Make your site visually appealing.

We’re often admonished not to judge a book by its cover. But that rule doesn’t apply in the world of web development, as visual appeal is everything. Your website’s visual appeal plays a vital role in your website’s usability, and you will be making a mistake neglecting this aspect of your website.

Visual appeal has been found to influence the purchase intent and likelihood of a second visit. According to research, users are more likely to trust a website with an appealing design than one cluttered with lots of moving objects and shiny colours.

There is plenty advice available regarding ideal positioning of elements on your website such as the rule of thirds used in photography. That is, you should visually divide your webpages into thirds vertically and horizontally and place your most important elements at the intersections.

In much of the world people read from left to right. At the start of a page, they may read all the way to the end but as they go down your page the less of each line they read. Therefore, the most important information should be placed on the lefthand side of your site.

Also, you can find information on using colours from branding, but as I am colour blind and graphically challenged I would recommend that you learn from other IBGR hosts who are experts on marketing.

But I do have some advice regarding design that will improve your sites appeal to visitors.

The best converting websites are those that keep it simple and uncluttered. Review your website and remove anything and everything that is not informative or useful to your visitors.

A great example is Apple’s website. Apple has a lot of products it wants to sell but by using plenty of white space they have a simple clear design. White space increases the readability of text, it makes images and videos standout.

Avoid deadwood phrases such as “at the present time” use now. Not “despite the fact that” use although.

As mentioned in the last episode the average attention span of a site visitor is only 8 seconds. You have only 8 seconds to grab their attention, if you don’t your click through rate will suffer. Some tips that can help:

  • Use short benefit driven headlines – this could be your unique value proposition
  • Use real human images that draw attention to your call to action.
  • Action buttons should be large and clear
  • Use power words such as Prize, Free, Best etc
  • Use video, audio and other multimedia formats to engage users. If you use GIF images – animate them.
  • Use hover effects on action buttons
  • Use exit pop ups to re-engage visitors who are about to leave your website.

Let me expand on a couple of those tips.

Use human images to make your site visitors feel connected with your brand, humans tend to relate with other human faces. Use them in your case studies, articles, landing pages etc. Ideally use the faces of people behind your brand for a solo consultant this could be you, your family, friends etc. If you do not want to use your images, you can use stock images that are readily available.

Use high quality images to boost conversion.  Images on your website will increase engagement. Use high quality photographs to improve your site’s visual appeal.  But optimize them for speed, resize them using tools that are freely available. Use Google to find them.

Website abandonment rates increase rapidly over time. Research shows 40% of visitors will abandon websites if the page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. By six seconds you have lost all but the most patient of viewers

What’s even more shocking is that 80% of those visitors won’t return to that website. This is terrible for your SEO ranking because it ultimately kills traffic to your site.

But on the flip side, if your page loads fast, people will keep coming back.

E-commerce is a popular way of generating a second income so some ideas for those of you considering this option.

1. Double Up on Security Credentials and Certifications

As popular as online shopping is nowadays, it doesn’t mean that consumers will be quick to trust in it. In fact, the opposite might just be true. In the eyes of the consumer, a website with minimal badges and/or security credentials is one that should be avoided. Meanwhile, having multiple trust badges on your e-commerce website, including but not limited to fully secured SSL checkouts and money-back guarantees, among others, can help improve confidence and conversions.

2. Use Unique Product Descriptions

You’d be surprised as to how many e-commerce websites use the same product descriptions for multiple products. The same can be said for a wide variety of Amazon e-sellers and many others. The product descriptions can end up looking like copied content, which may turn off some consumers.

Without specific and unique product descriptions given, customers are not able to make an informed choice. They would like to know more about the product they are buying and how they can benefit from it. Invest time to put out specific and informative product descriptions that show off the unique qualities of each product and highlight their value so that your audience will be more drawn to making their purchase.

3. Invest in Professional Photos

They say that a picture paints a thousand words, and in e-commerce websites, this is certainly true. Use professionally taken photos and videos – this will also assure your consumers that you are offering high-quality products and services and your brand has a sense of professionalism. These pictures will also help to show off the product in a better light so customers know what exactly they are buying.

4. Quality Content

Complement your e-commerce website with blog content. This can help to draw in consumers to read and learn more, so they can make better decisions in engaging in your services. Quality content drives traffic to your website, thus increasing engagement and improving conversion rates and sales.

To conclude this week’s show:

  • Your website represents your business online. It makes your business available anytime and accessible from anywhere in the world.
  • A good website design enhances the credibility of your business
  • You must understand your objectives for your website
  • An essential part of designing your website is to research your competitor’s website.
  • Your site’s structure should enable visitors to find what they need and nudge them into taking action
  • The number of CTAs should be limited to one per page. Use CTA buttons to encourage visitors to take action. Use time sensitive offers.
  • Ensure your site loads rapidly. Want to know how fast your site loads? Google will do this for free. Go to their page speed insights tool.
  • Use white space to make your content standout.
  • Follow the law of thirds when placing action buttons on your site.
  • The top left should have the most important content.
  • There should be only three prominent colours throughout your website. Other colours should be used less.

Going the extra mile to enhance your website’s visual appeal and landing pages will go a long way to influence your customers’ buying behaviour. It creates trust, evokes emotions, and encourages them to take action without hesitation.

Your website is yours to own. No one can take it away from you, unlike other social media challenges. Over the episode 5 to 8 I have discussed how it should be the backbone of your email marketing strategy. In episodes I discussed the what why and how of how to optimize your site for Search Engines such as Google. And today we have looked at design elements to encourage visitors to take action. You will notice there is a lot to consider when developing your website. Building a business is a full-time occupation. As Sahil Lavingia puts it being an entrepreneur is working 60 hours a week, so you do not have to work a forty hour week. I’ll be back next week to share what I have learned about preparing a social media strategy.

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