These days, the effectiveness of your business’ website can be the difference between scaling up and closing your doors. Times were that you could skate by just by having a one-page domain with your company’s details on it, but as technology and search browsing evolved it’s now necessary to have an effective website that helps your business grow.
But just what is an effective website? Whether or not your website design is effective depends on what your business or company’s goals are and if your website design helps you achieve those goals.
or example, an online clothing store’s goal would be to sell more product. A non-profit foundation may want to raise awareness about a disease or crisis, raise funds, or organize events. A brick-and-mortar business may want to drive foot traffic to their location or get potential customers to contact them.
Even though different kinds businesses and companies have different goals, effective web design accomplishes those goals. While no two effective websites are exactly the same, all effective web design share five common characteristics that help their business achieve their goals.
It can sound a little silly to say that “an effective website has better web design” but here’s what we mean: there are many trends that come and go in design, but not all of them are evergreen.
Flashy trends that were big five to ten years ago can look outdated. Popups, particular fonts, or kitschy gimmicks like a contact form that looks like a mailbox can make your website look old and make it easier for your potential customers to say “no thank you.”
Evolved and better web designs actively help the website. This is done through using visuals and designs that help the user contact you, make it easier to navigate the page, or help your website rank higher. They’re based on research and have been tested enough to ensure that your site is engaging to visitors.
There’s something to be said about being minimalist and clean when it comes to your design, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of providing a needed feature to your website visitors. Overloading your website to the point that it’s hard to navigate should be avoided, but thinking through your buyer’s journey as you build your website design is always a good idea.
What sort of things do your customers need in order to decide to purchase or hire you? An interior designer’s website would benefit from a beautiful portfolio section, with large, nicely shot photos and descriptions that dynamically open and scroll. A contractor’s website would benefit from a featured rough cost estimate calculator. Does your business plan a lot of events? You can utilize a calendar of events that syncs with Facebook and Eventbrite while keeping your clientele up-to-date through an email marketing platform.
Good features on your website can be the difference between someone clicking away and someone making a purchase.
Easy to Manage
In order for any website to be successful, it needs to be engaging with fresh content – no copyright in 2003. So, in order for you to keep your website up-to-date, you need to be able to access and make updates to it yourself or through one of your staff. That means, unless you already know how to manage and code your own site, your website needs to be easy to manage.
There are many types of platforms that your website can be designed on, but not all of them are also easy to manage. WordPress is a content management system that is world-renowned for supporting beautiful, engaging websites that are also easy to manage by anyone. A WordPress website allows you to easily update and manage the content on your website yourself – ensuring that your brand looks fresh and knowledgeable.
Updated and Fresh Content
Not all content should be updated and refreshed all the time, but it should never look out-of-date or incorrect. This is especially true if your industry tends to get new information or have trends that often change.
A website that stays updated and fresh doesn’t just change up its front page content or service pages. Blogs, portfolios, and other galleries that are consistently added to and updated show that a business is invested in how it portrays itself to its customers.
If your website shows that the last time you updated the blog was in 2013, it says to your potential customers that you don’t care about updating them on news, changes to your industry, or about how your business looks.
Healthy Conversion Rate
There can be several goals you might have when it comes to the effectiveness of your web design, but the one that is often the most important is conversions – how visitors contacted you. They may be contacting you for more information, to make a purchase from your products, or they may be calling to schedule an appointment. Conversion points – places where visitors are given the opportunity to contact your business – are often the most important parts of your web design.
Truly effective websites have a good amount of conversions, as visitors are compelled to contact you. This is due to design keeping them moving through the page and driving them towards conversion points or the features and content you’ve provided them being engaging and persuasive enough to make them want to know more.