So, you’ve decided to redesign your website; but what should you be focusing on?
Website design should focus on simplicity, navigation efficiency and elegance in order to engage visitors (Gehrke & Turban, 1999), focusing on the following five key elements will help to build not just an aesthetically pleasing site but a quality, optimised site that will help convert visitors into customers.
- Lead generations
Calls to action (CTA) are the best way to generate leads by promoting offers and prompting the visitor to engage with the site, offer their information and develop lead generating opportunities. Ensuring specific calls to action will help to increase the sites success rate and help you to convert visitors (See Edgecomb, 2013: The Elements of a Lead Generating Website). CTA’s should be brief yet striking, with best practise stating the best CTA’s are no more than five words, using action words that will compel the viewer to click. Contrasting colours are great to make CTA’s stand out and they need to be simple and clear to understand and large enough to see without detracting attention from the rest of the page (See Hubspot, 2015: Call to Action Best Practises).
For a great example of a clear CTA using effective, persuasive language check out Basecamp! The CTA engages consumers to click into the site and offers a risk free incentive, making it a effective way to generate some leads. While it goes over the ideal five word limit, it’s striking, uses colour to draw attention and is simple and clear enough for the reader to understand exactly what they’re clicking on.
2. Quality, relevant content
The main reason for having a website is to provide visitors with information about the business, so the content needs to reflect this and be both relevant and educational (See Edgecomb, 2013: The Elements of a Lead Generating Website). Utilising content such as blog articles, infographics and video content will engage the visitor whilst providing them with the information they need. Obviously content is highly dependable on your target audience. Millennial’s are notorious for tuning out traditional marketing methods but crave customer focused content information which can be delivered by content marketing (Adams, 2015). So to engage with a millennial target audience, your should aim to utilise blogs, branded websites, online forums, social media and video to naturally build a relationship with the visitor and create conversation, resulting in digital word of mouth and increasing traffic and engagement with the site (See DeMers, 2013: The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014).
3. Mobile optimised
We need to mention the increased use of mobile devices over laptops and desktops and how this is changing the way webpages are viewed. Mobile overtook the desktop in 2015 and is now considered the ‘primary screen’ for searchers (See Sterling, 2015: It’s Official: Google Says More Searches Now On Mobile Than On Desktop). So, by developing a site optimised for mobile not only will it make viewing content easier for visitors, there will be an increase in search engine performance meaning your site is going to have increased visibility. When developing an optimised site, the most important aspect to consider is navigation followed by how images and font is displayed. You want the site to maintain functionality whilst retaining its design (See Edgecomb, 2013: The Elements of a Lead Generating Website).
Looking at the difference between the two Hilton sites below, clearly the optimised website is much easier to read and the viewer is able to navigate without having to zoom in, meaning they’re more likely to find the relevant information they need quickly and as a result stay on your webpage rather than finding an easy to use competitor site! However, here the mobile optimised site has lost some of its elegant design and the large clipart icons give a cheaper feel to the site. So when designing a separate optimised site, ensure it has the same ‘feel’ as your standard website to maintain a consistent brand image!
Image: Blue Magnet
4. Scrolling and storytelling
The internet has evolved over the years and Web 2.0 allows for businesses to develop one page websites and introduce parallax scrolling. Parallax scrolling is when the background image move slower than the foreground images, allowing for one page websites that increase the user experience for visitors (See Edgecomb, 2013: Web Design 2.0 Above the Fold is Old). With parallax scrolling you can add storytelling by laying out content to guide your visitor through the site and the business, this helps to engage visitors and make them continue to scroll deeper into the site. Have a look at Sony’s webpage to get a feel for it (click the link below!)
5. Links to social media
By including links to social media, you’re not only showing off more marketing content to your visitors and adding value to their experience, but building strong links and search relevance for your site (See Supple, 2014: 3 Key Reasons to Add Social Media Links to Your Website). This results in an increase in search results, and therefore increases your business’s online presence. Social media links also help visitors to engage with the business and allow them to interact and share content on their own social media platforms resulting in building relationships, increasing audience retention and furthering your websites reach.
Overall, by including these five easy yet essential elements to your new website will ensure that your site is simple yet effective with engaging and relevant content which will ultimately increase traffic to your site and make redesigning your website a success!
Adams, A. (2015). Digital Word of Mouth: Motivating and Engaging Millennials with Shareable Content. University of Arkansas. [Online] Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1019&context=mktguht
DeMers, J. (2013). The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014. Forbes. [Online] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2013/10/08/the-top-7-content-marketing-trends-that-will-dominate-2014/#54ff550f68d4
Edgecomb, C. (2013). The Elements of a Lead Generating Website. Impact. [Online] Available at: https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/the-elements-of-a-lead-generating-website
Edgecomb, C. (2013). Web Design 2.0 Above the Fold is Old. Impact. [Online] Available at: https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/web-design-2-0-above-the-fold-is-old
Gehrke, D., & Turban, E. (1999). Determinants of successful website design: relative importance and recommendations for effectiveness. InSystems Sciences, 1999. HICSS-32. Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on (pp. 8-pp).
Hubspot. (2015) Call to Action Best Practises. [Online] Available at: http://knowledge.hubspot.com/cta-user-guide-v2/call-to-action-best-practices
Supple, M. (2014) 3 Key Reasons to Add Social Media to Your Website. Milestone Insights. [Online] Available at: http://blog.milestoneinternet.com/web-2/3-key-reasons-to-add-social-media-links-to-your-website/