Today, your website must utilize the latest technology and design strategies to exceed the expectations of your visitors in terms of design, image, branding, content and usability. By taking steps to improve your user experience, you will not only convert more traffic into leads; you will be rewarded with higher search engine rankings.
If you are considering updating your current design, or building a completely new website, here are five website design tips that can change the way you take your website to the next level.
- To start, I suggest you stop looking at your website as advertising. Effective website design today is less about advertising and more about relationship-building. This means that your content and imagery needs to break down barriers and “connect” with visitors. The sport of online marketing is won by the firm that develops rapport with visitors the fastest! Websites should not rely primarily on stock photography and an occasional dated profile photo on your bio page. Custom photographs of your provider, office, and team and using them throughout your website are essential, particularly in competitive metropolitan markets. Include these important, custom assets when planning your marketing budget.
- You probably heard about how important it is to have a mobile-responsive website. In many markets, mobile visitors have overtaken desktop users, and if not, they eventually will. That being the case, you want to now design your website with a mobile-first perspective. Your new website design should start with a mobile wireframe and approval of your mobile design, not just focus on the desktop layout.
- The visual impact and design of a website has become a much bigger part of developing an effective website. Home pages appear bigger by utilizing the entire screen area, and incorporate more compelling images and graphics.
- Navigation should no longer be limited to large menus that take up most of the home page and force visitors to make multiple clicks. Website users, particularly those on smartphones, are more willing to scroll down a page to find what they are looking for rather than sifting through large menus and requiring multiple clicks. This allows you design with a focus on high priority areas and use graphics and teasers to drive visitors to target destination pages.
- Lastly, I suggest breaking away from the usual website content and develop more interesting, unique and differentiating information and call-to-action graphic links. This includes the use of infographics, e-books, consumer guides, checklists, white papers, “how-to” tips, etc. The goal of websites today is to distinguish yourself from the masses, and provide visitors with a unique experience and credible resources.
These are just a handful of important design strategies. For more information and samples of website designs check out our Website Design and Development section.
~ Bill Fukui, Director of Sales & Marketing