Nowadays, nearly every business is turning to digital to ensure they get their products and services in front of their target audiences.
The first place most people start is by setting up a website, but that alone does not guarantee it will be effective for your business, because as we know – not all websites are created equal. Your website is your shop front where customers will make snap opinions about your service, so it’s important that you make a good first impression. In this day and age, when so much business is conducted online, having a website that is both functional and attractive is no more a “nice to have” – it can literally make or break your business. So, it’s important that the site has stunning design, has intuitive and simple navigation, is mobile responsive and answers your audience’s questions quickly which means – it is user-friendly.
Here are our top 6 best web design practices that you should put into place now to ensure your website’s success in 2023.
1. Ensure attractive and clean design
It’s important that your website is pleasing to the eyes and content isn’t too overwhelming.
We know that it is sometimes easy to overthink what your audience needs to know about your product or services, but it’s important to not overwhelm people with an explosion of images and copy. Rather, make your website easy and enjoyable for them with clean design and meaningful content.
One way to do this is to establish a visual hierarchy. It’s the arrangement of all the design elements of a website in order of importance. For example, if a headline is large, contrasting in colour and centred on a page, it immediately comes across as being more important than something smaller, not uniquely coloured, and offset.
It’s also important to use white space effectively. White space is not a bad thing and should be used to help people to digest content more effectively.
2. Mobile first
When designing your website, mobile should be a priority, not an afterthought. In 2020 mobile usage accounted for 61.8% of all internet traffic, and by 2025 it is estimated to be 72.5%.
One way you can optimise your website is to design and build mobile-first and mobile-friendly.
There are some restrictions when you’re designing for mobile. The screen isn’t as big, and people interact with content differently than they do on a desktop etc. But, these restrictions can be a good thing. They make for a more digestible website.
With mobile-first design, you can help to optimise every user experience, no matter how they engage with your content. In today’s mobile-first world, it’s imperative to build products with mobile in mind from the start.
3. Use Call To Actions (CTAs) effectively
Calls-to-actions (CTAs) drive your customers to take action like making a purchase or to get in touch.
Let’s use Amazon as an example.
Amazon use CTAs all over their site to make it easy for you to buy a product, browse further or simply share with friends and family.
- What’s being offered is immediately clear.
- Potential objections are addressed right away: Customers can change their mind anytime or add more items to their basket.
- Bold, coloured CTAs in a highly visible location: The CTAs themselves are instantly obvious. They help drive conversions.
- A strong and short command verbs to start their CTAs. They literally tell you what to do.
- Emphasise security – e.g. “Sign in securely” – they take worry out of your head, as they will be handling your bank card data.
Use clear CTAs, and you’ll see stronger results.
4. Intuitive Navigation
Your website should not only look attractive but provide solutions useful content to your customer problems. Getting to your solution should be simple and not more than 3 clicks away. Your navigation and buttons should be clear and obvious so users can explore the website intuitively.
There are multiple ways to achieve this:
- Use clear language: It’s more effective to use simple terms like “About” and “Contact” in your navigation. Don’t use unique words just for the sake of doing something different, as it could confuse your users.
- Tailor your navigation: You may only need a few navigation links if you have a website with limited content. With heavier content, you might need more detailed navigation. Descriptive mega menus give your users a clear path to find the information they need when there’s a lot of available content.
- Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs track and display where a user is on a website. They let a user easily return to a previous page by retracing their steps. Breadcrumbs are especially useful for sites such as e-commerce shops.
- Keep it consistent: Users will have an easier time navigating your site and will be able to access the information they need more quickly if the navigation is consistent in both its appearance and placement.
If you make it easy for users to navigate your website, you’ll not only make it enjoyable for them but create a clear path to conversion.
5. SEO - Search Engine Optimisation
Including SEO best practices across your website will not only help you get more visibility, but it will also most likely help you get a high-ranking placement on search engine results pages and reduce your marketing costs.
Using targeted keywords throughout your website is a good way to start. Search engines such as Google or Bing track sites for relevant keywords searched by users. The more effectively your content speaks to the content your users are after, the more organic traffic you’ll land.
Here are some additional ways to optimise your website for search engines:
- Responsive design: Designing responsively isn’t just a web design standard; it is rewarded with better rankings by Google and Bing.
- Relevant header tag (H1): The header tag will be the headline of a page or the title of a post. Search engines target H1’s for keywords, so make sure that you include the most relevant information in your headline.
- Proper title tags and meta descriptions: Relevant title tags and meta descriptions help search engines understand the content on a page and index it appropriately.
- Use short descriptive URLs: A simple URL that’s readable for humans (not a long string of numbers) will often contain keywords.
- Publish relevant and insightful content: Content is the King. There is a great deal of substandard content available, the most of which does not even come close to providing the reader with any type of relevance or usefulness, so standing out is actually easy.
Accessibility means designing and developing websites that can be used by individuals who have disabilities (auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech or visual).
Here’s a few examples of how to ensure your website or application is accessible:
- Use contrasting colours: People with visual impairments could find it difficult to discern text from a background colour if there isn’t enough contrast.
- Use more than colour to communicate visual cues: You can use text labels so those with visual challenges can discern information.
- Support keyboard navigation: People with disabilities are often dependent on a keyboard to navigate content. You can “scroll” through interactive content, like links, and text fields, using the “Tab” button on a keyboard.
- Add Alt text to all images: Although a picture is worth a thousand words, users who are blind or have low vision may have difficulty accessing websites that contain visual features such as photographs due to accessibility barriers. So in order for Screen Readers to be able to describe your images to visually impaired users, you definitely need to add Alt text.
Ensuring that your business is visible online isn’t as simple as just building a website and then leaving it. Your website requires ongoing optimisations and improvements to serve your customers and produce results.
The main points to remember are:
- Make design choices that are user-friendly. They’ll help make the user experience as clear, engaging, and easy as possible. That will pay dividends in conversions and brand value.
- Use data-driven analytics to take the guesswork out of optimising your design.
- Ensure that your key messaging informs your design choices.
At WeAgile, our senior team of creatives help our clients with every step of the website design and development process to ensure that their website is optimised and producing their desired results. We are confident that our team can build you a website that will create a great first impression, keep up with your competition, increase conversions, and boost your business success.
So why wait any longer? Get in touch.