• Best Designed Websites

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Learn how simple design changes can improve your online results.

Web design has the power to transform your online results

The best designed websites know that our audiences have a very short attention span. Visitors to your website will form a first impression in literally a second and a half. That’s about as much time as it takes your home page to load. In that brief amount of time, they’ll make an unconscious decision about whether they want to invest any more time even reading through your web page.

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If your pages confuse your audience, don’t look professional, and don’t provide a clear path to the information that visitor is seeking, they will leave your site, most likely never to return. And no, they won’t call you. The few seconds they spent on your website has cemented in their minds an impression of your business. Regardless of what your brick and mortar store or office looks like. If you’ve lost them online, 9 chances out of 10, you won’t get the opportunity to make a better impression in person or on the phone.

Your website has to look professional. It can’t look like you tried to save money by having a high school intern design it. It has to describe what you do, convey you’re credible, trustworthy, and an expert in your field, plus it needs lead visitors in a direction to solve their problem or get more information. And, you’re website has to do all that in about 5 seconds, before your visitors lose patience and hit the back button.

But it’s not impossible to engage your audience online. It’s not out of the question to think that you can design a professional looking website without spending tens of thousands of dollars. You can. You just need to understand the rules of basic web design and website usability. With a few simple techniques, and a couple of tips and tricks, your website can be a lean, mean, selling machine.

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Basic Web Design Elements

Basics Elements

Features the best designed websites have

It’s important to remember that not everyone sees your homepage when they visit your website. You can’t control the first page that someone visits, so you need to have a few basic elements on every page of your website to help visitors get their bearings and quickly determine if they are in the right place.

  • Company Logo

    Your company logo should always be in the upper le@ hand corner of your web page and it should be a link back to your homepage.

  • Phone Number

    Your phone number should be in the upper right hand corner of your web page.

  • Call-to-action

    Have at least one call to ac1on telling your visitors what you want them to do. If your page is long, have mul1ple calls to ac1on as you move down the page.

  • Navigation

    Your website should have navigation in the header to the most important pages of your site. Best practices say no more than 6 or 7 links.

  • Footer

    Every website should have a footer. You should include navigation to the important pages of your website, particularly, any links to pages that didn’t fit in the header.

  • Social Media Icons

    Your should have links to your social media accounts on every page, either in the header or the footer.

Web Design Basics

Tried and true web design elements that need to be a part of every website

Using these basic web elements correctly can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your site and the percentage of visitors that will return. If you’re just starting out make sure all of these elements are in place. If you’re planning a website redesign project, identify what elements on this list you don’t have, and add them to the new design. If you’ve got an existing website but you really don’t have the 1me or budget for a complete redesign, then identify which of these elements you don’t have on your current site, prioritize them, and make changes one at a 1me un1l you’ve got all the web design basics covered.

Web Design Don'ts
  • Links should change color

  • Use dark text on light colors

  • Limit fonts and colors

  • Don’t forget white space

  • Legibility is imperative

  • Don’t ask for too many fields of information on forms

What is the Goal of Your Web Page?

The best designed websites have a purpose for every page

I’m on your website. Now, what do you want me to do? Where do you want me to go?

One of the biggest mistakes I see on websites is not having calls-to-ac1on that contribute to the goal of the page. Every page on your website should have a goal. Whether that goal is to get contact information from a potential lead, get a customer to buy something, get a visitor to sign up for your email newsletter, or lead someone in a direction to more information, every page needs to have a distinct and specific purpose.

If your page doesn’t have a purpose, then it shouldn’t be on your website. Objectively look at each page of your site from the visitor’s point of view and decide if the correct call-to-action exists and if they’re strong enough. Look at the images that you’ve used on the page. Do they support the call-to-action and the goal of the page? If they don’t, you need to think about another graphic.

Is Your Web Page Hitting the Mark?

The Importance of Lead Generation

How to capture visitor information before they leave forever

70% Will Never Come Back

Did you know that 70% of visitors who abandon your website will never return. The concept of capturing leads on your website can be used for any kind of business and is imperative to your company’s growth online and off. Designers of the best designed websites know this. If your website doesn’t have a shopping cart to actually sell product online, then it’s even more important to have well designed optin forms that can capture email addresses and contact information from potential leads who visit your website.

Most websites only capture 1 email address from every 200 website visitors. Those are pretty bad odds. Whether you’re a B2B, B2C, or nonprofit, it’s imperative that you build your continually build your email list so that you can send regular communications to customers and stay in touch with your audience.

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Social Media

But how about social media, you ask? Social media is a great way to keep in touch your audience, but you’re at the mercy of each individual social network as to how those interactions can take place. When Facebook tweaks the Edgerank algorithm it can have a major impact on the number of people that actually see your message. But when you own your prospect and customers’ email addresses, you’re in control of the communication process.

Trading Information for Emails

Capturing leads is basically trading something for an email address. You could offer a free download of an ebook, case study, white paper, video, or PDF that helps your audience do something or solve a problem. You can offer information through an email newsletter or webinar. There are many different options for lead capture.

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Lead Generation Forms

Use Lead Generation Forms

So now you understand how important it is to capture leads on your website. You’re ready to start collecting contact information. But how do you do that exactly? Don’t worry. Even if you don’t know html, you can easily and quickly put lead genera1on forms on your website with lead capture tools. Optinmonster is a tool add high converting, attractive lead generation forms to your website. Both have drag and drop builders that make it super easy and fast. You can have active forms on your site in less than 30 minutes.

The Best Designed Websites Win

Basic web design can improve online results

The web is a visual medium. The way your website looks is an important first step in getting visitors to stay on your site long enough to find out what it is that you do and how you can help them. Using the best practices outlined here, you can stack the odds in your favor of winning the battle of first impressions.

Remember to be a good source of information and give your audience what they’re looking for. If you’re not an e-commerce site, have a short lead genera1on form to capture your visitors’ information and follow up with them through email and off line. When they find that you’re the go to company in your niche market, they’ll come back again and again.

Download our free ebook, “Secrets of the Best Designed Websites,” for more detailed instructions on exactly how to improve various aspects of your web pages to boost your bottom line.

Small Business Best Designed Websites

Secrets of the Best Designed Websites eBook

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