What do you want from your website? You will probably say “Leads”, followed by a sarcastic “Duh…” whispered under your breath. Unless you are a large Corporation like Microsoft or Coca-Cola, the main function of your website should be lead generation.
But how sure are you that your website is the best lead-generating machine it can be? Chances are that you outsourced your website design to a company, or God forbid – a family member!
How to generate leads:
Here are 5 things your home page MUST do to ensure it does its job at generating leads:
Identify your customer
Highlight their pain points & problems
Provide a solution
Establish why they should work with you
Earn their trust
The order of these things can vary from company to company, but all 5 are needed in some form or another on EVERY page of your website.
1. Identify Your Customer
The most valuable exercise for any business is to create a “Customer Avatar”. Your ideal customer. Knowing exactly who they are (age, hobbies, preferences etc.) is the first step to successful marketing and selling.
Making this evident on your Home page will let visitors know that they are in the right place and that you understand their needs.
Knowing who your ideal customer is, not only allows you to market to them but strangely enough, you will eventually start attracting only these types of clients. Let’s put it down to the law of attraction – whatever you put out there, you will get back.
2. Highlight Pain Points & Problems
Seek first to understand before being understood. You are in business because you solve certain problems for your customers. List those problems on your Homepage.
Once again it will resonate with your ideal client, and they will know that you truly understand their needs.
3. Provide a Solution
Now that you have assured your visitors they are in the right place, and that you understand their needs – give them the solution.
Tell your visitors how your products or services solve their problems.
4. Establish why they should work with you
Let’s face it, there’s probably a ton of other companies that do what you do. Why should people choose you over the competition?
You should have a long list of reasons. Put them on the page! Provide the benefits someone would experience when doing business with you. If your service or product has certain unique features, list those too.
5. Earn their trust
Why should someone trust you with their business? After all, everything thus far is your opinion. And it’s all worthless if there is nothing to substantiate it.
Give your visitors undeniable evidence that you know what you are talking about. Why not you’re your past clients do this for you? Get some great testimonials from them.
Use case studies to prove categorically that you can get results. Add client logos to show-off some of the clients you have done work for.
And what is a good lecture without some homework! When looking at the main service pages on your website, ask yourself these 5 questions:
Have I identified who the customer is?
Have I highlighted their problems?
Do the services I have listed solve these problems, and has this been explained?
Have I outlined why a customer should pick me over a competitor?
What trust-building elements have been included to corroborate the above
All the articles you have read about the cost of website designs are WRONG! This article will change the way you think about website pricing. If you want to find out how much you should be paying for website designs, then read on!
If you search “How much does a website cost” on Google, you will find over 1 billion results! The first 10 results will give you an itemised breakdown of exactly what a website will cost. Everything from hosting to the framework and add-ons.
And 80% of those articles will compare buying a website design to buying a car. According to them, there’s a “base price” and the more features you add, the more expensive it gets.
Whilst such a comparison seems logical, it is not the right way to think about website designs pricing.
To challenge the status quo I am not going to give you costs. There are quite literally 1 billion other articles you can get that information from. What I want to do, is change the way you think about websites.
How valuable is a website to you?
If I walked up to you and asked: “Hey, want to buy this ATM for R500k” (ignore the fact that I am casually walking around with an ATM), you would probably be very sceptical – besides, even if you were interested in an ATM, where are you going to get R500k?
But what if I told you that the ATM had R1 million in it? I bet you would rustle up R500k quicker than a Gupta with speed-dial. Paying R500k for an empty ATM is madness, but buying an ATM and doubling your money is a no-brainer!
Forget where I got this ATM from, the point I am making is that we are happy to pay for things as long as we will get value in return. So if the price is your biggest deciding factor when it comes to websites, then you aren’t seeing the value.
Depreciating Or Appreciating?
To flog this analogy some more… You repaid your dodgy investors and you are now R500k (and one stolen ATM) richer. Do you spend the money, or invest it? Either way, you will have to part with it. Quite proud of yourself, you have chosen to invest. Your only consideration is which bank will give you the most return.
And this is the problem: Most businesses (generally the ones who struggle) see their website as an expense, a depreciating asset. What will it cost you now? Does it fall within your budget?
When in fact you should see your website as an appreciating asset, an investment. How much return will it give you? How long can it do that for?
When you buy stock for your business – that’s not an expense, it’s an investment. Because you know that you can sell that stock and make a profit. Your website is absolutely no different – a good website will make you money, undoubtedly.
