Cameron FrancisFebruary 19,2015

Ultimate Web Design Checklist for Online Success

Category: Web Design Tips
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Have you ever wondered how you can drive real business to your website? If so, you need a change of strategy. You see, most website owners assume that they have a cool website because they either get compliments from visitors about the designs or because the website looks pretty decent. Now, we’re not saying that this is a bad thing.

Compliments are good, but you know what’s even better?

Increased Revenue, Clients, Leads, Customers and Buyers

If your website isn’t doing one or more of all these, then the compliments don’t mean squat. In our years of working with clients and helping businesses launch and relaunch their websites, we have seen this over and over: pretty websites with little or no functionality, websites designed without much thought given to conversion optimisation, and sites that look tacky at best.

The good thing however, is that over time, we have found that many successful websites share a number of important features.

After in-depth research, testing, experimenting and helping clients from various industries increase their revenues, we have come up with the ultimate web design checklist for website success.

This is the checklist that we go through every time we design and develop a website. These features when included in and deployed on your website, sets it up for success. Think of it as the perfect foundation for a successful online presence.

So get ready to discover the top 5 incredibly powerful web design elements guaranteed for website success:

Clean Sophisticated Designs

Visual aesthetics is key nowadays. There’s no way around this. Your website should look like a million bucks – read: classy, sophisticated, professional and clean. As it’s often said, “perception is everything”. While it may not get you all the way in, at least, it gets you in, hooks your visitors and compels them to stay without knowing it.

Think of it as a welcoming lobby, waiting area, reception or great looking building. Gone are the days of tacky, flashy “loud” websites. Nowadays, websites like that are considered shady. A great design is important for your perception and can increase your visitors’ willingness to stay on your website, interact and most importantly, take action.

Easy Usability and Navigation

Now, an awesome looking website means absolutely nothing if your visitors cannot find what they are looking for as quickly as possible.

This is why website usability and navigation are extremely necessary.

An easy to navigate website is a web visitor’s dream. The components of a very user friendly website include

  • Properly outlined categories above the fold
  • Clear directions and structure
  • A fully functioning search bar designed to return the most relevant searches (Google’s standard search bar just doesn’t cut it)
  • A working internal and site-wide linking structure
  • Fast site loading speed

Include all these and your visitors will love your website enough to want to stay and devour your content.

Relevant, Engaging, Benefit Driven Content

As a small business owner, the bulk of your selling online will be done through your website. This means that your content is basically the medium of expression and communication. It’s the heart of your online presence.
Seeing as communication is a two-way activity – even if it sometimes means one party talking and the other understanding you must do everything to help the visitor see why your product or service is better than all the rest out there.

How do you do this? Surely not by creating feature driven content. Rather, you achieve this by creating content that outlines the benefits of your products. You need content that connects with their pain or pleasure points.

salesperson reeling off product features on cart instead of benefits

As a business person, you’re either selling hope and pleasure or alleviating pain and discomfort. That’s what it all comes down to. As a result, your content should be appropriately worded to help them see that your products and services are probably the best at fixing and solving their issues.

If you own a blog, your blog should be completely dedicated to informing and/or entertaining your audience. In fact, all websites need their own blogs now seeing as the search engines are placing priority on new and recent content.

Responsive Design

It’s no longer enough to build your website for just desktop and laptop users. You need a website that renders on all mobile devices. This is an absolute must-have.

According to CMO Australia, eCommerce revenues originating from customers who ordered their products on mobile devices were about $5.7 billion in 2013. And Amazon’s recent survey indicated that 57% of all online shoppers in Australia spent more on their online purchases in 2013 and 2014.

To put that in perspective, that’s over 5 million shoppers buying more goods and paying for more products from their phones and tablets. That’s huge considering that Australia’s population is around 22 million. This means therefore, that m-Commerce is thriving and thriving well in Australia.

As a smart small business owner, you can cash in on this!

All you have to do is make sure your website is developed using responsive design. The alternative is to have a separately hosted mobile site if you have an already established desktop site and aren’t ready to do any revamping or overhauling.

Specific Call to Action

As with all sales calls, this is a necessity. You wouldn’t spend 30 minutes pitching to a potential client without asking for the sale, would you? The same goes for your website. Your website should have a specific call to action –something that you want your visitors to do after perusing your website and reading your content.

It doesn’t have to be about asking for the sale all the time. It can be something as simple as asking them to get on your list by offering them a pretty good incentive. Or, you could ask them to drop their contacts so you can get in touch with them or so you can call back.

So, if your website isn’t doing as well as it should, put your worries aside. Use these 5 powerful web design strategies to increase your traffic and turn your visitors into loyal customers.

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Author: Cameron Francis Cameron Francis is the Director of eTraffic Group. He has been engaged in all aspects of online marketing for the past 8 years. He is actively involved in SEO, Paid Search, Social Media Optimisation, and Web Design.

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