It goes without saying that to compete in today’s global workplace, your business needs a website. A good website, otherwise in the not so distant future you and your business will be invisible. But a good website is more than an electronic brochure and your logo and some pretty photos surrounded by copy. A good website has most or all of the following characteristics:

1. Communication

Above all, a good website communicates your brand message in a clear concise manner. It lets people know who you are, what you do, and what you are about. It shows them the easiest way to contact and locate you.

Needless to say, brevity, grammar and spelling count. Not sure what to say? When in doubt, consider hiring a seasoned copywriter…not everyone can be Ernest Hemingway.

2. Target your products or services

Understand the ‘persona’s of who you want to sell and communicate to and look to designing a site that pays attention to best practice in ‘Persuasion Architecture’ which provided for the ‘one click’ rule of leading prospects to the page on your site where they will find the information that they are looking for as quickly as possible.

3. A Strong Call-To-Action

The most effective website designs focus on a single, clear call-to-action. Do you want visitors to buy or do something? Make it easy for them. Put it on the homepage. Don’t bury your main offering deep inside the “Products & Services” page. Bonus tip: Keep the call-to-action higher up on the page to avoid scrolling.

4. Instill Confidence

People really do judge books by their covers. And like it or not, visitors will judge the credibility of your business based on your site design. Unconsciously, our brains process design elements such as layout, alignment, symmetry, typography, color, and consistency. And don’t be afraid of white space and easy to read copy with short paragraphs and bullet points. Adequate use of white space has been shown to improve reading comprehension by 20%!

Remember, a great site may not necessarily close the deal, but a poor website design will lose one.

5. Personality

When in doubt, humanize your site. Given the choice, people prefer to interact with people, not faceless businesses. Invest in professional, high-quality photography of people, particularly happy, smiling ones. Let visitors know there is a real, warm-blooded, human being on the other end of the line. Just because it is business, doesn’t mean it has to be boring!

Don’t forget: Strong website designs appropriately reflect the needs and values of your target audience. If possible, avoid culturally-specific phrases and references which may confuse, or even alienate, potential clients.

In Conclusion

So there you have it. These 5 Earmarks of Effective Website Design will help your website design go a long way towards improving your overall business image.