On the Inc. 5000 list, (the list that ranks the fastest growing companies in the United States) we found something super interesting.
Almost all of the websites had a few things that made their website easy to find, easy to navigate, easy to consume, and easy to turn visitors into paying customers.
All these factors are tell-tale signs of a good website.
And yes, there is such a thing as a good website.
You have probably come across a not so good website before.
Any website you have come across that led you to exit it without making a purchase or taking action was most likely a not a great website.
What differentiates a good website from a bad website are the features and functionality it includes.
Now that might leave you wondering, “Does my business have a good website?” Or “how do I build a good website?”
Not to worry, in this blog we’re going to be sharing the best website design features with you in a simple 3-step website design formula so you can implement them.
Step 1: Choose Your Website Builder Wisely
Step 2: Use A Research-Backed Design
Step 3: Track, Track, Track
If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to benefit from a website that gets your business great results.
Ok, let’s get started.
3-Step Website Design Formula to Build a Powerful Website
Step #1: Choose Your Website Builder Wisely
Now, this first step isn’t the sexiest topic but it could be the deciding factor…
…in whether you can build the site you want, implement the features you need, and convert visitors into paying customers.
So it’s important that our website design formula starts here.
Additionally, you want to make sure you have a good foundation for your website or what you do next will be less effective and more difficult.
Website builders, often referred to as a “content management system,” is an online application that is used to create and manage your website.
Most modern website builders make it easy to build and maintain your site without much technical knowledge or design experience.
Some popular website builders include:
And out of those seven, we would only recommend two of them to you – that’s right two- and the fastest growing companies in the US agree as they almost exclusively use the two we suggest.
If you own a service based business you want to use WordPress.
And if you own an ecommerce business you want to use Shopify.
The reason is simple – they offer the best simplicity-to-power ratio.
You must understand that platforms like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace make it extremely easy to sign up and get a basic site up and running for a relatively low cost.
However, unless you own a business and want to remain small, as your business grows, the function, integration, and needs of your website will grow with it.
Platforms like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace simply won’t be able to keep up without making your life difficult.
On the other end of the spectrum, builders like Drupal and Magento, require high levels of technical know-how and understanding of HTML and CSS.
So, we won’t even begin to get into those.
Here are three big reasons that make WordPress the star choice for service-based businesses and Shopify the go-to platform for ecommerce brands:
- WordPress has over 50,000 plugins and Shopify has over 4,200 apps to extend the functionality of your site. Anything you can imagine you can implement.
- WordPress and Shopify sites rank higher in search engines like Google because they offer robust SEO tools that make optimizing your site a breeze.
- WordPress and Shopify are widely supported and integrate with almost everything.
Now, after you’ve picked your website builder, (which we hope is Shopify or WordPress) it is now time to design your website.
This brings us to our next step in the formula.
Step #2: Use A Research-Backed Design
One of our favorite mind-hacks of all time is to “let the data speak.”
As humans, we love putting our own bias and feelings into our website design but the truth is that we don’t know what will work until we try it.
Here are a few research-backed web design tips that are proven to work:
Use Images of People In your Design
A famous case study by Base Camp showed a 47% increase in conversions when they simply added faces and testimonials to their website design.
The key though is to use images in your website design that are representative of your target audience.
If your target audience is business owners, include real images of business owners. If your target audience is moms, include real images of moms.
People are more engaged when they see others like them in content and this makes them more inclined to trust you.
Avoid Rotating Sliders
You may have wanted to add 8 slides to your site because you had a lot of information and new releases you wanted to share and promote.
Does this sound familiar?
The reason we recommend to avoid rotating sliders is because your visitors will more than likely only see the first slider.
A study by Notre Dame University found that sliders receive a click-through rate of around 1-3% and about 60%-80% of the clicks come from the first slide.
The same has been found to be true in many other studies as well.
- Use one static image that highlights your most important headline and call-to-action or
- Remove slides from the slideshow and add all sliders to the page so they can be viewed when scrolling down the page.
Add Trust Signals
Trust signals are elements on your website that help customers feel more comfortable buying from you.
An analysis of a sample Amazon page found that 43% of an Amazon listing is made of trust signals such as reviews and unique selling points that focus on visitor goals or pain points.
