Website Design Success Factors

yay-7238976This week a local business asked me some questions about changing their site to add some “popular” features. This was my reply:

“Lots of sites have lots of cool features, but that doesn’t mean those features are going to help you make money. Just because lots of sites do it isn’t a good reason. It’s like putting pink flamingos in your front yard because lots of people do it.

Your website should be a tool, that’s it. It’s one of the tools at your disposal that you should be using to create revenue for your business. The question you should be asking yourself and your clients is “how can I make this a better tool?”

The truth is 99% of people don’t know how to make money with their websites so they just put stuff on there that they think people want. The real way to make money is to have no more than what is necessary to get them to contact you. Then when they do, – track how they got there and optimize that.

To make sales there are a few things you’ll need:

1. Your website has to look like what they expect it to look like. It has to have the elements they expect. If someone comes to your hair salon site and all it is is a clever animated cartoon about getting your hair cut, that trust factor will have been subliminally broken.

To test that imagine these two scenarios. In the first you show up at the bank to get a loan and the loan officer is wearing Bermuda shorts. Confidence? In the second remember that green Skittle that tasted like orange? Odd, eh?

2. It has to scream “trust”. Your photo, a photo of your business or even testimonials help with this trust factor.

3. They have to know they’re not the first customer.  Things like testimonials, photos of customers, a statement saying you started in 1999, stuff like that makes people comfortable.

4. You have to have what they want. Menu of services, photos, prices of what you’ve done for clients, testimonials listing what they had done or even just your title, like Doctor of Opthamology.

5. You have to ask them to call. A visible phone number, an easy to fill out contact form, friendly content that talks about conversations you’ve had with customers. They need to know you are open to them calling and you’re waiting for them to call.

6. They have to trust you know what you’re doing. Blog posts, photos, testimonials do this.

7. You have to be likable. Testimonials, photos or blog posts about what people said about you work

When you have these things, people will call. If you include blog posts to show them you’re an expert- great! If you include them to show them you have lots of happy clients – Great! If you write them to show them other people trust you – great! If you write posts to show that you’re likable – make that the goal.

If you do anything else, you’re adding “noise” and making it harder for your clients to call you. They just need to have those basic needs met and they’ll call.”

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