The key aspects of good website design are essentially the principles of simple elegance: fulfilling a lot of functions while looking beautiful and never losing focus! Think like a starlet on a yacht in Cannes, being photographed for the world to see, hoping to pick up a contract for a film.
Stand Out and Be Stared at
Our starlet needs to be noticed to pick up that next film contract, and so does your website. Whether the purpose of your site is to generate leads; make sales; promote a particular message, be it philosophical or political; teach a language; share your beautiful photos with the world or any of a hundred other reasons, you will need it to attract and retain attention.
SEO, site security and Digital Marketing are covered in dedicated articles in our blog. They deal with how to attract visitors to your site. Here, we look at how to retain attention: convert those visitors to readers and customers.
The 5 Habits of Highly Effective Websites
1. First Impressions Count – Less is More
The website equivalent of Coco Chanel’s little black dress is simple, uncluttered design, using as few different fonts as possible and a simple colour palette. There’s science behind this – a study led by Harvard University found that users judge the quality and trustworthiness of a website within a split second, basing 48% of their opinion on aesthetics alone!
2. The KISS Principle
Our starlet might blow a kiss to the paparazzi.
Let’s use a similar tactic with the language you use on your site.
Think of your own habits when you’re looking for information on the internet. Most people skim a number of sites, deciding very quickly which ones to investigate.
If your design is good (see above) you’re in with a chance. Don’t waste it by cramming the landing pages with long paragraphs, full of dense text. Readers see an ocean of words and decide, in the wise words of vintage comedian Harry Hill: “If it’s too hard, I can’t understand it!”
If you want the world to read your words of wisdom: Keep It Simple, Stupid!
Yes, vary sentence length. No, you don’t have to dumb it down. But present your information in short paragraphs, using white space to create a sense of easy elegance and consider your use of graphics.
3. Picture Perfect
De rigeur on the red carpet and the yacht. No less on your site.
Google likes graphics on a website and will promote your page if you have them.
Why? Google knows what Internet users like and we like pictures. They break up a page of text, making information easier to digest; they illustrate points, making information easier to understand and good graphics, whether infographics, photos, drawings or cartoons, are just nice to look at!
Use good original graphics and you might find them being shared across the Internet, leading to more exposure for your site.
4. Don’t Be Coy
Our starlet must be prepared to spell out what kind of films s/he is looking to star in.
We need to make our proposition clear: what is it we’re selling or promoting: what we want our site visitors to know and to remember. A good copywriter can help with making your message unmistakeable.
Your website designer can make sure that your call to action is clearly visible…
5. Talk to My Agent!
Once the savvy starlet has successfully attracted the attention of the film producer, s/he will always make the next step easy. No matter what point in the conversation, they have the name and number of their agent on the tip of their tongue. After all that hard work, they don’t want to let the contract slip away.
Your website must be easy to navigate and, importantly, whatever page your user is on, they should be able to sign up for your newsletter, contact you, or subscribe.
If you want them to take the next step, you need to make it easy.
Internet Creation Ltd. specialises in Web Design & Development, Graphics Design and Digital Marketing (SEO & PPC). For more information on how we can help your business, email firstname.lastname@example.org.