For most people your website is your business. An effective web design is one that turns as many visitors into customers as possible.
There are many factors that go in to an effective web design. Ultimately, perhaps the most important is getting a good return for your investment.
There’s usually little point in spending more money on a website that you are likely to get back in new sales.
Creating an effective web design
Today the ability to create a basic website is in the hands of the general public and budget web designers alike. You can even create yourself a website for free.
But simply knocking up a few web pages in your spare time is in no way effective web design. If it was, then most of the websites out there today would already be effective.
The reality is for any given search term there are hundreds or thousands of “websites”. Only the few with effective designs will get noticed.
The effectiveness of a web design is decided by Google and then by humans.
They both trawl the web making the decision on how effective a website is.
Read on to see what makes those few websites more effective than the majority.
An effective website according to Google
The search engines, and particularly Google, use ever more complex algorithms to decide how effective a website is.
They look at many technical aspects of how your site is constructed. They examine the use of various tags and other elements (eg headings and titles). They look at menu structure, site layout, load speed, the use of graphics, how images are used. They look at how the site appears to mobile users, the size of buttons, how various parts are positioned.
The search engines also look at the site from a human perspective. They examine the content and decide on its relevance to the potential visitor. They look at the quality of the content, and how it relates to other content on the site. They make decisions on the intent of user searches versus the intent of the website in question.
In short, Google and the other search engines try to assess the site for how relevant it is to any given query, before a human even gets to it. And they are getting good at it.
Your web design also needs to be aware of how people are searching. Many designs are advertised as effective web designs because they attract a lot of traffic. But frequently that traffic is the wrong kind. Visitors that will never buy from you or are not easily convinced to buy.
For an effective website in the eyes of the search engines, you need to be on top of everything they consider when evaluating your website. You also need to keep on top of the frequent changes the search engines make to the way they evaluate your website.
It makes sense that, unless you understand and act upon everything the search engines look at, that your website will not be as effective as it should be. Your competition with that knowledge will take the honours.
An effective website according to the human population
A common mistake is to make a website look effective to Google, but fail to make it effective in the eyes of humans.
For humans, a website is a marketing tool. Marketing isn’t new – it’s an ancient and well understood science.
Salesmen don’t simply open up shop and expect customers to flood in and buy without any prompting or encouragement. Likewise simply throwing up a few web pages is unlikely to convince many visitors.
A website needs to understand what people are looking for. How they are searching for it. What reasons they might have not to buy, and to guess and address those reasons before they move on.
The reality is, a lot of consumer psychology and behaviour learnings go into the layout, navigation, placement of information, use of colour, use of graphics and many other factors all go into an effective web design from a human perspective.
Making an effective website
If your website were the only one on the internet, it would be the most effective already.
In the real world, the internet is flooded with websites. Many take little or no account of any of the above.
To make your website effective, you need to understand and apply everything that makes your website effective in the eyes of Google and consumers. You need to do it better than your competitors. And you need to make sure whatever you do is cost effective.
Unless you have a lot of spare time and the motivation to learn, the easiest way to do this is to hire a professional who does this for a living and understands everything that’s needed.
If you want to know more about what goes in to an effective web design, please contact us at Backbone Web Designs, or browse our site for more information.