Take it from me, a professional website designer, sometimes bad websites happen to good businesses! In fact, I witness it on the regular.
A lot of my rebrand clients have wonderful businesses!
I mean, they’re 6-figure earners, with amazing reviews, and consistent bookings. But if you came across their website and online presence BEFORE experiencing their work, you’d NEVER guess it! Listen, this CANNOT continue! As a fellow woman entrepreneur, I want to see all my colleagues taking advantage of the opportunities available when you have a STRONG online presence. In this post, I hope to shed some light on exactly what you need to have a good website.
I’m gonna share with you a non-techy and super simple 4-part formula for having a GOOD website design. It will reveal what’s REALLY necessary for a high-converting online home, that you’ll actually want to share :-).
Let’s dig in!
What Makes A Good Website Design? Is It Magic?
Firstly, I know it goes without saying, but at the risk of sounding redundant, I MUST. A good website design IS powerful, but:
A good website design ALONE won’t solve all your business problems.
You also have to have:
- a solid offer that actually gets results for your clients
- functional systems that take care of the back end of autopilot, and
- consistent marketing that gets you seen.
If you have all of this going, a good website design is only going to make everything you’re already doing 100 times more effective. Meaning, the results you WANT will come faster and will be greater in magnitude.
So, while it’s a fantastic idea to invest in a good website design, make sure you take care of those first 2 things listed above (solid offer & functional systems), at the least!
Why the first 2? Well, because you can always jump right in and pick back up with your marketing, but those 2 things need to be in tip-top shape!
A good website won’t save your business if they’re not, my friend.
Having A Good Website Makes It Easier to Elevate Your Brand
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about elevating your brand. That’s what SO many online entrepreneurs want to do and I totally get it.
An elevated brand means:
- charging more for your services (*insert cash register sound here💰!)
- getting more expert opportunities, like speaking and collaborating (ahem, 🙄 “FINALLY!”)
- and attracting a more aligned audience, who truly values what you do (yes, the tribe you’ve always wanted 🫂).
But an elevated brand isn’t something that happens by chance. You’ve got to ‘mold it’, to look the part. Then you couple that beautiful molding with your years of expertise, and voila, the level up has arrived!
It sounds easy, right? Well, it CAN be. And one way to make it even easier is by leveraging great brand assets, like a good website design, that’s crafted to position you like an expert.
Let’s take some of my clients for example.
A scenario most of them have in common when they first reach out to me is that their business is doing well in terms of finances and visibility. This is solely due to them working in their field for several years, having awesome testimonials, and getting constant referrals.
However, they’re at a point where they’re tired of only being an expert in the eyes of their clients.
They’re ready to elevate and actually LOOK like the expert they KNOW they are in the online space. They’ve outgrown their current brand, evolved as a leader, and want more impact in their industry that will carry them into their next season of life.
And THAT’S when we peel back the layers of their brand, their brand identity, and of course, their website. I take action and audit their online home, scanning it to see how it measures up in the 4 areas I’m going to share with you today. Because in my experience of building websites for service-based businesses, I’ve seen clients get the greatest results when these 4 things are being done well!
And I want you to be able to audit your own website by using this short, but effective list!
I’m done blabbing, lol, let’s jump in, shall we?
What Makes A Good Website Design? Here’s What You Need To Have
There are certainly MANY more things I could tell you about having a good website design, outside of these 4 things, let’s be clear, lol!
But my goal is to approach the topic, super casual 😎, so no tech-talk here.
I didn’t want to get into the techy bits that I could geek out on for hours, that would be fun to me, but absolutely awful for you! So I’m keeping it light, and talking about just 4 things that you can easily understand, and most importantly, take action on NOW!
A good website design must have the following 4 qualities.
1. Layout built for conversions
You need to have the “right” stuff on each page that takes your visitors on a journey towards booking you. I have ‘right’ in quotations because this term will vary, according to your business’ services, audience, etc. But the gist of it is that, as a service provider, you need to have things that are relevant to what your offer is, the problem it solves for people, and how they can get started.
These are the basic steps of a layout that’s built to convert. The layout has to be both aesthetically pleasing (meaning it’s easy on the eyes and looks good!) AND strategically designed to gently ‘nudge’ your visitors towards a conversion, aka booking you! However, a conversion doesn’t always equal a sale. Conversion simply means, your visitor does exactly what you want them to do on that webpage-so that could be joining your email list, downloading your freebie, or visiting your social media page.
If you have a layout strategically designed to convert and captivate visitors, you’re going to stand out even MORE in your industry. Because, here’s some tea. A lot of people have websites these days, but very few of them have a good website design that’s built for conversions and that keeps people on their site for extended periods of time.
What Makes A Good Website? For Design: A Layout That Stands Out
Here’s a quote from Adobe Digital Trends that elaborates on this more, “With the amount of competition in the market, your products, services, and website need to stick out somehow. Seventy-three percent of businesses achieve this by investing heavily in design.”
