Friday, July 29, 2011

The Science of Web Design

Creating a client attracting website is essential for any small business to succeed in today's market. There is a science behind websites that helps you not only attract traffic, but more importantly, convert people to buy your product or sign-up for your offering, all based on how your website looks and feels. It should be simple, display the most relevant information above the fold, and have a call to action for your visitors.

Many people over-design their site, adding as many bells and whistles that they can fit onto their home page. Unfortunately, this usually encompasses many graphics, particularly in the header area - your site's prime real estate. Business websites are more effective when you keep it simple to ensure that the most prominent items are the focus for your customers. For example, in your header - do not waste the space with "fluff." Be sure that you business name, the services you provide, and who you provide the services to, is clearly identified. This will be your first opportunity to grab their attention, but it must be clean so they can quickly identify with it and decide if you are the right business for their needs. However, it is important that while all of those items need to be present, simply placing text in the header will not be enough for most audiences. This is a good opportunity for you and your web-designer to incorporate text and your company logo, into a simple and clean design while maintaining the necessary content for your target market.

Understanding where a natural web page breaks, is critical for designing your website. While we all know how to scroll through pages and will take the time to do so when searching or reading, you must first grab your client's attention. To do so, be sure that below your banner you have incorporated your most important content above the fold. The "fold" is where the webpage ends before you have to scroll down for more information. Be aware that your viewers screen resolution and browser will affect what they see above the fold, so be sure to check various browsers during the design process. The goal is when your potential client lands on your page, they are able to quickly understand what your business is, what you offer, if they meet your target demographic, and what they can do next to connect with you.

Having a call to action or next step, will help your traffic get in touch with you and start building a relationship. When your website has this option, particularly for small businesses or blogging sites, it helps build your credibility and your list. Visitors should be able to easily contact you or sign-up to learn more, as the likelihood of them finding your website again, is slim. With a call to action, you will be able to instantly connect with your clients and add immediate value. A key factor is a successful website.

Having a simple, straightforward website is critical for small businesses - particularly to entice, engage and reach your target audience. Once they get to your page, be sure that it is representative of the services you provide and how you can best serve them - and have it all above the fold.

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