Sticking with my ATM analogy, let’s bring it closer to home. If I asked you: “Hey, want to buy a website for R100k” Again you would laugh me off. Who has R100k for a website!
But what if I told you this website Design would generate 1 sale a week for 2 years? Assuming that 1 sale is worth R10 000 – that’s a 104 new clients and a total income of over R1m. Suddenly, paying R100k, R300k or even R500k seems worth it, if that’s what you are getting in return.
This is how you need to start looking at your website – as an asset that will give you a return on investment. Once that is your mindset it will change everything! The entire way you see your website, how you choose a web developer, everything.
Websites are more than just “things” that sit on the web providing people with information. Or at least they should be.
Not Cost, Value!
Of course, the cost of a website does play a part, you shouldn’t pay R100k for a website if you weren’t absolutely sure what you are getting in return. I am just saying that your mindset needs to move away from price, price, price and towards the value it can offer you.
So to sum this up; the question is wrong – it should be: “How much does a GOOD website cost?” And the answer is: “Exactly as much as it needs to.”
I told you that this is not the answer you were looking for!
Your website could be costing you business, and you didn’t even know it! Like a salesman who is taking money under the table. Sacrilege. In this post, we will highlight the 5 biggest Web Design Mistakes that both small and large businesses make. We will also add some actionable techniques so that you can fix them!
So what are your Web Design Mistakes?
Just having a website is not good enough
Before we start with what you need to avoid, let’s hop in the DeLorean and travel back a few years…
In the early 2000’s when Google started to gain popularity, businesses saw the potential in having and building an online presence, more specifically, a website. With competition in the online realm being far from competitive, businesses saw a good return from just having a website. They would rank on the first page of Google without much effort. Leads flowed in. Life was good.
Until *he said, as the sky grew dark and the horses neighed* other businesses started catching on. Soon enough, everyone and their next door neighbour had a website. Suddenly the online landscape, once friendly and inviting, became cut-throat and fiercely competitive.
Today, just having a website is not good enough. You need a website that not only “attracts” more website traffic, but one that can convert visitors into sales. These are your top 5 web design mistakes you DON’T want to make.
1. Slow loading times
Website loading time is very important to both users and Search Engines. So much so that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you could be losing nearly half of your visitors.
It makes complete sense – people are generally time-strapped, so the faster you can provide them with the info they need, the happier they are. And Search Engines promote websites that have faster loading times for exactly this reason – you are improving the user experience. If you want to test your website loading times, use our website auditor, It’s free.
So what can you do to decrease loading times? If you are using WordPress, install Page Speed Ninja. Just install it, and with one click you can shave seconds of your loading time.
2. Not mobile friendly
If your website is not “responsive” i.e. it does not adjust automatically to fit the device it is being viewed on, then you are losing business. No two ways about it.
Welcome to the 21st century – this is how people browse the internet. They need a plumber, so they whip out their smartphone and Google “Plumber in Sandton”. If your website isn’t easy to browse on their phone, they will leave and try someone else.
Search Engines also prefer websites that are mobile friendly – because it improves the user’s browsing experience!
So how do you make your website responsive? Firstly head on over to www.responsivedesignchecker.com and test your website. If it not responsive, it would be best to talk to someone like LaunchWeb, who can convert your website into a lightweight, fast loading, mobile responsive website.
3. Poor design
In our article “Bad vs Good Website Design: Know the Difference” 2 of the 3 factors that we say make a good website design are Visual Design and Usability.
Visual Design is the overall aesthetic and style of the website. More than 90% of buying decisions are influenced by colour alone! If your website has a clean, professional design it leaves a great first impression on visitors and they will be more inclined to use your services.
So how do you fix poor Visual Design? Achieving a stunning Visual Design is easy, here are a few guidelines you can follow.
Usability refers to how easy it is for a visitor to use the website. Is the navigation logical and simple to use? Is the page content easy to understand? Are your contact details readily available? You might have a beautifully creative web design, but your visitors can’t find what they are looking for and so they get frustrated & leave.
Usability Design is like a horse, dangerous at both ends and tricky in the middle. What you might think users like, could actually be sending them away. (I realise now that my horse analogy makes no sense in the given context, but I needed to use it somewhere).
So how do you fix poor Usability Design?Heatmaps and Clickmaps! These tools will show you what users want, care about and interact with on your site by visually representing their clicks, taps and scrolling behaviour. Using a software like Hotjar you will get valuable insight into how people are using your site. With this data you can make layout improvements to make it easier for them to find what they need.
