WHAT MAKES A GOOD WEBSITE?
A lot of people claim to know what makes a good website. Large images, a “clean” structured design and content that is tailored your target audience, are regularly cited as the key elements that make a good website.
Yet, often you can have a beautifully designed website that is SEO optimised and still not get conversions to sale, with viewers of the site not taking the desired actions or next steps.
You need more than just a good looking website – you need an effective one.
WHAT MAKES AN EFFECTIVE WEBSITE?
Obviously you want your website user to be able to gain all the information they need but an effective website is also one that ultimately makes money.
This comes down to website user experience and ensuring your website is designed in a way that encourages the user to take the desired actions (call, download, enquire or purchase products online).
Website user experience is a part of results-driven marketing and design. Your website designer should create a website with user experience and conversions to sale in mind but this doesn’t always happen. I work with website designers by reviewing my clients’ websites to ensure the elements are designed to influence desired actions.
THE BEST WEBSITES ARE BENEFIT DRIVEN…
For example, as a bath products retailer you may want to sell more of your highest profit margin items (in this example, lets say bath bombs). On your website homepage you decide to put a large colourful image of your bath bombs and price overlaid on it centre-stage.
The first message the website user should see, whether it is imagery or text, should not be what is important to you (the bath bombs) it should be what is important to them. The benefit of your product to them is relaxation, smelling good and feeling good. Instil this into a clear focused message. This could be an image of a person relaxing in a hot bath full of bubbles. This would embody the message in one image and be showcasing your benefits to the customer rather than just showing the product itself.
Look at the websites below. These are websites from businesses that are leaders in their field, who have filled their homepage with a clear focused message made up of text and an image. There are still clear navigation options but the key focus on the homepage is the benefit to the user.
CALLS TO ACTION
Most people realise they need to call the website user to action. Directing the user to take an action, whether it is making a phone call or buying, is clearly an important consideration. However, this call to action needs to be more than an afterthought with a number added to the text “Call today on 07801234567”.
If the desired action is a call, think about whether your number and contact details are prominent on every single page, not just the homepage. Remember, you cannot assume you know at what point of viewing your website the person will want to call you, so it needs to be easy to navigate and find this information wherever they are on your page.
Are your pages laid out in an intuitive fashion and once the user has gained the information they need, do they know what to do with it?
You have to spell it out for them and don’t be afraid to take them through each step of the process. When finding out information about Disneyland, throughout the booking the website explains what action is needed at that stage and what you need to do next. For example below – options with a clear button and tick boxes. At the bottom of the page you then click a green button to “continue”
Kuoni holidays also have clear navigations and call to actions so the user knows what to do if they want to meet them, call them or simply make an enquiry:
Think about whether there are any barriers to the users’ action; how many clicks is the person having to make before they are able to add a product to their basket or check-out? There is no header image in the way here so in the “shop” section of this website they are presented with the products straight away rather than having to scroll down to get to them.
Paperchase do a similar thing – showcase their product in a modular fashion with clicks to each product line. No need to scroll or go through too many clicks to see what they have on offer! They also allude to benefits with headlines like “make your mark” for coloured pencils, which implies the pencils will stand out better than others and also make your art stand out better than others too.
If you want to know more about the psychology of where elements should be on your website to get sales, then please contact me to arrange a consultancy session. I can offer one hour slots for an analysis with actionable recommendations as an output.
Thanks for reading