Your website is a tool to sell your products and services. This means your website design needs to be on point if you want it to deliver a return on your investment. What does this entail? Keep reading for eight elements of great website design.
8 Factors of Optimal Website Design
Search Engine Optimization-Friendly Pages
Search engine optimization (SEO) is serious business for your company. Google is looking out for this. It also makes for a better user experience.
SEO is essentially the process and steps we follow to rank higher in Google and get more organic traffic from the search engine. In other words, it’s a must-have.
You and your web designer need to consider things like:
- Title tags
- Meta tags
- Heading tags
- ALT text (explained in this blog)
You should be optimizing these with keywords that are relevant to your business. In other words, what are people searching in Google when they’re looking for a business like yours? Those are your keywords.
As of 2018, smartphone owners accounted for 61.2% of internet usage. This number shows no signs of slowing down.
This means that if users don’t have a flawless experience accessing your website from their mobile device, you could potentially lose more than half of your traffic. (Ouch!)
What does this mean in terms of your website design? Well, grab your smartphone right now and go to your own website. Then, consider these questions:
- Does it load quickly?
- Are the images clear and loading properly?
- Is the content easy to read?
- Is it quick and intuitive to navigate around the website?
Thankfully, most website templates today are automatically mobile-responsive. However, this is definitely worth a conversation with your web designer. Test all the buttons and forms, play around with the navigation bar and make sure the experience for the user is as easy as possible. Don’t make them think — or you’re going to lose them.
Easily Accessible CTAs
A call-to-action (CTA) tells your website visitors what to do. You probably see and interact with CTAs all the time without even realizing it. Whenever you see a button that says, “Click here,” “Contact us,” “Shop now,” or something of the like, that’s a CTA.
CTAs make life easier for your visitors. They don’t have to spend any time trying to figure out how to accomplish what they need to.
You’ll likely want some sort of CTA above the fold — meaning the top part of your website that’s visible without needing to scroll. Additionally, every internal page of your website should have some sort of CTA.
Think about what you most want your customers to accomplish when they visit a page. Do you want them to call you? Email you? Schedule a free consultation? Shop?
This will help you determine the best CTAs to use.
A Clear Navigation Menu
Your navigation bar isn’t the time to get creative. It needs to be simple, clear and straightforward. This is both for your website visitors’ sake and for Google’s sake.
Google uses your sitemap (main navigation menu) to help figure out what your website is about. If it can’t easily comb through that menu and determine the main pieces and components of your website, it’s not going to have an easy time ranking you.
If, when you hover over a main category, a drop-down menu appears with more choices, there should be a clear flow between all of the options. Visitors should be able to read these and make sense of them.
Plenty of white space
White space — sometimes called negative space — is the unused real estate of your website. It’s any space that’s not taken up by text, images or videos.
We care about white space in website design because it improves the user experience. Going to a website and seeing a page completely covered in content is too overwhelming. Your bounce rate will suffer.
White space makes your website feel cleaner and easier to read through. The elements of your site need room to breathe. Don’t try to give your visitors as much information as possible. They’re probably not going to read all of it anyway — which brings us to our next point.
Most readers don’t actually read your website content word for word. Instead, they skim. This means your website needs to be optimized for just that: skimming.
Can you quickly scan the content of your web pages and still walk away with the main points? Do the CTAs jump out? Will visitors still be able to accomplish what you want them to without reading everything?
Make use of things like headings, numbered lists and bullet points for easier reading.
Images and Videos
So, readers aren’t truly going to read that much, more than likely. You know what does make them stop and stare? Pictures and videos. One cool trick? Images of happy faces can equate to a more positive experience for your visitors.
In particular, videos convert better than text. They increase traffic, keep people on the page longer, have a higher ROI and improve your SERP results.
You might consider having some sort of video above the fold as opposed to a banner image. You have literally seconds to get someone’s attention when they land on your homepage. To really stack the odds in your favor, a video could work wonders for your retention rate.
Consistency in Branding and Messaging
Every page of your website should be immediately recognizable as your brand. This boils down to being consistent with elements such as colors, fonts and your logo.
When designing or redesigning a website, it can be easy to get carried away with yourself. In an attempt to keep your site exciting, you might choose an array of fonts, link colors, layouts and so on. Steer clear of this habit.
Remember: Your site is a tool. This isn’t just about vanity. Think of it in terms of what you want it to accomplish and the ROI you want it to deliver as opposed to just how it looks and you’ll reap the rewards.
On the hunt for quality web design services? Contact Thrive today online or by calling 843-353-6383 to see how we can help you improve your digital marketing.