4. No call to action
The best way of getting anyone to do something is to ask them to do it. This might sound like common sense – but we all know what they say about common sense. You would be shocked at how many business websites fail to do this one simple thing.
Whilst design & usability make for good website design, to us, a website is useless if it does not achieve objectives! Knowing what it is you want your website to do, will guide your design process in the right direction from the start.
The ultimate goal of your website is to get visitors to perform an action – purchase a product, complete an enquiry form, subscribe to a newsletter, download an eBook. Whatever the action is that you want them to perform, you have to tell them to do it.
How to add more call to actions to your site: Take a look at your site, and just ask yourself “is this page asking me to do anything?” This is done with buttons and highlight sections and clever design.
5. No Search Engine Optimisation
Here is another statistic to warm your coffee: the first page of Google receives 95% of website traffic. If your coffee still hasn’t kicked in yet, this means that if your website is not on the first page of Google, then you aren’t featuring on your customers’ radar.
Basically, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of improving a website to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines. There are many aspects to SEO, from the words and elements on your page (on-page SEO) to the way other sites link back to your website (off-page SEO).
How do I get onto the first page of Google? Well, you can start by seeing just how bad your SEO might be – use our free website auditor to get a detailed SEO report. This report will tell you whether it’s elements on your website that need optimising, or if an off-page strategy is required. Either way, we can help you get there!
Did we miss anything?
Do you think we left anything out? Comment below with some web design mistakes you have seen both big and small company websites make.
When it comes to good website design, there are three principles to consider; Visual Design (i.e. how pretty it looks), Usability (i.e. ease of use) and Objectives (i.e. what are the goals). This article will show you how great websites combine all three of these principles.
48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business. (source). The facts do not lie – the design of your website says a lot more about your business than you think!
It’s all about first impressions. If your website has a cluttered, messy or outdated design people will think that of your business. Our primitive brains form lasting opinions about things way before our rational mind can kick in.
The foundation of good website design lies in the visual aspect.
I have a headache just from looking at this.
Good website design leaves a lasting positive impression with visitors. Immediately it will be easier to turn that visitor into a lead or sale because they feel comfortable on your site. They haven’t been assaulted by a combination of Comic Sans & bad clipart.
Visual design mistakes that annoy visitors:
Flash! Google and Firefox have disabled the flash plugin on their browsers due to a ‘critical’ security flaw, which means your once-awesome FlashTM website no longer works… anywhere. You can read more about that here.
Background music! Background music should be reserved for elevators and holding whilst on the phone to Telkom. It interferes with a person’s browsing experience. Don’t do it.
Too many colours & fonts! Your website is not a Where’s Wally book! Don’t confuse your visitors with a myriad of colours and fonts, giving them a migraine as they try to find the “Contact Us” page.
Cluttered pages. Besides just looking bad, cluttered pages are confusing and require the visitor to put in a lot of energy to find that they are looking for. Too much of this and they will leave your website.
Long paragraphs of text. Remember when we spoke about short attention spans? People want quick answers, they do not have time to dissect large paragraphs to find what they are looking for.
Bad quality images. Images that are pixelated (low resolution) will make any website look cheap and amateur.
One last point: The biggest design mistake you can make is using a “free” website builder. Whilst you think it might save you money – it will actually cost you more money in the long run. Read our article: Free Website Builders are Killing Your Business
If we had a loaf of bread for every time we had to tell a business that the website they designed does not look great, we could start a successful bakery. Ok, enough about what makes a bad website – let’s talk about good website design.
Visual design principles that delight visitors:
White Space. Use space to your advantage in a website – it will allow you break up all the information on your site into digestible chunks. Using spacing effectively can also help to place emphasis on important sections & content.
Less is more. Try not to use 5 different fonts and colours when one or two will do. When in doubt, simplify.
Consistent design. This is a big one and it applies to spacing, fonts, colours, everything. Ensure that you carry one design theme through out your website.
Creative but not distracting. Its tough to reign in creativity but sometimes you have to. If you want large illustrations or decorative sections on your page, you need to balance it out with that white space we spoke of earlier.
High-quality images. Nothing annoys a visitor more than badly formatted images with poor resolution. If you have lots of images on your site, ensure that they are the correct size so that they display well.
One thing to note is that good website design is something that changes with the times. Design trends change, and it’s up to you to stay with it. Here are 19 web design trends for 2018 – get inspired!
