An internet marketing guru used to say that the formula for profitable website design is “eyeballs + heart = money.”
He meant that your website has to capture someone’s attention (eyeballs) and win their interest (heart) in order to get them to buy from you or take action (money).
Winning eyeballs means having a site that is visually appealing. It uses a nice color scheme, the elements on a page are easy to spot, and when someone is looking for a particular kind of information, that information is easy to find.
Winning hearts means having great content that exactly meets the visitor’s needs. How do you know what they need? You’ll do the research in your industry to know what kinds of challenges they have and solutions they’re looking for. Then you’ll do keyword research to find the search terms someone would use to find those solutions. Then you’ll salt your site with those keywords. You’ll also provide excellent content that relates to their challenges and positions you or your company as an expert.
Winning money can mean buying something from your site. It can also mean getting someone to take an action, like click a “like” button, input his or her email address, or call you.
How Do You Know What’s Working or Not?
Great website design isn’t just measured by how well it gets people to take action. After all, if a website doesn’t win money and that’s your only measure of success, how will you know what to fix? It might be one small detail that’s causing the failure, or it could be a whole mess of things. If you’re only measuring one variable (money), you’ll be changing things at random trying to correct the problem.
A Better Way to Figure Out What Works
Measuring your website design involves using site analytics and studies in website interaction. Through something like Google Analytics, you can know how long someone spends on your page, where they came from and where they go to next, what pages most interest them, what keywords they used to get there, and so on.
Your website hosting account should give you easy access to the “back end” of your website. That will allow you to do “split tests” and change variables in color, placement of elements, and offers. If a blue banner doesn’t work, maybe a red one will.
Finally, great website design does you no good if your hosting company isn’t reliable. Website hosting companies can vary. You want to use one that has a high (99%+) up time, plus large or unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Many hosting companies also offer add-on features that can make your life easier, such as WordPress hosting, apps, and user-friendly site management features.
With a great design and a reliable host, you’re on your way to internet success!