In this digital age, having a website is a crucial component of any business or brand, hoping to engage clientele. The design and functionality of a website as well as it’s overall look and user-friendliness can make or break a business.
Designing a functional and aesthetically pleasing website isn’t just for professionals anymore. There are a variety of helpful resources that allow even the not-so-tech-savvy business owner to create a website. These tools can help you make your website polished, intuitive, and welcoming.
Of course, making the website is only half the battle. For it to be effective, it has to be user friendly, easy to navigate and look professional. Fortunately, there are simple tricks to help create a professional website.
Tips to create professional website
Be fast loading
Online browsers have little patience. It’s crucial that your website loads quickly. When it comes up in search results, users must be able to interact with your page instantaneously.
Make sure your home page loads in seconds. If your page doesn’t load within three seconds, you’ll likely lose 40 percent of your visitors. You probably won’t get the chance to capture those abandoned browsers in the future.
A professional page navigates easily. It’s important to test functions and ensure that moving through your pages and windows is seamless and quick. Waiting for pages to load can make using your website frustrating.
Have a clear message
Visitors to a website want to find the information they need, as quickly as possible. Before the design of the website begins, it is important to have a plan in place. Consider what purpose the website will serve and what information is the most important.
The landing page of the website should clearly state what the website is about and present a clear layout for finding other necessary information. A main menu and search bar should be easily found on your home page. Make it welcoming and easy for users to dive into your content.
Avoid burying the primary message or function of the website. Bulky images, graphics, and videos can all detract from the functionality of the website, especially on the first page. Keep things clean and crisp to not overwhelm the eyes of browsers. Being overstimulated can cause users to abandon your page.
Think through the journey of the average visitor, what they are looking for, and why they are visiting the site. Design the site around the journey of the user.
Be sure to use clear language that gets the main points across in a practical way. Avoid using lingo or buzzwords that may keep the website from truly standing out.
Have the right buttons
To have a professional and functional website, the right buttons need to be located in the right place. With over three billion users worldwide, social media is arguably the biggest influencer in marketing.
Ensure share buttons for the most popular and relevant social media sites are available throughout the website. Consider the share option for blog posts, recently purchased items, or confirmed consults, appointments. This easy trick can earn you free marketing and exponential views.
Utilizing call-to-action buttons is also important. These buttons can help visitors become customers. Call-to-action buttons can be integrated into or near content and encourage visitors to get an upgrade, schedule an appointment, sign up for a newsletter, or make a purchase.
The key to call-to-action buttons is their location on the website. When planning the user journey, keep in mind the motivation of the client base and what content best demonstrates the benefits of a particular call-to-action. It is recommended that each page has a call-to-action button.
Effective use of social media share buttons and call-to-action-buttons, not only make the website appear more professional, but they are also an important marketing tool.
You need to not only capture browsers, but you need to keep them on your page for as long as possible. The content of the website is what will determine if users interact or keep scrolling. While clear and concise messaging are important, they aren’t in enough alone to keep users engaged.
Content on the homepage should clearly convey the point of the website without a lot of hype. Use conversational language and build trust with the users by explaining why your company or business is the best option.
Keep the content updated and relevant to the main purpose of the website. Avoid unnecessary or repetitive information. A good step towards trust-building content is the About Us page.
This is where the history and the mission of the business should be. This is your chance to personify your brand and appeal to customers emotionally.
This page can also include call-to-action buttons for getting involved, signing up for a newsletter, or joining a mailing list. Consider including testimonials and relevant data on this page as well.
The layout of the website determines how user friendly it is. Ease of access to links, pricing, information and contact information makes the website an effective marketing tool.
Don’t be afraid of blank space, breaking up large amounts of information with white space and headers creates content that is easier to read and easier to navigate. Leaving white space also makes the website easier to navigate on mobile devices.
Mobile browsing currently outranks desktop in frequency by over 51 percent; this trend is only expected to grow. Ensure that your content is accessible and easy to navigate regardless of device or screen size.
Use pictures that are relevant to the site, keep them small, and when possible use pictures of the actual employees and workspace rather than stock photos.
The homepage should summarize the overall goal of the website. It should also include tabs or links to other pages within the site. Consider the most pertinent information users will need and make this accessible from the home page. Left to search for information to answer questions, most users will choose another site.
Try to avoid overuse of graphics or pictures that are unrelated to the content, especially on the home page. Pictures of products or examples of previous work completed should have it’s own page, with just one or two examples on the homepage.
A professional and functional website isn’t only a great marketing tool if it can be found. That is where a good search engine optimization strategy comes in. In fact, SEO strategy is a huge focus of over 60 percent of companies worldwide.
Before designing the layout of the website, or writing the content, think about the SEO strategy that will be used. Be sure to use titles and headers that are SEO strong and meta descriptions whenever possible.
Again, it is imperative to make sure that the home page and all other pages load quickly. Slow load times can impact SEO leaving the website lost in the lower ranking search results. Your SEO efforts can be lost if you have a lagging page. You can also use videos in your homepage to improve your website traffic.
There are a lot of variables that can impact the loading speed, including design, programming, and pictures. All of these should be considered when designing the website.
Websites are a necessary marketing tool for all businesses. Designed well, they can function as cost-effective to generate new leads and increase customer engagement.
Websites may be easier than ever to design, but there are still several considerations to be made when designing.
Being mindful of the clutter on the page, the ease of access, user-friendliness, and SEO content will ensure a professional and functional website.