Your website is an extension of your company or brand, and for a lot of people it will be their first point of contact for anything related to your business. So it is critical that it be professional, personal, and mostly importantly, conversional (that is a word; I looked it up). You never get a second chance to make a first impression, but always remember that a websites function first and foremost is to be a business asset, so proper website design is key.
There are many factors that influence how a site looks – the personal tastes of the owner, clean layout elements, conversion factors, and a professional design. They all have their place, but some are more important than others, so we will go over how we rank the importance of each factor.
But first, know that we develop all websites on WordPress, a popular content management system (CMS). Some people like it, some people don’t. We use it for a few factors:
1. Ease of Maintenance. After the site has been set up and configured, the client is encouraged to blog as consumers want to hear the voice of the business. WordPress allows you to do that without having to deal with code.
2. Performance. We use some plugins that vastly improve the performance of our marketing efforts, and these are only available on this platform.
Don’t worry; we can make the site look like anything, but you should know what we start with.
Ok, getting back to web design elements, here is how we rank them:
1. Professionalism. This is what creates the overall impression when someone first views the site, and there is a level it must meet. Before anything else registers – the logo, the content, or navigation – people form an impression about the business itself. Compelling content or a great reputation may make visitors stay regardless, but it has been proven time and again that nothing inspires confidence and gets the phone ringing like a professional looking site.
2. Conversion Factors. This follows in the footsteps of good old fashioned direct marketing – because that’s what a website is – a form of direct marketing. There are certain elements that have to be present in certain areas, the most important area being “above the fold” (if that term is new to you, please look it up). Is you contact info clear? Very clear? Is there a clear call to action directing people? Visitors should be guided toward the action you want them to take; many will if you plainly show them what to do.
3. Personal Style. I don’t know about you, but I always check about us pages to see what is on there. Is there a real person running this show? Or some general corporatese blurb? As the late, great Gary Halbert said, “People [on the internet] are looking for content and contact.” They want to know real people on the other side, so it is important to have a personal flair on you site, especially in the communication. Now, there is a caveat here. Some people are a bit too particular about what goes where, and occasionally it impedes one of the other factors. If that’s the case, we will let you know, as a site should be an asset first and a personal expression project second. See the video below for a visual overview.
4. Clean layout. This is essentially the use of white space – making sure the important parts are easy to find and that people can find their way around and how to contact you. But it also encompasses things like contrast, colour usage and font consistency too. An overall neat and unified design.
If you’d like us to to design a website that is both beautiful and functional, please call us at (705)315-0305