Businesses used to be able to exist (and even prosper) solely on the basis of customers who came into contact with their brick and mortar storefront. Many of them rely on referrals for the majority of their business. It wasn’t enough to put them on the cover of Forbes, but it was more than enough to allow them to live comfortably.
Then came the internet, and web design creation became the norm. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just a few photos with some basic information about what you do and where you can be found.
Then came a well-known global epidemic, which altered everything even further. What used to be done at an office may now be done from anywhere with an internet connection. Meetings were transformed into Zoom calls. Grocery journeys were replaced by internet orders that were delivered quickly. What was previously done for the sake of convenience has evolved into a way of life.
In this case, your company’s website serves as a business card. It’s usually your first opportunity to create a good impression. The crowning achievement of your marketing efforts. So, especially at an age where so much is done online, you can’t just put some content together and paste it on a gorgeous background.
Why Do You Need a Website for Your Business?
You should have a company website for the same reasons that you would shop from Amazon, use an Uber, or book holiday lodging via AirBnb. People no longer interact in person. They use the internet to find answers, organize meetings, and purchase things.
Not only that, but even before they’re ready to buy, they go online to look for solutions to whatever problem they’re having. And you definitely want to appear in the search engine results pages when your target audience uses Google to look for what you have to offer (SERPs). And the only way for this to happen is if you have a solid business website, one that provides useful information and adheres to SEO best practices.
The Importance of Web Design Strategies
In today’s digital environment, creating a successful website involves a great deal of thinking, strategizing, and testing. Because of the strong rivalry, this is critical. Instead of writing solely about your company’s services, you should undertake market research. Create content that is specific to your buyer persona’s preferences. Also, consider whether you’re developing a B2B or B2C website.
You should also direct visitors through the buyer’s journey. Are they beginning to gather information for their preliminary research? You want to be the go-to expert in your field. Are they weighing their options? You want to make things as simple for them as possible. Is it time for them to make a purchase? By all means! When they take out their credit card, you want to be at the forefront of their mind. And in order for this to happen, you must be really strategic.
What is, nevertheless, the wisest course of action? Should you create one yourself or employ a design firm? What are the most effective design guidelines and practices? And, let’s be honest, do you even need one in the first place? What if you’re one of those folks who believes that going to networking events once a week will get your phone to ring?
Typical Website Design Errors
With the introduction of website builders, website creation has become easier, and many firms are deciding to develop their own site. However, creating an efficient website is not as straightforward as it appears, and it can become a pricey exercise after you consider in the cost of website redesigns if it doesn’t produce the desired results.
Many aspects will decide whether your website is effective or unsuccessful in generating leads, addressing problems, boosting income, and enhancing your entire bottom line.
Here are some website design blunders to stay away from at all costs:
- Using a website template that isn’t appropriate for your company’s image.
- Don’t merely pick the most visually appealing website template when it comes to website design. It’s critical to pick one that not only complements your design style and color palette, but also complements your company’s image.
If you offer event planning services and guarantee your clients joyful, unforgettable parties, a template that makes your site look like a funeral home is probably not the best choice.
If you’re selling digital things like e-books or video tutorials, on the other hand, themes with a more artistic feel would definitely perform better for you.
You don’t know who your website’s visitors are.
You must have a clear understanding of who your website visitors will be in order to tailor the website design to their needs and desires. You should have some background information on these website users, such as their age, education level, and income level, as well as what website pages they are interested in, how they use social media, and their purchasing patterns. Only then will you be able to create web pages that are appealing to them.
Adding Images to Website Pages That Don’t Add Value
Many website owners make the error of uploading low-resolution photographs, assuming that it won’t make a difference. In actuality, if this causes your site to load slower, it might be damaging to its performance. In fact, it may make users impatient, leading them to visit a competitor’s website instead.
Compress images to make them load faster. Nothing should be larger than 1 MB. Also, save them in JPEG format instead of PNG, which takes less time to load. Also, don’t just upload images for the sake of adding them. Choose them with a specific goal in mind, such as showing product features, corporate culture, or anything else that pertains to your organization.
You should also take the time to adopt website design best practices in addition to avoiding these typical errors.
15 Best Practices and Web Design Tips for Business Websites
While most companies aim to set themselves apart from the competition by developing a unique website, there are some characteristics that should be used consistently.
1. Establish a Budget
The prices of designing a business website range from low to high. It’ll all be determined by your requirements: Will you use templates or build a site from the ground up? The number of pages, interactive content, functionality, and whether or not you want to integrate eCommerce are all factors to consider.
Make a precise list of everything your site should feature, then see if you have a budget in place to support it. That’s fantastic if you do. If you don’t, it’s still a good idea to discuss your requirements with web designers and developers to see if there are any suitable alternatives. Whatever you do, don’t let a lack of funds prevent you from developing a website. Make the best of what you’ve got.
2. Invest in a domain name
The name of your website is called a domain name (aka your web address). Buying it will prohibit others from using it, whether it perfectly fits your business name or you got a little more creative with it. Any domain name registrar can sell it to you (GoDaddy, BlueHost, Network Solutions, DreamHost, HostGator, and Domain are some popular ones). When selecting a registrar, do your homework on all prices (including upsells and hidden fees), as well as simplicity of use and customer service.
3. Purchase an SSL Certificate
Your website’s security should provide all of your visitors peace of mind. This is especially true if you have landing pages and forms that ask for their full names and contact information, as well as eCommerce pages that ask for credit card numbers and shipping addresses.
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate protects online transactions by encrypting data while it is in transit and at rest. Unauthorized third parties will be unable to intercept or access any user data as a result of this.
4. Construct wireframes
There are many of web designers who don’t use wireframes. However, they frequently waste time bouncing ideas back and forth between the design, content, and development teams. Investing in a wireframing tool (or simply sketching them out in a notebook) will aid everyone working on the website in visualizing the layout of each page, allowing the process to go more quickly.
5. Create a layout that provides the best user experience possible.
Listen up: the user experience (UX) is crucial. This refers to how a visitor to your website feels as they interact with it. This could range from being ecstatic to having found a solution to their problems to being frustrated by the navigation. Every page should be created with the goal of enticing visitors to stay on your site as they progress through the sales funnel.
6. Select a Website Creator
You can get away with utilizing most website builders if you’re a startup with a minimal (or nonexistent) budget, or if you just want a simple site with limited functionality. However, if you want a beautiful website that you can customize to meet a long list of requirements, you’ll most likely choose between WordPress and HubSpot. Even within these two, you’ll want to evaluate other considerations, such as whether you’ll need to install third-party plugins to fulfill your goals, or whether the majority of these tools are already built into the platform.
7. Select a Design Template
Pre-built website templates make the process of creating a website much easier. Many website building systems include a template library where you can look for something that matches your brand. Some content management systems (CMS), such as HubSpot, our all-time favorite, have user-friendly features like drag-and-drop functionality and call-to-action generators.
Optimise for Mobile Devices (Optimize for Mobile Devices) (Optimize for
The majority of individuals use their smartphones to access the internet. They may use tablets on occasion, but phones are the norm. They’re useful and always in their possession. As a result, it’s critical that your site appears attractive and functions effectively on smaller displays. Failure to do so will only irritate folks. And they’re not going to put their phones back in their pockets and browse your site when they’re at a computer. They’ll simply purchase from one of your competitors.
9. Perform a keyword search
In the SEO best practices section below, I’ll go over keyword research in more detail. However, no matter how good your content is, you should always use the same words or phrases that your target audience is typing into search engines. They won’t be able to find you otherwise.
10. Don’t forget to include strong calls to action.
Calls to action are intended to persuade website visitors to perform exactly what you want them to do. Although this may appear to be Machiavellian, it is actually a trade-off. After all, you’re providing something that online visitors desire and can utilize. That is why people have come to your website.
Use action-oriented language while creating CTA buttons (e.g. Download Free eBook or Enroll in Our Webinar is significantly more effective than Submit). You should also make it clear what will happen when they press the button.
11. Check for errors in the content
Atrocious grammar will be noticed by your target audience if they are knowledgeable. And, believe it or not, we all make mistakes, overlook things from time to time, and make the occasional typo. This is why you should proofread your work before publishing it. It’s even better to have a second pair of eyes check through it to ensure they spot anything you could have overlooked. When attempting to express professionalism, the last thing you want to do is appear casual.
12. Put SEO best practices into action
There’s a lot more to search engine optimization than keywords. There are both on-page and off-page aspects that influence your chances of ranking well in SERPs. Specific topics to include are discussed further down this article; nonetheless, no list of web design best practices would be complete without this factor.
13. Check for Functionality on the Site
You’ll want to double-check (and triple-check) that everything functions properly before releasing your website. To mention a few, make that every video plays, every call to action button takes users where you want them to go, click-to-call phone numbers work, and form fills arrive in your inbox. Everything should be tested.