Common trust signals you can use in your web design include:
1. Testimonials and reviews
2. Third-party badges and certifications
4. Customer or Client Logos
5. Publication logos
6. Real-time transaction information
Be sure to sprinkle a bit of each throughout your site to garner trust no matter what page or part of the site is landed on by your visitors.
Make Information Easy to Find
A survey by HubSpot surprisingly showed that the most important part of the website design formula is not a beautiful design, but easy-to-find information.
Think about it.
Visitors come to your website to solve a problem, so you have to make it easy for them to find what they are looking for.
Otherwise, they will quickly exit your site and not look back.
The more difficult you make finding information on your site, the less likely you will be able to get your website visitors to convert.
Here are a few quick tips to make information easier to find for your visitors:
- Write Descriptive Headlines
- Create Descriptive Menus
- Use contrasting colors to bring attention to call-to-action buttons
- Use Faces and Objects to Point To Important Information
Step #3: Track, Track, Track
The last step in the website design formula for small businesses is to track your website performance.
As mentioned before, the best mind-hack you can use to increase the success of your website is to “let the data speak” and make changes based on that data.
But in order to do that, you must have the data to begin with.
Essentially, tracking your website performance isn’t an option.
Knowing how well your website is doing will help you make better business decisions bout your digital marketing.
In addition, it will make you more knowledgeable about your target audience and how to serve them content.
On the flipside, if your website performance is doing poorly, you can identify that by using tracking tools and make any needed changes to boost its performance.
That said, here are the best tools you can use to track your website performance:
Google Analytics is a tool by Google that costs $0 but provides you with a boatload of information on how users interact with your website.
It’s very powerful and can be an extremely resourceful tool for small business owners.
Google Analytics allows you to:
- Understand what pages on your website are performing the best and worst
- Discover what products, sources, and pages convert the best on your website
- Gain insight into what devices are being used on your website
- Understand your website visitors better with reports on demographics, interests, and behavior
If you aren’t already using Google Analytics, now is a great time to start. Our Google Analytics setup is easy to follow and will help you give valuable insight into your business.
HotJar provides heat maps of your website so you can better understand how visitors are interacting with your website.
HotJar allows you to:
- See where people click on your site or how far they make it down a particular page before leaving.
- Record how people are using your site, so you can see which elements are engaging or distracting
- Uncover the pages on your site that cause visitors to leave
All of this can be useful information because it can help you know exactly how to reconfigure your web design for a better user experience.
LYFE Marketing Website Analysis
Our Website Analysis Tool provides a health-check of your website’s SEO so you know all the areas of improvement and it provides recommendations for improvement.
The LYFE Marketing Website Analysis tool checks the following areas of SEO:
- HTML headers
- Body content
- Website Usability
Oftentimes, many people forget it’s not all about the appearance of your website that may be causing your website to function poorly.
Sometimes the structure of your website or the coding may be off.
Luckily, with our website checker, we dive deeper into the core of your website to uncover the factors that you may not see that can potentially be harming your website performance.
Well, there you have it, our 3-step website design formula for small businesses to create and improve their website design.
We talked about a lot but before we wrap this up, we want to give you a quick recap of what we covered.
Website Design Formula: Quick Recap
Step 1 was to choose your website platform wisely.
We strongly recommend using WordPress web design for service-based businesses and Shopify for eCommerce sites and you might need some assistance from a Shopify designer.
Step 2 was to use a researched backed design which included:
- Using images of people in your design as it boosts conversion rates
- Avoiding rotating sliders as people rarely see past the first slider
- Adding trust signals such as reviews, statistics, and FAQs
- Making information easy to find by writing descriptive headlines, creating descriptive menus, using contrasting colors to bring attention to call-to-action buttons, and using faces and objects to point to important information
And last but not least, step 3 was to track your website performance by using Google Analytics, HotJar, and LYFE Marketing Website Analysis tool.
We hope after reading this information you have a clear path of what you can do to create the best website for your business.
Like we said before, as long as you adhere to these proven steps, your website will be optimized to receive better results from your target audience.
And we know that getting more conversions from your audience is a priority for any small business. Because that’s how your business will grow.
But if you want to learn more ways on how you can help your business grow via digital marketing, we’ve got the know-how to help!
There are many other areas you can invest in to make your business successfully online.
…all of these will help make your digital marketing efforts more effective and better establish your brand online.
And we offer all those services and more.
The time to invest in your digital marketing is now and the place to start is with LYFE Marketing! Just contact us or talk to an expert now at (404) 596-7925.