Businesses are now embracing the perks of digital marketing, but what may be stopping some of them from fully maximizing their online presence is their website.
Just think about it—if your company website isn’t visually appealing or optimized for user experience, how can you expect your customers to go back? Every single day that goes by without having an optimized website is a lost opportunity to convert and get new customers. You need to do something before the opportunity passes and your competition gets the leverage.
To help your business understand the value of web design, we’ve gathered the principles of good web design and put together this easy-to-understand guide for your business. Whether you’re looking to build a site for your business or redesign an old one, this post will provide you with important pointers on what makes a good website.
Simple and Clean
One of the downfalls of business websites is having too many elements that confuse visitors. Too many pop-ups, unnecessary opt-ins, and persistent notifications can distract visitors from their main goal, which, in turn, loses the purpose of having them on your site.
Good web design features a simple, sleek interface. This doesn’t only favor visitors but also helps with the performance of the website.
Why Simplicity Matters in Website Design
It’s easy to add features after features when your web development service is in progress. Before you make that feature request to your designer or developer, remember this rule: If it’s not helping your visitors, it’s definitely not helping your business.
Simplicity gives your website a boost in different aspects:
- Users have more focus on your products and services: Users don’t have time to dilly-dally. The moment they land on a website, they zoom in on what they came for. Removing the distractions on your website helps users get from one point to another without leaving them with too many questions.
- It doesn’t put too much burden on performance: The fewer the elements, the faster the website loads and the better it performs.
- A simple design makes it easier to communicate value: At the end of the day, the reason you should have a website is to provide solutions to customers. Overcrowding users with too much information and design on the site doesn’t help with this. If you can communicate the value of your services without the circus of designs playing in the background, the more customers will stay longer on your website.
Here’s one example of a web design we made for a client.
The above the fold section immediately features the value proposition of their products. Information is clear and easy to read. Featured products are displayed upfront and lead to the appropriate landing pages – no distractions, no unnecessary elements.
Web developers can provide you with a few tips to keep your site simple if you’re planning to redesign your current site or build a new one for your business.
- Focus on structure. How will users get to the information they need from the homepage? Present information in a hierarchical structure so it’s easy for users to understand which pages are the most important.
- Stick to three colors at most. Visual appeal doesn’t mean going overboard with colors. Choose a color scheme that matches your brand and relay this to your web designers.
- Make proper use of images. Imagery makes your website aesthetically pleasing but only choose the ones that can supplement your content. Unnecessary images can make your site look cluttered.
Pro-tip: When working with a web designer, write down the essential elements you need for your website. This provides more clarity on how they will design your site and set the right expectations from the start.
Made for the Right Audience
Google has always been clear about this rule: Always build for the user.
While your website serves as a platform to introduce your brand and keep your online presence alive, its purpose still needs to center around users.
Building a website for the users goes beyond aesthetics, though. It’s a matter of how every element on the site align with each other to make the overall experience smooth.
Focus on Usability and User Experience
A website that doesn’t cater to the users fails to achieve its purpose – to connect with your audience.
That’s why usability and user experience are a core focus when web designers and developers start building a website.
Usability refers to how visitors interact with your website to complete an action while user experience refers to how visitors feel about interacting with your website.
A good example of this is our website design project with Rua Seguridad
With the best website design practices applied, this website exhibits the following qualities focusing on usability and user experience:
- Consistent layout and color scheme across landing pages
- Adherence to web design conventions, such as top and footer navigation, clickable logo leading to the homepage, and noticeable call to action buttons
- Search functionality available
- Readable website copy
- Call to action buttons and links leading to the appropriate landing pages
When getting website development services, it’s not enough to focus on aesthetics. Functionality should be at the top of your design priority list.
Design and technical elements should converge to have a website that drives your visitors further down the conversion funnel. Here are a few pointers from expert website designers:
- Think of every element as a piece of a puzzle. Everything should fit together to make your site functional and appealing.
- Minimize options. The more you have options on the site, the harder it will be for users to navigate it. That’s why if you have a website with a lot of pages – such as a Shopify website – it’s best to use a filter function.
- Keep the user’s journey in mind when designing your website. Cliche as it may sound, but putting yourself in the shoes of your visitors helps you map a better experience for your website.
Designed with the End in Mind
As much as your website provides you with a platform to engage with your customers, this goes hand in hand with what you want to achieve for your business.
This is why web design service providers often start the project by asking you one important question: What’s the goal of your website?
In our case, it allows us to recommend website designs that align with your business objectives and helps you maximize returns.
Goals as Part of the Web Design Process
Using your goals as a foundation for building your website, your web designer and developers can better prioritize the features and highlight the right elements that go into the design.
For instance, you want to increase the number of inquiries for your business. What design elements should be added to your website?
An example we can give you is our project with Eco Hotels.
To increase the number of hotel bookings and inquiries, their site’s design displays the “Book Now” call to action button at the top navigation where visitors can easily spot it. Contact details are also visible, as well as links to the site’s social media pages.
Images of the different hotel accommodations are available, with links directing to individual landing pages with information about the place.
It goes back to designing with the end in mind. So before getting started on a website design and development project, be sure to follow these pointers:
- List your priorities in the design and determine how these translate to your business goals.
- Define what success looks like for you and communicate this with your website design provider.
- Website design is just one piece of the digital marketing pie. Be prepared to explore other digital marketing strategies for businesses and see how these fit into your site overhaul.
Built to Rank
You have a visually appealing, responsive website design. The question is – can customers find you?
More often than not, businesses get SEO service right after they’ve launched their new websites. After all, how can you optimize a website that’s not yet live?
However, this doesn’t mean SEO needs to be an afterthought to the whole design process. SEO should be a part of website design from the get-go.
How SEO and Website Design Complement Each Other
Web design sets the foundation for a site’s SEO-friendliness. Think of this as having a blank canvas that allows you to plot some of the important SEO elements, such as:
- Website domain: Your domain is your business’ digital fingerprint. Search engines and users refer to your domain name to identify your business. That’s why expert website designers and developers recommend businesses to choose an SEO-friendly domain at the start of a project.
- Hosting: Choosing a hosting provider is often part of the initial website design setup, but this can also affect the site’s SEO-friendliness and performance.
- Site structure: How information is structured on the site doesn’t only help in creating a visual hierarchy for the design but also in presenting information that search engines can crawl and index first.
A beautiful website that’s not built to rank is like a Ferrari with an old engine—don’t expect that it will take you far to your destination.
Here are some SEO website tips to consider before you dive into a new website development project:
- Don’t treat website design and SEO as a one-off solution. Your website will always be a work in progress. There will always be something to improve in the design and the performance of your website to merit better rankings.
- Consult an SEO specialist. The only way to learn more about how to make your website SEO-friendly is to hear it from experts themselves.
- Always go back to your goals. What you want to achieve with your new website design also sets the direction for your SEO goals.
Key Takeaways: It’s More Than Having a Pretty Website
Don’t make the mistake of limiting website design to aesthetics. It’s more than that. Good web design offers a balance of great visuals, functionality, and SEO-friendliness.
So if you’re planning to get website design and development services for your business, don’t forget these pointers:
- Simple is enough. Don’t make the design overly complicated.
- It’s about how your audience will use your website and how they feel about using it.
- Your business goals matter in designing your website.
- Don’t put SEO as an afterthought; it should be part of the web design process.
One last tip: Create a web design checklist before you start on a project. This will provide you with a clearer direction of how you want a website that is within reasonable web design costs.
And if you’re ready to give your website a makeover, we’re here to help you make the right decisions.