Web design that deliver results
To be effective, a website cannot simply be a product of sharp graphic design.
It must have a strategy – whether it’s to sell a product or service, serve as a customer service site or to educate the market. Your web design must accurately present your defining marketing message, differentiate you from your competitors and reflect your brand identity. For example domina8 has a brand and we are very proud and protective of that brand.
How can I get more customers is the question I always get. Here are some of the techniques we implement at domina8.
1) Be visible on Google. This is the technique where we add your business and/or websites to Google Maps and Google search. Over time the website page rankings will increase and in turn deliver more results to customers.
2) Email marketing. This is strategy we use to capture users while they are browsing our website. By subscribing and giving us their email, we provide them with free gifts.
3) Social media: This is powerful tool, I have talked more about this here.
Every year, the percentage of consumers searching online to find information on products or services before purchasing increases. In 2011, it was upwards of 85% depending on the type of industry being searched. When a visitor lands on your website they need to be able to easily find the content they want.
A bold, clear headline
When writing website content you need to be aware that you generally need to provide shorter bites of information. It is recommended to limit each paragraph to four or five lines of text, or a word count of around 50 words. More than that and you risk making your page hard to read and losing the reader.
What is the ideal page length? That depends on the purpose of the website and what you are selling. On sites such as this where we provide detailed information about our services it is acceptable to have long pages.
On other websites it may be preferable to keep all important information above the fold and reduce the need to scroll down the page to a minimum. The more complex the product or service the more you need to describe it, so there is no hard and fast rule here.
A new cutting-edge website marks a milestone in a company’s development, especially when it’s based on deep content and solid SEO considerations. But even if the site looks eye-catching, when your analytics tell you that people aren’t exploring your site beyond the homepage, it’s time to question your website usability. Here are ways to make your site more usable for your target audience.
User friendly design
Websites often fail when the layout is too complex for users to figure out. When people are bombarded with a sea of choices on one page, it can be overwhelming. For some people, it’s too much to digest, so they move on quickly to the next site. The first rule of website usability is to keep the basics sensible. Every site should be easy to figure out from viewing the homepage. Web design was never meant to be rocket science, so it’s best to keep the overall presentation and navigation simple.
Logo and menu placement
One of the basics to decide on in the beginning is where to place your logo and menu. There’s a good reason why the most successful websites position their logo in the upper left corner. That’s what the human eye notices first. If every website were radically different and you had to study the page to find the logo, websites may have never caught on as new media.
The menu can be placed under the logo horizontally across the page, as in Yahoo’s design. CNN places its horizontal menu directly to the right of their logo. Amazon uses a drop-down menu underneath its logo. Placing links to the right or below the logo has become standard because it works.
Easy-to-find contact information
Your contact information should be blatantly obvious as soon as visitors arrive at the homepage. Either your contact information should be somewhere at the top or bottom of the page or there should be a “contact” link in the menu. It’s an even better strategy to include contact information on all your web pages, especially if leads depend on people calling you on the phone.
Some companies that prefer to do all their communication through email may only list their email address as contact information. Even if you only sell digital downloads, it’s still helpful to give users contact information in case they have questions or issues about products or transactions. If you exclude basic contact information, it can create an atmosphere of distrust.
Help your visitors
All the pages that customers normally check to learn more about a company, such as about us, help, terms and conditions, privacy statement and FAQs should be as obvious as the “contact” link. These are the pages that can help sway a purchasing decision, so they should be constructed with extreme care. Part of website usability involves executing clear communication. If users can see all the important choices at the top of any given web page, they will become familiar with your site at a faster pace.
Use a logical menu structure
Even though your site can be artistic to help make it attractive, the menu structure needs to be simple and logical. When the menu becomes too crowded or lost in clutter, visitors are more likely to just give up and search for a more user-friendly competitor. The architecture of the content should be structured in sections so that similar themes are grouped together. The site will maintain a logical quality if each webpage can be accessed in three or less clicks.
Make your identity clear on every page
Sometimes people can lose track of the websites they’re on when they use several browser windows at one time then toggle between pages. So that they’re never confused about your site, make sure your name, logo and tag line are displayed at the top of every page. No matter how they enter the site, whether it’s the homepage or other pages, they should know what site they’re on.
Keeping the site’s identity consistent on every page contributes to the goal of a user-friendly experience. Resist the temptation to get too experimental with the basics and concentrate on making your content unique.
Add a search box
If your site has hundreds of pages it helps to put a search box in the upper left or right of the page. Some sites use a customized Google search engine while companies with bigger budgets tend to create their own proprietary search tool. The faster you can help visitors find the information they’re looking for, the more you’ll win their trust and loyalty.
Make links clear and clickable
Every link on your site should stand out with a different colour than your primary text. It’s best to keep colours consistent so that users don’t get confused. The universal link colour is blue, but you can get away with a different colour as long as you keep it consistent. Just make sure links stand out and even more important, that they work. It’s always a good idea to periodically test links, especially outbound links to other sites that may have moved their pages without telling anyone.
Keep your design consistent
Consistency is a key web design rule on many levels since it helps create familiarity. Your site should have a consistent design across all pages, since it will help reinforce your identity. Everything from fonts, colours and formatting should look consistent. There’s plenty of room for imagination when it comes to text and images, so don’t feel restricted about keeping design consistent. If every page looked like a different website, it would likely be difficult for followers to understand your intent.
Create logical forms
Offering contact forms is a reliable way to generate leads and interest from prospects. Always keep forms simple and brief, which makes them more inviting. Even if it’s a survey, try not to unload hundreds of questions on one form or many people will write it off as taking too much time. Make sure the content on the form flows logically and doesn’t jump around from one topic to something extremely different. Only ask for the most important information so that you are not making the clock your enemy.
Use headlines and lists for variety
Staring at a page of long text all the same font size can create reader fatigue. But breaking text up into sections with headlines and subheadings can help visitors find content they’re looking for faster. Adding bullet points and lists can also give a page better visual appeal and easier website usability. Since people usually scan text quickly to find what they want, you’ll be helping direct their attention. Headings should be concise and relevant to the text.
Make the purchasing process simple
The key to a successful ecommerce site is to be as shopper-friendly as possible. That means make it easy for shoppers to find your best deals. The more information you present, the faster customers can make up their minds about purchases. The check-out process, like forms, should be simple and easy to follow. Once you add a speed bump with a confusing step or question, you interfere with website usability and risk losing the customer. A three-step check-out process is ideal.
Blog wriiten by Newman at domina8