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So you have a beautiful website. Perhaps its got cool Flash bells ringing and whistles blowing. Perhaps there are cool menu’s that fly and pop and slide. Maybe they even dance for you!

But is your website effective? Every single day I look at websites that were lovingly brought to life by a web designer who meant well (probably) but who did the client a massive dis-service. In this post I will give you the greatest hits of what makes for effective web design with some help from two very good infographics.

One of the things I harp on about quite a bit is Effective Web Design. This is because client’s regularly get very caught up in the visual elements of their new website. It makes sense, these business owners understand and feel like they are qualified to judge what does and does not look good. For most they don’t know any other way to judge how good or bad a website is.

You Dear Reader, will be different armed with the knowledge below.

What makes a website effective?

A very good question and the answer primarily depends on what your objectives for the website are. Increasing your revenues from inbound leads? Brand positioning? What is the web site being designed to do?

These are all questions you should know the answers to, but what about things like layouts and colours etc. Check out the infographic below for more detail on that. (P.S. Not sure what the 2nd half of this infographic has to do with Effective Web Design but you can skip on past that bit if you wish as its not important to this discussion)

Design IS important

There’s no getting away from the fact that how your new website looks, will directly impact your visitors impression of your brand. If the website doesn’t look professional, your brand will not look professional.

Usability IS important

Just as important as design is the usability of the website. This is especially true for any website where either Lead Generation or eCommerce are involved. Pages that take forever to load, or menu’s that are non intuitive and difficult to navigate around the site will negatively affect your websites performance.

Your users shouldn’t have to think too hard about where they should go to find what they are looking for. If they do, your developers have failed.

Marketing IS soooo important

Building your website is easy. It has a start date and a Go Live date. What happens in the middle is largely done by somebody else, who is qualified to do the work.  It is a MASSIVE error to think of your website as being a “once-off job, that’ll last for 5 years”.

Your website could be the most valuable sales and marketing asset your business has. You wouldn’t lock your top performing sales guy/gal in a closet after they turned up for work on day 1 and then forget about them (at least I sincerely hope you wouldn’t!)

So why would you do that to your website? Just like a sales guy if you want to see big results you need to invest time and money in the asset on an on-going basis.

Landing Page Design

After you’ve designed the perfect website, you will need to begin considering your Landing Pages. Landing Page Optimization (or Optimisation for those of you who speak English English, as opposed to American English) is all about tweaking your Landing Pages so they perform better.

Eh, what’s a Landing Page again?

A landing page is a lead capture page. They come in a number of different shapes and sizes but essentially the goal is to provide your visitor who has “landed” on the page (usually from a PPC ad or from organic search results) with the information they were looking for if they’ll simply complete the form below…

Good landing pages can play a key role in boosting your lead generation efforts, and your companies revenues as a result.

I’ll let this infographic explain in more detail.

Are you currently using Landing Pages to build your business?