Best Website Design Practices

Have you noticed that you receive the most support from those you know and trust? This translates into your website too. Your new website or website redesign needs to catch people’s eye and have a familiar feel so that people buy into what your company is about. Let them know that they can trust your brand and the experience they will have with you. Here are some tips to build the foundation of your website and use best build practices to bring in that human component and the personality that people will connect with. Let’s review some of the components that make up a great website.

Responsive Website Design

You need to be aware that a large portion of your site viewers will be experiencing it on mobile. Because of that, responsive website design is a must. If your company website isn’t formatted correctly, you are missing out on presenting your brand’s best face to your customers. A well designed, responsive website can adjust to any size screen automatically. For a while, the goal was to get away from the brick-sized, original cell phone and move to something more compact. Now, with the uptick of video viewing on phones they seem to be trending larger and larger again. Cell phones of all sizes, tablet varieties, laptops or desktop screens of all sizes…the right web-design team will know how to build your website to work well on any of these devices. You work hard to foster a certain experience for your brand. Make sure that experience is as desired, regardless of device. When reduced to mobile viewing, menus collapse and images and buttons displayed across on your computer are now stacked. It is the same content, but a completely different look. Make sure it is still easy to navigate and a presentation of your brand that you are proud of.

Simplicity

Your site’s homepage needs to make a great first impression. Make it quick and to the point. Keep the content short and digestible. Most people have very short bursts of attention, so you need to keep their interest. Don’t bore them. Send them straight to what they are there for with clear call to actions (CTAs).

We love clean design and simple navigation. Why make things difficult? Make sure they have a clean, easy-to-navigate and compelling site experience. Think about your ideal customer and exactly what they are looking for. Build your website around the experience they expect and are craving. Do you want to guide them through your site in a specific order? To entice them to have this specific experience, you have to set up your site to encourage this behavior. It is important they can find what they are looking for from your company in the first few clicks. We like to keep the top nav to around 3-7 links. Keep the focus on the main things you want people to navigate to. With fewer navigation links, as the size of your browser window gets smaller, there will still be room to display the navigation on tablets and mobile devices.

High-res, Quality Photos

It is amazing the clarity that you can get on phones, tablets and computer screens these days. More people than ever are viewing video and websites on their smart phones and tablets. Don’t put people off by poorly lit, badly executed, low-res imagery. Make the investment in great photography to showcase your product or company’s offering. Make sure they are formatted correctly for the web so that they don’t bog down your site’s page speed. Ensure that they are named in a manner that will help your site’s SEO. Using stock photography is okay, but make sure that your pictures look authentic (not fake or staged) and make sure to keep them relevant to the messaging you are trying to get across. People expect quality imagery. It is not really an option for your business anymore. This is not the area to skimp on presentation. After all, image is everything, right?

Messaging

Your messaging needs to be crafted so that it communicates your story to your target audience. This content needs to showcase your personality and draw people in so they want to look further and figure out more about your brand and compel them to purchase your products or services. Include catchy calls to action (CTAs) to influence people to check out most important areas or great sales. They can also be used to encourage people to pick up the phone and call. Add in some great testimonials or examples of your work/product and how it has helped people. Talk about your company’s history to build credibility.

Have a keyword strategy when crafting content so that you can pepper in strategic long tail keywords and help get your site found in Google searches. We write about content quite a bit. Blogging is a great way to boost the amount of keywords that you are putting out there. It is also further content to show people more about who you are and what you have to offer.

Stay on it

People will notice if they try to navigate to different areas of your site and get hit with an error code instead of the content they were searching for. Make sure that you, or your website design team stays up to date with 301 redirects, so that people are always traveling to the desired area of your site. Don’t let messages about pages that no longer exist frustrate your site’s viewers and send them on to your competition.

Also make sure that you are updating graphics, content and sales so that people can see that you are keeping your content fresh. It doesn’t leave a great impression of your site if you are advertising a sale that happened 6 months ago, if your company’s event calendar is empty because it hasn’t been updated since the launch of your site or your blog hasn’t had a new post since 2014. People will wonder if you are still in business, and they definitely won’t get the impression that you are keeping up with your business.

Here at 10twelve, our clients range from start-ups to major brands and are from a wide variety of industries. Motorsports, recruiting, technology, security, fashion, cleaning services, fitness, home improvement, education and more. Even with these different industries and business sizes, businesses share many of the same challenges and foundational elements. Sitting down and strategizing about specific needs for your business, company website included, is where we excel. Need help with a new website build or a website redesign? Contact us today!