10 Website Design Tips for Your Business
Your 2015 business plan should include evaluating your website. It is the foundation to all of your online marketing.
Since you only get one chance to make a good first impression, it is critical that some thought is put into the design of your business website.
Today, more and more people will visit your website prior to stepping foot into your storefront or before picking up the phone and calling your business. If your website is poorly designed, chances are that you have lost a few potential customers already, potentially forever.
So what constitutes a “good” design when it comes to a website?
Here are 10 factors that contribute to having a professionally designed website that will convert leads and generate profits:
1. Make Sure Your Site is Easy to Navigate
Always keep the navigation of the site in mind when having your website designed. Your business website should be easy to get around and you should quickly be able to find the information that you are are looking for. It should be clear-cut on what customers need to do – people hate to waste their time trying to “figure out” a website. Your navigation menu should also be highly visible on all pages.
TIP: Avoid using too many main menu and sub-menu items on the navigation bar. This becomes too cumbersome on mobile devices.
2. Use Professional and Clean Color Schemes
The colors that are used to design your website should reflect your business but also be professional. Keep in mind that some colors will look different on various browsers, so choose colors that will look the same across all platforms. It is okay to be creative when it comes to your color schemes as long as they go well together and properly represent your brand.
TIP: Avoid using metallic colors online. They appear flat and discolored on web platforms, causing a disconnect with your branding and color scheme.
3. Avoid Loud, Hard-to-Read Fonts
Make sure that you choose fonts that are easy to read. Again, some people will be using smaller screens than others and some will be viewing the website from mobile devices. If you use fonts that have bright colors and unique styles, some people may have a hard time reading them. While they may look great to you, they may become challenging for your visitors to comprehend the overall message. Being able to read the content on your site is crucial, so it is best to choose more traditional fonts. Utilize 12 pt or 14 pt size font for the body of your text.
TIP: While handwritten fonts are all the rage in design right now, the legibility of the font is poor. Stick to Serif and Sans Serif font families for the most effective font style for your site.
4. Make Your Site Easy for Visitors to Use
Along with having easy navigation, make sure your website is user-friendly. When someone visits your website they want to find out how your business can help them … and they want to find out now – not five minutes after searching your site for the information. Is your site user-friendly for those with limited computer skills? Is your contact information up-front and center or is it hidden on random pages where no one can see? Keep all of this in mind when designing your website if you want it to convert.
TIP: Minimize your menu bar through drop-downs. Keep the menu bar to one bar across the top of your website and utilize drop-downs under your menu tabs to help users more narrowly target what they are searching for without overwhelming them.
5. Place a Strong Call-to-Action on Every Page
Your call-to-action must be in a highly visible place on your site, preferably above the fold. This is the most highly visible point of the website without users having to scroll down.
Not only that, but your call to action needs to be in several locations on your site. Utilizing graphic image CTA’s is very effective and catches your readers’ attention.
Do you want your visitors to call you? Do you want them to come in to your business? Do you want them to watch an online video? Whatever you want them to do, tell them exactly that and tell them how to do it. Be sure to include your phone number in the header and footer, an email form, your address with a Google map, or whatever addition contact information they may need to get in touch with your company.
TIP: Never display your email on your website…there are robots designed to scrape emails from websites and are usually sold to spammers to email unsolicited junk mail.
6. Integrate Social Media Icons
Today, every business should be using social media.
With that being said, all your social media profiles should be accessible from your website. For each social media platform that you have an active profile on, add the icon to your website with a link to your profile and encourage people who visit your site to follow you on these platforms. This helps to increase your overall web presence, as well as gain new social followers, increasing your potential sales and profits.
TIP: It is one thing to have a social media presence, but another to be active on it. Be sure to frequently update your profiles on all platforms for maximum benefit.
Resource: If you are using WordPress as your website platform, here are two plugins to install Social Media icons on your website:
7. Make Sure Your Site Doesn’t Have Hang-ups
Having a reliable website that loads quickly is a must for any business these days. So when you are designing your website, make sure that you have a reliable host.
Also avoid an over-abundance of photos and videos as they can cause even the most reliable websites to run slower. It is okay to have videos and photos – just monitor the amount and their impact on your website’s performance.
Resource: If you are using WordPress as your website platform, here are two plugins to help speed up your website:
8. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
When designing a website, always make sure that you are keeping mobile devices in mind. Millions of mobile users now surf the web on their mobile phones, accounting for 60 percent of search traffic. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you could be losing a lot of potential customers.
When your site takes forever to load or requires a lot of scrolling around, your visitors become frustrated and leave. It is also important to avoid Flash on your main website. Flash will not work on any Apple products so if you must have Flash on your main website, make sure that you create a stand-alone mobile website without Flash for the best results.
TIP: Most sites that require Flash have a landing page that appears on mobile devices that notify you of a redirect or provide you with an option of desktop- or mobile-friendly sites.
Resource: If you are using WordPress as your website platform and your theme is not a “Mobile Responsive” theme, there is a plugin to help make your site mobile friendly:
9. Provide Valuable, Quality Content
Simply having a visually appealing website will not cut it. The information that lies within in the website needs to be valuable, helpful, and entertaining to your visitors. Most importantly, focus on providing content that shows how your business can help your target audience.
TIP: Use Google Alerts to find relevant topics and have them delivered to your inbox. Use these topics as content generators and put your own spin on topics of interest to you and your consumer base. By generating content about topics in your own voice, your business becomes and aggregator of relevant and timely information. Your customers will consider your website a valuable resource.
10. Perform On-going SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is necessary for every website. When designing the website keep SEO in mind at all times. SEO covers a wide range of methods and strategies, but when it comes to “on-site” SEO, be sure to include page titles, meta tags, and H1 and H2 tags. SEO helps Google and the other search engines rank your webpages.
Resource: If you are using WordPress as your website platform, use these plugins to help you in optimizing your website for the search engines:
There are a lot of important factors to consider when designing a website. Having a professionally designed website that is working towards generating new business is the first step in grabbing the attention of your consumers.
Do you want a website that will generate profits instead of costing you money every month with nothing to show for it?
We specialize in helping businesses connect with consumers by having a strong, profitable website. Schedule for a free, 30 minute no obligation consultation!