When it comes to building a website, there are a confluence of factors that impact success. They include everything from domain name and branding to advertising strategy and SEO. But ultimately, user experience is one of the integral elements in transforming traffic into conversions. And if there’s one aspect that impacts user experience more than anything else, it’s website design.
Why Web Design Matters
A smooth and effective website positively impacts branding and allows people to find what they’re looking for. It’s a direct reflection of the value your company provides and tangibly influences how people interact with your site. In many respects, it’s a differentiating factor that sets you apart in your industry or niche.
“Even if your website ranks higher than your competitors’ on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), if visitors have difficulty finding what they came for fast, they’ll leave your site and go elsewhere,” one Long Island web design company explains.
In other words, website design should not be an afterthought. It plays a key role in moving your business forward and must be taken seriously. The question is, how do you win with web design?
4 No-Nonsense Web Design Tips
There are no cheat codes for web design – only proven principles. If you want your website to be successful, you’ll benefit from the following no-nonsense tips:
Get Rid of the Clutter
Consider two important insights into the human brain:
- First opinions are formed within five seconds.
- The average human attention span is just eight seconds.
The old approach of trying to slowly win over a website visitor and convince them to do business with you is gone. You have less than 10 seconds to seize a visitor’s attention and form a positive first impression. If your website is busy and cluttered, good luck!
The most successful small business websites also tend to the simplest. Not “simple” in terms of being boring or dumb. Simple in terms of being sleek and minimalistic. If you want your website to move people to action, it starts with eliminating the clutter and focusing on the elements that truly matter.
Keep Copy Simple
Most people don’t think about copy in terms of website design, but it’s certainly an element. And if you’re going to approach your site’s copy from the right angle, it must be extremely clear. This is not the time to be loquacious. Cut to the chase and use words that move people to action.
This is especially important in your website’s header. To see why this matters, consider two hypothetical sentences from an attorney’s website:
- When people ask what separates us from all of the other lawyers in New York City, we inform them that we’ve been in business for two decades and have a higher success rate that clients can feel confident in.
- We win more cases than the other guys.
Both of these sentences say the same thing. One is 40 words and the other has just eight words. Which do you think people are more prone to read and remember? The second one, right?
Always look for ways to eliminate unnecessary words, sentences, and paragraphs. You’ll get much better traction.
Stay Above the Fold
With only a few seconds to win over a website visitor, you can’t risk burying your best content and design elements down at the bottom of the page. While hierarchy of design does matter, your best information needs to be above the fold (meaning people shouldn’t have to scroll down to see it).
Prioritize Seamless Navigation
The goal of good website design is to remove as much friction as possible so that your offer(s) can do the talking. One way you do this is by prioritizing seamless navigation.
Seamless navigation requires simple and intuitive navigational patterns (people should know precisely where to click in order to follow through on specific actions) and fast page loading speeds. (Anything over a couple of seconds will lead to higher than average bounce rates.)
Adding it All Up
Website design is more important than most small business owners realize. If you want your website to be an asset (and not a liability), it’s imperative that you focus on the finer details. From colors and layout to navigation and copy, even the smallest elements have a major say in the overall success of your site.
Take design seriously and your visitors will take your website seriously, too!