As bloggers or business owners, we all have the goal of designing a website that captivates our target audience so we can sell our products or services. When I first started my blog, I had no clue about what I should put on my website to draw people in. My bounce rate was super high and I was just chugging along, doing posts here and there, without trying to improve at all. Now that I've finally gotten consistent with blogging and I've learned a lot about what makes a good website, I have decreased my bounce rate and practically tripled my traffic.
In today's digital age, our websites are often the most common starting point when someone discovers us. When someone lands on your website, you only have a few seconds to gain their interest before they're on to the next website. Your goal with your website is to turn first time visitors into repeat visitors, eventually converting them into buyers. To do that, there are a few basics that your website design must have.
1. Quality, On-Brand Logo
Your logo is your business or blog identity. It must be on-brand and relevant to what you do. It must also be clear and easy to read. I talk more about branding and how to develop a brand that's authentic here.
2. Clear and Logically Organized Navigation Bar
Your navigation bar should be very clear and organized. When someone is determining where to go next on your website, the last thing you want them to do is to get confused. If they feel like your website content is confusing and ambiguous, they will lose patience quickly.
For bloggers, be sure to organize your content into logical categories. And for businesses selling products, be sure to organize your products into logical product types, making it easy for potential buyers to find exactly what they're looking for.
3. Clear Headlines
Most often on websites, people skim the headlines to see if they even want to read the details and paragraphs. If your headlines aren't clear and easy to glance over, you could cause people to miss out on your valuable content. Make sure you have clear headlines in your blog post titles and within the posts themselves. Also if you're selling products, make sure you have clear headlines for your various product types and sections of each web page.
4. Crisp, Well-Lit, and Quality Photography
Good photography is absolutely necessary for a captivating website design. People will often look at the photos first before they look at anything else and if the photos are done poorly, aren't well lit, or aren't clear, that's a quick turn off. For most product photos, a simple white background is best. Adding props can seem fun, but be sure not to overdo it. Also, only take the photos in good sunlight or with an extra lighting source, like box lights.
Finally for photos of people, it's best to stay away from stock images. If you work with others for your services, try to get some photos of you in action. If you must use stock images, be sure they look authentic and not staged. Those staged photos give off a generic, "clip art" vibe.
5. Contact Form
People should be able to contact you easily. They shouldn't have to click around to figure out where your email address is on your website. It's best to have a contact form on its own contact page that can be easily accessed from your navigation bar.
6. Call to Action
What's the #1 goal that you have in mind for a visitor to your website? Is there a new product that you're releasing? Is it for them to join your mail list? Is it for them to sign up for your new webinar or email course? Whatever the call to action is, be sure to have it clear on your page, preferably in the top half on the home page so it can be seen quickly.
7. Social Media Links
You definitely want people to stay connected to you on social media. Sometimes people will get so interested in you or your products/services from seeing your website, that they will want to check out your social media pages. Your social media links should be found easily and should be in several different places on your site.
8. Email List Signup Form
As a blogger and business owner, you should definitely be trying to build your email list. The people who sign up for your email list are YOUR people. You need a way to communicate with them directly about new posts, new products, new services, etc. Those people are the ones who will be most likely to act and make a purchase. Building that relationship through regular emails is invaluable.
9. About Page
People want to know who is behind the business or the blog. What's your story? Why did you start? What do you look like? lol. Being able to connect with your audience by being a "real" person is what really draws them in, so be sure to have an authentic about page with a high quality photo of you.
10. Share Buttons
You want people to be able to easily share your blog posts, whether you're a blogger or if you're a business owner with a blog to establish yourself as an expert in your field of business. When you put the time into creating good content, it's important for people to be able to share it with ease. This will get more eyes on your content, as well.
For websites that have captivated you, what were some of the things that stuck out to you and make you want to subscribe or make a purchase? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.