We all know we should have a website and why, but what makes your web design stand out? There are fundamental strategies that we use at Strategis Consulting, take a look at 15.
15 Web Design Strategies to Slay the Competition
1. Responsive design
Responsive web design has become essential for all websites–so, what is it? A website with responsive design will resize, scale, and adapt (or respond to) various devices. This way, users have a cohesive experience across any device they may be using to view your website. Responsive sites, unlike traditional sites, size elements based on proportion instead of pixels. This way, media and text can stay in their relative columns/spaces depending on screen size. It’s good to understand the difference between responsive and mobile-friendly. A mobile-friendly website is simply a website that scales down appropriately for mobile browsers. However, responsive design is all-encompassing. Responsive design adjusts not only to mobile devices, but to different screen sizes, window scales, and includes mobile-friendly adjustments.
As the saying goes, “content is king” and for web design, we could say usability is Queen. Usability should be the chief goal in your web design. If your website is confusing or frustrating to navigate, then it won’t be used. To improve usability, make sure you are incorporating taglines, intuitive navigation, online-optimized content, and a variety of visuals. You will also want to make sure that links and buttons are clearly marked and work, that the site flows logically, and that relevant information is at the forefront. The secret to designing a user-friendly website? Proper planning, thorough testing, and expertise in creating/designing user-friendly websites.
Accessibility matters for many reasons, one of which is you don’t want to block anyone from viewing your content. Some benefits directly impact you, like how it instantly increases your potential audience. Also, some of the methods in making a site accessible will boost SEO; and improve your websites overall usability. To ensure accessibility on your website, you will want to make it useable without a mouse. Many assistive technologies use keyboard-only navigation, so if your website doesn’t accommodate this, we recommend addressing this immediately.
Another way to improve accessibility, while also improving SEO, is by using descriptive alt text for images. This feature makes it so that text-to-speech software can read the picture, as well as acts as a replacement if the image fails to load. Alt text improves SEO because Google places a high value on descriptive alt text containing keywords. It’s clear that as a society, we are moving towards more inclusivity and accessibility. Keeping these at the forefront of your web design merely makes sense.
4. Fast Loading Times
If your website’s loading times are inadequate, people–and Search Engine Bots– may
have trouble accessing your content. One poll showed that 40% of people would leave a site if it took longer than 3 seconds to load. Those are valuable prospects! Likewise, a slow page speed means Search Engine Bots crawl fewer pages using their given crawl budget, affecting your SEO. Check out Google’s page speed test to see how your loading times measure up.
5. Effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is integral to many aspects of your website, including ad placement, reachability by search engine placement, and accessibility. Coincidently, all of the tips listed above also improve SEO! Title tags, alt text, fast loading times, and responsive designs all play a role in SEO. However, one aspect of SEO improvement that we haven’t considered is keywords.
Keywords are the words you use when searching on the internet. They can be a single word, several words, or even a phrase, and are a crucial element in SEO. A keyword is so important we dedicated a whole blog to them, check it out here.
6. Clean code
Clean code is code that’s easy to understand and easy to change when needed. Clean code should be testable, readable, simple, and elegant. Why does this matter? Code is seldom written then forgotten since websites require maintenance and updates. That’s why organized and easy to read code is necessary. The best way to ensure clean code on your website? Find a professional programmer to help you.
Consistency is key to providing a quality experience for your clients and website users. So, what needs to be consistent? Firstly, your elements need to be consistent on all pages of your website. These include your header, footer, menu, and navigation bar. Secondly, your visual design should be uniform so that it provides a familiar experience for users and doesn’t distract from your main message. And thirdly, the content needs to be consistent in tone, theme, and schedule. Shifting tone and attitude will confuse your clients as to what your company represents. It’s also vital to have a regular posting schedule, whether it’s once a week or once a month is up to you–the key is to be consistent.
8. Visually pleasing
As important as it is for your website to function effectively and consistently, it also has to look appealing. The visual design of your website should reflect the personality of your business. It should also look clean, simple, up-to-date, and professional. If your website design looks like it was from the early 2000s, chances are no one is going to take your business (or your website) seriously.
