Twenty years ago, the internet was only five years old, and was still a bit of a curiosity. In 1998, there was no Facebook and Google was a startup. Amazon had a web presence, but they just sold books. Back in the days when AOL ruled, if your company had a website, you were on the cutting edge. In the early years of the internet, websites were more of a vanity item than a marketing tool.
Today, your website is the face of your company and your brand’s global ambassador. What does your website say about your company? What type of impression does it make? You’re competing with companies from around the world; what makes your company more inviting and appealing than your competitors?
Even after 25 years of web page evolution, it can still be difficult to grasp the essentials of effective web design. It’s a good idea to occasionally look at your website to be certain that it’s not only representing your brand and attracting business, but that it’s also a site visitors will remember and to which they’ll want to return.
See if your website has all the elements necessary to attract and keep customers.
Define Your Goals
Your goals need to include benchmarks and a time frame, or you’ll never know whether your objectives are being met. If you want to get more traffic to your site, how much more? If you want to generate more sales, determine by what percent sales should increase. It’s also important to choose the time in which those goals should be met.
Make a Plan
When visiting your website, a customer’s journey should follow a logical path. If the path to purchase is confusing or complicated, visitors will go elsewhere. Create a blueprint of your website to visually be certain every path makes sense and every link takes customers to the next logical step. Have your website completely planned before doing anything else.
Create a Home Page Which Defines You
Visitors to your website should know immediately who you are and what you do. Your home page is the first impression many potential customers will have of your company. If they’re uncertain or confused in the first few seconds of their visit, they’ll go elsewhere.
Design Your Website with Your Target Audience in Mind
If you’re selling a product primarily for people over 60, rap music and quick-cut videos may not be the best idea. Your website should reflect the style and tastes of your target without alienating non-target visitors. Keep it simple, tasteful, and interesting.
Calls-To-Action Shouldn’t Be Obvious
People don’t like feeling they’re being sold something. Instead, your calls-to-action should appear as a service to the customer. Visitors should be tantalized by your story so that when they come to a Learn More button, they really want to have more information.
Never Be Satisfied
Test your website regularly. Try different layouts, different color schemes, different calls-to-action. You can temporarily redirect visitors to a variant URL containing the test pages and measure the traffic or conversion rate against your regular website. Keep testing your web pages to see what yields the best results.
It’s not easy to create a successful web presence. It takes designers, content developers, e-commerce specialists, site managers, SEO experts, analytic experts, and more. The McFadden/Gavender team can design an appealing, effective website that increases traffic and conversions. Give us a call at 520.882.6262.