Before you take the plunge into a website design project, it’s important to consider best website design practices before you begin. This can include aspects such as information flow, interface, social media, content, analytics, and calls-to-action. These extra considerations will help to ensure your website not only appeals and meets the needs of your visitors, but also has the foundational components to work as a high performance marketing machine.
1. Calls to Action & Information Flow
What actions do you want your visitors to take? Do you want them to read for hours, or do you want them to purchase a product, or contact you? It’s great to have content on your site but if it doesn’t clearly indicate to a visitor what action is required to be taken, then the purpose of the visit is lost.
Another important consideration when creating the best website design is information flow. Visitors need to be able to navigate your website with ease, and your website should always be planned around content / information flow first. Focusing on this aspect will ensure efficient production and fewer design iterations, as well as a website that is tailored first and foremost to your customer’s needs, and ultimately your business goals.
Next on the list is branding, or look and feel. How does your branding and design match up to your customer ideals and needs? How does your branding compare against your competitors? The last thing you want to do, is deter a possible sale because the look of your site is not in line with what potential customers expect or can find elsewhere. Take some time to understand your target market and current industry design trends. Apply your unique brand elements to your design. Invest into design elements with high quality imagery and a complementary color scheme – this will help you appeal, rather than deter, your prospective customers. The goal is to keep them engaged and ultimately, increase the likelihood of conversion.
3. Website Responsiveness
Make sure your website design will work on all digital platforms to attract the largest number of visitors possible. This can be accomplished through responsive design which ensures the content and structure scales well across all devices, eliminating the need for a separate mobile site. Responsive design removes non-essential content on small screen sizes (such as mobile phones) and ensures that content is optimized for a particular screen resolution.
If a visitor to your site isn’t able to access it quickly and easily regardless of what device they are on (tablet, desktop, iPhone, Android, etc), you risk them leaving your site and going elsewhere to do business.
Having a responsive website is also a critical aspect for SEO. A responsive website will reduce your bounce rate, and make it much easier for search engines to find you on various devices.
4. Social Media Integration
If your business is like most, your customers will want to connect with you on social media platforms. When you feature your social media icons prominently on your site, you make it easy for your customers to stay up to date with what is happening in your brand’s social community. One of the biggest benefits of social media, is once a person becomes a member of your community, you can communicate with them any time you like – for free. This means you will be able to access your community to promote special announcements, sales, events, etc. Even better, your fans can share it with their family, friends, and colleagues through their own social media channels. The reach of social media is truly limitless, and should be fully leveraged to help your business grow.
Social media will not only allow you to share specialized content and targeted promotions with your existing and potential customers, but it can also increase customer acquisition.
5. Google Analytics
The only way to know if your marketing activities are working is to track results. Google Analytics (Analytics) is a fantastic tool that allows you to measure all traffic coming to your site. The data that can be collected by Analytics is invaluable when it comes to making future decisions about your marketing.
For example, some of the data Analytics can tell you where you visitors live (by city), how long they stayed on your site, which pages they viewed, and what actions they took while they were there. No website is complete without having installed Google Analytics tracking code, and you’ll want to be sure you have a basic understanding of the data available, so you optimize / leverage your marketing activities.
6. Speed & Performance
A slow loading website will not only deter your visitors, it may also affect your search engine ranking.
Studies conducted by Google have show that every additional 100 milliseconds of load time can decrease sales by one percent. A quick examination of your site can help determine which elements, if any, are affecting the load time of your website and they can then be addressed appropriately. A slow website can be remedied by using a new platform, or a new structure that provides a more streamlined experience to your users.
At Lynk, we work exclusively with the WordPress platform. We won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but our knowledge of WordPress combined with our understanding of best practices for website design, makes future marketing work like ongoing content updates, imagery edits and SEO a whole lot easier for our clients.
Our role in managing your project is to follow best practices for website design, ensure you have not only a well branded site, but also to ensure you have a fully functional marketing tool that you can use for ongoing digital marketing purposes.
If you are looking to begin a website design project, get the right team behind you – give us a call today at 778.841.0250.