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4 Effective Website Design Tips

In this post, I cover the 4 key elements of an effective website design for maximum “shoppiness”:

  • The Message
  • Professional Website Design
  • Shoppiness
  • Entertainment

1. The Message

What's Your Website's Message?

effective website design sketch

Professional drawing. Can’t you tell?

Visitors need to know within 3 seconds of landing on your website if they’ve found what they’ve been looking for. If takes longer than 3 seconds, they’re more likely to leave, so make it crystal clear on your website what it is you’re selling. This is the ‘Message’.

A number of elements play a role in achieving a clear message. Let’s say I’m looking for a hammock for my cat and I search Google for ‘cat hammock’ and the website I click on is ComfyKitty.com. This web address (1) is one indication to me that this website might have what I’m looking for – a hammock for my cat. If the website has a logo (2) of a cat in a hammock, that’s another sign. Professional photos (3) of a cat in a hammock is another element, and probably the most important one. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

In today’s world of short attention spans, it’s important to put that message front and center on your website. This lets the visitor know they’ve found what they’re looking for.

2. Professional Website Design

It comes down to trust. If the website design doesn’t look trustworthy, visitors are less likely to shop. The website needs to look professional. If your website looks unorganized and like it was built in the 1990’s for a small screen and has blinking text, with choppy, animated gifs, shoppers won’t stick around.

A professional website design is organized and looks like everything on it belongs together. Graphics are high quality, smooth and aligned, and colors are complementary. An effective website design has one clear message on it: “This is our cat hammock. Buy it here.” The shoppers attention isn’t getting pulled into multiple directions like they’re driving down Las Vegas Boulevard with all the blinking lights and animated signs.

3. Shoppiness

mobile responsive website design

This pertains to how user-friendly your website is. Visitors need to be able to easily find what they’re looking for or contact you if they have any questions.

With tablets and smart phones everywhere, it’s important that you have a mobile responsive website design. This means your website will ‘respond’ to the screen size it’s being viewed on, and re-size and rearrange pictures, and text so they are easily viewed on that device, such as a tablet or smart phone.

The navigation bar should be easy to find, read and use. Your phone number should be on every page, towards the top, and easy to read. Links to Home, Contact, Checkout, Privacy and Return Policies should be easy to find.

If your website has an image banner that promotes a product or service, next to or on top of the picture, have a “Buy Now” or “Learn More” button that’s linked to the product or service so shoppers can quickly get more information or add the product to their basket.

If you have products on your website, make it easy for your shoppers to choose a size, color or whatever, add it to their basket, and checkout. If you offer a service, make it easy for your visitors to see what you have to offer, learn more about the services, and hire you.

Offer more than one payment method. Some people like to pay with PayPal. Some like to pay with their credit card. If you’re willing to accept checks, offer checks, too.

If you ship your product, offer multiple shipping methods. For example, Ground, 3-Day, and Overnight shipping.

4. Entertainment

mobile responsive slider or slideshow

People like to be entertained. You should have a little entertainment or interactivity on your website in the form of a responsive ( works on tablets and smart phones ) slideshow on your home page that contains 4 or 5 slides highlighting your most popular products and/or services or a short video ( that doesn’t start automatically ) that demonstrates how your product or service works.

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