A good web design can change visitor behavior. Every screen on your website should be directing visitors to take a certain course of action. This includes the top of each page, the footer, and every tab down in between. It’s hard to capture anyone’s attention for long online, so every second should be spent directing them towards a purchase, a subscription or a mailing list. Here are three essential web design elements that every site should have:
Your home page should be full of action statements.
Contemporary home pages are built out of sections. There are the standard elements that most websites have: navigation bars, sidebars, and a footer. But your home page also needs to have new horizontal sections when a visitor scrolls down the page. Not only does this let you organize your most important information with the most visibility but every screen is another invitation for them to act. These sections can include:
- your calendar so prospective customers can schedule appointments
- a map to your physical location
- a large image of your stylized catalog and seasonal product offerings
Good websites also use active tabs instead of descriptions. Most of your navigation bar and home page hyperlinks should include verbs.
Have several landing pages to customize visitor experiences.
Even if you have a very specific niche, you probably offer more than one specific product or service. You need different landing pages that focus on a specific offer so you capture a highly refined and targeted base. Different landing pages also help you measure the effectiveness of different campaigns: instead of sending all of your traffic from multiple sources to the same landing page, you can send them to different URLs to better measure campaign effectiveness.
Make the cart easy to find and easy to use.
Your website isn’t just there to make sales. It also strengthens your brand, makes you a niche authority, and builds your mailing lists. But your shopping cart should still feature prominently on every page. It helps prospective customers check out at the end of their visit. If any part of the process is inconvenient or makes them think their credit card information might not be safe, they’ll leave and make their purchases elsewhere.