What differentiates all the "good" websites out there from the few truly "great" ones? What differentiates, for example, Amazon from the countless other shopping sites, or makes Netflix so much better than the alternatives for video streaming? There are several must-have features to set your site apart from the competitors. Does it mean you'll rule your industry like Amazon or Netflix? It could happen. It could definitely mean you end the year with a healthier chunk of black in the books than your competition does. Here's what your Drupal website design really needs.
Contact Info & Info on Your Business
Who are you? Why should customers trust you? How can they ask you questions? Give as many options as possible: phone, chat, email, social media, carrier pigeon ...
More importantly, why should people buy from you instead of the other guys? Contact info and an About page or section can do several things.
First, when folks see a real, physical address,
they know you're not some fly-by-night scammer.
Second, when you write a strong About section, people can more easily see the benefits of doing business with you, as opposed to some other site.
Easy, Intuitive Navigation
What do people come to your site to do? If you're selling the best blue blouses in town for the cheapest price on the Internet, by all means make it easy for customers to find those blue blouses! Visit other sites that do navigation brilliantly, and make sure your site is just as slick when it comes to getting people where they want to go.
A Well-Working Search Capability
On that note, a strong search feature helps take people exactly where they need to be quickly. It's also a great way to show them all the options they have when it comes to finding the ideal blue blouse (or red or yellow or fuschia) for the occasion. Clunky searches frustrate shoppers. Frustrated shoppers back out of your site and go somewhere else. Employing a faceted search feature that allows your visitors to quickly filter their list of options can be the difference between record sales or a high bounce rate.
Make sure that a shopper who finds you on his desktop PC has just as good a visit when (s)he comes back on a tablet or smartphone.
This is more than just responsive web design. Be smart about developing a site that looks snazzy on the Samsung Mini or the whopping Droid Maxx. Make it look nice on the mid-size tablets, the notebooks and laptops, and even on the big, old clunker PC. Make sure your Drupal website developer can build a site that looks superb on any device (even when they don't have a great Internet connection).
A Smart Blog
Oh, the power of the blog. Blogs allow you to target a wide variety of keywords and key phrases, rank well on SEO, and exploit the power of content marketing. It's the place where your shoppers get to know you, learn about your products, and find out where you differ from Blue-Blouses-R-Us.
Clean, Easy-to-Read Font(s)
The mark of an amateur design is a whole lot of hard-to-read and completely un-matching fonts. Savvy designers limit their fonts to two, but usually just one, that is varied by color, size, and type style (like bold or italic). Make fonts clean and easy to read. Avoid reverse type (light font on a dark background, as opposed to the traditional dark font on light background) whenever possible, because that's notoriously hard to read.
A Powerful CTA
What do you want your visitors to do? You probably want them to convert as paying customers. Invite them with a potent CTA!
What do you want your visitors to do? Buy that blue blouse, already? Develop a strong CTA. Every page on your site needs a CTA (Call to Action), inviting them to take action on what they've seen and read. The CTA is the power tool of the online marketer -- get 'em to commit!
If they like what they see, don't you want them to have the ability to share it quickly and easily with their 1,200 closest friends on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram? Enable social-sharing buttons, and don't forget to allow sharing via email and text message. This helps people who are shopping with or for somebody else to communicate about the purchase.
Today's online shoppers are smart and experienced. They won't click "Buy Now" unless they see that padlock icon that means their transaction is secure. Build a high level of security into your Drupal website design, and you'll never have to explain to customers that you (oops) let a hacker make off with their credit card info.
To learn more about building tight security into your Drupal website, download our Drupal Security Audit Guide now. BTW, it is a secure download.