Design Tips that Take Your Website to the Next Level

Let’s start off with something obvious – your website is important. In fact, the majority of today’s consumers say a company’s website is the first point of contact they have with a business.

In order to make a good first impression (that leads to future sales), you need to be constantly evaluating, maintaining, and update your website to stay ahead of the pack. Both design and functionality are crucial to consider, but back-end upgrades that improve speed can also help lower your bounce rate.

Below are six tips you can use to start improving your website today.


1.      Less is more when it comes to design

Truly great design means simplicity without sacrificing essential features. When looking at the layout of your page, avoid long or complicated areas of text, and see if you can reduce the overall number of photos on the page.

When it comes to imagery and text, think of including fewer, but more impactful elements to your website to create a simpler and more memorable experience. Use words that are easily understood by an audience that may or may not be familiar with your business. Pay attention to the stock photos you’re using as well, and ask yourself if they’re over-the-top “stocky” or insincere.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that your site is going to be viewed primarily on mobile devices. Creating a streamlined mobile experience begins with removing elements of your website that aren’t absolutely essential.


2.      Make call-to-action buttons easier to find

Getting your website visitors to take the next step in the consumer journey should be your top priority. If you aren’t providing clear call-to-action buttons in strategic locations on your website, you might be missing out on valuable leads and sales.

Instead of thinking about your call-to-action buttons as another form of “contact us” devices, try providing buttons that take users to content that helps solve their problem. An example could be a link to a blog post, or even an infographic that provides additional context and insight on a topic.

Bottom-of-the-funnel CTAs are still important to keep on your site, but they aren’t the only ones you should have available. Once a user starts clicking around, they’re more likely to eventually convert, so give them some CTAs that put their needs ahead of your own, and it could pay off in the long run.

In terms of where call-to-action buttons are placed on your website, get creative! Most websites have contact buttons at the top and bottom of the pages, but including some in the middle of the page can make them feel more engaging.


3.      Stretch out your homepage

Here’s some data-backed news that some business owners and website designers need to hear: thinking about design in terms of “above” or “below” the fold is no longer as important as we once thought. In fact, longer home pages have been gaining popularity for some time now.

Research has been finding that people are more likely to scroll down on a page than they are to click through a navigation bar to find what they’re looking for on your site. This means that it’s better to include as much information as possible (within reason) on your homepage.

Obviously, you don’t want your homepage to go on forever, but all of the content you consider to be highly important in terms of learning your business should be kept on page number one. Somewhat counterintuitively, it’s better to err on the side of making your homepage a bit too long than risk leaving out valuable information.


4.      Standard layouts are preferred

Google performed a study that revealed what users liked and disliked about websites they visited. The results showed that “high prototypicality” (aka “normal and expected”) sites ranked higher than those who decided to take a more complex approach.

With all the options available for today’s designers, it can be tempting to try to stand out by putting together a unique site. Unfortunately, to your web audience, it might just feel complex.

There are plenty of ways you can differentiate yourself from other businesses, but layout probably shouldn’t be one of them.


5.      Stop using carousels and sliders

Shuffling through a deck of images seems easy enough. But what’s even easier? NOT having to shuffle through the deck to view the images!

A number of studies on website behavior have shown that it’s much more effective to stack slides instead of putting them all in a deck. This way, your website visitors can simply scroll down to see the imagery you want to include.

This is yet another reminder that the less action your website asks of its users, the more effective it will typically be in getting results.


6.      Use facial cues to your advantage

Even those of us who don’t have backgrounds in visual arts or psychology are generally accepting of the fact that faces play a unique role in our visual behavior. We tend to mirror facial cues whether we know it or not, and this makes facial imagery a very valuable tool for website designers.

Instead of including pictures of people looking directly at the camera, try using images in which the people are looking at the important content on the page. A classic example is used to show this phenomenon the baby looking at the camera vs. the baby looking at the headline. Without getting too detailed, the results can be summarized easily: Baby looks at the camera, website visitors look at the baby. Baby looks at the headline, visitors look at the headline.

Simple visual cues like this are hugely effective in making sure your audience hears your message and sees your value. For more types of visual clues you can try out, visit this site.


Wrapping Up

A high percentage of internet users might not consciously recognize great web design, but they certainly remember bad design. Staying up-to-date on your website doesn’t have to be a complicated process, and following these simple tips above can keep you competitive in your space.

If you need additional help with your site’s layout, get in touch today and see how we