Top tips when designing your website

Your website plays a huge part of how you are portrayed as a business, so it’s important to get it right, from the beginning. It is a particularly important time, post lockdown, to ensure that your customers have an online window into your brand and proposition within this recovery period, while they are adapting to this ‘new normal’ model we are all trying to figure out. Retail and customer engagement is transforming, and making sure your business can capitalise on this opportunity is key. Successfully pivoting or maximising your online marketing is crucial for all businesses, now more than ever.
User experience is critical.
If your website is welcoming and easy to navigate the longer your visitor will remain on the page and the more likely it is they will emotionally connect with your brand and take the desired action you are looking for. Micro moments, on page, that are a memorable part of your customer experience is such an important part of your wireframe design.
There are various aspects of a website which play a part to achieving great user experience, which then in turn increases your conversion rate optimisation (CRO).
Here are some tips on designing a successful website:
  • Plan – Have a design plan and know who your audience is. Don’t just build as you go. Invest time in designing your user personas and research what your customers are looking to achieve from visiting your website.
  • Keep it simple – Don’t use words that are hard to understand, keep it as simple as possible and get straight to the point. Too many tabs can also be distracting, it is always worth thinking about what you enjoy in a website experience and copy with pride.
  • Choose a clear layout – If you are new to website design and memorable User Experience design, don’t be afraid of standard templates – they are often the most captivating. The more simplistic the page, the longer the visitor will spend browsing and navigating their way through the content.
  • Embrace whitespaces – Don’t think that whitespaces need to be filled. There’s nothing more off putting for a user than a cluttered page where the call to action (CTA) is lost.
  • Images – Choose the right images for your audience. Ensure that they are compressed so they do not slow down your page – this is so important. The online user is a notoriously impatient breed! They will lose interest if your page takes too long to load.
  • Don’t use too many colours – We would always recommend having clear brand identity with a colour palette and brand guidelines so your customers recognise your proposition whenever there is a selling opportunity. Try and keep to one background colour, if not they should at the very least be complementing shades. Drastic changes in colour can lead to a false sense of the page ending, preventing the visitor from scrolling further and converting into a positive action.
  • SEO – Often described as a ‘dark art’ when it really doesn’t need to be! Your new website is no good if no one can find it! Read more on SEO tips later on.
  • Use call to action boxes – these are not solely for the top of your web pages, encourage users to scroll down and read your content and have friendly CTAs as they scroll. Ensure they stand out to your audience by using colour/images or bold font.
  • Link your social media – Encourage people to visit your social media platforms and like/follow you. The more active you are on social media the more you will leave an impression.
  • Ensure that your logo is clear and visible – the best place for this is at the top left of your website. You want visitors to recognise your brand the next time they see it.
Maintaining your website
Once you have designed an outstanding website, you need to keep traffic coming through, this plays a big part of receiving repeat business and repeat visits to your website. If your website is not in full working order this will be frustrating for visitors. Here are a few actions to take to ensure people keep returning:
  • Monitor your website – visit your website, take a look around. Ensure that all pages are loading correctly. Any 404 faults should be rectified immediately – If a visitor to your website gets a fault displayed, they will only try a few more times and give up resulting in lost business
  • Test all functions – Test all call to action buttons and social media links are working correctly
  • Keep your website up to date with fresh content – This will encourage people back to your page.
  • Use Google analytics – Monitor traffic to your website. If traffic is falling, why is this? If traffic is improving, what have you done to encourage this?
  • Content – an up to date and engaging blog will help your audience find you, remember you and come back for further visits.
Basic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The phrase SEO can be quite daunting, but it really doesn’t need to be. You don’t have to be an expert to implement basic SEO. Choose your keywords carefully. Put yourself in your customers shoes, what would you search for to find your website?
If you’re unsure of what keywords to use, take a look at your competitors website to get an idea of what their keyword strategy is, and how it is performing. Keywords don’t have to be just one word, they can be 3 or more words (long tail) that are more descriptive and which encourages more relevant traffic to your website.
In summary your website is usually the first thing your potential client will see. The use of technology is increasing, especially in a post pandemic landscape, and more people are now going online to find goods or services and their expectations of this online experience are increasing! Make sure your brand stands out and is ready to make the most of this online boom, book a website design discovery with us today.