Designing a website for a business is not very difficult but Marketing Media has killer web design tips to ensure a business gets the most out of it. This is especially important for start-up businesses where businesses are scrambling to be successful from the intense competition.
To ensure this you must make a website that fully represents your business. These days, the existence of a website hugely depends on its presence on the internet. A well-designed website has numerous benefits for a business, thus building a better website is essential.
The Web Design Process
Choose a brand-able address for your business because it will help clients and other people easily recognize your brand.
You will then need to request a hosting company to host your site. Usually, this will cost you some money. If you are on tight budget, you may need to do some research so you can get the best deal.
If you are not a professional website developer, you will definitely need the help of a developer to build your business website. Just search Google and you will get a list of web development companies.
Killer Web Design Tips
Here are some web design tips that you can use to create a stunning website for your business or client.
1. Make your Website Responsive
Currently, people access the internet via a wide range of devices including smartphones, and tablets. For obvious reasons, in many instances, people find it easier and convenient to access the internet from their handheld devices. Make sure to design a website that can be properly accessed from all kinds of handheld devices.
This is one of the most important factors you should guarantee on your business website. If you have an existing website that isn’t fully accessible from handheld devices, you need to redesign it. Alternatively, you can create an entirely new website.
Make sure to take into account people who would be accessing your website through mobile devices. Google also recommends that every website be very responsive. So why not implement this when creating a website so you don’t have to redesign it, which is not only expensive but inconveniencing?
On the other end, large screens with a higher resolution are becoming much more common and designers should take advantage of this.
The web browser landscape is consistently changing to reflect changing users’ expectations. As more people needed to browse the web on their phones as easily as on a desktop computer, web designers started creating mobile versions of their websites.
In summary, a wide range of screen resolutions and sizes are being introduced and creating different versions of a website to target each respective device is unrealistic. This is what responsive web design seeks to tackle in advance.
What Makes up Responsive Design
Responsive design includes a wide range of ideas and techniques. We are going to discuss various parts of each solution.
i). Fluid Grids
In the recent past, designers used to include “liquid layout” which expands with the page. In more precise terms, the layout was designed based on arbitrary percentage values or rigid pixels.
Currently, “fluid grids” have taken over from the liquid layout. They are designed in terms of proportions. In case the layout gets squeezed onto a handheld device with a very small display or stretched across a big screen, the layout’s elements resize their widths in relation to each other.
One problem with the fluid grid is – the width of the design starts to break down when the browser’s width becomes too narrow. Designers solve this issue using media queries.
ii). Media Queries
CSS3 media queries make the second part of responsive design, fortunately, most modern browsers support them. CSS3 media queries allow collection of site visitors’ data so it can be used to conditionally apply CSS styles.
In this case, we are interested in the min-width media feature that enables application of unique CSS styles in case browser windows drops below a given width that can be specified.
2. Make Your Homepage Informative
A homepage is the commonest entry point to websites. It should provide precise information about the benefits potential customers will get from the business’s content, services, and products. This way, it will engage visitors and they will navigate the website.
How to Build a Great Homepage
A user-friendly interface gives visitors a clear pattern for finding something on your website. It will encourage visitors to make proper use of your website.
Include multimedia such as gifs, videos, and compelling images that provide information and anything related to your company including freebies, products and services offered, and its history. This is a popular trend with proven benefits.
-Include Real Contacts
Include up-to-date contacts that potential leads can use to reach you. One of the biggest mistakes is not giving leads a chance to reach you.
-Make Great Headlines
Make your headlines great and straight to the point as this will show visitors they aren’t wasting time by reading on.
Listing the benefits visitors will get is more conventional than listing the features of your products and services. Mention the value your products and services will add to their life.
-Think of your Homepage as a Gateway
Consider your homepage a gateway to your offers and content. The best approach is paying close attention to free offers, products and services, social proof, benefits, content, and then about us.
Include case studies, testimonials, videos and other content from people and companies that shows visitors how your product or service will help them.
3. Build User-Friendly Landing Pages
Compared to the homepage, Landing Pages are a more targeted approach as they speak to specific audiences. Design your website in such a way that when someone is looking for information about a specific product, they land on a page dedicated to that subject. Studies show that landing pages have a higher conversion rate than homepages.
How to Build a Great Landing Page
Build a headline that directly tells visitors what they will find on the landing page and how to get it. In summary, the headline should be descriptive or actionable.
–Create Content Tailored to the Sales Cycle Stage
Just like content marketing, stage-based marketing also applies to landing pages. Landing pages are accessed by people with different needs depending on their position in the sales cycle. Thus, you should create page content that caters for the different preferences.
For top of funnel prospects, we recommend a bulleted list with information on benefits your business offers. For middle of funnel prospects, we recommend case study logos or customer testimonials. And bottom of funnel prospects, we recommend a “Start Free Trial” or “Request a Demo” button.
-Make Page Scannable
Since the internet is full of irrelevant information, most people tend to simply scour the web for information. This also applies for landing pages and your websites.
Here are facts about your landing pages visitors:
- i) They tend to scan content and not read all of it.
- ii) Visitors pay more attention to content on left side and top of the page.
iii) Most visitors don’t read more than 28% of the words on your page.
You should include your main idea in the first words of your paragraphs or text on your landing page. Also, try to group your content and write clear headings so visitors get the main idea at first glance.
-Make Path to Conversion Simpler
Avoid a lot of steps to conversion as this will lead to most of your visitors dropping out before the final stage of the conversion process. We recommend short landing pages and forms, ideally a maximum of 4 form fields. Also, avoid gathering information through leads that jump through hoops.
