A great website is no longer a “nice to have”. It’s an absolute must.
Website design is a huge subject to tackle. There are literally thousands of books and courses written on web design.
Don’t be overwhelmed! If you look at the task of designing your website like any other large job and take it one step at a time, you’ll get there. We’ve got some helpful info here to get you going on the right path.
Think of assembling the elements that make up your website like building a house. When your house is built on a solid foundation, it will be structurally sound for years. The same goes for your website – a strong foundation creates a strong structure that will last.
Let’s start with the basic building blocks.
1. Relevant, Original and Informative Content
Prospects aren’t browsing your website because they have nothing better to do — that’s what Facebook is for. They are on your website, or looking for a website like yours, because they have a problem to solve.
Plan out in advance what sections you’re going to include on your new site, before the first line of code is written. As you plan, always be thinking from the perspective of your target audience. What might they be searching for? What questions can you answer for them? Present your information in a way that it is easy for them to find.
Site visitors have to know what you can do to help them from the very first headline they read. You can wow them with your experience and expertise later, but first you have to make it clear how they’ll benefit from reading further.
Getting prospects to your site doesn’t magically turn them into customers, even if your content has them intrigued. You have to provide a way for them to take the next step. By having a call-to-action button on every page, you give visitors the chance to become customers by taking action to receive more information or get in contact with your company.
Helpful tip: Keep your calls-to-action at the top of the pages. This is where people can see without scrolling, so it’s a great place for a “contact us”, “learn more” or “get a quote” button.
What makes a good call-to-action? A lead magnet that encourages prospects to take that next step. People are reluctant to give out their contact info. Give them a reason to provide their email address by providing something that continues to answer their questions and address their concerns. A worksheet or reference guide are strong magnets and will be interesting to prospects at various points in their buying journey.
3. Responsive Web Design and Mobile-Friendliness
A responsive site is one that works well on all screens and devices. It’s mobile-friendly and caters to the device you’re viewing it on. Smartphones account for of all online traffic, and Google now places a priority on ranking mobile-friendly sites.
Mobile-friendly makes for a better user experience. And in the end, it’s all about the user.
4. Site Must Load Quickly
You want pages that load quickly and navigation that is intuitive and simple and that works every time.
Nothing is more annoying for website visitors than a website that takes long to load. In fact, slow speed is one of the main reasons why visitors leave a website. A typical customer will only wait a few seconds for your page to load, after which they will most likely navigate away to a competitor's site, never to visit you again.
5. Use Visuals With Impact
Imagery is a major part of website design, and your visuals affect everything from time spent on your page, your appearance of trustworthiness, and even conversion rates.
As a kitchen designer, we don’t have to sell you on the importance of great images when it comes to promoting your products and services.
Just be careful, because bad images actually reduce reader engagement. Try to be objective about your photos and see what a new visitor sees. You may be able to overlook bad lighting, workmen’s tools left on the counter, or a photo that’s not straight, but someone seeing this picture for the first time is definitely going to see all of that and judge you based on what they see.
Also, be aware of photo size. Having too many large images slows down your site page load speed. See #4 above.
6. SEO Awareness
No matter how well your site is designed and how great it looks and how flawlessly it works, you’ve got to get people to your site before they can appreciate it and benefit from it. Building a site that incorporates all SEO best practices is critical. You want to make your site as easy to find as possible.
Basically, your website is the face your business presents to the online world. By starting out right and planning all the structural elements of your website in advance of “going live”, your visitors will see you as a trustworthy and professional problem solver.
We’re in 2018. A great website is no longer a “nice to have”. It’s an absolute must.
The pros at DigitalMX can give you a free evaluation of your website and discuss recommendations for any needed improvements. Give them a call.