We talk a lot about positioning.

This is because the primacy/recency effect will cause a customer to continuously associate their first impression of your product or service, with what they’re experiencing currently. In other words, if you traumatize them in the beginning, they’re going to look for trauma in the future. If you make them feel incredible in the beginning, they’re going to justify working with you when things get tough.

You might be wondering why consumers don’t just “live in the moment.”

Well, you might ask yourself the same question.

Have you ever stayed in a relationship WAY too long? You probably imagined working through tough times, with the subconscious goal of getting things back to the way they were. 

Did your mother-in-law say something off-putting the first time you met? Are you still struggling to trust her years later?

This tendency is the result of what’s called the anchoring bias. We tend to anchor ourselves to past beliefs & experiences. This built-in protection mechanism helps us avoid pain and gain pleasure, in theory. However, that’s not always how things pan out, and our initial perceptions aren’t necessarily true.

 

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Positioning is critical.

The quality of the user experience on your website will determine how the customer perceives you from then on. It is very difficult to change a user’s perception of your business because the negatives will always outweigh the positives. Further, there will never be another opportunity to get the user’s undivided attention for more than a few seconds.

From the moment they first learn about you, it’s crucial to have a seductive strategy in place.

Imagine, the prospect who expects problems, miscommunication, and becomes frustrated as they navigate your website. They may actually follow through and become a customer, but are they going to be an ideal client in the long run?

I learned this the hard way.

In the beginning, I designed our website with a 1920s art deco theme. I used images of typewriters and classic cars. Why?

Because I like them.

Therefore, I used unrelatable phrases like “saving your souls from the digital dark ages,” and it tanked my conversion as well as the user experience.

Consequently, our agencies’ first few clients were a pain to work with! They were entitled, complained almost daily, and they were micro-managers. This was completely my fault. I had poorly positioned these people and was paying the price.

They weren’t bad clients, but they were accustomed to interacting in a certain way – a way that was not conducive to how I wanted to run my business.

Fast forward a few years, and we have the best clients ever. Every single one is passionate about their business and properly educated about SEO & neuromarketing. In other words, position customers properly in the beginning, and you will save time & money in the long-run.

Small tweaks make a big difference.

There are very few components to web design that determine whether you’re going to get the sale or not.

Most users will not review your entire site, and they won’t fact-check your work. They won’t try to validate your credentials, as you are considered an authority by default. This is not a conscious process, but if someone finds you online, they’re going to subconsciously look for things that earn trust or perturb them based on past experience. They aren’t really looking for what you want to show them, they already have a problem and they’re determining if they think you can solve it.

So when designing your website – don’t waste your time reading a book on it.

Hire an expert and make sure they include the items below. It’s a bonus if they have some UI/UX design experience, or knowledge on sales psychology.

Front End Elements

Have you heard designers or marketers describe a website’s front-end or back-end?

This common phrasing can be a bit confusing. To clarify, the front end is what you see, as a consumer. The back end is what you don’t. It’s what software algorithms read to produce the results you see on the front, and it’s the most important part of your website because it’s what Google indexes.

You can’t see the navigation structure, but it’s where the wheels of a website are set in motion.

It looks like this photo.

All you should really be concerned with is the front end. Your designer will take care of the rest.

Your front-end should include the following:

The Navigation Structure

The navigation structure determines the order of the pages, and what visible options users have available. Your menu may not include every page on your website, but it should be a basic map, telling the user what’s relevant to them. In other words, it should lead them to take action. Whether that action is scheduling an appointment, or sharing their email address with you, this is crucial.

Too many options will lead to a stalemate, and the user won’t know what to click. Too few options will make you look cheap or inexperienced, like a teenage blogger.

A good menu has 5-8 pages and those pages can also lead to a secondary menu displaying more options.

The Layout

Is your navigation menu on the top or along the side? You’ll want to make your layout as user-friendly as possible. In this case, that means the website should be spacious and easy to navigate. You’ll want to stick to industry standards, so you don’t disrupt the user’s need to stay consistent (consistency bias) if all your competitors are doing something in a certain way. The user is already conditioned to recognize authority in the industry as they’re shopping around. This isn’t an area where you want to “stand out.”

Bad layouts look crowded.

Good layouts allow the eye to find what it seeks easily and naturally.

The Logo

A good logo is a unifying graphic that supports your branding and company values. The color scheme and style elements should be congruent with how your company “feels” to users.

Images & Content

You don’t just want people to look at your website. There’s always a purpose for having an online presence. For a medical practice, the purpose is clear. For other businesses, like social media websites, the purpose is less apparent.

The internet exists for communication.

Well written text, related imagery, and seductive headings are more than enough when it comes to content. Information should be broken into readable chunks. Images should be optimized for search engines, so it doesn’t slow down your page speed. Page speed is the time it takes for a page to load.

Back End Elements

A static website is the same every time you visit. They don’t collect your contact information, there are no polls, discussion forums, or major changes to the site structure.

Further, there is no search box, and most of these websites have not been updated in years.

You don’t want a static website, this will tank your conversion rate.

Modern websites are searchable. These data-driven websites are created and redesigned regularly, in response to the specific needs of the user. Functional elements are the back-end elements that determine what the user experiences on the front-end.

Content Management System

WordPress, Shopify, etc. This gives you the ability to update your website without knowing how to code. The modern-day demand for coders is a lot less with systems like this. A content management system allows editing of the technical and aesthetic parts of your website with few restrictions.

E-Commerce

Safely process credit-cards through the back end of your website.

Search Bar

Make it simple for users to find what they’re looking for on your website. If a user finds you through a blog post and wants to see if you have more information on the topic, a search bar can make this easy. It’s not always necessary, depending on your seductive sales strategy, but it’s something to consider.

Blog

Today, blogs work similarly to an article repository housed on your website. They allow users to sift through information on various topics, while Google and sift through that same content and send users who are searching directly to you.

Content management systems have blog modules, making it easy for a staff member to publish regular updates that keep your company relevant. Make blog posts at least 1,000 words and add an image or two to the piece to keep it search-friendly.

Contact Forms

It’s important to have some kind of contact form that allows users to get in touch with you if they desire. You probably want an ongoing relationship to spring from visits to your website, and this is an easy way to accomplish that. Make the contact form easy to access, as users expect they’ll be able to contact you if they have questions or concerns. A live chat is also a way to speed up this process, and incentivize users to keep in touch with you.

Newsletter Sign-Up

Further, incorporating a newsletter sign up form will keep you in front of potential clients. You’ll also have an easy (and free) way to update them about new products, services, or holiday giveaways. The fastest way to build a mailing list of interested prospects is to allow people to opt-in on your homepage. Additionally, you can leverage this by creating a reciprocity trigger. A reciprocity trigger is a free offer that incentivizes the user to opt-in. This conditions them to believe you have skin in the game and earns a bit more trust.

Other Elements

Many essential elements aren’t technically front-end or back-end. However, your website won’t work without them. These elements include:

Hosting – Where your website itself is physically located. On a server, there are a set of files that display your website when the servers call your “domain” name.

Domain – This is the website address. Sounds confusing because the website is actually located at the address on file. Think of your domain as a remote office, and the hosting is where all the important files are physically stored. Your registrar is the place where you purchase the domain address. The registrar and host can be the same company, however, there is no benefit to this and it’s not always possible.

Online Marketing

This isn’t technically a part of the website. However, Google will recognize and account for marketing factors, in an effort to rank your website’s value to a consumer. A site with no visitors is like a beautiful monument built in the desert. This is why it’s important to hire a designer with some marketing experience. Most marketing is done off-site. However, there are a few design tweaks that can enhance your searchability and resultant user experience.

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