The following five factors go into the design of all effective websites

1. Engage your audience

A website design that engages your audience means your customers will listen to you.

Keep it interesting

The content on your website should work hard to attract and engage your website visitors. Images and text need to be presented in an interesting way whilst staying within your brand’s tone of voice.

Keep it relevant

At the same time content has to be relevant to your audience. It should answer their needs in a way they can understand.

Call to action

Don’t forget a clear call to action. If you want people to do something on your website, like fill in a form, click a button, buy a product or give you a call, you need to make it clear to them how they can do so. And without being too pushy, you should also find subtle ways to encourage them to take action.

2. Effective websites have effective content

Effective content communicates the right message in a tone of voice appropriate for your brand.

Communicating the right message

Communicating the right message to your customers is critical to a successful website. You need to make sure your copy is up to date and tells them why they should choose you and not your competitors. Do you need to tell them about your superior expertise? Your exceptional delivery methods or returns policies? What’s the best way to tell people?

Be on brand

All of your content should be written in a tone of voice suitable for your brand. There’s a huge difference in tone between a fun brand targeted at kids and a serious brand targeted at business owners. Whatever your tone of voice, your content needs to adhere to it, wherever it appears on your website.

3. Search Engine Optimisation

Your website needs to be discoverable by people searching for it.

On site optimisation

On site optimisation refers to the optimisation of the website, such as images, written content, structure, speed and performance. There are a lot of individual factors that can be adjusted but thankfully there are plugins these days that do make the job much easier than it used to be.

Off site optimisation

Off site optimisation refers to everything you do outside of your website that can help people find it, such as social media, guest blogging on and linking to and from other people’s websites, online, broadcast and printed advertising, press releases and marketing campaigns. There’s an infinite amout of optimisation you can do off site. You need to decide which channels you’re going to focus on and create a realistic strategy that you will be able to stick to for a predetermined period of time.

It’s a lot of work and takes dedication, but remember, you can always contact an expert.

4. Mobile Optimised

Your website should work perfectly on a PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone.

More and more mobile

People are looking at websites more and more on mobile devices. In fact, the use of mobile devices to access the internet overtook PCs a couple of years ago. And the use of smartphones in this way is increasing all the time. Therefore it is essential that your website is optimised for all screen sizes, whether it’s a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Take the test

Google have even set up a website where you can enter your website address and test if it’s mobile friendly. Visit Google’s Mobile Friendly test page to find out if yours, or a competitor’s site stands up to the test.

effective websites

5. Play it safe and invest in an expert

In website design, you get what you pay for. Be safe, hire an expert.

Good design is more than the website build

Pretty much anyone can build a website these days. But to design a website well, in terms of layout, imagery, usability, search engine optimisation, tone of voice and branding, you need an expert.

For example, it’s no good having a website that functions perfectly but looks terrible. Think about it. If you’re searching for an online widget supplier, you do a google search and loads of results pop up. You click on the first result. They appear to sell widgets but there’s something odd looking about their website, it looks untidy somehow. It’s quite hard to find the exact widget I require.

You go back to your search results and click on the second supplier. This site looks neat, tidy and professionally designed. You find the widget you need easily in just a couple of clicks.

So, even though the first website was top of the search results, you go with the second option. Why? Because it’s easier yes. But more importantly, you trust them. They appear more credible.

A wise investment

By investing in an expert in both website design and branding, you’re making sure that prospective clients and customers will choose you over and above your competitors, because your website will be designed in a way that builds trust and credibility with them.

Conclusion

As time goes by, your website becomes more and more important as a brand asset, as a marketing tool and as a place for customers to check out what you do. Your website is an opportunity to communicate the reasons why a customer should choose your product or service over and above your competitors. So, make sure you invest in good design, contact an expert.