals. If you really want your site to help you make money, you need a design that actually works.
What do we mean by “works” in this context? We are referring to the idea that, in addition to appealing to your artistic instincts, the look and layout of your website help you to meet your business goals. Or to put it another way: if your site isn’t drawing in visitors, convincing them of your competitive strengths, and turning them into sales opportunities, then why have it online in the first place?
With that perspective in place, let’s take a look at three things that make a new web design work…
#1 A Great First Impression
According to most industry studies, you have less than three seconds to impress a first-time visitor to your website before they click along to another page on a search engine or social media site. That’s generally not enough time for them to absorb your written content, so your layout needs to make a positive first impression.
In the simplest terms, this just means that when someone arrives at your website they have to feel like you are professional, trustworthy, and have the answers they’re looking for. Fail to accomplish that and they’ll depart from your pages before you ever get a real chance to make your case.
#2 Clarity and Usability
Even if a potential customer likes what they see on your website, they aren’t going to stick around if it feels like a chore to locate the product, service, or answer they came to find. There are too many other resources on the web, and time is too valuable.
For that reason, simpler web designs can often be more effective than pages that are crowded and complicated. We always encourage clients to emphasize “usability,” which just means that anyone can easily reach the information they want within a few clicks and seconds. That approach helps you keep visitors engaged and looking through your site.
#3 A Plan to Generate Conversions
Another reason not to focus solely on the aesthetic aspects of your website is that you ultimately need to generate conversions (in the form of sales, leads, etc.) if your web presence is going to pay for itself.
This is something you should never leave to chance. Have a plan in place that guides website visitors from their first interaction to a completed order or inquiry. Not everyone will follow the steps you’ve outlined, but they should be as clear as possible. It’s better to encourage and expects sales than it is to simply hope for them.
Too many business owners are satisfied to “have a website” and simply posting a few pages online doesn’t do anything to help your company grow or meet its revenue goals. Your web design will be seen by thousands upon thousands of potential customers, vendors, and employees. Don’t settle for a layout that isn’t working as hard as you need it to.