One of the most important elements of your online business is your website. It’s as important to you as a storefront is to a brick and mortar business. Your website represents who you are and what you have to offer.
Your Website Is Your Prospect’s First Impression
You know what they say about first impressions, right? Actually, a lot is said about first impressions. Two of the clichés are:
*You never get a second chance to make a first impression
*Your first impression matters most
Essentially, they say the same thing. Your prospect’s first impression matters. You want people to come to your website and:
- Feel welcome – like they want to stay and have a look around
- Feel comfortable moving around on your site
- Feel confident in you – your knowledge, skills, and products or services
- Feel like buying, subscribing or clicking through (whatever your goal or business model is)
And you want them to feel like coming back!
The Key Elements to Effective Website Design
Many people still think that effective website design has to be complicated. They use fancy flash graphics and make their visitors jump through hoops just to get to the core information. Effective website design is actually quite simple.
Navigation – Navigation is essentially how your visitor moves through your website. If they have to search for pages, they’re likely to leave. If information, products or services are difficult to find, they’ll leave. Conversely, if your website navigation is simple and straightforward, you’ll provide an excellent visitor experience. This means more sales, traffic and conversions – more profits.
Branding – Your website design actually helps form a brand image in your visitor’s mind. Every aspect of your website helps establish who you are and what you’re about. At a very basic level, color plays an important role. For example, if you’re an environmentally friendly company, then chances are you’re going to use greens on your site to represent nature. If you’re a website about accounting or software, then you will probably use blues. Colors are associated with professions, niches and industries.
Sales – Ultimately your website design needs to support your goals. For example, if you have an information website and make your money with advertising and affiliate income, then you want your website to support your visitors to access your information. If you are selling a product, then you want your website design to focus on promoting your products. If elements of your design distract from your goal, sales can suffer.
Before you create your website or have someone create it for you, make sure you have a clear idea of who you are, what your website goal is, and how you want your company to be perceived by your visitors. Then make visiting your website as simple and enjoyable as possible. That’s good website design. Keep your goals and your customers’ experience at the forefront and you can’t go wrong.