It’s no secret that users will spend more time on an eye-catching, engaging, and easily navigable website, making website design crucial for any business. Even though larger corporations may have more money to spend on web design, small businesses are not out of the running. Building or updating your small business’s website does not have to be an expensive undertaking. If it’s done well, it will be one of the best ways to compete with large organizations. There are TWO very important things to keep in mind when developing a new website. The first is traffic. It’s important to work with a website developer and host that can ensure your target audiences can find your website. This needs to be determined before you design the site so it is built into the planning process. By incorporating technology services as you build your site, you can ensure the site is designed to drive traffic through SEO and digital marketing services. The second is design. Focusing on design, responsiveness, and user experience can take your website from a 5 to a 10 – and allow the site to help you connect with customers in an entirely different way.
Driving Website Traffic
Search engines are critical for your business. That’s how most consumers find your website. As a result, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will help you rank higher on search engines such as Google and Bing. Before you make your new website accessible to everyone, it’s essential to ensure that yourwebsite and the underlying code are compliant with the guidelines and standards set by W3C and search engines.A few steps you can take to improve your search engine ranking:
Keywords: SEO is driven by keywords and rich content based on targeted keywords. Make sure to research and find keywords and phrases your customers are searching for, and use them throughout the copy on your site.
Use Alt Tags: Any time you upload a video or image to your website, you should be using Alt Tags. These tags enable search engines to locate your page by text, which is extremely valuable for individuals who use text-only browsers or screen readers.
A whopping 94% of first impressions are based on a website’s design and design only. Think about that for a moment. A vast majority of your website’s visitors will have an impression of your company before they even read what it is you have to offer. Therefore, design is a high priority when it comes to websites. When changing or establishing your website design, keep these best practices in mind:
Photos: Try to use original photography throughout your website. If that’s not possible use relevant stock photos that are candid and feel authentic. Using irrelevant, awkward stock photos will turn customers away and harm your credibility.
White Space: We are all guilty of visiting a page and scanning through to see what information we can gather by reading the least amount possible. Users don’t want to spend their time reading every single word on your page, and that’s why using white space is critical and can improve your website’s scannability. White space allows you to decide what content to highlight first and how much focus you want on it, providing the reader with just the right amount of information to absorb. Try creating a visual hierarchy with your white space and guide your users’ eyes through the most important parts of your pages.
Branding: Consistency in branding is vital to help establish brand recognition and trust. Think of your website as the headquarters for your branding. Your website should be a place customers can go and easily recognize your brand’s colors, fonts, images, and logos. Use these colors and fonts throughout the pages on your website. This way, no matter which page someone visits, they can tell whose website they are on.
Call-to-Action (CTA): Forgetting to add calls-to-action on your website is like forgetting to read the last chapter of a book. The book isn’t complete without the last chapter, and your website isn’t complete without CTAs. Use calls-to-action in key places on your website, such as at the top near your navigation menu, below areas that require action, at the bottom portion of your pages, and anywhere that catches the user’s attention. Customers don’t want to waste time looking for simple ways to “buy now” or contact you, so make sure your CTAs are easy for them to find!
Have you ever visited a website with high hopes only to be disappointed because half of the screen doesn’t display correctly? Not only does this irritate customers, but you can almost guarantee they won’t be back to your site again. One hundred percent of the information and design on your website affects your company’s credibility. And if you don’t have credibility, well, you don’t have business. A fully responsive website should work on any device from large-screen monitors to tablets and smartphones. Mobile phones account for over half of total web traffic, which is why it’s critical that your website is fully functional on mobile devices. Responsive web design is key to ensuring your credibility and a great customer experience.Be sure to check and re-check the following on your website:
Broken Buttons/Links: Always double-check your buttons and links for functionality. Especially on eCommerce websites, if your “Add to Cart” button is broken, or there’s a glitch with the checkout process, you’ve lost your customers. Users don’t want to click four times to finally reach the destination. In fact, most people will give up and look for products or services elsewhere.
Device Optimization: As stated before, your site must display correctly on all forms of devices. Whether it’s a tablet, smartphone, or desktop, your users should not have issues viewing your site.
To provide ideal web usability and user experience, your website should incorporate user-friendly design and functionality throughout. Remember, you can have a website that fits perfectly on all mobile devices yet provides an unacceptable user experience, and for customers, it’s all about the experience.Here are only a few of the factors that can make a website more user-friendly:
Eliminating Mistakes: All components of your website must be user-friendly. You must check your spelling, punctuation and grammar. If you have typos, customers assume you don’t care enough to proofread your work, which leads them to believe your product or service is poor.
Social Share Buttons: Be sure to include social share and follow buttons on your website. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for your users to stay up-to-date on your social media channels and share your product with their own following. After all, why wouldn’t you want more likes or free publicity?
User-Centered Design: It’s important to note that the best website design that’s user-friendly doesn’t have to be loaded with fancy features. Users want to browse simple, clean, and easily navigable pages.
Need Help Getting Started?
If the thought of incorporating all of this into your website is overwhelming, consider hiring a web developer/web designer to build or redesign it for you. Here at Amplimark, we strongly believe that form should follow function. That means designing with our customers’ goals in mind. We create user-friendly websites that are as unique as the brands they represent. With a primary focus on user experience and web usability, our responsive website design works flawlessly on a wide variety of devices and browsers. Our end goal is to help you convert more visitors into clients. Contact us online or give us a call at (515) 225-6438 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation!