Clarity: The Key to Great Web Design

The Problem: You’re Trying to Answer Too Many Questions

It’s frustrating to see every day. People manage websites but there really is no clear call to action on the front page. It’s what the sports people call an “unforced error.” it’s needless because the entire concept hadn’t been thought through.

The problem with business websites is that business owners want to control everything…to their own detriment. Owners want to show everybody their latest and greatest toys while neglecting the very people they are trying to impress. They put a phone number on the front page but it’s not clickable. They put a web form for people to fill out but it’s not easy to fill out. Or worse yet, they have no clear calls to action anywhere on their site. They want to over inform about their services. In reality, though, all of this undermines what they really want – more sales. So, how does a small business owner overcome this?

Start with a Professional Design of Your Website

First, he or she should let the web designing to the professionals. A good designer will develop websites that are user-friendly and sales-ready. Of course there will be places on the site that highlight all of the business’ features but it probably won’t be on the first page. The first page is to get a reaction from the potential customer. That reaction could be in the form of a phone call, email or a download. Now, the owner should and does have the final say in what goes where on the site, but if he is wise, he’ll let the designer do his thing until such time that his “thing” is not working. Web designing is part art and part science. You want the site to be attractive and you want it to convert. Often it takes weeks or months of tweaking to optimize that design for maximum effectiveness.

A Customer and Search Engine Friendly Website

Secondly, the website should be search engine- and customer-friendly. In other words, it needs to appeal to search engine algorithms and humans simultaneously. It sounds more complex than it actually is so I’ll break it down. Search engines are always being tweaked to put the most relevant content at the “head of the line” so to speak. These behemoth engines read the text and determine where the page or site should rank within the grand scheme of things.

Search engines essentially ask the question, “how relevant is this site to this keyword phrase?” And because they are getting better and better, sites can rank for keywords that do not appear on the page at all. How can this be? Because the SE scans the entire site, it can tell if one particular page is best suited for that keyword. That’s why delivering fresh and relevant content on a site is very important to “feed” the search engines. Of course the site also needs to have all onpage SEO factors right such as metatags, H1, H2, image, video tags. But that’s a given. If those details are squared away, the SEs read the site and rank accordingly.

But the site also needs to be readable. that’s the human factor. Many SEO folks can create pages and pages of gibberish that rank quickly but has a high click away rate. In other words, once the visitor knows that there’s gibberish going on, he will click away.

So having a great search engine friendly site that passes the human readability test is crucial in getting visitors to do what you want them to do. The search engines lead them to your site. Your site does its work when they arrive.

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