A great website means more success online, success that's typically measured in more customers buying from your company. The way your website looks and feels is treated as an indicator of what your company will be like to do business with. Plus, it's the first opportunity to capture enough attention from someone to get them to take action (such as buy your product). 

The question is, how do you use design to make your website highly appealing to prospective customers? When you're having an in-person conversation, you're able to guide someone by way of how the conversation is going or what questions they ask. However, when someone visits your webpage they're doing it anonymously and you don't have the luxury of knowing what they're interested in via conversation yet. 

So what that means is you need to "guide" people to the right content that answers their questions in order to have a chance at converting them into a customer. To do that effectively, you have to get very good at anticipating what will be valuable to people and what exactly they're looking for on what page.

Make the homepage act like a table of contents

Think of the homepage as an enticing version of a book's table of contents, where people get a preview of everything you have to offer. When someone first comes to your website, they're still in discovery mode, asking themselves questions like "Is this company the right fit for me?" or "Can they solve my problem?" This isn't the place to put all the details about every last thing you do, because people will get lost in the volume of information and simply leave.

People scan content before they commit to reading anything of length, so the objective is to get people to buy into reading more about what you have to offer. To do this, you want to break up each of your services into one headline and two or three sentences about that service. At the end of that paragraph, link to another page that goes into more detail about that service. 

When someone looks at your "About" page, they want to learn about you

"About" pages are the most underutilized pages on websites. They end up getting wasted because they read like résumés, where instead what someone is really looking for is if they can trust you and if they can get along with you. Your accomplishments and credentials matter, but they're only bullet points that should come at the end to showcase expertise.

Rather, focus your writing on a technique we call "the letter." Imagine you're writing a letter to your ideal client. What would you want to convey to them? What values, lessons, and experiences would be valuable to them? By writing about these topics, you give context to your experiences and therefore make your credentials more valuable, while simultaneously giving your prospective customer insight into who you are and what your company values.

Showcase your unique value on product and service pages

Customers are looking to justify their purchases through receiving value. That value usually serves to solve a problem, provide enjoyment, or make someone feel a certain way about themself. Rather than focusing exclusively on a bullet point list of benefits, focus on the unique way you solve the problem or offer the product. 

What's the unique angle you take? How do you approach the process differently from everyone else? What extra value do you provide with purchase? People understand value better when you illustrate how that value is going to benefit them, rather than just listing it out. 

Remember that when people first discover your website they're usually in research mode. Keep your writing as clear and concise as you can while focusing overall on your unique value. When you start doing this, rather than using generic bullet point lists of benefits, you make you and your company more approachable and likable, and perceived as higher value than your competition.