Have you ever had discussions with your web designer/client on how the website should look like?
Discussions about what image to place where, what color, what layout, what design in general?
And did you catch yourself getting more and more agitated because you realize this is a discussion based mostly on aesthetics? And since tastes differ, there is no right or wrong?
But what should we base our decisions on then?
Here is a proposal: It all depends on your goals:
1. Do you want to have the best designed website in town, maybe even with the fanciest features web technologies can offer?
Go with the best web designer you can afford. Maybe you’ll win a design award.
2. Do you want the highest Google ranking possible?
Go with an SEO expert and let him tell the web designer what to do.
3. Do you want the most effective website possible?
That is a trick question, since it sounds like “Do you love your mother?”, right? Not quite. If you can define what effectiveness means to you and your business and you know how to measure it, you have a solution.
Lets define effectiveness as highest ranking possible and highest percentage of clicks on the call to action buttons on your website. Can you measure ranking? Yes, research the most searched items in the industry you are in (hint: tire related searches are 6 times more often searched than auto repair related searches) and optimize your website for it.
Can you measure clicks to your website? Yes you can, it is called heat map and looks like the one below (Here compared with the published website)
Not only can you see where people click and make sure a minimum of ’empty’ clicks on the website happen, you also can determine the distribution of clicks. Click on the image above and look at it in its own browser window. You will see what menu links/buttons have been clicked on and how often. The last step you need to do is to define what the optimal user experience is for your business.
Is it desired that new visitors to your website click on the request appointment button right away? YES, absolutely. Is it realistic? NO, absolutely not.
What is realistic? Maybe the new visitor wants to check out first what the business is about, credentials and reputation and alike? And maybe whether the services offered match the problem solution they are looking for? So the “Request Appointment” button needs to be on the About Us page, right?
That sounds more realistic. Is it the best solution? Find out yourself. There is no BEST solution, there is only ‘test and modify’. Oh, you have/are a web designer, who builds a website for a one-time design fee, and the website is supposed to last forever and every change costs you money/time? Hm, ‘test and modify’ can get expensive then. Switching the designer/business model might be a consideration.
Start looking at other websites and focus on user experience instead on flashy images, movies, slide shows and alike. Ask your customers what they like/dislike about your website.
Let me know what you have found. Response is promised.