Discover effective tips on what makes a good website for your business. We take you through best practices in web design, user experience, search engine optimization to help you establish an online presence that converts.
An easy-to-navigate website to access products or services is essential for businesses today. To stand out from the crowd of competitors, you should use a professional website builders so your Wordpress website or other website will be visually attractive and optimised for search engine algorithms.
Make your customers stay and come back by ensuring they feel secure browsing your website and providing a top-quality user experience.
To lay a good foundation for your new website, consider the purpose and goals you want to achieve with your online presence. Here are a few actionable core purposes to kick off your brainstorming session:
Once you’ve decided on a focus, select the type of website that best suits your chosen purpose. Here are three different types of websites to help you pick the one that fits your business.
If your company has a large amount of content that needs to be available to customers, choose an informational website. This type of site can function as a large web portal that holds resources and services helping users find information on a specific topic.
A corporate website is an official representation of a business online. This type of site acts as a virtual storefront. It contains information about the company, its activities, products or services, and a blog. Make sure your web design and copy represent your company’s brand throughout.
If you’re a small business looking for a platform to showcase your company online, a brochure website is a great option to advertise your products or services. The main purpose of this type of site is to introduce customers to your company rather than giving them all the information you have available. It provides access in a more concise way and encourages customers to contact the business directly.
When you think about the purpose of your website, you’ve already started to consider how visitors use your website. You’re building an online presence for your business to engage your target audience, so make sure you’re putting a good bit of thought into this process.
If you already have customer personas to hand, base your decisions on what these types of users would want from your online presence. If you don’t have any previous research, check your social media insights or talk to sales and customer services to make educated guesses about your audience.
Gather as much information as you can, but don’t get lost in your research. At some point, you have to make decisions and start building the website. You still have the opportunity to see what works with your audience and what doesn’t after the launch. Monitor your progress and do some usability testing to adjust your site accordingly.
To create a visually attractive website, determine your layout and how you want certain functions or features to look. For example, your home page will look different from your shopping cart or a blog post. For a consistent look and feel, use brand colors, fonts, and your logo throughout.
We’ve put together some guidance on how to use various web design components to create a well-designed website:
Hero images are large header photos that promote products or sell a brand idea. They can be set in the background with text and buttons on top
Combine your hero image with the power of words by using an enticing tagline that makes your website visitors scroll down. Make sure the typeface you’re using is in line with the image in the background and is easily legible.
Ensure there’s a smooth transition between hero image and navigational elements and calls to action. The image should lead users down the page naturally.
When you create a layout for your website, you define its structure. Determine the structure with the information you want to present in mind. You can create a visual hierarchy by having the most important areas listed in your navigation that leads users down an easy-to-follow path.
To begin the processes of wireframing or prototyping, work with a grid. On a basic level, every website is made up of rectangles and squares, even if there are other shapes and design elements at a later stage.
A grid layout helps you to arrange your structure and provides a framework for organizing content. It doesn’t mean you’re going to have to squeeze all your information into a rigid structure. This is just a starting point and there’s room for experimentation to achieve your unique design.
It’s crucial to have an intuitive layout to keep users engaged on your site. Users expect to find what they’re looking for within seconds and if they don’t, they leave. To create a layout that can be taken in within seconds, consider the Gestalt law of closure. This principle states that our brains are geared towards filling visual gaps to complete unfinished images.
This means that you can choose to focus either on the global view or pay particular attention to details with your web design. This helps you to create a design in which users connect the dots and find their way around quickly.
Including great product photos on your website is crucial to make your website look professional and build trust with your customers. They want to be sure what your products look like before they buy them, so display them in the best light just like you would in a shop window.
This is particularly important for eCommerce websites where your business has to meet the expectations of customers, who want to see a future purchase from all angles and look at every detail. Product pages should always include several views, a zoom functionality, and if possible a video.
If you have exclusive products with your brand, consider a professional photo shoot. There are online services that specifically deal with product photography.
When creating your website, keep your brand guidelines to hand and ensure you’re using the logo, colors, and fonts representative of your business correctly. Start with your logo and use it as the foundation for your website color scheme.
Use logo colors and other brand colors throughout. Check your brand guidelines for the fonts you’re usually using. Determine whether you need to create new guidance on font styles that work better for the web or if you can keep using your brand fonts. This consistency builds trust with your target audience, as it boosts credibility and makes your brand recognizable.
Calls to action prompt users to take action on a website such as filling out a form or buying a product. They’re usually designed as a button with copy like ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Buy Now’ with a link to the relevant web page where users take further action.
Calls to action should be easily understandable and in colors that stand out from the rest of the text and design. Grab visitors' attention with the color of your button and make it clear what you want them to do with a short actionable text.
User experience or UX is part of every web designer’s arsenal. If your website isn’t loading quickly or is hard to navigate, visitors immediately bounce off.
Ease of use is the expectation in the fast-paced online world. To hit that goal you need to work on a combination of usability, graphic design, and accessibility.
