Driving people to your website is only half the battle. Once you get them there, how do you lead them to where you want them to go on your site? Having a well designed website will help give your users a great experience, find what they are looking for and be more inclined to lead to a conversion.
Here are some helpful design tips to keep in mind when developing your site.
Well Thought-out Navigation
It’s pretty standard to have a top navigation or horizontal navigation or both, depending on how deep your site is. Whichever navigation you decide on, make sure that you have categorized things appropriately. Try and segment your products/services in a manner that it will be easy for users to find what they are looking for. It is a good rule of thumb to have the user only have to click no more than two times to find what they are looking for. Studies have also shown that if you have more than 7 sub-categories for each category and will hurt the usability of the site because there are so many choices.
Website Layout Consistency
Creating a consistent layout throughout your site will help your visitors navigate through your site. If your navigation was at the top of your homepage and then it jumped to the side on an interior page, it can be very frustrating to users. Same thing with your content, if your content is moving all over the place, it can make it hard for that reader to consume the information.
Keep your navigation, content, calls to actions, contact us, graphics, and images all in consistent sections of your site.
Call to Action Buttons
These are some great examples of call to action buttons.
Easy To Read Content
SEObook.com does a great job at creating easy to read content throughout his site. He breaks his content up by using bullet points, numbered lists, bold/italic headlines, color variations, and short descriptive sentences. Remember, people scan the web for information. If they see a headline that appeals to them the will read on. Create gripping headlines and make it easy to consume.
Using pull quotes can also help grab the attention of the reader. These are great if you have a testimonial or quote from someone who has tried your product or service.
Easy To Find “Contact Us” page
Make it painfully easy for someone to contact you. The last thing you want to do is get someone interested in your product or service and have them struggle to figure out how to contact you.
Have those “contact us” buttons lead to a well optimized contact form. Check out a post I did a few months ago on how to optimize contact forms for better conversions.
Good Use of Whitespace
Having whitespace will help break up your content and make things easier to read. If your website is cluttered with lots of text and other graphical elements, it can be overwhelming to a user. Use whitespace to help separate different sections of your site.
People think that flash is bad just because it cannot be picked up by search engines. However using small elements of flash can be very useful and help keep the user engaged in your website. Search engines are also improving at being able to index flash. However, do not add flash just to have flash on your site; have a goal in mind. Use flash to help convey your marketing message, showcase a product/service, a special offer, or a promotion.
Target Different Market Segments
Segment your buyers by creating targeted landing pages geared towards each of your segment buyers. By having content that is unique towards a specific market, it will help keep the user on your site longer and lead to more conversions. The more targeted that your content can be towards your niche market, the more likely it will be to convert those users.
Notice in this flash element they are targeting different market segments that they cater to.
The part on how to use navigation and visuals to segment your buyers was good. The ideas you provided are exactly what I needed for a web site redesign project I'm working on. Thanks. Lisa