A nice example of a creative design with ample white space
Really simply; usability is how quickly and easily a visitor can find what they are looking for on a website. Another term for usability is “user experience” – are visitors enjoying their time on your website? Or are they getting frustrated?
You might have a beautifully creative web design, but your visitors can’t find what they are looking for. So, in the end, they just get frustrated & leave. You can see how usability & design are linked. Another example: by using the visual design principle of white space, you can improve the usability of your website by breaking up information into logical chunks.
MailChimp is an excellent example of a combination of creative design & usability
Improving usability really comes down to understanding your customer. How do they think? Are they technologically inclined? Do they understand the services you provide? Do they prefer speaking on the phone or sending an enquiry?
Knowing your customer means you can design a website that will really engage with them. Businesses fall victim to the mistake of creating a website that they like and not a website that their customers will like.
Let’s look at a few ways you can improve your website’s usability.
Improving your website Usability:
Add a USP. A unique selling proposition is generally a one-sentence statement that explains your business & services to a visitor. It sits on your homepage, above the fold so that it’s the first thing a visitor sees. It let’s them know what you do and why they should stick around.
Establish Information Hierarchy. This is arguably one of the most effective UX design principles. It means arranging & prioritising the content on a webpage so that it does not overwhelm visitors, but rather slowly educates and intrigues them, keeping them on the site.
Guide visitors with colour. If your overall website colour scheme is green then consider using an orange or red to highlight buttons or important areas where you want visitors to take action. If your website looks like a Jackson Pollock painting, your visitor has no chance of knowing where they need to go next!
Simplify Text. Keep the content on your site limited to headings sub-headings, short paragraphs of text, bullet points and lists. People want answers and fast, they aren’t going to stop and read long paragraphs. The easier to digest, the better.
Simple navigation. Your website must be easy to navigate so visitors can find what they are looking for without wasting time. Dont add endless menu’s & sub-menus – limit menus to 1 sub-level only. If your website is really information heavy (i.e. lots of articles, pages etc.) then consider using a sidebar navigation menu. Navigation is probably the most overlooked aspect of website design. Users will abandon a website if the navigation is not intuitive.
But all of the above is worth nothing if you don’t understand who your customer is, and how they would browse a website.
Whilst design & usability make good website design, to us great website design is one that achieves objectives! Yes, I did say that you should be designing your website for your customers, but actually, you need to design it for your business objectives.
Knowing what it is you want your website to do, will guide your design process in the right direction from the start. Whenever we start a WordPress web design process with a client we follow this order:
Objectives. What do you want the website to achieve?
Usability. Who will be visiting this website?
Design. What does the website need to look like, to achieve the above?
This is truly a recipe for success. Follow this process with your own website and you can’t go wrong.
Good Website Design: TL;DR (Too long; didn’t read)
First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your website. A clean, professional website will promote confidence & trust in your audience. Simplicity is the name of the game – when in doubt use fewer colours and fewer fonts. Try to balance creative design with simple page layouts. Stay up to date with the latest design trends!
Understanding your customers and how they interact with websites will allow you to craft a pleasurable website experience for them. Prioritise content on your pages so that the most important features or benefits sit near the top of the page. Add intuitive navigation to pages so that visitors can easily find what they need.
And finally, determine what it is you want the website to do, and let that be your guiding light throughout the entire design process. Design with the end in mind!
Bad websites are cluttered & confusing; indicative of companies that can’t communicate efficiently with their visitors. Good websites achieve objectives through a combination of great visual & user experience design.
First impressions matter most. As the web development industry becomes increasingly competitive, here at LaunchWeb we’re constantly brainstorming ways to build websites that stand out from the rest. In these sessions, we ask ourselves how we can create designs that are memorable and unique, that at the same time engage potential clients. Whilst researching, we came across a study referenced by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. It was titled Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites.
The goal of the study was to answer this question;
“How much impact does design have on trust and mistrust of health websites and how much impact does the quality of the content have?”
Now, we won’t bore you with the stats, but the conclusion of the study was summed up in this quote;
“The look and feel of the website was clearly important to the participants. Visual appeal, plus design issues relevant to site navigation appeared to exert a strong influence on people’s first impressions of the site. Poor interface design was particularly associated with rapid rejection and mistrust of a website. In cases where the participants did not like some aspect of the design the site was often not explored further than the homepage and was not considered suitable for revisiting at a later date…The main reason that websites were rapidly rejected was due to the design of the interface. Design issues affected first impressions and could lead to the mistrust of a website.”
