Four Keys To An Effective Website Design

Inbound Marketing Websites Let You Know If They're Working at Attracting Better Clients

Designing A Squarespace Website

Congratulations! You've picked a URL and a domain name for your website, armed with the knowledge that your website is as essential to growing your business as you are. So you're done, right? Well, no, not quite. An effective website design is one that finds its first sale in lead generation and continues to grow and change with the shifts in your business priorities. It’s what you do with your websites that will set you apart from the competition. Here are the four core elements of an effective website design. 

Navigation Lets Visitors Easily Know Where They Are

While it’s fair to say that behind the curtain, you are more than what your website has to offer, your clients will never understand that. To this extent, their first impression of your website is their first impression of your product, and it could be the only one if they can’t find what they’re looking for. One of the most important components of an effective website is effortless navigation. Most user-friendly websites have a navigation bar in an upper corner, whether left or right, followed by a series of clearly marked hyperlinks in the footer. Both the navigation bar above the header and the navigation footer should contain a link back to the Home Page, ‘Contact Us,’ and an unordered list of your products and services. 

Writing Website Content 

The average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words. The higher up you go on the search listings page, the more content each web page has.
— QuickSprout

No matter how aggressively you intend to market your product in the content of your website, an efficient design demands that such content is free of grammar and punctuation errors. Many website owners enlist the services of professional ghostwriters to ensure that the content displayed is appealing, toned appropriately and free of error. Whether you write the content or have someone else do it for you, ensure that the tone of the content is compatible with what you are promoting, and edit it for spelling, grammar, punctuation and validity before you post it on your website.

A Website Page Requires a Call-To-Action

The average user spends less than five seconds navigating an unappealing website, and the number one offender, among other deterrents like color, over-excitement and bold text, is fluff. If users cannot find what they need on your website, or, at least, something that will take them there within a few seconds, you will have lost a sale, a customer, and a permanent lead. 

Calls-to-Action should be located in the upper half of the webpage, (above the fold) urging visitors to sign up for mailing lists or receive your blog. Email marketing is the most effective way of nurturing a lead.  Website's with an easily found call-to-action on each blog article as well as the homepage will help you grow your email list. Have your CTA link to a landing page where a guide or brochure can be downloaded in exchange for your visitor's contact information. 

Visibility in Search Engines 

SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.
— Search Engine Journal

Free search engines run on keyword density, which means that in a Google search, your website is a needle in a haystack. Your aim is to separate your website from those who use similar keywords to drive business to their websites. Your primary initiative is to fight fire with fire. Use long tail keywords in your titles and sub-headers, and your secondary keywords in the content. The higher your keyword density, the more competition you will experience. Too little keyword density gives another website visibility over yours. Generally, .5% to 1.5% keyword density is appropriate. The overuse of keywords or keyword stuffing could have detrimental effects on your search engine rank and get your website blocked by Google. Use hyperlinked text that will encourage prospects to read your blog articles and a landing page where you offer a guide or something of value to your target audience. Landing pages should have your company name at the top, a form that requires an exchange of information such as an email address and name. Don't forget to list reasons they should fill out the form by letting them know exactly what they will get from you.

A great website is much more than an online portfolio and brochure. With clients interacting with your brand more than thirty times on average before they make contact, it's imperative that you give them reasons to return to your website, and then you begin marketing to them in a proactive way using automated marketing and RSS feeds to distribute blog articles. Without these website best practices, you'll never truly engage with your audience, and they may just engage the services of a competing firm that takes greater interest in the needs of their clients.