-Good Call to Action
Because a call to action is the final stage of conversion, it’s necessary to make it compelling. It shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Make sure your call to action is:
- i) Locatable.
- ii) Tells visitors of the benefits they will get instead of telling them what they need to do.
iii) Uses the first person language.
Several studies show that first-person CTA performs better.
Converting visitors is not the end of the exercise. You need to keep converts engaged by providing them with additional value.
Include a rich and compelling “Thank You Page” with information such as case studies, videos, and links to rich content on your website.
Guessing which content is good for your audience is highly discouraged, make sure to test and prove what works and what doesn’t.
We recommend studying data combined via A/B testing. Test elements such as colours, offers, calls to action, and teaser copy using a marketing automation tool.
For the best results, follow the above steps for all your landing pages.
4. Make Your Website Social Media Friendly
Social media marketing is one of the latest trends in digital marketing and one way to improve it is making your website “social media friendly”.
There several social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. Social media attracts more traffic to a website, enhances its search engine ranking, and with time boosts conversions. Thus, having a social media friendly website has numerous benefits for businesses.
How to Make Your Website Social Media Friendly
-Include Social Media Profile Links on Your Website
To encourage your website visitors to connect with you on social media profile, add links to your social media profiles. This will give them an opportunity to keep up with your latest offers, news, services, and products. When customers follow your business on social media, they gain more trust in it.
The best places to add social media icons include in the sidebar, along the top, and within the footer area.
-Show Social Proof
You need to show credibility by placing social proof including share counts, and screenshots on your website. While this sounds like a joke, it’s backed up by several studies.
When people see that your content is being shared or posted on social media, they will be encouraged to do that too. Most people tend to follow the crowd and when they see other people have shared your content they will believe it is valuable.
-Make it Easy for Visitors to Share Your Content
Include social buttons in your website so visitors can share content in an easy, straightforward manner. Make sure the buttons feature has many social networks as possible.
Don’t just create content to fill up your website, but make sure the content you create and place on your site adds value to readers or viewers.
You don’t need to be a tech expert to add social share button because there are many options for doing this.
-Add Social Media Widget
Social media widgets are a perfect way to showcase social media feeds. Make sure to only add widgets for platforms you are keen to update.
If you are very active on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram profiles, it’s great to showcase them. It’s a straightforward way to add visual elements and promote your content.
-Test on your Handheld Devices
Making a mobile responsive way is no guarantee it will work perfectly on mobile devices. The only way to prove it works well is testing.
Check other aspects such as ability to use mobile devices to share content through sharing buttons.
-Optimise Content for Platforms
In most cases, social media is very visual. Make sure featured images that pop up when users are sharing your content are relevant and clear. If you think a visual is not good enough for the content, better change it or not share.
-Create Content that Connects with Your Audience
Make sure your content connects with your audience or else they won’t share it. No matter how good you think your content is, people will only share it if they find it share-worthy.
The number of shares your content gets will tell you if people like it or not. So consider focusing more on topics that get more shares.
5. Improve Your Website’s Navigation
While most websites have some form of navigation, not all of them have a good one. The problem is most website navigations are put together by web designers with little or no marketing knowledge. This means they can’t create a website build for the client.
By having good navigation, a website retains more customers, keeps them engaged and drives them through the conversion funnel.
When a website has strong navigation, visitors can quickly find information they need. Also, it makes it easier for search engines to index your site’s information effectively and efficiently.
When a website has poor navigation, visitors fail to get information they want and will leave quickly. When visitors don’t get interesting content, you won’t get enough conversions.
Ways to Improve Site Navigation
Unless you can’t avoid, keep you navigation consistent in both where and how it appears from page to page. This way, visitors will find your site easy to use and find information quickly.
-Divide Categories Well
Clearly and visually define categories and sub-categories. Make sure to separate visually category headings from subcategories, regardless categories are links themselves.
-Make Navigation Elements Clickable Links
You may need to include several categorical divisions in your navigation. In this case, all heading elements should be made clickable links.
-Use Genuine Navigation Titles
Let visitors know what they will find on a page before they click a navigational link. Make sure navigation text is not misleading or cryptic as this will annoy or confuse visitors and they may abandon your site. This applies to both internal text link and main navigation link.
-Include ALT text on Every Clickable Image
Make sure every clickable image on your site has ALT text. Include the ALT attribute with descriptive text to ensure visitors know what the link is no matter how they are viewing your site.
-Include a Working Search Feature
If you have included an in-search site feature, make sure the search results page brings relevant results. It must show related results, compensate for misspellings, and produce results you don’t have while showing related products or services you offer.
6. Include Relevant and Informative Content
No matter your website’s features or functionality if you haven’t included the right content you may not get enough conversions.
Explain to customers the benefits they will from using your products. Also, remember to include your organisation’s history and core achievements. If possible include a photo of founders and the management.
It would be great to include a page for case studies and testimonials. Studies show these third-party endorsements can hugely boost your business. Customers prefer buying from companies they trust, so you need to do your best to earn their trust.
-Update your Content
One common mistake people do is failing to keep their content relevant and up to date. Consistently update your content and site, adding new information to it and removing old information from it. If good information is buried, site visitors might not find it.
-Exclude Industry Jargon
Even if your business is very professional, try your best to avoid phrases and words that visitors will struggle to understand. Use familiar terminology so every visitor can easily understand.
-Use Conversational English (Language)
Nobody wants to read your hard grammar so don’t write website content that sounds like a term paper. Write as if you are speaking directly to your visitor. It is recommended that you use second person, including “we” and “you.” You can use contractions as well.
Use a friendly, informal tone as it does better than stiff, organisational speak.