What’s the difference between a good website and a successful website? A good website serves the purpose of storing information and checking a box. A successful website catches the user’s attention and sparks a reaction.
Think of your website as the guide that connects the user to your brand. It should have a seamless flow and constantly offer a reason for the user to stick around. But how do you do that?
Read on to find out about the 7 key factors to consider when designing a website.
1. Consider Your Target Audience
Your website, just like everything else in your business, should aim to reach the customer. Meaning, your target audience should be top of mind when creating your website.
Their needs, wants, and inquiries should be a starting place for designing things like written content and navigation. Give them the information they’re looking for in a way that’s accessible and engaging.
When it comes to imagery, consider both your brand aesthetic and your audience’s interests. There’s a good chance those two overlap and you can select imagery that you know will catch the attention of the people you want to reach.
2. Make Web Design and Marketing Cohesive
Keep a similar aesthetic and message between your marketing materials and your website. Why? Well, having a strong brand voice and look builds credibility. Equally, users will often land on your website as the result of an ad.
This means that if the user sees a certain look or phrase they like in the ad, and can’t find anything remotely similar on your website, they are going to be confused and probably drop off.
Keep the interest from that eye-catching ad that made them click! Look at your marketing materials and website side by side and decide if it looks like the same brand. If it doesn’t, you’ve got some changes to make. JLB recommends a centralized approach to your web design and marketing.
When you have a central message and look, the analytics become easier to attribute as you’re working with fewer concepts overall.
3. Make Sure It’s Mobile Friendly
Of all the web design tips out there, this is one of the most important, and one of the most often overlooked – focus on creating a seamless mobile experience.
Why is this so important? Well, in the last seven years, mobile traffic has gone up 222% making it the primary way people browse the internet. This means that your website should be designed FOR mobile rather than designing it for desktop and hoping it looks okay on mobile.
Mobile devices are smaller than desktop devices, which means you might have to consolidate some of your information so as not to overwhelm a small screen. Do this by making the primary message and call to action front and center when the user clicks to view.
Additionally, make navigation easy to access so that people can spend more time exploring your site. The navigation bar should be short so users don’t have to scroll through endless pages.
Lastly, if you have a large inventory of products, provide filters so that users can narrow their search immediately.
4. Keep Load Time Fast
This one should be a no-brainer – if the website doesn’t load quickly, the user will leave. People don’t have time to wait around on a slow website. The expectation for website load speed is high and it’s important to meet or exceed the standard.
Check your website speed regularly to make sure it’s on par with other brands. Even if your product is great, no one will buy it if the first feeling they have on your website is frustration.
5. Include Testimonials
Credibility is everything if you want to stand out from the crowd. Give the user peace of mind by including powerful testimonials and product reviews on your website.
They might see something they like, but if it hasn’t been verified by someone else, they are less likely to trust it.
Additionally, testimonials and reviews provide a way to keep past customers engaged with your brand. Listening to, and responding to past customers strengthens brand loyalty and opens up opportunities for growth.
6. Use Powerful Imagery
The image of your website includes everything from the color scheme, to graphics, to photography and layout. Stay away from flashy imagery. This approach is out of style and gives your website a cheap look.
Flashy images and overly-complicated color schemes can take away from the message you’re trying to convey. Keep it classy and simple, and add touches of personality that directly reflect your brand and audience.
You want imagery that’s timeless with the goal of longevity.
The more that people recognize your visual branding, the more credibility you gain. However, while imagery shouldn’t be overwhelming, it should be impactful.
The difference between overwhelming and impactful imagery is the emotional response it elicits. Overwhelming imagery leaves the user with negative reactions like confusion and frustration. Impactful imagery stirs up emotional responses that lead to action.
7. Create Content That’s Engaging and Direct
Content differs depending on where it’s being used. For example, a product description should not have the same tone as the call to action on your homepage.
However, no matter where it’s placed, it should always engage the need of the user.
The content on your homepage is often the user’s first impression of the brand. Keep this content short and address what problem your product or service can solve.
From there, the user might explore other pages for more information. An ‘about us’ page or product description is where you can provide more information and go into detail about why your product can meet their needs.
After going through every page on your website, the user might still want more. This is why attaching links to social media is so important. It provides an opportunity to give the user a more well-rounded impression of your brand as well as connect and communicate with you online.
Get Started Designing a Website Today!
Now that you know the 7 most important factors to keep in mind when designing a website, it’s time to get started. A website is an easy, cost-effective way to market your brand. So don’t under-utilize it!
If you need help building a website that will stand the test of time, reach out to web design services for help with design, marketing integration, and more. In the meantime, check out the rest of our blog!