At Optimax we have spent many hours discussing design to suit human web-surfing behaviour; what a person does on arrival at a website.
If your Optimax marketing campaign is now driving traffic to your site, you need to make sure they don't 'bounce' off. A 50% bounce rate means you are losing half of the visitors you have worked so had to win. A 'bounce' is a visitor that leaves within seconds of arrival without passing through your home page to visit your other web pages.
There are a few rules of thumb that we have worked in together in order too keep the visitor on the site. Obviously it is essential to immediately look professional and be attractive. The web traffic (your visitors) will be looking for what they need, and what they have just typed into the search engine...so it is vital to be very clear about what you do. Many websites still don't even tell the visitor what they do on the home page; and instead woffle about welcoming visitors with promises of fantastic second to none service or a company mission statement.
The difficult part is creating a compromise between the very popular look that we call 'white, clean and neat'....and crossing that with the golden rule of serving up lots of tempting options, through links behind attractive buttons. Our solution you are looking at right now in the Optimax pages. An asthetically attractive page beginning with 'primary advertising' to make it clear what that page is about; then big tempting designer buttons neatly spaced with as little clutter as possible. This should be followed by content, such as this content you are now reading; to inform the customer in detail while obliging Google's desire for informative and original text content.
Your website needs to be simple to navigate and have functional performance. Your page needs to offer lots of options, and be easy to not only find you way in but also to find your way back....and through to other areas, and back. Now that you have internet traffic on your home page, you need to draw your visitor into your website. You have attracted the right visitors, so make sure you turn them into customers.
Find out more about website performance and navigation in website tips and advice
In the past businesses have borrowed credibility from their suppliers and manufacturers. It was once quite a process to get a reputable supplier to hand over the art work for their logo and grant you permission to use it. With websites that is just a click, copy and paste... everybody does it until the supplier catches up with them. Much like a water tank company who may feature a Bluescope steel logo.
A better way to build credibility is to use your own track record, by asking your customers to make a comment about the service you have provided to them. Using customer references throughout your website provides a very credible comfort to the prospective customer.
So design is not just about how you look. You have to do all these things, as well as look good.