Website design trends are constantly changing and it’s important that your business website is up to date with the current standards. Whether it’s a new technology or design trend that improves (or even eliminates) an older one, keeping up with the latest trends and options available to you can be a daunting task.
As a business owner, it can be difficult to focus on growing your business while also having to decide which of the new and shiny navigation menus you should implement in your website design. Business owners often don’t have the time, expertise nor the attention span to make these detailed decisions.
Hence, many business owners make the mistake of either doing too little to have any material impact, or they try to implement way too many new tools and trends in their website design. Needless to say, businesses risk taking a hit on both their reputation and their online traffic with either option.
When it comes to website design, web designers have a deep understanding of the impact that current technologies and design trends can have on your business. They can be an invaluable asset to any business owner who is looking for practical and affordable ways to market their services and grow their bottom line.
Here are some practical website design tips that can enhance your web design and keep your business on the right path.
The impact of web design on the usability of your business website
Have you ever come across a website where you have a hard time finding the information you need, or the images take forever to load and the navigation just feels clunky? If so, it’s likely due to bad web design and it could be affecting your website. This can potentially drive traffic away from your site to your competitors.
Usability in website design for businesses has taken centre stage as one of the most important factors that help drive visitor traffic to your website and keep them there. Life is much busier today and people are using use their mobile devices more than ever to access the internet to get the information they need while on-the-go.
These days, if your site so much as stutters or is difficult to look at, you can bet that your visitors are already tapping in your competitor’s URL on their screen. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind that can help improve the usability of your website design.
5 website design tips for your business
1. Know who your users are
Face it, most local businesses are not like Amazon.com where they are catering to the needs of millions of customers around the world with tonnes of products and services. Although it can be a nice ego boost to say that your website draws a tonne of traffic each month, it won’t do your bottom line much good if you’re having low conversion rates.
In other words, if you are a landscaping company, you should be targeting customers who need landscaping services because they are the ones who are more likely to take action or convert, on your website.
Knowing who your customers are, what they want and how to reach them makes it much easier to engage with them. For example, if you know that your target audience prefers to use social media sites like Facebook, then it makes it that much easier to engage with them on those channels and raise your brand awareness.
In addition, the more you know and engage with your audience, the more you can learn about ways to improve or expand your product and service offerings and receive referral clients from your current customers.
2. Provide clear Calls To Action (CTA)
If visitors are landing on your page and still don’t have a clear idea of what your page is about within the first few sections, then you are lacking a clear and unambiguous Call To Action (CTA) button. This is arguably the most important part of your website design. Your website can greatly benefit from using CTA buttons to direct users to take specific actions like a purchase or a sign-up.
CTA buttons improve conversion rates and should be a crucial part of your website design strategy. Business owners should note, however, that simply slapping on a CTA button and expecting to see positive conversion rate results is a short-sighted way of thinking.
To be effective, your CTA message should have left no doubt in your user’s mind as to what happens once they click that button. Therefore, make sure your text says something along the lines of “Click Here To Purchase Your SEO Guide” vs the non-descriptive and spammy-looking “Click Here!” button.
Effective CTA buttons are ones that are easily located (at the top of the page!), have clear colour signals and have the size that makes it stand out when you land on the page. If you have to search for the button, then your CTA message is not being obvious enough.
3. Keep your website navigation simple and easy to use
While it may not seem obvious to the casual user, your website navigation can have a profound impact on the overall website design of your site. Your website navigation is the central point connects users to all the important aspects of your website content.
Your website visitors should find it easy to know where they are, and how they can get back to the previous page without any of the fuss. In addition, it helps to avoid using jargon in the navigation menu and instead stick to common page names everyone is sure to recognise such as Home, About Us, Contact, etc.
That being said, a page simply titled “Products” can still leave users (and search engines) a little clueless as to what exactly it is that your website offers. A good practice to follow would be to add key phrases that provide a little more description that makes it easier for visitors and search engines to understand.
4. Keep things simple and concise
Your website visitors don’t need any more information overload than what they already have. You have a few seconds to give them what they want before they tap away to another website.
Therefore, skip the fancy 3D effects, the extra (and unnecessary) blocks of content and images that are not directly related to what the user is looking for. In fact, a recent study by Google revealed that users viewed visually-cluttered sites as less aesthetic than the simpler ones. Here are a few ways to achieve the simple but effective website design that businesses can benefit from:
- Keep the number of elements on your pages to a minimum: It can be easy to overstuff your website with so many elements that you don’t notice when you are duplicating things you already have. For example, is a sidebar that lists the navigation menu all over again really necessary? Sure it can look cool, but ultimately it just serves as a distraction from your CTA.
- White space has its merits: White space helps users take a breather after reading some of your content. It’s an effective way to help your readers reset their minds and help them get ready to consume even more of your content instead of having them click away to another website.
- Keep secondary content out of your main content: Sometimes there’s content that acts as a complement to your main CTA message. On the one hand, you don’t want to completely get rid of it because you believe there is some value for your readers. On the other hand, however, you want to want to ensure nothing gets in the way of your users acting upon your CTA. One way to get the best of both worlds is to keep your CTA message at the top of your page, or “above the fold”, and your secondary/complementary content further down the page where your readers can access AFTER they have taken (hopefully) action. This way, your page still stays simple and uncluttered while still being able to provide the extra content you feel our customers will find valuable.
5. Test your website usability
Improving the usability of a website goes beyond fixing something that a user may have complained about. In fact, there may be many issues that are having a negative impact on your website from behind the scenes.
Unfortunately, many business owners are not technically savvy enough to know the real issues that may be preventing your website from achieving its maximum potential. The best way to get the help you need is by arranging a simple consultation with us.
While this may seem like an additional cost to a business owner, it is the best way to bring in more customers to your business and prevent further headaches down the line.
Better usability increases website credibility
If the previous tips are any indication, it would seem that today’s users appreciate simple but effective websites. This means that the content you provide them with, should be clear-cut, effective, free of embarrassing typos and be as accurate as possible.
Not only does concise and well-written content attract and retain your website visitors, over the long run it goes a long way to establishing your trustworthiness. Another great way to develop trust and engagement with your audience is to provide them with multiple ways to contact you whether by mail, email, social media and a phone number.
Usability should be key to your website design strategy
When it comes to website design, small and medium-sized businesses have a lot to gain from offering great usability in their websites. While the aesthetic appeal is always a factor, the sites that enable visitors to get what they want with as little effort as possible will always have a greater customer retention rate.
Providing your audience with an easy to use website that is full of excellent and valuable content will keep your visitors coming back for more. By engaging and listening to the needs of your customers business owners will be able to find more ways to improve their businesses and ultimately boost their bottom line.