If you own a business, then you probably know that your website is one of the most important tools that you could use to get clients. But how do you separate a good website from a bad one? How can you use this excellent marketing platform to promote your brand and drive your company's growth? Here are the ten key elements a great website should have:
Before building a website, you need to state the goals and purpose of your website. Having a clear and well-designed purpose, and a website design strategy is vital. Taking the time to identify that before you dive into the design and development stage can either make or break your website.
Having a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish will guide you on how you can manage your site, what content you want to include, as well as the message that you want to communicate to your visitors.
Without having an idea of what you want to accomplish in the first place, you'll risk losing your focus and ruin your chances of making a positive impact on your target audience before they even get to your website.
Your website's overall look will always be a vital component of your site. First impressions do matter, so you need to wow your audience as soon as they step into your site.
In fact, it only takes users 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website, which will also determine whether or not they chose to stay or leave.
Aim for a design that's clean, intuitive, familiar, and highly accessible. Give your website plenty of whitespaces.
You could also make use of grid-based designs to keep these designs orderly, and more organized.
The internet was once filled with common typefaces- Arial and Courier because these fonts are easily readable by most browsers and computers. But today, that's no longer a limitation for most website designers.
Still, web fonts are important for two main reasons- licensing and compatibility. By utilizing a web font service, which is also critical for search engine optimization, web designers don't have to have images to be able to create a certain look.
Your website design should be easy enough to navigate. Moreover, the menu items should be easily accessible from any page. Users should know where exactly where they are on your website and should have easy access to where they would want to be.
A site map is an excellent idea and could be used if available. This may sound pretty basic, but a lot of websites could improve in this area. Keep in mind that there's a fine line between an interactive menu from an annoying one. Therefore, functionality is important.
What do you want users to do on your website? The desired action should be clear to the visitor, right off the bat. Your call-to-action should guide visitors on what's the next step when trying to purchase a product or a service.
Your site should be designed in a way for visitors to seek more information, to know more about the products and services that you offer.
That's how you lead them to your site even if they don't intend to do so, and impressive CTA will eventually convince them to buy something or make an inquiry.
Nowadays, 62% of users access websites on their mobile devices. So, if you want to rise above your competitors, you must have a mobile version of your site ready.
Accessible customer support
If someone encounters a problem or an issue with your website, then they shouldn't have a hard time contacting customer support.
If you have virtually unreachable customer service, then it will make visitors feel uneasy, especially if it happens within normal business hours.
Search engine optimization
There's no point in having a website if it can't be found in the first place. That's why your site needs to be optimized for search engines.
Target relevant keywords in your meta tags, page titles, headings, and content so that prospective customers could easily find your business online. Work on getting excellent-quality backlinks as well.
Fast loading time
When it comes to gaining traffic and keeping web visitors on your site, site loading time plays a crucial role. In fact, Google Analytics suggests that 40 percent of web users leave websites that take more than three seconds to load.
Most websites take approximately 2 seconds to load, but keeping it to less than a second will also cause a massive spike in traffic, as well.
Design is one of the main reasons why users hardly trust a website. All of us humans are visual creatures, and almost everything we see and surround ourselves with, has an impact on our decisions, perceptions, and emotions.
Here are some things that you can do to boost people's trust:
- Show the number of followers on social media.
- Display the logos of your most prominent clients.
- Include some links to media coverage.
- Stay away from cheap and low-quality photos.
- Avoid pre-made website templates.
While other important components constitute a highly effective website design, including these ten key elements on your list, will surely make a difference. Don't overlook the smallest details either, as they can either make or break your website design.