Creating a successful website has far more to it than just simply creating something that is aesthetically pleasing despite what many may think.
Web design companies all over the world tend to market their skills based on the attractiveness of their websites and whilst we're all for creating websites that sparkle, they need more than that to deliver what the client really craves and that is response.
You'll hear many people say “There's no point in creating a lovely website if nobody is going to see it” and this is true but there is also no point in creating a website if the people that do see it are not going to respond in a way which generates revenue.
Numerous websites fall victim to the response problem and this can be easily avoided if your goal right from the outset is to create and design something that is set up specifically to drive sales.
Think about your own purchasing habits for a moment.
You'll probably find that somewhere down the line you didn't buy from somewhere because the ability to respond wasn't easily available.
Of course this is unlikely to be a decision you made consciously but it still cost somebody a sale and you really don't want to be the owner of a website that looks immaculate, drives plenty of traffic but lacks the killer edge.
It's the “near perfection” of everything that can leave business owners scratching their heads for some time and the answer is usually response.
Yes, it doesn't matter if you're creating a site that is designed to make immediate sales, get customers to email in enquiries or just pick up the phone, you need the response factor.
Without it, no amount of traffic in the world is going to be enough and to add insult to injury, your potential customer will probably go off with an inferior competitor who did understand the importance of responsive design.
Responsive design is achieved in several ways and generally speaking, you need the following 3 factors to create a super-responsive website.
Call To Actions
Despite humans somewhat complex nature, a lot of the time they are pretty simple beasts and sometimes something as simple as an “invitation” to do something is all they need to take action.
In the business we call these “Call To Actions” and they're usually a small bit of text or graphic that instructs potential customers to do something after a bit of a sales pitch.
“Phone Us NOW for a Free Quote”
“Buy Now For 10% Off”
“Request A Callback – Click Here”
Simple examples but you'd be amazed at how many people prefer to list the entire 150 year history of their business on their homepage than something that is actually going to generate some business.
We can never stress the importance of interesting and engaging content on this website and you'll very good content to compliment your call to actions.
Good content isn't good enough any more.
The good news is that most websites don't even have good content, they're several levels below that.
“We offer next day delivery!”
“We have an office!”
So do the five other guys competing for your order and one of them has gone the extra mile and shown testimonials of happy customers and talked briefly about his 22 years of customer satisfaction.
He also has a team of highly trained specialists to help out and his website is far more professionally put together than the rest.
He offers plenty of modern day conveniences and has a hands on role even though he is the owner.
He IS the expert.
And more to the point, he can prove it through engaging content.
And yes, he's doing more business than the rest based on this element alone.
Because he is making sense to the customer and the second he does that he becomes the only choice for them.
He offers office supplies by the way but that's neither here or there.
You get the picture.
Tricks of the Trade
By this we mean using proven strategies to increase response and yes, there are several ways to do this.
Big companies like Amazon pay people like us millions of pounds a year to ensure that their website is set up to maximize their traffic.
They think about their logo, they think about the position of their buy button, they think about what order to list categories in and they think about the optimum position to advertise their deals of the week.
The whole site is designed to convert traffic into buyers.
Could the site be better looking? Yes.
Could the site be easier to navigate for the user? Yes.
Could the site better use technology so that visitors are happier? Probably.
BUT if none of the above doesn't increase conversation rates then those changes won't be made and here, all we're trying to do is emphasis the fact that web design is much more about that word “response” than it is anything else.
Finally, RESPONSE as a Money Saver
It's not often we will dramatically point out that something that costs money will ultimately save you money but this is one area where it is really important to point out.
Cutting overhead is in the interest of any business. As is expanding and what improving response levels does beautifully is combine the two.
If your response rate improves, so do your conversions and once your conversions improve, the amount you spend on advertising can be cut quite dramatically.
In businesses where thousands are changing hands in individual transactions a small 1% improvement on conversions can be the difference between quite staggering amounts of money.
For that reason, building a website that is created for maximum response is not only a fantastic investment but a great way to cut your advertising expenditure down in the long term.