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The More You Know - The Better the Design

Website Design Is More
Than A Pretty Face

Website Design
Is More Than
A Pretty Face!

51% of all traffic on the internet is bots (software).

People only make up 49% of the Internet traffic; the rest are triggered by various bots and spamming software. The Internet would be much faster without all this machine traffic sucking up all the bandwidth.

Providing an attractive and well designed custom website to our local and national customers is important. But we are just as concerned about making your website a profit center that generates revenue, delivers your message, or supports your cause. Creating an attractive design is just one of the elements but it’s also the content and value that make a website successful.

Looking good is important, no doubt about it. But if you don’t provide some substance about your particular subject matter, product, or services you will never be successful. We call it the shallow website syndrome and you see them a lot these days. The website has a great design and layout but very little useful content for their real purpose whether it be selling something or promoting a cause.

People don’t find you by accident, they usually are searching for some specific information. And if you just show them some pretty pictures and colors, they won’t hang around long and most likely will never return. And you might even get a lot of “shares” for that great photo, look, or whatever but not sell anything or convince anyone to adopt your opinion.

So What Am I talking About?

We get calls from prospects all the time that say one of two things in the first few words. I’m getting some good traffic but nobody is buying and/or my website looks great but I’m just not getting any traffic. Now these two statements may seem to be describing different problems but in reality they both have the same problem. They don’t have any content or the proper content that people want.

The name of the game on the Internet these days is to make sure that you provide some type of valuable content to your targeted users. There are some websites that use the shotgun method (use some kind of sexy photo, comic, story, whatever to attract people) and get paid for clicks like Google Adsense or other advertisers. All they want is some clicks on the ads and the ads may be totally unrelated but get clicks due to their very wide appeal. For those type of websites, anything goes, the more outrageous, the more traffic and eventual clicks.

But for the rest of us, we better be dead on subject and give our visitors what they are looking for in subject matter. And do it quickly since the attention span and patience of many visitors is about 30 seconds. Really, every test we have ever made on user engagement has shown us that you better reach out a grab the visitor’s attention fast or they are gone.

It never ceases to amaze me how many website owners choose to not utilize the top one third of their home page with something to grab and hold the visitor’s attention. One of the latest popular website designs is to have a photo on the top third of their homepage that does not have much to do with their website content. I had a Gal call one time that had a gorgeous cat and had a picture of this cat at the top of her page (she was a bookkeeper and sold and installed accounting software). Being the polite guy I am I mentioned that although that’s a beautiful cat it doesn’t really related to bookkeeping or accounting software. And she replied that people always like her cat so she thought it would be a great way to get attention. And she was right about the cat, according to her website logs there are a lot of people in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan that come to see her cat. But I don’t think many of them were going to want her bookkeeping services.

If you’re a photographer and the photo is a sample of your work, or an artist with a painting, etc. that’s a good idea. If you’re selling something and it’s a great product shot, that’s good too. But one design does not fit all companies even if it’s visually stunning for some. You wouldn’t use a pair of pliers to hammer a nail or a plane to fly down to the quick shop (well, some people might). There are common features every website should incorporate but the actual design is often very different for a good reason.

And trust me, I’m not going to waste any prime real estate on a website unless it fits the nature of the website. On our example with the bookkeeping service we came up with a few different headlines and ran some tests. Found one that out produced the others and moved the cat picture to the about me page. BTW, we get into copy writing a lot deeper in another article but the copy that worked the best was about not so much bookkeeping but pointing out that the business owner should be working on marketing and revenue rather than his books.

So What Should You Do?

At the end of the day, your website design should not only look good but also provide some great content, marketing methods, and be very user friendly. It’s a balancing act and each website may require a little different approach. One website design definitely does not fit all, it needs to be tailored to your subject, product, or services. Just remember you only have seconds to gain your visitor’s interest and it takes more than just the visual design.

Like our old friend Paul Harvey used to say, we tell you the rest of the story. A well designed website that accomplishes your goals has many elements beyond the appearance. User engagement, functionality, and getting that sale, click, or phone call is every bit as important.

If you are just starting out, go check out our FAQ and download our new Website Planning Guide. It can save you a lot of time and frustration. Or if you already have a website that you’re not satisfied with we’ll be happy to do a quick review and make some suggestions. We base our methods on constant testing, diligent research, and tightly targeting your potential customers. There’s no fluff here, we deal in results.

A Very Few Resources I Recommend

I try and be very selective on who I recommend for resources. I only recommend a vendor that I personally use frequently. All three of these companies we use and really like everyday.

Brian Dean is one of the best SEO guys out there today. He offers tons of great free recommendations that can be very effective. Well worth the time to go check out his website and information.

I recommend FastComet for a couple of reasons. They offer so many extras and clearly explain how to use them very well. And they have great support that’s quick and effective. We use them, so should you.

There are quite a few graphics websites that are good, but Canva takes it to a whole new level for the beginner. The templates and ease of learning are the best I’ve seen.