It’s not easy creating a website design that works. It really isn’t.
Did you know that when a visitor arrives on your website, you have about five seconds (or less) to capture their attention and keep them where they are? That’s not a whole lot of time to impress someone, so if your load time is not perfect or your site’s navigation is all over the place, you can say goodbye to your visitors.
Believe it or not, the rapidly changing world of technology is not helping with this, either. New trends can easily make your website outdated and render it all but useless, leaving you with fewer visitors than you started with.
So, how are you supposed to fix this issue and keep your visitors? How do you create a website that looks good, functions perfectly, and communicates your message clearly?
A complete redesign comes to mind as a valid option, but in some situations, you just won’t be able to do it. Full redesigns are expensive and take time, which means that not only will you have to invest additional money in the project, but also put your website on hold for the foreseeable future.
However, even if a redesign is out of the picture, there’s no reason to panic. There are still a lot of ways out there for you to improve your website without having to spend your life savings and lose any more visitors.
In the infographic which follows below, we talk about ten ways to improve your website design and give you tips on how you can immediately boost your site and, with it, your online presence. We’ve covered everything from moving to responsive design to paying more attention to color schemes, so we’re sure that you’ll be able to find something that will help you better your site in no time at all.
Happy reading and good luck!
1. Make sure your entire website is responsive
Over the past couple of years, people have started using their mobile phones more for browsing the web, which is what ultimately led websites to move to a mobile-friendly or responsive design and why Google began penalizing sites that are not mobile-friendly in 2015. So, if you have your website, you have probably created a responsive version of it by now—if you haven’t, it’s high time that you do. A responsive design will do wonders for your website regarding SEO and help you position yourself higher in SERPs.
2. Simplify your navigation
If you don’t want your visitors to run away from your website because they can’t get the hang of your navigation, then do your best to make it as simple as possible. You’ll want to have no more than seven items in your menu (the point is to make it easy for people to move around your website), try to be as descriptive as possible in your labels, and even keep your navbar fixed. That way, your visitors will be able to stay longer than five seconds on your site.
3. Improve page speed for lower bounce rate and longer sessions
Website speed has long been discussed in the world of marketing, and it’s one of the main reasons why a lot of visitors tuck tail and run away from certain websites. In fact, if you’ve got even a two-second delay in your load time during a transaction, the chances are that your potential customers will abandon their carts and you’ll end up with one customer less than you started with. So, work on speeding up your websites before you do anything else—there are even tools out there that you can use to help you out!
4. Make a clear Call to Action, guide user behavior
Does having a CTA button on your page matter at all? Does making it a certain color change something in the way your users act on your website? It sure does! Studies have shown that orange CTA buttons boost conversion rates by 32.5%, while red buttons boost rates by a whole 21%. Now, that’s a huge difference right there for your website! Plus, if you want your CTAs to be game-changing, make sure to use actionable words in them such as: discover, start, learn, etc.
5. Make the most of social media, we live in a world of sharing
If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past decade, then you might have noticed that social media networks have taken over the world. There are 800 million monthly active users on Instagram and 100 million daily active users on Twitter, which is why it’s important for your website to offer social buttons to your visitors. There’s a chance that they will like what they see, share their thoughts on their profiles, and boost your presence even further.
6. Use white space to create a visual hierarchy
Moving from the social media talk to more technical parts of your website once more. What’s so special about white space, you might wonder? Well, first of all, it doesn’t have to be white—that’s just how designers refer to it. Secondly, it’s worth mentioning that research has shown that the use of white space in the left and right margins, and in between paragraphs, increases reader comprehension by almost 20%. Adding white space means more user interaction, the page looks better, and you can highlight your CTAs with more ease if you have enough white space to go around.
7. Use photos, a picture is worth a thousand words
Let’s face it: we all like visuals. Whether they’re photos, videos, GIFs, or drawings, they are more likely to draw our attention on a page than any piece of text, no matter how great it may be. According to research, users spend 10% more time looking at pictures of people on 'About Us' pages, than they do reading content associated with those photos. This means that you should try to incorporate great visuals as much as you can on your website. Many websites offer stock photos:
- Pexels (Free)
- Unsplash (Free)
- Little Visuals (Free)
- Pixabay (Free)
- Stocksnap (Free)
- Depositphotos (from $29)
8. Use color theory to your advantage
The color of something as small as a CTA button matters, as does the choice of color on your entire website. You’ll want to pick one dominant color for your whole site and brand, and then add complementary colors to complete the perfect scheme. The standard language for color communication (yes, that’s a thing!) is called Pantone, and everyone who’s at least a little bit in the business of marketing or design knows about it.
9. Custom illustrations can reinforce your brand
What’s even better to add to your website than regular, old stock photos? Custom illustrations, of course! They can truly play an important part in keeping your visitors on your site and serve as a great piece of decoration. If you have an in-house designer who’s able to draw doodles and illustrations for your website, then make sure to go for it! Original always beats stock, anyway. Your brand and marketing team will thank you.
10. Use motion and animation with intent
Last but not least, we’re going to talk about animations. Just like all visuals, animations in the form of galleries and slideshows can be a fantastic addition to your website, but what you need to keep in mind is that these are not the only animations that can be found on a site. There’s eight of them, including loading animation (which is there to annoy us all), hover, scrolling, background, and so on. A lot of work goes into creating animations that look good, but once they’re done the right way, your visitors and website will thank you for it.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that you’ll be able to improve your website design in no time at all!