You may have established an online presence for your business, but does your website have the key web design elements to drive traffic and sales? Use these check points to ensure that you have the right components to maximise the effectiveness of your business website.
1 – Typography and layout
Your visitor assesses your website within the first few seconds of landing on your home page. Having an uncluttered, streamlined page which uses white space to allow the reader to breath, invites your reader to take a closer look.
Web typography is an important part of web design. It refers to visual design of the font, the paragraph spacing and visual hierarchy and provides good visual punctuation as well as graphic accents. This serves to communicate with your visitor, conveying a message about the brand and evoking a response from your visitor.
- Look at each block of text as though it had no words in it. What shapes does the text make on the page? Make sure those shapes carry the entire page design forward
- Use consistent colours in keeping with the brand
- Choose font according to image you wish to convey. For example, a more classical, formal brand may use the Serif typeface, while a more informal brand may use comic sans serif to evoke a feel of the page
- Use typography as an art form which reflects your brand and established brand identity
2 – Resources
It is important to differentiate your brand and your website. This can be done by building a relationship with your visitor by providing valuable information for your visitor in the form of resources. These can include eBooks, white paper, case studies, videos, blogs, webinars and tutorials.
Such resources also enable you to show your expertise which in turn facilitates trust. Additionally, resources can be used as an effective way to get your visitors details, asking them for their contact details before they have access to the resource.
3 – Insights into your company and brand
When we meet a person for the first time, we like to find out a bit about them before entering into any type of relationship, whether it is business or personal. In the same way, your visitor wants to learn about your brand – what do you do, what is your area of expertise – basically, can you assist them in achieving their goals or solving their challenges.
Having a tab which shows your portfolio gives an idea of the standard of your work as well as the type of services or products which you offer. It also creates a good impression, showing which other companies use your offerings.
Testimonials are another important component of a business website. Showing other people’s or brands’ experiences and opinions can carry a lot of weight in your visitor’s decision making process.
Photographs of team members at an event or even fundraiser will provide additional insight into your brand’s culture. Enabling your visitor to identify with your brand values can play a significant role in driving sales.
In this way, your visitor has insight into your brand and can competently assess the next steps in doing business with your company.
4 – Social Sharing
Integrate your social media platforms into your website to create a seamless online presence. Although social media does not directly impact on SEO, it does inadvertently enable brands to increase their presence on SERPs. For example, content shared on a social platform can generate website traffic or social media profiles appear in search results along with the website information about a brand.
When it comes to your website, there are two types of social media buttons – social media follow buttons and social media share buttons.
Social media follow buttons allow your visitor to follow your brand on relevant platforms, helping you to increase your fan base across your brand social media platforms. These buttons can be used on a website to increase your digital impact e.g. Twitter follow button, Facebook follow button, LinkedIn Company Follow Plugin, YouTube Subscribe Button, Pinterest Follow button
Social share buttons on the other hand can be used strategically to enable your visitor to share your content (blog, video, images) with their networks and connections.
5 – Responsive Websites
With over half of internet users now accessing websites via mobile, it is essential to have a responsive website which accommodates layout and presentation across different devices. Responsive design also impacts on SEO. Responsive design is Google’s recommended design pattern.
6 – Page Optimisation
Page optimisation refers to strategies and tactics which can be done to increase a webpage’s ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
There are 2 types of optimisation:
- Off page optimisation which involves strategies on the internet which impact on your ranking such as social networking, syndicating your content across platforms and sites.
- On page optimisation refers to optimising strategies, which are done on your website pages in order to rank higher.
- Internal linking: this has a dual function of enabling visitors to navigate and discover content while it also enables search engines to find other pages on your website which in turn can increase their ranking
- Using keywords for the following:
- Website URL
- Page titles
- Meta tags and descriptions
- H1 and H2 Tags
- Keyword rich image titles
Tip: Although keywords can be used throughout your content this must be used sparingly. Instead use synonyms or phrases for your keyword, which will also help SEO.
7 – Clear Calls to Action Across the Site
Each page of your web design needs to have a goal. It is a good practise to have a CTA on each page which invites your visitor to take action. This can include downloading information such as a white paper or infographic, subscribing to a newsletter or blog or registering for a webinar.
This enables you to engage with your customer and encourage further interaction and customer engagement.
8 – Navigation Menu
Navigation menus should be intuitive, enabling accessibility to your web content and enhancing user experience of the site. Various elements make this possible, notably maintain structural and design consistency throughout the site so that the user experiences the same menu for each page.
Positioning of the menu also plays a role in user experience, appearing either horizontally across the top of the page or vertically on the side of the page.
The menu should help to show the visitor which page is being used, by drawing attention to the tab on the navigation menu such as highlighting the page name or changing its font colour.
Although product and audience will direct your choice of menu tabs, the following tabs should be considered: Home; About; Product/Services; FAQs; Contact; Portfolio; Blog;
Tip: Provide multiple contact alternatives such as telephone/mobile; physical address; email as well as social media platforms in order to make it effortless for the customer.
Although certain elements are unique to each business, there are key features which ensure that your website is optimised to enhance user experience and maximise the efficiency of your online presence.
In this way, you have an effective business website which enables you to successfully communicate with your customer, building a relationship which drives traffic and sales, playing an essential role in helping you to achieve your business goals.