Having an organized web design is similar to having an accessible web design. However, an organized website has more to do with the front end and less to do with SEO and code. Each page of your website should be clear as to what it’s for and then fulfil that purpose. For example, an organized website will usually contain:
- about us page
- contact page (this should include location and hours)
- a blog
- FAQ page (more on that later)
- page/pages for products and services
These are web elements people have come to expect. An important thing to remember is to keep this information organized and easy to access.
10. Well-formatted content
Similar to being organized, the website has to be well-formatted. Well-formatted content is clear, concise, and easy-to-scan. Easy-to-scan content is vital to your website’s prosperity. Internet users tend to scan through a website before deciding whether it’s relevant to their needs or not. If the content isn’t scannable, they will more than likely click away. To make your pages scannable, employ elements such as headings, sub-headings, bulleted lists, and tables whenever possible.
11. Exceptional content
It doesn’t matter how good your website looks, or how well your content is formatted if your content isn’t up to par. Ensure your content is outstanding and suits your target audience. This content is how you present yourself to the world; you want to set yourselves as experts in your field. Make sure you have in-depth information from qualified writers. And remember if you’re not a writer yourself, you can always outsource to a professional writer.
12. Strong calls-to-action
Once someone is on your website, reads your content, and is interested in what you offer, what should they do next? Promote conversions with calls-to-action (CTA). Yes, it’s as easy as telling them what to do next. It’s good practice to have multiple CTAs in various locations. Do not bombard users; pick one action you want them to take and repeat that where necessary.
Keep your CTAs simple. For example, a quote request form is a great CTA, and an effective way to get contact information. The key to a CTA form is to keep it minimal:
- a drop-down with the services/products you offer.
If there’s one thing to remember about CTAs, it’s that if you don’t have a call-to-action, people will not take it.
13. Testimonials/Social proof
Social proof is crucial in today’s world. Without it, especially in the early stages of your online presence, people will be hesitant to trust you. You must build credibility, and the simplest way to do so is by showing what you have done.
Another effective way to provide social proof is through testimonials. Take advantage of things such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other review sources. This way, people will know you are legitimate and trustworthy. Some websites even go the extra mile by embedding reviews right into their website. They do this with specific pages or by highlighting them throughout.
14. A FAQ Page
A comprehensive FAQ (frequently asked questions) page is arguably the most influential element of your website. An FAQ page is often one of the most visited pages by customers and is one of the most important to increase qualified traffic. An efficient FAQ page:
- establishes you as an authority in your field
- helps address clients’ needs
- improves your conversions
- boosts SEO
15. Stellar “About Us” page
Why is your about-us page so important? Because it tells prospects who you are, and why they should trust you over the competition. There are ten main things to keep in mind when it comes to your about-us page:
- Tell your story
- Keep your audience in mind
- Be transparent and personal
- Use proper tense
- Answer their major questions
- Balance your tone
- Include proof
- Add graphics, headings, and bulleted lists
- Incorporate video
- Provide team profiles
About-us pages are so significant that we dedicated an entire blog to them! Find out more about the ten tips listed above.
Equipped with these 15 tried-and-true strategies, your website will focus on leads, sales, visitors, etc. Of course, web design is complicated and requires regular updates that take up valuable time. Why not let our team of professional web designers, SEO experts, and writers give you a hand? Contact us today.
Allemande After earning her degree at Simon Fraser University for New Media Journalism and Editing, Allemande has become an accomplished writer and editor. She is also certified in strategic social media marketing, Google Ads, Google Analytics, and digital sales.
Allemande fluently identifies the channel and content mix that is precisely right for your business and audience. She conducts in-depth analytics for continuous improvement in your audience engagement and generation of sales leads through strategic planning and search engine optimization (SEO), establishes KPIs and related metrics and prepares meaningful reports that you can quickly action. Connect with Allemande.