If you own your own business, it’s imperative that you maintain a great website. Your website is an opportunity for making great first impressions and bringing in new customers. You’d better believe that your competitors are taking advantage of digital marketing strategies. The key is to make your website stand out from the rest. Boring templates might be easy and cheap, but they aren’t nearly as effective as a well-designed, creative responsive website. There are many companies out there that can help you along the way, but it’s always good to learn a few things for yourself.
Start with these tips about what constitutes great web design:
- Keep things simple – Quality web designers know that they need to avoid clutter and keep the websites they build simple and straightforward. Don’t be tempted by extraneous and unnecessary features that just add confusion. They don’t bring traffic, usually they have the opposite effect. Auto playing sounds, flash animations, and animated text should definitely be avoided. A minimalist, elegant website will pay off in the long run.
- Present a clear and focused message – Your homepage should have all of the most important information about your business. It should also be clear to visitors what the purpose and function of your website is without having navigate beyond the first landing page. It only takes a few seconds for a user to evaluate your website and determine if it will be useful to them. Make sure people see the point right away. Make great use of a creative call-to-action. Website design that clearly establishes your company’s message is a fantastic investment.
- Don’t use pop ups – One would think by now that most people would know not to use them on their website. However, it’s still worth mention as their quite common even on professional websites. Nobody likes pop ups, and having them on your website a sure way to increase bounce rate. If you’re trying to drive new customers to your business and improve your search engine ranking and visibility online you WON’T use pop ups. Don’t be a party to the plague of pop ups.
- Take care with color – Principles of graphic design should definitely be applied to websites. You want to select a color scheme that matches the tone and message of your business. Many amateurs are tempted to go crazy and add too much color to their websites, you should avoid this. The best web designers use color to their advantage, they know how to balance things and make a site stand out. Don’t let colors drown out text and focus on a cohesive theme.
- Be careful with fonts – Obviously all of the text on your website needs to be legible, yet I still navigate to plenty of sites that I can’t read. Remember to consider a wide audience while selecting your text, if it’s too small certain people may have trouble reading it. Crazy fonts might be hard for people who speak English as a second language to decipher. There are plenty of fonts that are professional and legible to choose from. You should always stay away from fonts like Comic Sans that give your website an unprofessional appearance.
- Style your pages – Ask any professional website development agency what the most important thing to remember when designing website and they’ll likely mention something about responsive design. Your website needs to be viewable and function on any device, no matter what the screen size is. Study popular new features like infinite scrolling themes and other features that give you website a modern and updated feel. Constantly develop with user experience in mind. You want navigation to be easy to understand, having people feel lost on your website is never a good thing. Be creative but don’t get carried away with page styling.
- Backlinks are important – This is a basic and important part of website development, yet so many people seem to ignore it completely. Make sure you logo always links back to your homepage. It’s a basic feature of intuitive navigation that users have grown accustomed to. Anytime someone sees your company logo, they’ll know they can click it to get back to the main page. Proper backlinking also increases your search ranking.
- Focus on branding – You should be using your website to develop your brand and image. You want to have an easily recognizable and memorable logo, a matching color scheme and design that encourage interaction with your brand. You may need help from a talented designer to fully realize your website’s branding potential.
Making your website user-friendly, clean, simple, and straightforward is absolutely imperative if you want to use it successfully as a marketing tool. Don’t be afraid to consult with a skilled development agency to help untap your website’s full potential. Focus on delivering a concise and pointed message and you’ll have no trouble bringing in new customers and keeping the existing ones.