Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 2.54.16 PMThe rainbow wheel spins, the gray bar never fills, and only half an image appears. We’ve all fallen victim to a slow, unresponsive website and chances are, we never returned. Don’t let yourself be an example of this tale of terror, and instead, be proud of a well-designed website. Not only will it make your firm stand out from the competition, but it will also increase your profitability and lead to referrals.

But what exactly does a well-designed website look like?

First, you need to consider the fundamental elements on your website and decide if they’re doing what you want them to do.

Text

We always tell our clients to avoid the Three F’s of website design- funkiness, flash, and frames. When it comes to text, some professionals and small business owners are tempted to lure their prospects in with crazy text that they hope will catch their attention. On the contrary, funky texts are hard to read and look unprofessional. We suggest a classic, easy-to-read font like Sans Serif or Cambria at size 16.

It may also be helpful to consider how your text is laid out on a page. Usually, prospective clients searching the web want answers fast and don’t want to read through lengthy paragraphs or too many pages. Some tricks to organize your text are creating bullet points instead of paragraphs, creating headers and subheaders, and separating information into shorter paragraphs. Studies show that 70% of people look at lists with bullet points, whereas only 55% looked at lists without bullet points.

Images

We’ve all heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, so ask yourself: what are you saying with the images on your website? Our Vice President of Creative, Brandon Brown, suggests including “information rich” photography on your site, such as pictures of your geographical area or members of your staff, to help visitors quickly pinpoint relevant aspects of your firm. Always make sure your photos are high-quality and sized appropriately for loading quickly on mobile versions.

Layout

This may be one of the most overlooked aspects of creating a website, but it is also one of the most important. All of our website designs at FMG Suite take into consideration what the ideal layout is, including an easily navigable landing page, select choices on the navigation page, and a layout including boxes with key points. Check out some of our Exclusive themes to see some of the designs we create.

Mobile-Friendly

Research reveals that 62% of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile viewing increased sales. People are relying on their phones more and more often to find things on the Internet, which is why your site needs to be mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive. Our website themes are mobile responsive, meaning that they contain different elements depending on the size of the screen on which they are viewing the website.

Now that you know what a well-designed website looks like, let’s talk about the benefits. Imagine the website described at the beginning of the post. Would you refer your friend to that site, or return yourself? If it was an eCommerce site, would you want to buy one of their products? We guess the answer to these questions is a resounding “no.”

Here are just three reasons why you need a well-design website:

  1. Credibility. An astounding 48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business, and 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design. You can see the power of a well-designed website on branding and firm credibility. Your website should act as more than just an online brochure; it should motivate visitors to take action and build trust with you and your practice.
  2. Increased referrals. Clients are more likely to refer your practice to their family and friends if you have a professional looking website. We have worked with many service professionals who have turned to us to help them with their website because they want to make it easier for their clients to share their site.
  3. Inspire action. Ultimately, the goal of a website is to encourage visitors to do what the company wants them to do. What do you want your visitors to gain from viewing your website? Your primary goal could be for them to reach out to your office and schedule a meeting, gather more information about your services, or understand what makes your practice unique compared to your competitors. Whatever your goal may be, make that the focus of your website.

At FMG Suite, we are passionate about marketing and effective web design. We excel at what we do because we are passionate about helping service professionals build their business. If you would like to get started on creating a well-designed website for your business, contact us today.