Your company website is an essential digital marketing and sales tool. No matter what industry you’re in, it must be able to convey your brand messaging and generate sales or leads effectively.
With so much competition online, having a simple website isn’t enough; you must follow best practices for structure, make it responsive and easy to navigate, and follow user experience (UX) web design tactics to ensure a good experience that leads to a higher conversion rate.
Your website can make or break your business, so you must focus on a stellar design. Here are a few tips on designing your website.
1. Make It Responsive
Mobile responsiveness is crucial for all modern businesses because your customers will likely use their mobile devices to find your business online. Younger generations use their phones for everything, so if your target market is below the age of 40, your website must be mobile-responsive to ensure all your customers can easily access and use your website.
If customers land on your website and find it difficult to navigate or read because it’s not responsive, they’ll quickly abandon the site and possibly end up transacting with your competition just because their site was mobile responsive and yours was not.
A poor mobile experience can also affect your website in other ways. For example, it may impact your search engine rankings, making it even more difficult for customers to find you online.
2. Consider Navigation
Your website must be easy to navigate by limiting your top-level menu to labeled tabs with related pages under them. This type of content hierarchy can help users easily navigate your website to find what they’re looking for, providing them with a better user experience.
You should also make it easy to go back to your home page, no matter which pages your visitors are on.
3. Have Clear Calls-to-Action (CTA)
Every page on your website should tell visitors what to do next, whether you’re selling products online or want them to enter your sales funnel. For example, a B2B company may ask prospects to fill out a form to learn more information about different services, while an e-commerce website may have an “add to cart” button to make it easier to shop online.
Every landing page needs a clear CTA that encourages visitors to do something, whether it’s to buy a product, contact you, or download marketing collateral.
4. Consider the User
Your website is a tool for your business, but it should help you easily communicate with visitors. If your website promotes your business and doesn’t explain why visitors should take action, they won’t. Designing your website for its users can help improve their experience and increase conversions. Most visitors spend most of their time online skimming pages, so your website should offer helpful and useful content that’s easy to understand and read.
Since your website is a digital marketing tool, it must highlight customer problems and your solutions. The reason why you’re in business is that you offer your customers something, whether it’s a product or service, that’s a solution to their problems. Highlighting their problems can help you engage them in your content, but you must discuss your solutions. Instead of focusing on why your business is the best, discuss how your solutions can help customers.
5. Use High-Quality Images
Websites must be visually appealing with the use of high-quality images. However, you must use a mix of media to engage visitors, including pictures, graphics, icons, infographics, and videos.
Visuals make it easier for visitors to process information and learn about your products and services. However, they can also influence emotions for better or worse. For example, using high-quality images that can help show what your products and services do can make visitors want to take action. Meanwhile, using stock photos or images that don’t support your website copy can confuse visitors.
6. Use White Space
The last thing you want to do is overwhelm website visitors and make it difficult for them to understand what your website is about. Having a simple, clean design can help you focus your users’ attention on where you want them to go.
White space prevents a cluttered appearance, allowing you to communicate value. Since too much clutter can be stressful, you don’t want to scare visitors away and force them to go to competitors just because they have a cleaner design.
White space simplifies your design by making it easier for visitors to skim and read while not overwhelming them with too much information at once.
7. Choose Colors Wisely
Using the right colors on your website is a necessity for ensuring a seamless brand experience. Graphic designers learn about the psychology of color early in their studies, but it essentially boils down to the fact that different colors can evoke different emotions from customers. For example, blue cultivates trust, while green makes people think of the environment or outdoors.
If you already have brand colors, learn a little more about the psychology behind them to determine whether or not they’re effective at making your customers feel what you want them to feel about your business. From there, you can begin using those colors on your website.
8. Showcase Products and Services on Home Page
If your business sells products and/or services, they should be highlighted on the home page. Unfortunately, many small business websites fail to show products or services on the home page, making it difficult for visitors to understand what the business does.
Showcasing your main offerings on your home page can help visitors understand whether or not they’re in the right place while allowing you to lead them down the right path to convert them.
9. Don’t Forget a 404 Page
While you want all your website pages to work perfectly, your visitors might mistype a URL or somehow end up on a page that doesn’t exist. 404 pages are a must for every business website. While a 404 page might seem unimportant, you’d be surprised how many visitors land on them.
If you’re using analytics (such as Google Analytics), you can determine what leads customers to these pages to help create a better website structure.
However, now and then, customers will land on them when a webpage moves to a new URL, your server goes down, or they type in the wrong URL. If you don’t have a 404 page, you’ll lose the visitor. Having a quality 404 page will keep a visitor on your website and redirect them to the right page or resources where they can find more information about your business and its products and services.
Your website is a necessary part of your marketing strategy, allowing you to gain a competitive advantage and successfully generate leads for your business. However, it’s not enough to have a website; your website must convert visitors.
Using analytics tools, you can learn more about user behavior and web traffic to test different elements of your website to optimize conversions and increase your revenue.
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer where she shares knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness or financial tips. During her free time she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.
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