Effective Website Design
Is it time for a new website? You are at the right place with Squarespace.
I have used many of the traditional methods of older programs creating custom websites over the past twenty years. I would move from one program to the next newest and greatest. Another designer shared Squarespace with me and I have never looked back. Please contact me if you are interested in a new look for your business.
Read below the top six items that are found in the top functioning sites.
Rule 1 . Clean Professional Brand Driven Design
Visitors arriving at your site immediately form a decision in less than a second whether to stay on your site or go back to their original search. You have literally only two seconds to present an inviting reason for them to stay and look around.
Your website should be clean and professional. Your brand or company image should be designed to represent you and what you specifically offer.
Your website navigation should be easy on the eye and straightforward for visitors to find the information they are seeking with a fast glance and one easy click. What your business does should be easily discernible within a few seconds after their arrival on your website.
Rule 2 . Specifically Written Content for Your Target Audience
The design of your website is the first invitation in; the second most critical element is the content of your website. This content needs to speak directly to your target audience. Your copy should be professionally written carefully in an easy conversational tone. It should share a sense of your "personality." Dry copy results in viewers returning to search other sites, and you lose possible customers and clients.
- Video Files
- Customer Testimonials
- Contact Information
- Buy Now/Shopping Cart
- Who are you
- What do you do
- Product information
- Photo Galleries
- Portfolio of Work
- Awards and Recognition
Rule 3 . Sharable Content and Easy To Subscribe To
One thing that makes people happy is to SHARE THE WEALTH. The easier it is for someone to share what they find on your website, the better it is for you. Having things for them to subscribe to for additional content, the more likely it is they will continue to share with others everything they receive from you. This is creating a target market that your visitors will share with others expanding your reach through them. What is even better, they will share your content with people similar to themselves sharing demographics, needs and desires through online media. It is vital to add FaceBook "LIKE" buttons or "Share This", along with RSS feeds for your blog email subscriptions and your newsletters. You will need an Instagram account as well.
Being careful NOT to clutter their mailbox, you probably want to set up a weekly feed for blog entries and a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter. With Squarespace and a good email program like GET RESPONSE, you can be on your way building your business quickly. All through this carefully designed professional website on Squarespace... easy to maintain.
Rule 4 . Educate Your Visitors, Don't Try to Sell.
I can hear most people now say... WHAT?? But it is true. The About Us page is the most visited page, or if you are an artist, the About me page or your biography page. The second most important would be News and Events or your daily blog sharing your work and your day. Your audience has arrived at your site with a need or a desire. They are not there to be 'sold' something. They want to see who you are and what you are about and how your 'products' will enhance their lives at home or a work. Do you provide a solution or answer a need for them?
Your custom website must be individualized to provide those answers. Proven effective educational materials would include the following:
- Videos or Vodcats with how to info, interviews or shows of your work.
- EBooks, which for an artist would include a 'Look Book' of your work hanging in homes and offices
- Podcasts of interviews or a weekly broadcast
- Blog Posts filled with your work as well as your experiences. You audience needs to identify with you.
- Newsletters suggested monthly to share your current shows, paintings, plans etc.
Rule 5 . Call to Action is now your Best Friend
You learn at an early age to "take action'. So, built into each page on your website should be spots where your visitor has to 'take an action'. Make it easy to Contact You or to Sign up for your monthly newsletter or your Monday Morning RSS feed for your blog. In your store area keep your products clean neat and easy to see and buy. One click buying is better than "Contact me for details".
As your visitor navigates your sight they become educated and realize your product and your brand is a good fit for them. They feel at home and comfortable with you. The best position for a call to action is near the top of the page, or at the end of text on a page. The top right corner of the page is a 'sweet spot' that is easy for the viewer to take action with their mouse. The more prominent the call to action button, the more likely a visitor is to click on it.
Rule 6 . Take Advantage of SEO on Every Website Page and be Mobile Friendly
How do you think your audience found your website? Most of the time if they do not know of you, they have entered an internet search for what they need. Customers use 'search engines' to conduct that search to find the product or services they need. For the search engine to "find you", you must have each page of your website optimized and set up where it is easy for the search engines to capture your information and list you high on the page that is provided for your customer's search.
On each page, the following elements should be present:
- Page Titles with your Top Keywords
- Keyword Rich Content
- Strong Keyword Rich Headlines
- Heading tags in your HTML to let Search Engines know what is important on each page.
- Keyword Rich Alt Tags on images
- Keyword Rich URLS for Text Links
- Clean CSS/HTML code which enables Search Engines to separate the design from the content.
- A compatible transfer from Internet to Mobile devices: Phones and Tablets.
You must define your keywords and the ranking of those words and how they pertain to your product. The emphasis on this is to 'capture' the attention of visitors quickly. The design of your website is critical for all devices. Squarespace sites provide all of the needed things to allow you to maximize the effectiveness of your Squarespace website and promote your brand.