Every business owning or marketing professional that desires an increase in visitors, clients, memberships, sales, or subscriptions via their website needs to evaluate it’s design and make any necessary changes or upgrades, as soon as possible. An effective website design will increase traffic, which will increase business. For non-profit websites, an effective design will improve popularity and add credibility. Of course, quality site content, quality products, and quality service are essential and core to your business’ success.
When evaluating your website design, there are a number of things to consider. Answering the following questions will provide valuable information regarding the effectiveness of your website. The answers will reveal any weak, improper, or flawed characteristics of the design. Applying this technique will help identify which areas of the website design need improvement.
- What is the first thing to catch your visitor’s attention?
- Is the intent or purpose of the website obvious?
- Is the website design inviting?
- Is the site user friendly?
- Does the website design include a call to action?
1. What is the first thing to catch your visitor’s attention?
When the webpage appears where is the visiting eye going to focus first? Web browsers have short attention spans, unless something sparks enough curiosity. The visitor needs to see something appealing, right away, that will encourage a longer visit. This could be considered “bait” to “hook” the visitor.
2. Is the intent or purpose of the website obvious?
A visitor does not want to guess what a site has to offer. It is best to limit distractions and keep the design clear and concise. Often, people use the Internet as a convenient, time saving resource. Distractions and confusion cause delays and discourage visitors. If they are uncertain, they will probably move on and look elsewhere.
3. Is the website design inviting?
Or, do all the flashing lights, bright colors, and weird fonts induce headaches? Aesthetics are important. The page should “feel” comfortable and welcoming. It should not be intimidating, in any manner, to the visitor. Choosing the complimentary colors for backgrounds, text, and highlights will enhance the visitor’s experience. Use quality images and data. Implementing multiple forms of media is a great way to add some pizazz and capture a visitor’s interest.
4. Is the site user friendly?
An easy to follow layout and easy to read font are basic necessities in any website design. The site design should include appropriate content organization. The menu should coordinate with the site content. Menu options should be easy to use and understand. Visitors want to be able to find information or products quickly and easily. The content should be relevant to the product or service offered. All information should be accurate and up to date. All functions must be functional. All sources of frustration should be eliminated.
5. Does the website design include a call to action?
There must be at least one call to action prompting the consumer to act. “Click to learn more…,” “to receive a free 2 week supply…,” “join today…,” and “order now…” are some examples of calling for action. Most webmasters prefer to give prospects ample opportunity to “act” by employing more than one call to action. However, be careful not to go overboard with too many calls to action. Asking the visitor to fill out a web form, visitor log in, or survey is a lead generating call to action.
Computer technology and the worldwide web have changed the way the people around the world interact and conduct business. Today, more and more consumers are giving online shopping a try. A lot of people bank and pay bills online. Students attend college via the web. Many consumers use Internet services and businesses for work purposes. Lots of individuals are leaving the traditional work force to become independent Internet entrepreneurs. Almost every successful, traditional, brick and mortar business has a website, now. Internet socialization and online dating are becoming more prominent, too. There are new websites popping up everyday.
Before launching or revising your website, it is a good idea to evaluate the effectiveness of a website’s design. In fact, it is a good idea to do periodic reevaluations, also. An ineffective or low grade website design will negatively impact the site. Many webmasters opt for the do it yourself approach, while others ask a friend or associate to help out with the evaluation. A friend or neighbor might be preferable for obtaining an unbiased opinion. The information obtained from a website design evaluation can be used to create another Internet success story. There are quite a few reputable, professionals available to perform website design effectiveness evaluations, as well.
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