A website is the miracle tool that, if designed well, can boost the revenues of your business. All businesses recognize the need to have a website for increasing strategic growth, but not many are aware about the dos and don’ts of website design. As a business owner, you don’t need to be an expert in website design, but you definitely must be aware of a few things that will help you make the right client-centric designing decisions.
Here is a list of 8 things that you may not know about website design:
1. Your Website Should Be Constructed Correctly to Be Found on Search Engines
Some business owners believe SEO is something you do after creating a website.
The truth however is exactly the opposite.
You need to start thinking of website SEO as soon as you decide to build a website. All website design and development should be seen through the SEO paradigm. It is extremely important for businesses to create a search-engine friendly website as it will help attract targeted visitors, who have a high chance of converting.
Designing a site without having an SEO strategy will prevent you from fully maximizing revenue opportunities.
So, make sure your website is constructed such that it suits search engine crawlers.
2. Having a Visually Stunning Website Is Not Sufficient
This may go against a lot of design advice you must have heard, which encourages business owners to mainly focus on making a site aesthetically appealing. But the truth is if you emphasize only on a pleasant design for your site and don’t offer user-friendly navigation and clear calls to action, you’ll see large number of people abandoning your website without converting.
There is absolutely no doubt effective websites are visually striking, but if you look closely they strike the right balance between design and usability.
3. It Has to Load Quickly on Mobiles
A website should load quickly irrespective of the device being used. The NYT reports that a majority of people will abandon a website if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds. However, visitors accessing your site on smartphones are usually on the go, so it is essential that your site loads even faster.
Ensure you keep the content of your site concise and to the point, for your smartphone visitors. Only include design elements like heavy images or flash based graphics and animation if they are mandatory, as these elements increase a site’s load time.
A fast loading site also helps boost search engine rankings. In 2013, Google’s Matt Cutts announced that slow-performing mobile sites will be penalized in search rankings.
4. Social Media Integration is a Necessity
Business owners are quite aware of the power of social media. But simply having a presence on popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Google+ is not sufficient. Business websites should incorporate social plugins to drive transactions and make connections with customers.
Not including social media icons on your website will make your company fall behind the curve when it comes to marketing. Web designers must therefore ensure social media buttons are prominently featured on all pages of a site.
On Imaginovation, social links appear prominently at the footer of each web page under the section ‘Get Social’.
5. Keeping Simple is the Trend
Something else that no one might have told you about website design is that you should not incorporate a wide range of features on your website.
Having too many options often leads to decision paralysis and frustration. Incorporating too many bells and whistles into your website will overwhelm site visitors; this makes it difficult for them to find what they are looking for.
Instead, focus on offering only those features that are absolutely necessary for your website. Simple design will make it easy for visitors to navigate through your site and easily locate the information they are looking for.
6. Web Design Can Help Build Trust and Credibility
Yes, it works. Use your website for more than just lead generation or brand awareness. If you take advantage of proper trust building elements such as testimonials, feedback or business logo, you can actually build credibility for your business.
Trust is an important factor in online success. According to reports:
• For 48% of people, the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business is a website’s design.
• 94% of the people mistrusted or rejected a website because of its design.
These stats clearly suggest that it is essential for a website to look professional and trustworthy.
Take a cue from Neil Patel’s blog Quick Sprout that showcases the feedback from Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch on each page of the blog to build trust among visitors.
7. Proper Use of Design Elements Is Crucial to Have an Effective Website
One of the main characteristics of a good website is all its design elements like line, color, space, typography, call-to-action buttons, search bar, menus, and many more are perfectly designed to ensure visitors use the site with ease. Failing to do so, will deliver a wrong message to visitors.
Web designers should consider factors such as brand personality, kind of message the site delivers and target audience before finalizing the size and position of various design elements.
The Principled Heart’s website is a text book example of how web design elements should be used.
8. Burying Contact Information Means Losing Potential Customers
We have saved the best for the last. If you are unaware of this particular aspect of website design, your website profits can actually take a hit.
Whether your main focus of having a website is lead generation, brand awareness or sales leads, your business website must make it possible for visitors to contact you easily.
The best way of doing this is placing the contact information link on each page of your site.
On the ‘Contact Us’ page, as seen on Imaginovation’s page, make all information like phone number, email address, office address, etc. readily accessible for visitors.
It’s possible that you had heard one or two of these tips before, but putting them all to use is a great first step towards a successful and effective web presence.