Thursday, February 14, 2013

Web Design that Sells

By Kris T. Larsson

If you are upgrading your website or starting out and creating a new site, be sure that the overall plan of your site is based on the best marketing and conversion strategies available today. There is a lot of data and testing that is being done and if you can make yourself aware of it, you'll be well served. Conversion marketing is a fast moving field supported by science. In other words, hard data backs up theory. Make sure the agency you are working with gives conversion marketing its due when planning your site.

Some people get hung up on the appearance of a site to the point where beauty becomes an end in itself. One should be slightly reluctant to work with a designer who has no business experience other than their own. It can be a lost opportunity to work with a team with little or no conversion marketing expertise. You need to ensure that your designer is not treating your website as an outlet for their creativity. Do your best to focus on the user experience and the business impact of your website.

You site needs to be your best salesperson... in the form of sales, leads, or sign ups. Your website is now the face of your company and people will judge you based on their interaction with and impression of your site. Research has proven that the likelihood that visitors will complete a transaction, ie. purchase your product or service, is strongly influenced by their interaction with your company's website.

Web Design Shorthand

Think about color contrast when you are contemplating your site. And don't forget to consider how those colors will look across different devices. Stay away from dark backgrounds unless there is a very good reason to do so. Dark backgrounds don't show well on certain devices, especially on smartphones. Take the time to see how your site shows on different screen resolutions and on tablets and smartphones.

Don't jam everything into your site. People do tend to go overboard and try to put everything relevant to their business on their website. People look quickly and their attention span is small. One needs to simplify. If at all possible, aim for one clear goal for every page. Don't just give love to your homepage. A purpose and a call to action should define each page you have.

Page speed is vital. Test your site and make sure it loads within three seconds. Just search google for the term "test your website speed" and you'll find a number of free services where you can simply add the url of your site and click a button to get the results.

Video is king. It really is essential to have some form of video at your site. It's not a nice add on or a luxury anymore. It's expected. Viewers are more engaged with video. They stay longer at your site. And they buy more from you when you have video. It's become a relatively minor expense nowadays. And the production quality does not need to be tv level. Just make sure that basic quality guidelines are met. Don't have a camera with shaky movement and or poor sound quality.

Social proof, like testimonials, are vital. Especially if you are not a well recognized brand. Video is a great medium for testimonials. It is more believable and more personal. And don't just be self promoting when getting testimonials. There's a good way to get a story from a happy client.

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