You are creating a website in order to generate business for your company. You want to convert leads into customers, and keep them happy after they purchase your products and/or services. You would like to inspire repeat business and hopefully gain referrals from current customers. Having an intuitively-designed website that is both pleasing to the eye and helps visitors to easily find the information that they are looking for will help you immensely in gaining customers.
Read on to learn how to make your site’s design both highly functional and visually pleasing.
14 Steps To A Functional And Visually Pleasing Website
Don’t clutter your pages.
Why: Website pages that are too congested can be extremely overwhelming to the end user. Utilize white space effectively in order to cut down on information that is packed together. Additionally, only put information on your website that is absolutely necessary to achieve your goal of converting your website visitors into customers.
Your logo, placed in the top-left corner of your site, should link to your homepage.
Why: It is a longstanding convention to link the logo to the homepage of websites. By doing this, it allows for one less link to be placed in the navigation bar, thereby keeping the navigation section and the website as a whole less cluttered. More often than not, companies place their logo in the top left corner of their websites.
Make your website branding and layout – such as your logo, font, colors, etc – consistent.
Why: Inconsistencies across website pages will create disharmony in your overall design, which can be jarring to your website visitors. Make sure that your branding is the same in every area of your site, and that pages are visually similar.
Be sure that your color scheme is based on what feeling that you want to inspire in your clients when they visit your website.
Why: People respond in certain ways to certain colors. For example, blue is seen as calming and relaxing, while red is seen as fiery and bold. If site visitors get an unpleasant feeling from getting on your website due to colors/design, they will probably not return. This will result in lost opportunities.
Place your navigation bar in the website header.
Why: Having a navigation bar in the header makes it much easier for online visitors to get around your website. Limiting the amount of links in your navigation bar limits the confusion that could come with having too many choices to choose from in terms of where to click next. To ensure that all necessary topics are accounted for in your navigation bar, have 5-7 main links and utilize sub-links via drop-down menus
Place your search bar at the top right of the page.
Why: For companies that emphasize the role of content as a part of the overall business strategy, it would make the experience of visiting the website more streamlined for your potential customers because they would not have to sift through endless amounts of articles to get to their desired information.
Create an obvious call-to-action.
Why: Creating a call-to-action and placing it on your website is a great way to ask both your current and potential customers to take a certain action. If you don’t ask, and if you don’t put the call-to-action in a place where the site visitor will see it, you will likely not get customers at a very high rate
Place an email opt-in form on your website for site visitors to subscribe to your company newsletter.
Why: It will make it easier for customers to sign up to receive your company emails.
Your website really needs to be responsive.
Why: The majority of Internet visitors access the web via mobile devices. According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans are now smartphone owners. Therefore, it would be wise to accommodate those users by creating websites designed to fit any screen size.
Only place quality photos on your website.
Why: Having quality photos is a mark of professionalism. If using stock photography, please see this link to find free photos: 41 Websites Containing Free Stock Photos
For photos specifically related to your business, you will have to obtain these yourself. You can either take the photos or hire a photographer.
If taking the pictures yourself, here are a few tips:
– Don’t use the Flash function on the camera; search out natural lighting instead
– 72 dpi is the absolute minimum resolution that you should use, but the larger, the better
– To edit the photos, use a service like Adobe Photoshop (paid) or Canva (free)
Place alt-text on your website images.
Why: This will accommodate users that:
– Can’t see the screen due to visual impairment, and therefore make use of screen readers
– Can’t see the image due to technological issues
– Are specifically looking for images in a search engine; placing alt-text on images gives them the ability to show up under “Images” in search engines
Social media icons linking to your social media business accounts are a must.
Why: Connecting with potential customers via social media is a wonderful opportunity to expand your company’s reach. By placing social media icons on your website that connect to your company social media pages, you are creating multiple streams of possible lead conversion.
Place your copyright in the footer
Why: It is crucial that you copyright your website information
If you follow these 14 steps to build your website, you should find that both potential and current customers respond positively to your business. By having a cyberspace presence that is easy to navigate and visually appealing at the same time, your company will be well-positioned to see its conversion rates begin to rise.