Web technology is progressing at lightning speeds and with that so is web and consumer behaviour. You probably already realize this, and you know your company’s website must evolve as well. But before we just throw our tips and tricks at you, you need to understand that website design or redesign is not only about new colours or graphics but also about the technology. A few years in web technology can bring important changes that offer better user experience (UX), easier platform management (CMS) and superior functionality. Also, different kinds of websites have different purposes, but we typically want them to accomplish the following goals.
- You want to promote your key products and services offered
- You want to generate leads and brand awareness
- You want to establish credibility in your vertical
So how do you begin to shape a purposeful company website?
Here are 5 elements you should demand from the design of your next website.
1- Easy Navigation
They say a ship without a rudder has no destination, well the same applies to a website with poor or sloppy direction. When it comes to websites, the navigation system acts as a road map providing your visitors with clear and intuitive direction to all the different areas of your site. We call this the UX or “User Experience” and without it, your visitors will drop off or “bounce” as we say from your site within seconds.
A few navigation tips:
- Keep it simple & consistent throughout all your webpages
- Consider adding breadcrumbs to larger sites
- Link your company logo to the homepage
Without a clear navigation structure, your website will appear unstructured and unorganized. Kinda like driving somewhere with bad directions. A good web developer knows this and should make visitor User eXperience the top priority.
2- Confidence Building Header
A website header is the area located at the top of each web page. The purpose of your website header is to promote your brand and make it instantly recognizable to your visitors.
The header normally looks the same from page to page and contains the organization’s logo, navigation and often your basic contact info like a phone number or email all while creating a centralized hub helping you to get elsewhere on the website.
Psychologically, we look for certain things on a website header which helps gain our trust and confidence. Our eyes move from area to area in microseconds, which is why you need to get it right. We say this because too much information in the header will distract your visitor from the main content you want them to see, but if your header does not have the right information, you lose credibility. A good rule of thumb; keep it slim and simple. A good web designer knows how to build a great header while still highlighting key validation points. Great tools like Feng-Gui as shown below shows how eye tracking technology can help you get it right.
3- Clear & Concise Headlines
Simply, a good web page headline or (H1, H2, H3) will get people to stop and pay attention to your message. In short, we want to grab your visitor’s attention fast, so they can consume the rest of the content on your page and ultimately be led down the path to conversion. This all starts with a great HEADLINE.
Headlines should be short and to the point. Rule of thumb, you should be able to say your headline in one small breath. A few key points you should be aware of when building great engaging headlines are as follows:
A- We visit websites to get answers
An awesome way to engage your reader is to ‘ask’ them a question in your headline. A few examples of that could be…
- Chiropractors: Do you want to alleviate your back pain for good?
- Plumbers: Leaky faucets keeping you up at night?
- Contractors: Wish your man cave was the envy of the neighbourhood?
B- Offer answers to problems, not sales.
Your headlines should be centred around the answer to a problem and not always focussed on a product or service. People may not always want what you sell but most likely are looking for a solution to a problem they are having, and your product or service could be the answer.
We also recommend using trigger words/phrases in your headlines. A trigger is a word or phrase that initiates a process or course of action.
Mark Twain said the difference between the right word and the almost right word is “the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
Examples of trigger words can be: Boost, Cure, Overcome, Had Enough, Never Again, Before you Forget…Here’s a link to 50 awesome trigger words you can use.
Make sure you offer answers in your headlines and don’t forget to grab their attention while doing it.
4- Product & Service Targeted Landing Pages
HubSpot says that “all landing pages are webpages but not all web pages are landing pages”. In the world of web design and digital marketing, a landing page, also known as capture pages are standalone web pages, created specifically for the purpose of supporting a marketing or advertising campaign. Although in theory, a landing page can be any page landed on by accessing an outside link; for the purpose of this blog, a landing page is a web page visitors typically arrive to by following a link from a variety of social media, email, and/or search engine optimized advertising campaigns. Landing pages are designed with a single focus, conversion! Now why is this so important, scratch that…necessary? Well, if you’ve ever ran a digital marketing campaign like PPC (Pay-per-Click / Google AdWords) or social media marketing, it’s not cheap, so if you truly want to maximize your ROI, your website needs well-crafted landing pages. As a web developer, you need to understand how to optimize and craft an LP. Often, on a landing page, you will notice the absence of a navigation menu. Once a visitor lands, they are left with one of 2 choice, convert or bounce.
Try the following:
- Smart headlines as mentioned above in tip #3 also add to your conversion strategy
- Try value propositions! A value proposition will tell consumers why they should choose you over someone else. Value propositions like ‘buy now pay later’ or ‘’Let us help you get out of debt” will help skyrocket your conversions. Put some thought into your value propositions and speak to your consumer’s needs
- Kick-ass imagery. Use images to engage emotion, build trust and direct attention
- Most importantly a simple yet well placed lead capture form with a strong CALL TO ACTION button is an essential element of a well-crafted landing page
Below is an example of a lead capture page we design with the purpose of building our lead database. We offered a free social media marketing kit in exchange for an email address.
5- Show-off Off Your Trusted Reviews, Badges and Accreditations
Fact is, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and according to a survey from BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Validation should always be top of mind when designing a website. First impressions are no longer made with the first handshake but in most cases by the first visit to your company’s website. Let’s face it, anyone can have a website, so you need to stand out. Displaying your companies’ reviews, accreditations, awards, badges and anything real that promotes success and credibility will go a long way in converting visitors to leads and leads to sales. Let me back up a bit, copying a review and adding it to a slider on your website is just not going to cut it! Instead link it to the actual review site or subscribe to a legitimate review aggregator like Customer lobby or Google my business where you can display legit badges with links back to the review.
As mentioned, another trust building factor are awards, certifications and accreditations. If your site is going to be asking for information, these trust factors will help your visitor feel more secure about completing your desired goal. Even asking for something as simple as an email address will be difficult if the proper trust signs are not present on your site. Whether you have an A++ rating with the better business bureau, 50+ positive reviews, awards, case studies, good social media following or site security, SHOW THEM OFF. A good web developer will know exactly how and where to integrate them to validate your business to your visitors.
If you’re looking for professional website design services, we’d love to help. Our expert team of designers at WSI have over 20 years of experience building unique, custom websites for clients throughout Canada and the USA. We understand how to integrate great design and conversion tactics to help your business get the most from your online properties.
Contact us today for a free quote, and more information!