Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Effective Website Design to Attract Resume Clients

In yesterday's blog post about "New Year, New Marketing Ideas," I talked a little bit about the role of your website in attracting new clients ... but I thought it merited its own blog post.

One of the most important elements of your online business is your website. Itís as important to you as a storefront is to a brick and mortar business. Your website represents who you are and what you have to offer.

Your Website Is Your Prospect's First Impression

You know what they say about first impressions, right? Actually, a lot is said about first impressions. Two of the cliches are:

  • You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and
  • Your first impression matters most

Essentially, they say the same thing. Your prospect's first impression matters. You want people to come to your website and:

  • Feel welcome -- like they want to stay and have a look around
  • Feel comfortable moving around on your site
  • Feel confident in you -- your knowledge, skills, and products or services
  • Feel like buying (or at least signing up for your free special report!)

And you want them to feel like coming back!

The Key Elements to Effective Website Design

Many people still think that effective website design has to be complicated. They use fancy flash graphics and make their visitors jump through hoops just to get to the core information. Effective website design is actually quite simple. One of my favorite career websites is Blue Sky Resumes.

Louise Fletcher has done a nice job of creating an inviting website. Let's look at some of the keys to effective website design.

  • Navigation. Navigation is essentially how your visitor moves through your website. If they have to search for pages, they're likely to leave. If information, is difficult to find, they'll leave. Conversely, if your website navigation is simple and straightforward, you'll provide an excellent visitor experience. This means more sales, traffic and conversions = more profits. (The best way to create effective navigation is to think through what you want your prospective clients to know, and in what order, and then design your site accordingly.)
  • Branding. Your website design actually helps form a brand image in your visitor's mind. Every aspect of your website helps establish who you are and what you're about. At a very basic level, color plays an important role. For example, if you focus on careers in the sustainable industry, then chances are you're going to use greens on your site to represent nature. If you work with accounting or IT clients, then you will probably use blues. Colors are associated with professions, niches, and industries.
  • Sales. Ultimately your website design needs to support your goals. Your goal with a resume website is to get clients to take action to start working with you -- either calling or emailing you. If elements of your design distract from your goal, sales can suffer. (It's fine to offer job search resources, for example, but if you're SELLING resume services, your emphasis should be on that, not on how many articles and links to free service sites that you can compile.)

Before you create your website or have someone create it for you, make sure you have a clear idea of who you are, what your website goal is, and how you want your resume writing business to be perceived by your visitors. Then make visiting your website as simple and enjoyable as possible. That's good website design. Keep your goals and your customers' experience at the forefront and you can't go wrong.

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