If you're old enough to remember the infancy of the internet you may recall the websites you found when you logged in.
They were flashy, bright, and gaudy.
Most of them consisted of giant about me pages urging visitors to come or call their place of business.
Web design has evolved a lot since those days, and thankfully so has the mindset of business owners.
No longer are websites just giant billboards, but interactive places visitors can go to find out information and even make purchases.
Today's websites have a virtual life of their own.
So what really works today in web design? Let's take a look.
Great Content Interesting content that actually has value is still one of the biggest draws to websites.
Not only do people like to find well written content, but search engines do too.
If you have useful and relevant content on each and every page of your website you will have a higher page rank in search results, and real people will be drawn to your site.
Too many website owners treat content as an afterthought instead focusing on graphics and other elements.
Content should be one of your top priorities.
Hire professional writers that understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the proper use of keywords.
You get what you pay for, so don't always go with the lowest bidder.
This is your business and you want to have the best content on your pages as possible.
You've Got 5 Seconds Visitors are impatient.
They want to know what you're saying quickly.
Studies show you have a very short window to hold their attention.
Most studies show that if you don't grab their attention within five seconds visitors will hit the back button and be gone.
Be brief, be concise, and get to the point.
Once you have their attention you can then expand upon your message, but wrap up the main idea of what you're trying to say within the first few seconds of visitors landing on your website.
A good rule of thumb is to say the most important points before the "fold line".
This is the point at which your visitors have to scroll to stay on your page.
Also break your text up into bite size pieces.
This means no long paragraphs or blocks of text.
Visitors scan your pages and pick and choose the most interesting bits to read.
Remember that when you're writing your content and creating your page design.
Tell Your Visitors What to Do Your site needs a call to action.
A call to action can be as simple as "call us", "contact us", or "buy now".
One of the biggest mistakes website owners make is not asking the customer to buy.
In retail on of the lessons you learn is that the customer wants it to be your idea that he or she is purchasing your product or service.
You do this by a call to action.
Don't assume they are going to follow up on the information you've given them, you have to spur them into action.
Video and Social Media Power Today's web users are visual.
They like to connect.
Use video for product demonstrations, introduce your team, and for customer testimonials.
Give your visitors a chance to connect with you on social media sites.
Social media buttons should be on each and every page of your site so that visitors can connect with you.
This builds a community and builds trust.
Many times visitors will check out your Facebook page or Twitter feed to see what you're all about.
Using social media also gives visitors a chance to share your information, so include share buttons.
If they find your site worthy, they will want to share it with their friends.
Don't miss out on the power of social media.
Great content, pleasing graphics and visuals, video, and social media are what combine to give you a strong web presence and convert visitors to customers.
These are just the basics of what works on websites today.
If you have a business and need a website hire professional web designers to create a site that will not only be attractive, but attract customers.