Your website is your digital storefront. And, as any SEO expert will tell you, your #1 priority is to create a site that your target audience finds beautiful, easy to navigate, and simple to understand. This is the key to transforming traffic to conversions. And, unlike a brick and mortar shop, your digital storefront is never closed. Ideally, it will be accessible to your customers at all times. It should reflect your brand and be informative. And finally, it should engage your customers, offering value and featuring clear CTAs.
No matter what niche you occupy in the market, there are some basic aspects of a successful website. So, when you’re planning your website, here are the basics to keep in mind:
1. Negative Space
How often have you been to a site that’s so busy, you don’t know what to press or where to go? Typical response: overload. It’s just too much. So you bounce away from the site and surf somewhere else. Negative space or white space is the key to overcoming this challenge. With a bit of blank space, you can direct the customer to what you want them to see. This gives contrast and balance to the page, giving it a more professional feel.
2. Colour Scheme
The colours you choose for a website are important. You don’t want your site to look like a rainbow. From the beginning, you want to choose a simple, direct pallet that reflects your product or service. Here are a few tips to making that happen:
- Keep it consistent, matching your pallet to your logo. Make sure it reflects your branding.
- Make sure you choose complementary colours. Too much contrast will clash and increase your bounce rate.
- Limit your pallet. You don’t need every colour out there. Just a few that will do the job effectively.
- Mark your CTAs with bold colours that draw the eye.
- Use subtler colours for backgrounds and less important portions of the site.
- Make sure that the font and background colours match. Avoid excess contrast and focus on making the content easy to read.
2. Simple, Clear Navigation
A good SEO consultant will tell you that easy navigation is an often overlooked key to good search rankings. Navigation is all about how a visitor gets around on your site. How they find what they’re looking for. How the menu is arranged. As mentioned above, when a site is too busy, it can be challenging for your customers. Make it clear how to get where they want. Here are a few tips for ease of navigation:
- Make sure that the menu is present on each page.
- Put the menu where your visitors will expect it to be.
- Mark your buttons and menus clearly, in distinct colours and with simple, clear descriptions.
- If you have a massive site, include additional aids to getting around. Think sitemap, subheadings, and breadcrumbs to help keep people on track.
3. Alignment and Positioning
When people visit your site, you’re leading them through a flow of information. So, where you put your content and other site elements makes a huge difference. Try to make the flow of information orderly and logical, so it makes sense to someone who isn’t familiar with the site. Try to make the positioning intuitive. Think about a funnel, addressing the broadest topics first and then leading the user to more specific topics in a way that’s clear to follow.
Alignment is a little bit trickier, but it’s all about consistency. If you move from one page to the next or from the top of the page to the bottom, you don’t want the alignment to be different from one element to the next. This gives a scattered feeling and increases your bounce rate. Keep the size and spacing uniform throughout the site.
4. Optimised for Mobile Viewing
This is one of the most important factors for any digital marketing agency to consider. Mobile is exploding. As of 2015, as many views came from mobile viewing as from desktop, and the trend has been increasing since then. The takeaway: Every site should be created from the ground up to be mobile friendly. You don’t want smartphone visitors to have to scroll back and forth or zoom in just to see your site.
5. Font and Typography
Here’s another element which is easy to overlook, and one that you want to get right from the beginning. Just like your colour pallet, your font sends a message. If offers a visual tone. Choose the right one, and it can complement your design, strengthening the aesthetics of your site. Keep in mind the style and size of your font, as well as the colour of your text. Other important typography elements are paragraph style, length of your lines, and text spacing.
6. Site Usability
If you’ve managed to make your site easy to navigate, uncrowded, quick loading, and pleasing to the eye, this should take you a long way towards site usability. You want it to be easy for your visitors to find what they want, purchase what they want, do what they want on your site. Think about what your customers will expect. Make sure to keep things consistent and standardised with your CTAs. A good tip for this is to have friends and family visit your site. Make sure that they know you’re open to constructive criticism. You want feedback to make sure that they find the site easy to use.
If you’d like to know more about web design or SEO, feel free to contact us. At Local Web, we have the tips and experience you need to make your site visible, boost traffic, and increase conversions.