Do you own a business? You need a website. In the age of smartphones, people in need of a product or service turn to Google to find what they are looking for. Alberto Luza puts it simply: “If you’re not on the internet, you don’t exist.”
It’s not enough to have a website. Effective design makes your website informative, intuitive, and engaging. Whether you are a designer or a do-it-yourself entrepreneur, here are three things you should implement to make your site a success:
Mobile-first design is the most important step. According to a study by SimilarWeb, mobile devices now account for 56% of all web traffic. Your website might look gorgeous on a 4k desktop monitor, but no one will want to use it if they have to zoom in and squint while navigating on their phone.
Design your site for the smallest screen first, usually a smartphone. It is easier to expand and spread out your content for bigger screens, rather than squish everything together as the screen gets smaller.
Nothing is more frustrating to a prospective client than trying to navigate a confusing website. Your site should be well organized and have a logical design. A disorganized site tells a visitor that you run a disorganized company, so it is important that your site is crisp and clean.
A landing page is a visitor’s first impression of your business. It should be attractive and simple, helping visitors find what they are looking for. An effective call to action will help visitors understand the purpose of your site, and help them navigate to becoming your customer.
Think back to mobile-first design: are most users going to be accessing your site from a mobile device? Perhaps you should list all your sections on one page, so users can easily scroll through your content.
Crucial Business Information
Between landing on the website and becoming a customer, visitors will want to know more about your business. If you provide services, list them. If you sell a product, give detailed information about the product. Every restaurant should have a menu listed. Storefronts should have hours of operation. Your business or organization should have a concise mission statement. Locations and contact information are a must, how else will customers inquire about services, find you, or hire you?
Reviews and testimonials go a long way. Visitors research businesses to learn more about them, and more importantly, learn who is trustworthy. A few good reviews will assure potential customers that your product or service is as good as you say it is.
Crucial Business Information identifies what content your website needs, it also identifies what your website can do without. Autoplaying music, unrelated images, and flashy animations can distract visitors from the purpose of your site. Building on Logical Design, your website should categorize important information into sections. Attention spans are short. Filling the screen with information can be overwhelming. Start with general overviews, highlight what is important, and provide links to allow users to dig deeper.
Next Step: Market Your Site
Finally, you have the informative, intuitive, and engaging website you need for your business, now what? You can submit your page to search engines, but this only scratches the surface. You need to let potential clients know you are there! Search engine optimization, blogging, social media integration, and Google Adwords are all great places to start. Learn more about marketing your site by checking out these articles around the web:
This all sounds great, but I don’t know the first thing about web design!
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