So, how do you design a website that makes a striking first impression and stands out from the rest? Here are our 4 best website design tips:
1. Striking Graphics & Beautiful Imagery
“People make snap judgments. It takes only 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about a person, and websites are no different”. A website that has professional images will ALWAYS make an impression. Use some professional images or even a video for your top landing page.
2. Professional Branding
Your branding says a lot about who you are as a company. Your full brand experience, from the visual elements like your logo to the way that your phones are answered, tell your customer about the kind of company that you are. When your branding is consistent and easy to recognize, it ensures potential clients feel more at ease purchasing your products or services.
3. King Content
Content is king, queen and ruler supreme. Crafting content that takes a unique stand and resonates with your audience, it helps them relate to your brand. Not only does it give a feel for your company culture, but search engines love quality content that expresses unique points of view or opinions on important subjects with lots of supporting information. Blogs are also a great way to bring in fresh content “Don’t bait the click: Nurture it.”
4. UX Design
Whilst visual design steals all the love, UX design is how it, along with the rest of your brand is experienced. User Experience Optimisation is important because it aims to provide the best possible experiences that keep users loyal to the product/brand. When a visitor arrives at your site, you have mere seconds to influence them and investing in UX optimization is necessary to quickly gain trust, brand recognition and ensure user retention.
So, there you have our top 4 website design tips.
Developing a website that stands out from the rest is really no different than developing a game-changing product. It’s all about understanding consumer psychology, which is one of the things LaunchWeb understands best. If your online presence isn’t working for you, then your audience aren’t finding you, and if they are then they don’t like what they see and it’s time to rebrand, revamp and get back out there!
Looking to redevelop your website? Then we’re the guys to talk to! Get in touch with us today and we’ll send you a custom quote in 24 hours!
Owning a business is busy work. From networking to consulting to everyday operations, business owners naturally have their hands in just about every aspect of their company. Yet, we often come across small business owners who don’t have a website. For some reason, building a website isn’t even at the top of their list!
This lack of urgency in establishing an online presence puzzles us, given today’s consumer shopping habits. Online purchasing has soared in recent years; business owners should recognize this and prioritize building a website. Although the idea of building a website may be daunting, as with any project, preparation is key. The team at LaunchWeb have compiled a list of questions geared toward helping the busy business owner get the information they need before commencing with development. Check out our list below:
1. What do I need to provide to the web developer?
First things first you need to understand, acknowledge and approve all terms and conditions (yes, you have to read them all!)
Pay your deposit before the commencement of work (it’s usually 50% of the total)
Supply your CI (e.g. your logo files, fonts, images and website content)
Provide all the information pertaining to your existing domain, content management system and hosting, as well as links to your social media and login details for existing analytics and webmaster tools to your web developer.
2. How long will the project take?
Website development can take anywhere from one week to 3 months from start to finish depending on various factors. Recognizing how long the creative process takes is extremely important. By ensuring you understand all phases – from pre-development to post-launch, you’ll know what’s required from you and when.
3. What other services are offered?
LaunchWeb is a full-service agency which means that we offer everything from graphic design to copywriting, SEO to managed hosting. Making a list of everything you are looking for will help you decide on the best fit for your needs, but going with a full-service agency will ensure you have all your bases covered if you add something to.
4. How much will it cost?
The short answer: it depends. The cost is largely determined by the work and functionality the website requires. At LaunchWeb, our quotes are tailored specifically to each client. Your website quote will be completely itemised so that you can see exactly how your money is being spent. We try to be as transparent as possible.
5. Will training be included?
We realise that for business owners, understanding your website and how it works is essential. LaunchWeb offers various packages aimed at teaching the website owner how to use and manage their website post-launch. Get in touch with us for more information on our WordPress coaching!
6. Will I have full ownership of my website?
Yes. On launch day, we hand over the keys to the castle, but that’s not to say we disappear! We offer 30 days free maintenance after handover, ensuring that if any kinks arise, they’re smoothed out in no time!
With these 6 questions, we feel that any business owner looking to develop a website will have a better idea of what they’re getting into. A reputable web development agency with any amount of experience should be able to answer these questions, as well as anticipate any unanswered questions. Understanding the needs of both business owner and web developercan only result in a successful, affordable website!
Interested in developing a website for your business? Then we’re the guys to talk to! Get in touch with us and we’ll send you a custom quote in 24 hours!