I spill the beans on how to have an awesome website layout in my free checklist, ‘What Each Page of Your Service-Based Website Needs.’ It’s linked below and is intentionally short and sweet. One, because I know you’re busy, and two, I want you to have a QUICK win!
So download it and dive in! I promise you after downloading it, this layout thing will feel like a piece of cake 🍰!
Extra pro-tip, just because I’m feeling generous:
One way I like to ensure that my clients have a layout built for conversions is by having only ONE goal for each page of their website. This is so we’re not confusing the visitors with a ton of random links and calls to action. Because when we give people too much to do, they almost ALWAYS opt to do nothing. Having just ONE goal for each page makes it clear what we want them to do, and 9 times out of 10, they do it!
Again, download my checklist, here, to learn how to do this for your own website!
2. Images that show personality
Okay, many of my readers know that I’m also a brand photographer, so when it comes to images that show a business owner’s personality, that’s kinda my thing!
The majority of my clientele is spread out all over the country–ahh, the beauty of an online business, I love it, lol! However, when I work with a client local to me (I’m in Mississippi), I always take the photos for their new website and brand identity.
One thing that I’m known for is helping to bring out a brand’s TRUE personality through photos. I’m also able to do this for clients when I’m not acting as their photographer!
In this instance, I switch hats and serve as Creative Director. When I’m in this role, I STILL help them achieve personality-filled photos, by guiding their photographer, stylists, and of course my client, on how the images need to ‘feel’.
Because at the end of the day, taking pictures is fun and all, but they need to communicate a message in order to be effective!
And not just any message, but the one that’s authentic to who you are, what you’re about, and who you want to attract.
Photos have energy! Always remember, it’s not just about having photos on your website, just to say you have them. You want photos that make people feel like they know you a little better. Your photos should be paired with words (aka, ‘copy’), that take people on a journey when they visit your website.
The journey should lead them towards thoughts like:
- She seems awesome! How can I work with her?
- I wonder where I can see more of her online?
- I think she can help me! Let me look around some more
You don’t have to have your face all over your website! But if you choose to have some stock images–make sure they:
- express the energy you want to be associated with your brand and
- communicate the brand personality you want your target audience to be attracted to
3. Copy that’s alive and well.
Yeeesss, copy, or your words, need to have ‘life’ to them!
They should be the utterances of your actual brand voice and tone, not what you “think you need to say”. Nor should your copy be a collection of your colleagues and competition’s words. They need to be YOUR words, in YOUR style, with YOUR tone, and with YOUR unique flair.
No more dead and boring copy.
We (your readers) should be able to “hear you say it” in our heads as we read along. THIS is what it means to have an authentic brand. It’s not just a buzz term (even though it’s being tossed around like it is, lol!). An authentic brand has an authentic copy, authentic photos, and helps us feel like we know you better. This allows us to decide more accurately if we “like you”. And if we like you, well we just may want to do business with you!
In my checklist, I show you how copy needs to align with photography on your web pages to keep people interested and also engaged. Your favorite websites have copy that is alive and well, personality-rich images, and a layout that keeps you tuned in.
And I want you to know, you can have this too!
4. Navigation that’s simple.
In the simplest of terms, don’t make people jump over hurdles to find what they need!
According to Fit Small Business, “People are spoilt for choice. Instead of trying to navigate through a poorly planned, unorganized, and ill-designed website, 38% will head to the hundreds, if not thousands, of other sites out there that offer the same things—minus the headache.”
But they’re right. I’m a testament to this.
Listen, I don’t care HOW much I want to do business with you, if I land on your site and can’t find what I need, I’m out!
Top Design Firms’ 2021 study confirms this as well. They report that 42% of people will leave a website because of poor functionality.
My best advice when it comes to website navigation is to make it so simple, your grandmother and 2 of her besties can work it.
Got it, lol?
Don’t try to use cute titles for your links, if it’s the services page, label it, “Services”. I promise you there’s room for creativity and innovation on the website, but when it comes to the navigation menu, people just want to find what they need!
And in the clearest path towards that need as possible.
Need Help Putting the Right Stuff on Each Page Of Your Website?
Having a good website design can be simple.
If you focus on having 4 really straightforward qualities in place, you can have a website that attracts your target audience, keeps them on your website longer, and ultimately leads them towards a conversion.
But you gotta have a plan for each page that’s based on strategy!
If you want my expert tips on exactly what you need on each page of your website, as a service provider, to have a stronger online home for your business, I got you!
My free checklist can serve as a fantastic starting point for you to audit the state of your website and see where you can improve the layout and design, so you can get the results you want!
P.S. Don’t forget your checklist!
Download my free checklist: What Each Page of Your Service-Based Website Needs.
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