This post is written by Karen of StartBloggingOnline.com. Karen is an expert marketer who has built and managed over 20 successful blogs in a variety of niches.
According to Neil Patel, 75% of online users rate website design as a key factor when deciding whether to put trust in a company, whereas 94% derive their first impressions based on website design as well.
This indicates how your website design can play a significant role in the success of your brand and building an online reputation for your business. Today, websites need to be functional and relevant to the needs of the users, as well as providing a great source of information.
Apart from having an attractive design, a website needs to have a good layout and structure enabling businesses to project their ideas and products favorably to their target audience.
So, let’s take a look at some of the essential factors that need to be taken into account when planning your website layout to ensure lasting success for your business.
Top Web Design Practises That Can Get You Great Results
Effective web design focuses on a logical flow of information with sleek, colorful and eye-catching visuals along with clear and concise content focused on improving the user experience.
Good website design has the ability to convert visitors into customers and enables businesses to connect with people who might be interested in purchasing its products and services.
Let’s look at some of the key elements required for good website design and layout:
1. Use a Consistent Branding Strategy
Good color schemes and color usage are key to modern website design and they need to have cohesiveness and uniformity on your site to depict your brand effectively to the visitors. The number of colors used in website design can make a huge difference as too many can be distracting to the viewer.
It’s best to keep it simple and have minimal color combinations by using the same brand logos, colors, images and maintain consistency across all pages on the entire site.
2. Focus on the User Experience
Website design must not be entirely focused on boosting search engine rankings, but they must be targeted towards the end users. A user-friendly website is likely to bring more traffic to your website and attract more visitors.
Search engines such as Google are smart enough to let you know if your users are able to get good value from your website and if they are spending sufficient time on it.
The key is to optimize your site for the user first but to also take into account a structure that search engine spiders can easily crawl.
3. Faster Loading Speeds
Recent studies suggest that 47% of the online visitors expect websites to load within 2 seconds, whereas 40% of the visitors abandon the site if the loading process takes over 3 seconds. Thus you need to focus on reducing website loading time to the minimum possible to maximize the chances of reaching out to potential customers.
You could explore different ways to reduce the loading speeds of your website such as implementing a content delivery network (CDN), reduce the size of the images, enable compression and check your plugins are not causing too much bloat.
All these methods could drastically cut down your website loading time and provide a better experience to your users.
4. Have Clear Calls to Action (CTA)
It’s important to have a clear goal in mind about what you expect visitors to do on your website. This is crucial while designing the layout of your site as the ultimate aim is to prompt your users to take the required action.
Subscription forms and contact information, for example, need to be positioned in easily accessible positions that don’t leave a visitor searching when they have decided they want to further interaction with you.
The best places to have your CTA’s are the sidebars, resources page and also at the end of your blog posts.
5. Use Plenty of White Space
Make sure that your website is not too crowded and there is enough room to breathe, otherwise your visitors are likely to get distracted and leave your site.
The focus of modern website design is on providing easy navigation with the creation of white space that acts as a buffer among all the key elements of the website including the margins, sidebars, content etc.
At the same time, while designing your website use padding and margins to increase the space between all the other elements. There is nothing more offputting on a site than to see great walls of text, or a site that is too ‘busy’ (think the old style ad sites with flashing banners everywhere).
6. Create an Effective ‘About Us’ Page
The ‘about us’ page is one of the most important pages on your website and most often viewed by online visitors. It needs to be interesting and inspiring to your readers and based on real facts and figures.
The content in the ‘about us’ page needs to be targeted towards your audience and their needs/expectations. Share your professional achievements, licenses, awards and other business credentials that can bring solid credibility among your prospects.
If your blog is new and you do not have testimonials to support your claims, it is best to describe your goals and how you plan to achieve them. You can also include your company’s values and provide business insights to your prospects.
In short, your ‘about us’ page should act as a gateway to information that will sell you and/or your business as well other vital pages and social media profiles so it’s important to keep it engaging for your users.
7. Improve Your Site’s SEO
Among all web design practices, effective SEO can boost the search engine rankings of your website and provide greater visibility to your brand. Use meta tags, heading tags, and title tags to optimize your site’s SEO performance.
Be sure to find out at least the basics of keyword research and how to implement it ‘on-page’, as paired with great content this will go a long way toward increasing your chances of showing up in front of your target audience in the search engines
Implementing the best practices of web design can make a huge difference to your business and build greater credibility and trust among your customers.
The key is to prioritize user experience and optimize your website by focusing on great content and CTA’s to convert your prospects into leads for your business.