In many cases, it’ll also be what makes a first impression on members of your target audience — and web design plays a major role in whether that impression is a good one. Visitors will often make snap judgments about your business within seconds of landing on your site, and design can be the factor that determines whether they stick around long enough to learn what you have to offer.
Design also impacts how people interact with your website. It’s what helps them navigate your pages, read your content, and take actions that get them closer to a purchase.
So while web design may seem like a minor consideration, it plays an important role in your entire digital marketing strategy’s success. That’s why on this page, we’ll discuss a few website design best practices for how to design a website so you can maximise your results
1. Create a design that fits your business
Everyone knows they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover — but that doesn’t stop most people from judging a business by its website. Your web design has a huge impact on how people perceive your business and the quality of your services.
If you already have an established brand, maintaining that brand on your site can go a long way in building trust with visitors. You want them to land on your site and immediately think of your business.
From there, a simple and modern design is often the best choice. Busy designs can distract users from your content and damage their chances of conversion.
You should also make sure that your design is consistent throughout your site. This will provide a cohesive feel and provide users with a positive experience.
There other ways you use design to improve your site’s appearance depend on your company’s brand and goals, but you can consider incorporating eye-catching photos and videos, focusing on readability, or creating standout CTAs. Your design can shape how users interact with your site and which actions they take, and it’s important to have those actions in mind as you work out the details of each page.
2. Opt for simple navigation
Users need to be able to quickly and easily find the information they want on your site. If they can’t access the details they need to make an informed decision, they’re unlikely to convert.
This means that your navigation can be a major factor in your success, and it should be as simple and organised as possible. In most cases, this means creating a horizontal navigation bar across the top of the page with straightforward categories.
Your navigation should have simple headings divided up by product type, services, locations, or another logical category type that makes sense for your business. You can use dropdown menus below those headings with more categories if necessary.
Make sure that your categories are logically organised in a way that makes it easy for users to determine which one has the information they need. Think like your audience, and consider how what you’d look for if you wanted information on a specific product or service.
You can also add helpful links to your footer. When people scroll to the bottom of a page, they should be able to consider browsing. This prevents them from having to scroll up and down to find information.
Your navigation plays a crucial part in keeping users on your site, and can help users find the information they want and stay engaged with your content.
3. Use responsive design
People are going to access your website from multiple types of devices, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones. You need to make sure that all of them can access and navigate your pages — and the best way to do this is with responsive design.
Responsive design ensures that your website adjusts to the browsers and screen sizes your visitors use. Whether someone accesses your website on a smartphone or desktop computer, the browsing experience will be the same.
So, why is this important?
When you think about how you navigate a site, there are often small buttons and links that are scaled to be used on a desktop computer. If you shrink that site down to fit a mobile phone, those links and buttons can become difficult to use. With responsive design, this isn’t an issue, since the site will adapt to be usable on any device.
It’s also important because today, users spend more time browsing on mobile devices than they do on desktop computers. This means that a site that only caters to desktop users provides a poor experience for a huge chunk of your potential customers.
With responsive design, you can be sure that you’re providing a great experience for all of your visitors. This can lead them to spend more time on your site, increasing the number of pages they visit, as well as the chances of them converting.
4. Use visual elements
Visual elements add a lot to your website. They’re the eye-catching details that keep users engaged, and pages with graphics and photos are much more interesting to browse than those with only text.
One of the easiest ways to add visual interest to your site is by incorporating relevant photos and graphics throughout your written content. These immediately draws users’ eyes and make them more likely to keep scrolling through your pages.
When you choose photos, it’s important that they’re relevant to the content and your brand. It’s best to avoid using stock photos if possible, as they can often come across as generic, but they can work for illustrating a point in a pinch.
The better option, though, is to use photos of your staff, your work, and your products. This will give your visitors an authentic feel for your business. You can also work with a designer to create custom graphics or infographics for another way to incorporate interesting visuals.
If you have the budget, videos are one of the most effective forms of visual content. Adding one to a page can improve conversions by 86%! This makes them a great addition for improving your website’s performance, engaging visitors, and increasing the amount of time potential customers spend with your content.
In fact, you are 53 times more likely to end up on the first page of Google results if you utilise video on your site. This is because people tend to remain on sites longer to watch videos than they do to read content.
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