Four Simple Rules To Make A Truly Effective Website

Four Simple Rules To Make A Truly Effective Website

When pursuing research as to what makes a website great, you will find that most website design companies will all claim that they alone can make the best and most effective sites. While this is to be expected, they are trying to win your business after all, is it really true that only a handful web design companies have the magic ingredients needed to make a perfect site? More often than not, these companies will claim something along the lines of “the best website design firm is one who possesses an innate ability to merge the internet and art into one valuable entity.” While it is true that good artists do often make for good designers, the fact of the matter is, the components of successful websites are indeed identifiable as well as quantifiable. Remember: your website is a tool for your business. In order for it to bring value to that said business, it must possess tried and true characteristics that will statistically bring more success and profits. While the idea that art and art alone will be successful for its beauty, you must rely on facts when running your business.

In this article we have distilled the four main attributes that contribute to a website’s overall success on the internet and for business websites such as yours. Drawing from the vast experience of developing hundreds of websites from the ground up, we have enumerated these characteristics for you below. We are confident that, should a website reflect all four of these traits in its design and development, it will undoubtedly bring you tangible results that will benefit your business for years to come.

One: Beautiful Design

Your website must be unquestionably beautiful. Period. First impressions are the same whether you’re looking at a person or a website. Within the first 2-3 seconds, we have already formed our initial perceptions of the quality and backstory of the person or business that we are viewing. While we can change these opinions through further interactions, it will be much easier if these first impressions are favorable from the start. We want the initial perception to be an aid in the conversion process, not an obstacle. If your site is ugly or looks like it may be spam, nine times out of ten, visitors will immediately close it and move on. Not only have you lost and opportunity to gain a new client, but you also look bad in the eyes of Google, who will take note of the bounce rate of your site and move you further from the top.

A Few Of The Best Web Design Tips For Making Your Site Look Beautiful

The internet of today is highly advanced and ever-adapting, so you must be sure to take full of all of the opportunities it affords. For instance, the high-speed capabilities of today mean that you should not hesitate to add large, high-quality images to your site. People will be more likely to linger and browse through your business website if it allows them to be captivated by the brilliant images of your work, services, or goods. However, we must stress that these images should be unique wherever possible. Google, and possibly your visitors as well, can tell the difference.

Following in suit of the theme of human laziness, videos are doubly advantageous when discussing the beauty and subsequent success of your website. Videos are able to tell the same story that text can, but can do so in a more engaging and stimulating way. Visitors will be able to understand what you want them to understand, and do so in the manner that you wish. With video, you can control the feelings with which the information is digested. This will enhance the overall theme of your site and branding of your business online.

Pay attention to details. Visitors love the tiny features of the design that you and your developers put the extra time into. They love the way an image slowly zooms in closer as they hover their mouse over it. They love the way certain buttons snap or pop as they are clicked. Responsive web design will give you even more credit. Attention to detail in design is a reflection of a company’s attention to detail in the way they conduct their business. The little things make you memorable. If a visitor leaves your site thinking nothing of anything they just experienced, they likely experienced nothing at all and your design was flawed from the very start. Break of out of the chain of monotony and stand out to your visitors.

Two: User-Friendly Interface

So let’s say that you have successfully developed a website that does in fact contain the essence of beauty in all of its various forms. Now that your visitors are convinced of the quality of your site, and thus your business, it is time for you to prove it through action. Well, their actions. After their initial perception of website is taken in and decided upon, they will begin to navigate the site for the purposes which they entered it in the first place. In other words, they will begin to use the interface of your website.

We have all had the unfortunate experience of visiting a website in hopes of finding the highly sought-after information we had hoped it would contain, only to realize that the page was horribly organized and the information was nowhere to be found. The next thing we immediately did was exit the site to never return. The owner of that site, thanks to poor user-experience, lost a potential customer in a matter of seconds. What a shame. It is incredibly important that a site’s layout and interface be logical in their composition so that users can immediately, almost instinctively, find the information they are looking for. And we aren’t just talking about things like phone numbers, addresses, or points on a map, but also things like descriptions of services offered, prices of goods, frequently asked questions etc. If users cannot find this information, the site will be closed no matter how beautiful it first seemed.

A Few Simple Tips To Enhance The User Experience Of Your Website

Regardless of whether you’re in Philadelphia or San Francisco, the usability of a website is going to make or break the success of your site. From professional ecommerce sites to a custom page for a law firm, users must be able to navigate the site with ease and speed to find what they are looking for. You want them to do so almost without having to think.

