As a web design agency ourselves even we’ll admit, these days it’s easy enough to “build” yourself a website. But, whilst populating a predefined platform template with some text and images is fairly straightforward, crafting a website that works is not so simple.
It takes skill and expertise – not just in website design but in utilising digital marketing to grow your traffic. Your website should deliver to your bottom line. If it’s not, it’s not working. If it isn’t benefitting your business, it’s become an unnecessary overhead.
If your website isn’t structured to allow for the above tactics to be administered well it’s unlikely you’ll see success.
That’s Where a Web Design Agency Can Give Your Website The Edge…
Quality web design agencies know how to make a website work. A word of warning though. Not all agencies are the same.
You need to make sure you’re not just being sold on style over substance.
As Neil Patel puts it:
“ditch the notion that your website has to be elegant. Beautiful websites that don’t function well have high bounce rates. And, they don’t convert well.”
This is something we often come across in the clients we work with at our West Midlands web design agency. They tend to fall into one of two camps:
- Those without websites – you’d be surprised just how many businesses still don’t have one. It’s not that uncommon. In fact, a study by Clutch.co found that 29% of small businesses in the UK still don’t have a website.
- Those with.
Erm, why would a business who already has a website come to us?
Precisely because of the above – they’ve been sold on style over substance. Their website is sleek. It’s bells and whistles. Sweeping hi-res imagery and flashy effects. But, despite waiting months there’s been no positive impact to their business levels.
It’s more aesthetics than actuals. A bit like a Ferrari with no engine. And that’s no fun, no matter how good it looks.
We’re not saying functional websites can’t also be beautiful…
Let us be clear. There is certainly a time and place for aesthetically lead website design. We’re not intending to be dismissive of the craft. But for it to perform as a business tool, it needs to work in conjunction with digital marketing knowhow.
The Importance of Web Design That Works
Good website design helps to create the conditions for an overall positive user experience (or, in digital marketing short speak: UX). And with positive user experience comes a win for your company.
It’s increasingly the case that Google values user experience signals to help it decide where to place a website in its rankings. This means UX is now pivotal to your website’s organic SEO success.
The purpose of your website is to be the shop window that attracts prospects in. The layout and information contained therein should guide those prospects through, eventually turning them into customers.
Did you know?
- Half of visitors leave a website without going past the homepage
- Only 20% scroll down below the fold – leaving a whopping 80% who don’t
- Just a 1% reduction in website speed can result in a 7% drop in conversion
- BUT, a 10% improvement in conversion can equal a staggering 800% improvement in sales!
In the same way supermarkets carefully consider their store layout to encourage a customer journey which results in a sale of goods, your website design layout should be carefully considered to achieve your own conversion goal.
The purpose of your website is to convert. Whatever that conversion goal may be. It could be a direct sale on an ecommerce site. It may be to generate a call. Or to get someone to sign up to your newsletter.
As the conversion guru’s at Unbounce say:
“you need to guide your visitors toward a single call to action with a combination of persuasive design and psychological triggers”.
A digital agency who understands quality web design will build you a website that delivers on these points.
Here are the top 5 ways we give websites the edge at our web design agency Birmingham (and you can too)
Our formula has generated success for so many of our web design agency clients – here are our top 5 ways to give your website the edge:
1. Site speed
A zippy site is always going to be more pleasant to use than a laggy one. Ever heard someone marvel at how much they love a slow loading page. No, us neither.
2. Spell. It. Out.
Make sure your visitor knows what you stand for you in the first 8 seconds. Does your website reflect your business? Most don’t.
Spell out your key benefits. Make it simple. What is your value proposition? Your key product? What’s different about you and how you do it? Why should the visitor use you? Claim the expert space.
Don’t make your prospects and customers have to search. They didn’t expect to to come to your website and have to do PHD level research to find out about you.
Don’t make them.
3. Strong CTA’s
Like vodka, call-to-actions should be two things: clear and strong. They are there to guide your user along the next step towards your conversion goal.
Unlike vodka, they should lead you clearly there.
Think about the copy. The purpose of a CTA is very specific – they should get your user clicking and (surprisingly) completing a conversion.
Make them action oriented. Again, don’t make things difficult. Keep it clear and concise.
They should stand out. Contrasting colours work best.
Blended colour schemes and minimal design are handsome, but there’s no point in having a CTA button if no one can see it clearly enough to click on it.
For more info, Wordstream’s 17 best practices for CTA buttons goes into great depth and is definitely worth a read.
4. Video & Images
It’s not enough to have enticing copy. You have to have visual content media on your website. People expect it. And where once images were sufficient, nowadays video is the medium of choice.
When you know that images have the power to increase engagement by 94%, you appreciate the importance of including high quality visuals on your website.
Think about the amount of message you can convey in just a 1 min video. It’s a great complement to the copy on your website and if your web design agency isn’t encouraging you get involved with getting video on your site, you need to find a new one.
Visual content helps you to tell your story in an engaging way, which can really help to drive actions and conversions.
Some argue using stock images reduces conversions by damaging your credibility. If you can get high quality photos commissioned, then do so.
Ultimately, your website is there to represent your brand product or service.
So, whilst stock images might be fine occasionally (mostly on your blog), commissioned or personalised photos and videos are preferable.
Nowadays, people expect to be able to be closer to brands. In large part, social media has driven this desire.
So, where appropriate, and with their permission, use images and videos of your own team members. If that’s not relevant for your main website pages, consider having team photos on your about us page.
Social media is great way to circulate team photos too.
And, if your business type is one that garners lots of user generated images, don’t be afraid to ask your fan base if you can use them to populate your main website or on your social media profiles.
Where possible, use high quality images that are unique to your business and represent you.
But…make sure the image and video files on your website aren’t so big they slow it down. See point 1.
5. Punchy copy & use of headlines
Make the information presented on your website as easily digestible as possible. People’s attention spans are waning. Distractions are everywhere.
It’s said that on average humans now have a lesser attention span than goldfish (8 seconds compared to 9 for our piscine friends, in case you were wondering). That’s a win for the goldfish then.
Help your reader; keep your message tight with clear, punchy copy, and use headlines to break it up and highlight key points.
The easier your website is to read, the more likely your visitor is to read the information contained within.
BONUS TIP: Be social
Modern consumers like to be able to connect with the companies they interact with. Don’t be fooled into thinking this doesn’t apply if you’re a B2B. It does.
More and more B2B companies are finding social media an effective way to connect with their prospects and customer base and are using social engagement to build their brand.
Making sure your social channel icons are highly visible on your website is a great way to ensure people can find and connect with you on these platforms.
Equally, make sure your contact details are easy to find. They are reassuring and create trust for your visitor.
If someone wants to get in touch with you, don’t cut off communication lines before they’ve even had a chance to flourish.
Now you know our web design agency top 5 points to consider, why not do a quick check of your own site. Is your website delivering on these key points?
And, if you still think having a website with effective website design doesn’t matter, this customer testimonial might just change your mind:
“I wouldn’t still be in business if it wasn’t for the website Aim Internet built.”
If you enjoyed reading our web design agency tips you might also like 7 Things That Make For Awesome Mobile Site Design.
You can also read our previous blog: Benefits of Using a Digital Agency.