It’s every business’s goal to have a website that makes a strong impression with visitors, prospects, and current customers alike. Often, the first time many consumers encounter a business is online–and through its website, no less–so it’s important to make the most of this opportunity.
Now, if you’re reading this, you’ve likely built or are getting ready to build your company’s website with WordPress. Seeing as it is the leading content management system in the world, that’s a smart decision.
But you’re also here because you’re wondering if there’s a winning formula for building a WordPress website. In terms of design, you’ll need the following key elements:
Before you even step foot inside WordPress, your company’s branding should be sorted out. Not only does branding give all your contact and marketing channels a cohesive and consistent look, it also strengthens your company’s perceived professionalism.
Within WordPress, you’ll want to have the following branded elements ready to go:
Logo: It’s up to you to decide what your logo looks like, but I can tell you there is one key area where it needs to appear on your site: ever-present in the top-left corner.
Color palette: The colors you choose for your brand should not only exist in the logo, but also across your website. Because you want to avoid overwhelming amounts of primary colors, don’t forget to use complementary ones that highlight key elements on your website.
Typography: With visitors accessing the web from a variety of devices, typography plays a huge role in the readability, scannability, and accessibility of a company’s website. Choose your fonts wisely.
It might seem like such a simple thing, but a poorly constructed, labeled, or placed navigation can do a lot of harm to one’s WordPress site. In fact, this case study from Invesp demonstrates how improvements in navigation led to an 18.5% increase in conversions for one website.
When designing your site, keep in mind that visitors are quick to judge. If they can’t find the menu within a few seconds, many of them may bounce off your site as a result. The same goes for an overwhelming navigation that has too many layers or requires too much scrolling to get through (especially on mobile).
Make it intuitive and keep it simple.
3. Responsive Layout
There’s no room for excuses with this; every website must be responsive. To reinforce this, Google now uses a mobile-first indexing approach so as to reward websites that prioritize the mobile experience for visitors.
Thankfully, WordPress has a number of tools that make this easy to accomplish. Page builders like Elementor, Beaver Builder, Divi, and, soon, Gutenberg make developing websites in a modular and mobile-friendly fashion a cinch.
4. Hero Banner
The home page of a website should be a strong and unique representation of a brand. And there’s no better place to establish that impression than with the main hero banner that sits above-the-fold on your home page website.
This boldly designed banner (which often includes image and video backgrounds) will inform visitors quickly about two things:
- Who you are
- What they will get from being there
It’ll also look pretty darn cool, too.
There are a number of arguments for why you should include visual content like images and videos on your website.
There’s the comprehension piece of it: visual content is processed 600,000 times more quickly than text-only content.
There’s also the visibility aspect to consider: Visual content draws in 94% more views than content without media.
Images and videos play an essential role in web design. We’re living in a time when people don’t want to wait and visual content is a quick way to communicate a message without forcing visitors to read too much.
The clickable call-to-action (CTA) button is an important design element and it can appear anywhere on your site. It can be used for navigational purposes as well as to move visitors to conversion.
Just be smart about how you design it (i.e. big, bold, and easy-to-click) as well as where you place it. Research indicates that buttons are best placed in spots where visitors are primed to take action.
7. Contact Form
Every website should have at least one of these as contact forms provide a quick and convenient means for visitors to connect with you. Just be mindful of how many steps you ask them to take. Time is always of the essence.
These have become really popular in recent years. However, you have to be careful with pop-ups on mobile as Google penalizes websites that utilize what it considers to be intrusive pop-up elements.
To stay on Google’s (and your visitors’) safe side, try adopting more subtle pop-up elements like slide-ins and sticky banners.
I don’t want to say that everyone has to blog, but it’s a good idea to have one of these even if it’s just to publish news about your company. When you blog, you’re helping your website do a number of things:
Add new content regularly, which Google happens to love. (This infographic says that websites with blogs generally have 434% more pages to index than those that don’t.)
Share valuable content, which visitors appreciate as you become their touchstone for timely and helpful information.
Provide your business with share-worthy content for other platforms (like social media and newsletters).
WordPress automatically comes with a blogging feature, so this is very easy to start doing.
10. Social Media Links
Your goal is to keep visitors on the site until they convert. However, if they have to leave, social media icons allow them to connect to and stay in touch with your business even when they’re outside of it.
Social media share icons also allow visitors to serve as brand evangelists for you, sharing your products and content with others.
11. Newsletter Signup
An email newsletter is a great way to collect and retain leads, according to a survey conducted in 2016. And this is something you can quickly implement in WordPress with the help of your contact forms and pop-ups.
Just make sure to ask only for what you need (i.e. email address) and don’t abuse the privilege of reaching out. Visitors have entrusted you to use this channel to deliver relevant and useful information straight to their inbox.
If you want to give your website a strong start, you’ll need to use these elements in your WordPress website design. Not only will they give your website a professional and polished look, but they will help your site perform better in search and increase conversions with those who enter it.