10 Practices for Great Website Design
A website can be put together quickly these days, but to have a converting site is another matter.
Web design is an important decision as it not only impacts conversion but also trust.
“After a bad experience, 88% of consumers are unlikely to return to a website.” Quicksprout
We’ve put together ten website design principles that will get you on the road to a winning and great website design.
1. Customer-Focused Web Design
When designing a new website, it is crucial to keep your customers’ needs in view. Provide valuable content to genuinely solve their needs and optimise all customer touchpoints and preferences. Conversely, if the website is not intuitive to navigate, it will reduce customer satisfaction. Your users are likely to bounce off your site and look for another company to solve their needs. It is a good idea to set up a small test that involves finding information on your website. Get a few of your friends to complete the tasks and evaluate how difficult it was to achieve.
Minimise confusion by clearly answering the questions that your customer might have and by providing an easy-to-use layout.
2. An Easy-to-Understand Website Purpose
Creating a website that attracts your target audience in a few seconds is crucial. Not only that, but the purpose of your site must be evident at a glance, or your user will move on. Statistics say you have just seconds to get this information across. Next, ask your friends if they understand what it is you are trying to convey. Perhaps you can give them a couple of quick tasks to achieve on the site to test its effectiveness.
3. Clear Calls to Action
Your website aims to provide a valuable product or service to make your customers’ life easier. So, it is essential to help them find the information they need quickly. Discover the primary purposes your user requires on your site. Is it to find your contact details or to buy a product, or to evaluate your services? Having an intuitive design with clear calls to action will help them navigate your sales funnel to purchase more quickly. Provide your contact details clearly in intuitive locations. Also, by keeping the significant areas of your design consistent across all pages, you are aiding your clients to buy from you.
4. Useful and Consistent Content
An essential part of marketing is making sure that your website has the highest professional quality content. It needs to have a consistent tone throughout the whole site and other collateral of your business so that it helps to convey the general atmosphere and purpose of your business. Most of all, it needs to give the type of information that is foremost on your customers’ minds. Content that will solve their needs. Don’t be afraid to hire a great content creator to help shape the information needed into easy to read, error-free and well-written pieces.
5. Eye-catching Design
Your design is the first thing your users will see. It needs to convey the intended feel of your business and provide up-to-date functionality that your users would expect. Your colour choices and elements will all leave an overall impression of your company. Do you want to look slick and professional, colourful, and artistic, elegant and minimalist? Start your design firstly with your users in mind and follow through so that all details reflect the impression you want to impart.
6. Mobile and Desktop Friendly
Responsive design is essential today to deliver an optimal display on every device that your users choose. A responsive design scales to fit each different device. You will need to tweak the design for each version. Google Console offers pointers to ensure all your features are optimised for mobile. With the increase in mobile users, Google has developed a mobile-only Index. If your site is not responsive, it will not be listed in this index; hence you will miss out on a significant portion of business. There are several quick online sites to test and verify that your website is mobile-friendly.
7. A Stable Content Management System
When choosing a platform to create your website, the many choices can leave you confused. Some platforms are easy to use but have limited functionality to go with the regular monthly fee. Other sites are free to use but very complex to understand. The average user needs to find a stable, well maintained CMS with an extensive support network to call on. A Content Management System such as WordPress is a well-established platform that enables you to update your content without knowing code. There is a learning curve, but you can easily find guidance with such a lot of support out there. Keeping your platform maintained will ensure your visitors don’t encounter errors or delays that will lose their trust.
8. Website Optimised for Search
Just because you publish a website on the internet doesn’t mean your target market will see your site. Several factors contribute to a well-optimised site that can be found via a browser search. These include ensuring your site is indexed with Google, Bing and other providers. To be crawled, indexed and well ranked by a search engine, you need to optimise your website for technical, on-page and off-page SEO. Some of these areas that need optimisation include- HTTP Header responses, speed, sitemaps, redirects, links, headers, titles and metadata. Again, Google Console is a great tool to show you areas to improve. Because ranking a website is such a competitive area now, it is advisable to learn how to carry out search engine optimisation to have the best chances of ranking well. By keeping track of your conversions from your marketing and SEO efforts, you can discover what is working for you and compare the impact of any changes to your site.
9. Tailor Your Website to Your Marketing Plan
It is essential to start your business with a marketing plan. Part of the plan includes identifying your target market and knowing about this group of people as much as possible. You will be designing your website for these people, so you need to know their likes and needs, where they can be reached online, and the types of marketing they will respond to. By consistently following your plan with strategic marketing, you will ensure your business stays at the top of your customers’ minds.
10. A Web Design Company that Works with You
A friendly and experienced website design company can bring a wealth of knowledge to create and maintain a successful website whilst minimising stress. As you concentrate on building your business, they can keep your site running smoothly and converting visitors. Choose a company that is happy to answer your questions and learn about your goals to avoid any pitfalls in the future.
According to research into website design principles, the success of your site largely depends on your design. However, every website design, whether new or five years old, needs to be a work in progress. So you can chip away at the list provided. But don’t forget to research your customers and their needs first. Then create a plan that serves them. This plan will put you well on your way to a competitive website.
Content is the building block to develop reputation and trust on your website. Through valuable content marketing, you can engage and educate your prospective customers.
The purpose of the blog post is to offer useful and relevant content to your users to improve their lives. But how do you start? What are the essential elements? I’ve put together a list of 7 key steps. As this is the first blog post for this site, I thought it would be good to write about what to include in a great blog post and why.