Here are our tips for designing a great user experience:
Accessibility focuses on people with disabilities and providing the same user experience to all users. Features like video captions or high-contrast text make life easier for everyone. Keep that in mind and design for all ability levels.
A good way to achieve great UX is to keep your web design simple. A shorter attention span and the expectations of finding products and information quickly are the biggest factors when creating an enjoyable user experience.
Particularly online, it’s crucial to build trust and make your website visitors feel comfortable buying from you. Communicate this visually with a modern and responsive design. A professional design, an SSL certificate, and other certifications like Trusted Shops are a good foundation to build other elements on.
Highlight these certifications and ensure you point out the secure checkout process as often as you can throughout your customers’ journey. Put your audience at ease with testimonials, case studies, and helpful content that shows your expertise.
Research has shown that users scan a web page in an F-shaped pattern. They start on the top left, move across the upper part, then browse further along a second horizontal line, and finally go down the page on the left side vertically.
For web designers, this means that the first few lines on the top left receive multiple gazes and that users also look at elements on the vertical left more closely. Use this pattern and place your logo and tagline on the top left followed by the navigation stretched across the page horizontally or down the page vertically.
When designing your website, think about how to structure it and use elements of design to make it as intuitive as possible. Your website becomes intuitive when it’s based on familiar patterns you find on other websites, so take a look around and find your favorites among other designs.
To engage your audience and make it more likely for them to return to your site, add interactive elements to it. Look at the customer journey to get ideas where you want to include interactive features. These can range from forms to interactive images to a live chat at the bottom of the screen.
To stand out from the millions of websites on the internet, create a more personal connection by telling your brand’s story through your web design and copy. This is an easy-to-understand and more engaging way to introduce users to your business
Storytelling is a powerful tool for building your brand. If you’re unsure where to start, the Storybrand structure by Donald Miller provides a framework for web design that helps you to clarify your brand’s message and benefits for your customers.
Make your website more memorable by tapping into the joy or sense of discovery that users get out of gamified features. Make sure the type of gamification is in line with your business goals and brand identity to avoid alienating your audience.
Keep your game elements simple. You want these interactive elements to be enjoyable and not frustrating. Include the option to opt-out for users, who don’t want to play or want to just find information quickly.
To get traffic to your website, your online has to be recognized by search engines and rank in the top results. Search engine optimization or SEO encompasses techniques that help to make your site scannable by the algorithms Google and other search engines use and ideally get a link to your site on the first results page.
We’ve gathered a few approaches that help your ranking on search engines:
As part of Google’s latest Page Experience algorithm update, site speed is taken into account more than it was previously for ranking websites. It’s part of Google’s Web Vitals, as an instant response is what users expect when they click on a search result.
Faster page load times also increase your crawl rate, which means that Google gets to look through more of your content. If you provide more helpful content for users than a competitor, it can boost your ranking. Make sure you choose the best web hosting solution for your business and test your website performance regularly to catch any areas that slow you down.
In recent years, the use of mobile devices to search for and view websites has skyrocketed. As a business, you need to adapt to user needs and ensure your website has a mobile-friendly interface.
Search engines like Google crawl your mobile version first, so making sure that your website has a responsive design gives you a clear advantage when it comes to SEO. Offering the convenience of being able to buy with just a few taps also increases your conversions.
Search engine spiders can’t crawl media like images or videos. When you optimize your images for SEO purposes, you provide search engines with more information and help them to understand visual content better.
To make your media readable and boost your rankings, add image titles and alt tags. Be sure to include relevant keywords when you follow this process. Use high-quality images but resize them to prevent large file sizes from slowing down your website.
Before you even get started creating content, use a keyword research tool to find out which terms people use when they look for your products or services. Out of this list of keywords, determine which relevant topics you should cover on your website.
When creating landing pages and blog posts, use your target keyword in the URL, meta descriptions, title tag, first paragraph, and headings. Be careful to not overuse your keyword and risk being penalized for keyword stuffing. Particularly in the body of the text, your keywords should appear naturally when writing about a certain topic.
Google always aims to provide the best user experience and that’s why you get Local Pack results when you enter a local search intent query. These results show in a box at the top of the page displaying contact details accompanied by a map.
Improve your visibility in these results by working on a Local SEO campaign. Google mainly draws data for Local Pack results from Google My Business and other local listings. Keep this information up to date to avoid frustrated customers and a drop in traffic.
Link building is about building relationships with other authoritative websites and gaining relevant backlinks. A high number of quality links pointing to your site signals to Google that you are an authoritative site that boosts user experience for other sites.
This makes it part of the many factors that help you rank higher than your competitors. Ensure your link-building efforts are focused on establishing relationships with content providers that fit with your industry. This should be based on providing relevant content like guest posts, helpful infographics, or expert interviews.
Remember to think about the purpose of your website and the tasks your target audience should be able to perform easily before you get started designing. Using this to set clear goals for your online presence gives you a direction to follow and clarifies objectives for the entire team.
Once you’re clear on a direction, go into more detail and think about the type of website and structure you need. Design for ease of use and work on search engine optimization to start ranking on the first results page.