Website Essentials | Stop, Look, Click: Top 5 Website Essentials to Make Your Business Stand Out
Website Essentials | Sharing your website is like showing up to a first date. That is to say: first impressions are crucial. Your website is usually the first interaction people have with you and your company. That means it’s a make-or-break opportunity to turn a new visitor into a potential client down the road. With so many new websites and start-ups springing up every day, a high-quality, professional website is no longer optional — if it ever was. If you want your business to be taken seriously, let alone stand out, you have to have a design that is both memorable and professional.
We hate to dash one of your childhood maxims, but people do judge books by their covers. And in internet terms, your book cover is your website. For small business owners particularly, your homepage is your storefront, your calling card, your pick-up line. Whether you’re creating your own website from scratch, using an off-the-shelf theme, or hiring a designer to build it for you, you’ll want to end up in the same place: with a website that work for your business. Here are some of the best tips that you can use when designing your website to maximize the effect it has on new visitors.
Less Is More | Website Essentials
KISS, or “Keep It Simple, Stupid” is a sound principle in many things, but it is particularly vital for designing websites on a budget. Simple designs are easier to create, thus making them cheaper and faster, but they are also bolder, more memorable and more adaptable. Using things like flat design and white space can do wonders for your website visitor’s experience. Try to keep everything simplistic, or even minimal with only your most crucial content spotlighted. Sometimes less really is more.
Keep The Text Easy To Read | Website Essentials
Consider the font type, size, and colors. While a complex font might add character to your website, if it is hard to read, your visitors won’t stick around long enough to appreciate the rest of your charm. For example: putting cream colored text on a white background will either leave your website visitors with a headache, or make them give up and move on. Neither of these outcomes are desirable – so make sure you double check all your text for its ease of readability. Ever find yourself squinting at the screen? Avoid super-small font.
Consider Visual Hierarchy | Website Essentials
Did you just say “what?” out loud? Don’t worry, visual hierarchy just refers to the natural pattern people follow when visiting a website page. Visual hierarchy tells us that the eyes move top to bottom, left to right. Remember, only put your most vital content in these coveted spaces – if you put too much in one spot, your visitor will be overwhelmed and you won’t get the result you want to. Let’s say you have a newsletter sign-up button. Now that you’ve been schooled on visual hierarchy, you know you’ll want to put the button in the top, left corner of the page for maximum exposure.
Get The Most Out Of The Mobile Version | Website Essentials
What good is a professional-looking website if it doesn’t look great on mobile devices? In today’s world, zilch. If you’re designing for the web, you have got to be thinking about content in terms of mobile. Consider taking a “mobile first” approach — if that’s helpful — during conception, planning, copy writing, design, review, testing… all the way to release and revisions. You. Just. Have. To. 46% of mobile users report having difficulty interacting with a web page, and 44% complain that navigation was difficult. If you haven’t optimized your website for mobile and tablet viewers you are missing potential sales opportunities. Plain and simple.
Focus On Ease Of Navigation | Website Essentials
Keywords, social media, and PPC get visitors to your landing page, but from there your navigation needs to guide your visitors to the next stage of their journey. Your website’s navigation should be intuitive and simple to use. Confusing navigation layouts will result in people quitting a page rather than trying to figure it out. So instead of putting links to less important pages that detract from your call to action or primary information at the top of your home or landing pages, put less important links or pieces of information at the bottom of a page in the footer.