Firstly, it's important to understand that the success of any website is measured by the results that it achieves. What do we mean by website results?
When website visitors complete the actions we want them to take – e.g. purchases, enquiries, bookings – this leads to more business and more customers.
So how do we get more visitors to take action on our website?
There are five factors to work on...
1. Find visitors who are motivated - this will happen if the promotion is relevant, i.e., it's attracting the right kind of people to our website
2. Convey the value proposition - the website needs to communicate this aspect quickly and clearly
3. Reduce friction - make it easy for the visitor to navigate around the website and complete the website goals smoothly (for example, long or unnecessary forms can lose visitors).
4. Relieve anxiety - get the visitors to trust you so they are willing to do business with you
5. Create incentive - offer something to prompt action (putting a time frame on it can also create urgency)
But, the one thing that most websites ignore and the one thing that can make the most difference (from our experience) is a value proposition conveyed clearly and concisely!
What do we mean by value proposition?
When anyone visits a website, they have two questions in their mind....
1. What? What is this about? What can I do, buy or get here?
2. Why? Why should I be interested? Why should I continue?
Studies show that if your website can't answer these two questions in three seconds, visitors are less likely to take action. Therefore, in the first three seconds, the top part of the page needs to tell the visitor why they should stay here to look for the solution, rather than look somewhere else.
The order is important. Not only does the page need to answer these two questions, but it's important that the questions are answered in the correct order.
Our tendency is to rush into 'why' before we have answered 'what'. For example, it's no use describing the unique flavour if I don't even know that you sell ice cream.
Otherwise you create confusion and confusion creates mental resistance.
How does design fit in?
The visitor must be interested, understand and believe the message and design is the art of presenting that message.
Great website design will communicate the message; clearly, concisely, quickly, using an eye path. Design controls what the visitor sees first, second, third and fourth using visual hierarchy using the dimensions of: size, colour, shape, motion, depth, and position.
Always remember to measure, review and improve for continual progress and improvement on your website results.
It is easy to design a good looking website. A good web designer will create a website design that is unique, reflects the brand and builds instant trust with the visitor.
It is hard to design a website that generates results. It takes an expert designer to create a website that presents the right information, in the right way so it achieves your business goals.