Your website is the best way to reach an online audience, and it should uniquely reflect your business and your expertise while following best practices for web design. That said, there are some elements that every website should include for maximum impact.
We put together a list of some key guidelines you should think about when building out your website. These best practices for web design will help you design the perfect website and get your message across with ease and efficiency.
No one likes branding that isn’t consistent. If your website feels all over the place in terms of branding and design, your website visitors will be confused. Consistent branding gives people a chance to connect with your brand. It helps to earn your audience’s trust. Plus, it signals that your business has a clear, cohesive identity.
In practice, consistent branding means the overall look and feel of your website should stay the same. But that doesn’t mean all your pages should look identical! What it does mean is that you have a clear brand perspective, with a unified message that represents your business. Have one style of visuals and one tone of voice all across your website–and stick to it!
The goal is to make sure visitors know what to expect on your website. Consistent branding and design improves the navigability of your site and provides a smoother user experience.
Visuals + Clean Design
It’s crucial to make sure you’re using a color palette and font that are on-brand for your business. Choose images for your website that have a similar tone and style–or better yet, invest in a branded photoshoot so you have plenty of photos to work with.
When trying to maintain a clean design, stick to an overarching website theme and keep the same size and spacing between elements. Don’t overdo it on the graphics–a minimal design looks sleek and professional while calling attention to the information that matters most. A design that flows naturally with your brand style will appeal to your audience and draw them into your website.
Your website can be perfectly branded and aesthetically beautiful–but if you don’t have any next steps for web visitors, your website won’t be doing its job.
Whether you encourage people to get in touch, send a message, sign up for an email, download a freebie, or follow you on social media, make sure people have a way to connect with your brand. These call-to-action messages are critical for engaging your audience and helping to funnel potential customers down your sales funnel.
Without CTAs, web visitors won’t know what follow up actions they should take after visiting your site. You might be missing out on a lot of business opportunities from interested clients! To avoid this issue, place multiple CTAs throughout your website to encourage more interaction from your audience.
Intuitive Navigation + Mobile Friendly Design
It can be frustrating to try to find information on an unfamiliar website. That’s why it’s important to make it easy for your web visitors to find what they are looking for on your site.
Design your website with an intuitive layout by using standard formats. Keep it simple with a menu bar, and label your pages with clear and specific words. There’s no need to get fancy–a simple “About” page or “Services” page will do the trick. A familiar structure will help your audience navigate your website smoothly and quickly to find what they need.
The same goes for navigating your website on mobile devices. Since it can be difficult to press buttons on a smaller phone screen, check to see that your pages are easy to tap and click. You might need to reduce the number of pages people have to click through to reach key information.
Another consideration for best practices in web design is the layout and visuals for a mobile design. Make sure the mobile screen view of your website displays images and text properly. Depending on the platform you’re using to build your site, this might be automatically formatted. But test it out yourself–it never hurts to double check that everything looks the way it should.
Storytelling with Copy
Your website text, or the “copy,” is the place where you can showcase your business and explain what you have to offer. Instead of just listing the facts, craft a narrative story behind how your business came to be and why you do what you do. These stories will connect your audience to your brand, draw them in, and encourage them to engage with your business.
SEO (Accessibility + Site Speed)
Ideally, your website should be optimized so that visitors can easily find your website in a search query. SEO will help you reach a wider audience and drive more organic traffic to your site.
One part of SEO is accessibility, which ensures your site is usable for any visitor. This means your website should have a clear site map and links between pages. Add titles and subheaders to make each page easy to navigate. It also means adding alt text descriptions for any images on the site so that visually impaired readers can understand the image–and so Google can crawl your site more easily, too.
Another aspect to focus on is site speed. A fast-loading page will boost your SEO, since this is a factor that determines your page rank on Google. One way to improve site speed is by compressing images to reduce the file size. Apart from the SEO benefit, visitors prefer the user experience of quick-loading websites and are more likely to stay on your site as a result.
With these best practices for web design to guide you, the process of building your website should start to feel a little more manageable. If you’re still feeling out of your league, don’t worry! We offer in-depth, hands-on help to design and build the website of your dreams. Find out more about our services and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.