Like it or not, a website that looks unprofessional sends a message to potential clients that you might not be all that professional, either. Of course, we know this isn’t true—but your potential clients don’t, and it might send them in the other direction. With that in mind, it’s time to get serious about web design strategies to take your site (and your business) to the next level.
Web Design Strategies: Dos and Don’ts for a Successful Site
Today, we’ll help you do just that by sharing our dos and don’ts for web design to ensure your site is top-notch.
DO: Get Clear About Your Goals for Your Site
Before you start designing your website, you must clearly understand your goals: What do you want your website to achieve?
Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Generate leads? Sell products or services online?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can create a web design that helps you achieve your desired results.
DON’T: Forget About Your Audience
Your website should be designed with your target audience in mind. After all, they’re the ones you’re trying to reach with your site.
When creating your web design, consider your audience’s needs and wants. What are they looking for when they end up on your site? How can you make their experience as smooth and easy as possible?
The answers to these key questions help you create a web design that resonates with your audience and encourages them to take the desired action.
DO: Keep It Simple
When it comes to web design, less is almost always more. A complicated or cluttered website will not only turn off potential clients but can also be challenging to navigate and slow to load—both of which will hurt your SEO ranking.
Instead of bombarding visitors with too much information, focus on creating a clean, streamlined design that’s easy to navigate and highlights the most critical information about your business.
For example, include a brief overview of what you do on your home page, and then provide more detailed information on other pages of your site.
DON’T: Use Stock Photos (or photos that look like they’re from a stock photo site)
Including photos on your website is a great way to add visual interest and give potential clients a better idea of what your business is all about. However, it’s important to use high-quality, original photos—not stock photos (or worse, photos that look like they’re from a stock photo site).
Not only do stock photos look fake and impersonal, but they can also make your site look dated. If you’re not a professional photographer, hire one to take some quality shots of your office space, staff, products, etc. These photos will be well worth the investment and help your site stand out from the competition.
(Don’t miss this post next: FOUNDATIONS OF AN AWESOME LOOKING WEBSITE)
DO: Make It Mobile-Friendly
In this day and age, a mobile-friendly site is non-negotiable. With more and more people using smartphones and tablets to access the internet, your site must be optimized for these devices.
If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re likely losing out on many potential clients. In fact, Google has confirmed they are now using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in their search algorithm. So, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it will be difficult for potential clients to view and navigate and hurt your SEO.
DON’T: Forget the Call-to-Action
Every page on your website should have a prominent and compelling call-to-action (CTA). This is what tells visitors what you want them to do next. So, whether you want them to contact you for a consultation or download a white paper, your CTA should be easy to spot and follow.
A good CTA will include the following:
- A clear and concise message
- A strong visual element (e.g., an arrow or button)
- An obvious next step (e.g., “Contact us today!”)
If you need to figure out what your CTA should be, think about the overall goal of your website. What do you want web visitors to do when they land on your site? Once you’ve answered that question, crafting a strong CTA will be a breeze.
DO: Use High-Quality Images and Videos
As we mentioned before, visuals are essential. But it’s not just any old photo or video that will do—you need high-quality images and videos that accurately represent your business.
If you’re going to include images, make sure they’re well-lit, in focus, and relevant to your business. The last thing you want is a blurry photo or one that has nothing to do with what you do. And, if you use videos, be sure they’re high quality and professionally produced.
DON’T: Use Flash
We know, we know—Flash was once all the rage. But these days, it’s best to steer clear of this outdated technology. Not only is Flash difficult to view on mobile devices, but it can also slow down your website’s loading time, which will hurt your SEO.
If you’re still using Flash, now is the time to make the switch to HTML5. Not only is HTML5 more mobile-friendly and fast, and will give your site a modern look and feel.
DO: Optimize Your Site for SEO
SEO is essential for any business that wants to be visible online. After all, if potential clients can’t find your site, they can’t do business with you.
There are several things you can do to optimize your site for SEO. We’ll save the extensive list for another blog post.
But for now, here are some can’t-miss SEO strategies to implement now:
- Choose the proper keywords and use them throughout your site (in the titles, metatags, etc.)
- Use high-quality, original content
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
- Build quality backlinks
DON’T: Ignore Your Website’s Loading Time
Your website’s loading time is a big deal—not just for SEO, but also for conversion rate optimization (CRO). In other words, if your site takes too long to load, visitors are likely to click away before they even have a chance to see what you have to offer.
To ensure your site loads quickly, we recommend:
- Compressing images before you upload them
- Removing unnecessary plugins
- Reducing redirects
- Using a content delivery network (CDN)
A web design and development agency can also help you troubleshoot any issues that might slow down your site.
DO: Make Sure Your Site is Secure
In today’s day and age, security is more important than ever, which means site security is one web design strategy you can’t afford to skip. With hackers becoming more sophisticated, you must take the necessary steps to protect your website—and your business.
The first step is making sure your site is using HTTPS. This encrypts any information sent between your site and its visitors, making it much harder for hackers to access.
You should also consider investing in a web application firewall (WAF). This can block any malicious traffic before it reaches your website.
DO: Work With a Professional Web Design Agency
Creating a successful website takes time, effort, and expertise. We recommend working with a professional web design agency if you need help figuring out where to start or need more time to design a site yourself.
Bring These Web Design Strategies to Life
At The Story, our team of web design experts can create a custom website that meets your specific goals and needs. We’ll also make sure your site is professionally designed, optimized for SEO and conversions—so you can start generating the leads and sales you’ve been waiting for.
Contact us today to learn more about our web design services or book a consultation with our team.