The 5 Essential Elements of a Successful Web Design

After analyzing tons of websites across a wide variety of industries…

…We have identified five key elements every successful website has in common.

Before getting into it, you may be wondering:

What do you consider a “successful” website?

In my opinion, a successful site is one that gets more leads and effectively converts visitors into customers.

Here are my essential elements your site needs to get more leads and convert traffic into customers to grow your business.

The first element:

A Great “Above the Fold” Area

What I mean by “above the fold” is everything that is visible on the screen when people initially land on your website.

The term initially comes from the newspaper industry, referring to the visible area on the top of the first page of a newspaper when it is folded in half. This is where editors would have to display the most eye-catching headlines to temp passersby to pick up the paper for further inspection.

(Old school clickbait)

Just like a paper, when you land on a site, you don’t get to see the whole thing at once. You only see the top of the first page of the website.

If you look at this site:

The image you see here is the “Above the Fold” area which also conveys their most important message:

“Get in the college of your dreams.”

Straight away, you know that this site is about college prep and for students. Then you see the subheading:

“Test Prep and Tutoring Services to Maximize Your Scores.”

Right.

So now you know what their promise is AND how they are going to deliver on that promise, all within a few seconds.

Firstly, they want to help you achieve the highest score so you can get into the college of your dreams, and they will help you get there with their services.

This is a great above the fold area.

It touches all three levels of a student and their parents’ needs during the college application.

External need: High test scores to get into college

Internal need: To feel confident that they will successfully get into the college they want

Philosophical need: To achieve your dreams.

Now let’s look at the before and after of another website’s “Above the Fold” area.

This was Scott Wintrip’s site:

(We just redesigned his Web site about a month ago.)

Scott is a public speaker who speaks to human resource directors throughout the United States. He’s a specialist in hiring and recruiting.

If you look at his old website:

You actually have no idea what Scott really does, other than speaking.

Right?

It says speaking…and it says Scott as your next keynote speaker.

So…

It says something about speaking twice, but it also shows Scott on stage with a guitar in the background.

Right now, you might be looking at this thinking:

“Maybe he specializes in talking to the music industry or something…”

The website just wasn’t passing the basic 5 second rule.

(knowing what a person does and what it has to do with you within 5 seconds of looking at their website)

Then, we spent some time with Scott, using the Story Brand technique to get his site right.

If you look at his new website:

It has a nice silent background video showing him on stage, speaking to a large audience. Obviously, you can tell that he’s a speaker.

However, people don’t want a speaker. Same as people don’t want an author. They want the content. How it comes is just the medium.

Instead, people are looking for help to solve their problem. In Scott’s case, he helps solve a common problem in the H&R world:

Being completely stressed out and overwhelmed by recruiting and hiring.

That’s how we chose his headline:

“Eliminate the stress and overwhelm of recruiting and hiring.”

His tagline further supports value proposition:

“Hiring doesn’t have to be a hassle.”

It’s plain and clear. Scott Wintrip is a speaker who helps you eliminate the stress and overwhelm of recruiting and hiring so hiring doesn’t have to be a hassle.

(I don’t know many people who enjoy recruiting and hiring people.)

Next, his clear Call to action is “Book Scott.”

You don’t contact him or learn more about him. You Book Him. Of course you do! He’s going to eliminate the stress and overwhelm of recruiting and hiring for you. Who doesn’t want to book him?

Next, let’s look at my website:

Btw, I’m not trying to brag about myself. That’s not the point.

I just want to show you how I use this same advice in my own business too. Take a look at the title:

“Business Growth & Marketing Advice that Works”

Instantly, you know my talks cater to people who are looking to grow their business. They are also people who are looking for marketing advice that gets results, in contrast to the impotent advice they have previously received.

Next…

Let’s look at my subtitle. It’s didn’t write it for my audiences. It targets meeting planners.

Why? Because they are the ones hiring me, right?

I don’t have the audience coming to my site to book me; meeting planners book me. When making your headlines, always ask yourself:

“Who will be writing me a check?”

In my case…

If I want to get booked, I need to put myself in the shoes of a meeting planner looking my website.

By doing this, I know that my key clients can look at my site and within 5 seconds, say:

“Okay got it. So it’s business growth and marketing advice. Got it. Yeah and makes complete sense. If I want him to share his advice, I click the Book Antoine button.”

That’s why I tell 90% of my clients:

Your website doesn’t need more creativity, it needs clarity.

The Value Prop

The value prop is very simple.

A value proposition (prop) is a brief explanation of what value your client will take away after doing business with you.

If we look on Storybrand.com’s website (the company that teaches this methodology I am sharing with you now) you will see that their value proposition is threefold:

  1. Create a buzz.
  2. Learn a language that sells.
  3. Become a mass marketing master.

That is the value they promise you will gain when registering for their story brand course. And, hey whachaknow, the CTA “Register Now” button is right there too.

Placed just above it all, Storybrand.com uses a simple single testimonial, providing you social proof that they can deliver on their promise.

Which reminds me:

Testimonials Done Right

It’s not about volume.

People don’t look for hundreds of testimonials like they do reviews. It’s a whole different ballgame.

Testimonials are there to help overcome common objections before purchase. To figure out which testimonials to use on a given page, ask yourself:

What could hold people back from clicking the CTA on this page? What would cause them to hesitate?

Maybe…

They might think it’s too much money. Or too complicated. Or that it takes too much time. Then, pick a testimonial that addresses that concern.

For example:

If it’s a time issue, feature one of your testimonials that talks about how fast your service was, like

Wow, I really thought it was gonna take me forever to do that, but It took a lot less a lot less time than I thought!”

Match the testimonial with the possible objection or point of resistance in regards to the action you are trying to achieve.

Talk About Failure

Failure is the cost or risk they face if they do not do business with you.

This doesn’t mean you need to go all doom and gloom on them. Just address the realistic possibilities of what they stand to lose if they don’t use your services.

Again, using the Storybrand.com website as an example, they ask insert a little risk awareness by asking:

How much is unclear messaging costing you?

It’s a great question. It creates initial concern around the monetary value of the cost of NOT doing business with the company.

(making their products seem more valuable in the process)

This works with any industry, service, or product. Just don’t overdo it. Like salt, a pinch of failure should do.

Let’s talk Success

At the bottom of your website, add a section showcasing what success they can attribute from working with you. Btw, this works exceptionally well when placed close to a contact form or CTA.

Paint a picture of what success will look like after they take the action you’ve laid out for them as your primary CTA for the page.

This also works exceptionally well a few steps after the failure section, as it acts as an emotional life raft for the visitor.

First, you uncover danger of losing; then you show them a way to safety (you).

Conclusion

Did I miss anything? Let me know.

Have you redesigned your website using the tips from this article? Leave a screenshot in the comments section below. Would love to see how you’ve put this all to good use!

Watch this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elMlNb3OyyA

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Pinki Shah

An Experienced Project Manager offering 10 years of success leading all phases of diverse technology projects; PMP certified; degrees in MIS and International Business. A Business Strategist: plan and manage multiple projects aligning business goals with technology solutions to drive process improvements, competitive advantage and bottom-line gains. An Excellent Communicator: leverage technical and business acumen to communicate effectively with client executives and their respective teams. Knowledge in agile and waterfall project management methodologies: manage multiple project teams and known for high-quality deliverables that meet or exceed timeline and budgetary targets.

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