One tip we recommend is to take a friend of yours and sit them in front of a computer, tablet, and phone. Have them open your website on each and give them a simple task, such as finding the cost of a particular item that your business offers or to find out if your company operates after 4pm on Sundays. Then take a step back and watch. If you do this simple experiment with three to four of your friends alone, you will be able to independently identify your site’s greatest weaknesses. Of course, if your site isn’t responsive, then don’t even bother with the phone or tablet versions because there will be no user experience whatsoever. Your site absolutely must  be responsive to be successful on the internet and reach the top of Google’s search result listings.

Split a / b testing is also another good way to help you choose between two of your best interfaces. This is especially helpful for smaller sites where seemingly miniscule percentile increases in traffic can bring in impressive amounts of money. Capitalize on your gains wherever possible. Most importantly, keep everything as simple as possible. PEOPLE ARE LAZY. No one wants to fill in dozens of forms just to view your site or order a product for your company. The simpler it is for customers to do anything on your site, the better it is for you and your business.

Three: Content

Let’s take a look at where we’ve gotten so far. Users have opened your site and decided that, thanks to its impressive and well-themed design, the site and business are credible sources for the information they desire. Upon delving further into what the site has to offer, they were able to navigate the site easily in order to find this information. Now the next important step is to give them that information. The content of your website is no less important than how the site looks or how they found it. Many people are led to believe that content is simply the text that appears on the page. In reality it is much more than that. Content also includes photos, tables, galleries, videos, audio clips etc. It is anything on the website that is able to offer users information valuable to their search and needs.

It is all too common that our clients come to us saying something along the lines of “I don’t need any help with the content of my site. I wrote a beautiful summary of all of the information my customers could possibly want.” Red flags immediately begin to flare up. You could hire Shakespeare as your copywriter and still have no success if your website looks like an encyclopedia rather than a place to find useful information with ease. The content should be focused around relevance and quality, not overloading the customer with information they might  need.

We would also like to address a common trend in modern web development. Some developers believe it is no longer necessary to post prices their professional websites. We at Direct Line Development disagree. We are the only professional web design company in Philadelphia that places pricing directly on our site. We believe in honesty from the very beginning. Honest content reflects an honest business. Of course, we’d be remiss to not mention how much Google loves unique and quality content!

A Few Simple Tips For Writing The Best Content For Your Company Website

Keep your site active by constantly adding and updating its content. Set a goal for yourself to add something new to your website at least twice a week. As we mentioned before, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a lot of content, it just must be of relevance to the firm or business. Our advice is to add a blog section to your site and begin there. Not only is it an easy way for your to inconspicuously add content to the site, but it is a versatile outlet for you to educate your customers and potential customers on a variety of topics that pertain to your company or ecommerce business. Another piece of advice we’d like to offer is to watch what your competition is doing! Once you are aware of what they’re up to, do it ten times better… Lastly, don’t limit yourself to text. Add and update pictures, videos, and tables wherever possible.

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This is the last point and arguably the most important. You now have a beautiful website, whose relevant content is easily accessible thanks to your excellent attention to user-experience. Now you need people to see it. For a website to be the best it can be, it needs to attract relevant, targeted traffic that is full of potential and interested buyers. It is ideal that these people are from the same region in which you operate. If you are a shop in Philadelphia but are getting visitors from Montana, it does you no good.

We often hear web development companies brag about how they can bring thousands upon thousands of visitors to a site every month, but not a single buyer will come from these inflated numbers. Your target audience must targeted based on factors that make them likely to buy your product, not just people that you can dupe into entering your website.

How To Increase Traffic To Your Site

We recommend that you begin immediately developing your websites in accordance to the standards that Google prefers. Along with this, you should have your developers take into account at least the most basic principles of SEO when they begin their work. This is usually able to be done at an affordable cost. To achieve the best results from SEO, you will need to work diligently at it for several years! While this may seem daunting, the rewards you will reap will follow you for years to come.

Not only can you increase results from SEO, but social media networking can also be an affordable method of driving traffic to your website, so always be sure to maintain an active presence on those sites whenever you deem it relevant. Post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, even answer questions on Quora! All of these methods will help you drive traffic. Don’t forget to leave links to your site. If you are versed in online marketing, you have probably noticed that we have not mentioned anything about pay-per-click as a method for traffic influx. At the moment, we believe that PPC is too expensive for the average business owner and is only applicable in certain markets.

Conclusions

While each of the above-mentioned points are incredibly important individually, it is the sum of their effects that will give you the results that make your website truly effective. These tactics, when compounded together, bring about the benefits that business owners dream of when they think of their ideal website. We at Direct Line Development make websites that fit all of these criteria, so we can safely say that we are adept at creating effective websites for our clients. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below and a representative will get back to you as soon as possible!

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