Rethinking Website & Webpage Design

Introduction

Our view on website design is very simple: if people visit your website and do nothing, it’s failing. Now there’s nothing bad in that – with a new approach to the design, things can only get better – but if your approach to your website is to simply put your company brochure online and send visitors to your home page, time and money is being wasted.

Website design is designing for a response.

The first question is not “what should it look like”, but: “what should a visitor do?”

Welcome to the world of response-orientated web design.

Point To Consider: The 5 Second Rule

Among internet marketers and web designers it is used as a test parameter to measure the effectiveness of a web page. Test participants are shown a web page for 5 seconds and then after it is hidden they are asked to recall what the page was about. Using this kind of test you are able to assess the effectiveness of your web pages.

If you have joined the Direct Digital Response Knowledgebase you can get a full report about responsive website design and how you can do it. Click here for free access

What Should Your Visitor Do?

It’s singular for a reason. We are focussing on individuals, individual mindsets. In an ideal world, your website is all things to all visitors, the reality is different. Understanding the different mindsets we each have when online is one of the keys to responsive web design. Which of these mindsets are relevant to your visitors … what are they doing?

    • researching;
    • problem-solution finding;
    • purchasing;
    • looking for entertainment.

At any given moment your website may have visitors in each of these different mindsets and inherent in your web design should be individual consideration of them. This is true ‘user experience’:

(1) understanding how visitors find your website and;

(2) delivering content and functionality that is relevant through a response focussed design.

Creating the ideal Win-Win webpage is when your visitor finds what they want to satisfy the mindset they are in and takes an action that meets your internet marketing objectives.

The main ways your visitors reach your website:

    • Search engine results
    • Pay per click advertising
    • Social media
    • Offline marketing
    • Mobile devices (smartphones, ipads, tablets etc)

The Benefit Of Responsive Web Design

There is one singular goal of creating responsive webpages – increasing your conversion rates. If you aren’t tracking key performance metrics with your internet marketing, the following are just some of the key areas that you should be focussing on for tracking visitor response:

    • purchases
    • watching / listening to content
    • email sign ups
    • downloads
    • contact us forms

Having a response-focussed approach to your website puts you firmly in control of your internet marketing strategy and well on the way to getting a return on investment.

Do you have consensus among all the main stakeholders in your business as to what the key performance indicators are when it comes to the points of interaction on your website?

Do you know what the points of interaction are?

Point To Consider: Beat The Back Button

More than your competition, when it comes to your website, the back button is your enemy. Here’s a dose of reality: visitors to your webpage are wanting a reason to click ‘back’. They are asking themselves “whats in it for me?”; “Is this information better than the other sites in the search engine results?”; “Is this the product i really want?”

 

Forget About The “Home” Page, Build “Landing Pages”

Directing visitors to your homepage via offline marketing, pay per click, SEO and social media is a waste of time: the chances are that your homepage presents the user with too many options, too many points of interaction and unfocussed content. Your home page may feature multiple messages, multiple calls to action and multiple products. All of this will produce poor response rates.

A content focussed landing page can be used in your advertising, seo and social media activity. It will deliver increased conversion rates through being message and subject relevant to the visitor. Specific pages can be used to target keyword searches in Google, pay per click ads and content on social media sites.

Here’s some tips to making a more responsive website for your visitors:

Tip #1: Page Simplicity

Many web designers like to make their clients think web design is difficult. It can be. The point is that over elaborate use of technologies can create websites that load too slow or force visitors to watch unnecessary animation. Think through the page experience by focussing on the key points of interaction and the desired response.

Tip #2: Site Organisation

Through a content strategy and keyword research via SEO, your business should be fully aware of how its industry exists online. Being aware of how visitors make related searches enables you to organise and design specific pages. Organising your content so it is “siloed” helps search engines index it and ensures that the right results are returned in search engine results pages. Creating the right user experience through providing the right webpage tells your visitor they are in the right place and leads to enhanced conversions.

Tip #3: Page Design

If you have read through our content category, including the copywriting section, you will be familiar with the power of a good story. All businesses are about selling and the best salespeople are the best storytellers. The landing page design should deliver an effective story: it motivates the visitor to take an action.

Through what we call a persuasive design approach, the page design features a hierarchy of content sections:

    • a unique selling proposition
    • a well written summary or overview
    • a video showing some social proof and benefits
    • list of benefits
    • a feature specification
    • written social proof in the form of reviews or testimonials
    • instructions telling the user what to do next
    • a compelling call to action

Landing pages that are tightly focussed around specific content and designed in a way that takes the visitor along a story leads to increased conversion rates and better funneling to the key interaction points on your website.

Tip #4: Create Microsites

In some scenarios a single landing page doesn’t provide enough scope for communicating an effective product “story” and therefore  can’t deliver a responsive experience. In this case a well focussed microsite, built using landing page techniques, can deliver more information whilst providing a responsive, visitor orientated user experience.

Point To Consider: Stop The Scanners

Research over many years has shown that people rarely read web pages word by word. The chances are that your website visitors are “scanning” your webpages. A response-orientated design approach utilises techniques that makes your landing pages responsive even when people are scanning through it.

Improving Response = An Ongoing Process

Creating a responsive website isn’t about any specific technology or best practice, it is about continual testing, monitoring and measurement. For every business that values its web presence, this is where the profits are. Quite often simple changes can have a very dramatic effect on the bottom line.

Different layouts, graphic colours and copy can trigger different responses. The landing page approach means that you can test different variations without having to go through a complete redesign of your website.

How We Help With Your Webdesign

Our experience of creating response-orientated websites across many different types of industry gives us specific understanding of how conversions happen. Our approach is to work with our clients to make landing pages that convert better.

    • Integrating response mechanisms
    • Layout of pages
    • Graphic design
    • HTML production
    • Microsite design and production
    • A/B page split testing