14. Carry out post-launch evaluations
Once your site is live, you’ll want to double-check that everything is working properly. Furthermore, you should A/B test different versions of site pieces to discover which ones gain the most traction (for example, homepage heroes, CTA buttons, and landing page layouts). And, while doing so, concentrate on one element at a time (for example, color, text, size, format, etc.) so you can pinpoint exactly what’s working well.
15. Get Your Website Noticed
Once your website is up and running, shout it from the rooftops! It should be promoted on your social media channels, marketing emails, newsletters, business cards, and everywhere else where potential customers can come across it. You can also approach other businesses and offer to write a guest blog article in exchange for backlinks to your site. This allows you to reach a larger audience while also improving your SEO.
Pages That Should Be on Your Business Website
Every company is unique (or at least, they try to be). As a result, you have complete creative control over what you put on your website. However, you should always aim to develop sites that provide the best possible user experience. One approach to do this is to include the following information in every document:
Your homepage is your opportunity to make a good first impression. Allow for plenty of white space to keep things simple. Include a value proposition and strategically placed call to action buttons above the fold. Also, keep in mind that the homepage establishes the tone for the rest of the website. Choose your color scheme carefully and stick to it throughout the rest of the website.
People are curious about the people with whom they are doing business. And they don’t just want a logo. Show off your face, your team, and the culture of your firm. Tell them about how and why you began your company. What are the core values of your company? Customer testimonials should absolutely be included as social proof of how good you are at what you do.
Services and Products
People conduct extensive study about what is available on the market long before they are ready to make a buy. The longer the comparing procedure, the larger the investment. Include product and/or service pages that highlight all useful aspects and detail vital information to make it as simple as possible for them. If you have several similar options, incorporate comparison charts so that customers can compare products side by side rather than bouncing back and forth between pages.
This one takes a little longer and necessitates a commitment to publishing high-quality information on a regular basis. There are, however, some advantages to keeping a blog: You’re giving your target audience useful information. Freely solve some of their problems. You’ll also have the chance to educate your audience about your products and services, as well as your industry and other related issues. The more you post, the more you establish yourself as a subject matter expert in your field. Finally, each blog post is a separate page that must be indexed by search engines. As a result, the more you post, the more likely you are to appear in a prominent position on SERPs.
Page for contacting us
Make it easy for users to reach you. This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. They shouldn’t have to sift through pages and pages of information to find out how to contact you. Create a simple contact page with your phone numbers and a form for customers to submit questions (old school websites include email addresses, but that lends itself to filling your inbox with spam). Include multiple options for people to reach you throughout the site. Because it allows online visitors to get quick answers nearly quickly, live chat is a popular feature.
For Your Website, SEO Best Practices
The goal of search engine optimization is to improve your chances of being found in search engine result pages. This is an important aspect of any online material since, no matter how visually appealing or useful your website is, if it doesn’t have effective SEO, no one will find it. So get a notebook and jot down some ideas.
Don’t make educated guesses about what your target audience will be looking for. While you may have a reasonable notion of potential search queries, you should use a keyword research tool (such as moz or ahrefs) to assist you figure out how many people are searching for them. They’ll also give you information on how difficult it is to rank with specific words or phrases, as well as similar terms.
The uniform resource location (URL) stands for uniform resource locator (the web address). When creating one for your website — and for any other pages you add in the future, such as blogs and landing pages — there are a few things to keep in mind. To begin, make things simple and easy to remember. You want it to be understood by both search engines and people. You should also include your major keyword in the title and utilize a relevant title. Separate words with hyphens and keep everything lowercase.
Tags in the title
The headlines you see in search engine results pages are called title tags. They are one of the most significant SEO factors because they demonstrate the user’s search query’s relevance. Use your main keyword and keep it to 60 characters or less. This will prevent it from being cut off on desktop, tablet, or smartphone devices.
Description of Metadata
The short summary or explanation of the material that appears beneath the title tag in SERPs is known as a meta description. Including well-crafted ones on each of your online pages raises the chances of a web user clicking on them. They also give you the chance to elaborate on the site’s purpose and include secondary keywords that don’t fit in the title tag.
Time It Takes To Load
Optimization for mobile devices
Do you recall reading someplace on this page about individuals using their phones to access the internet? Not only is this necessary for a positive user experience, but it is also taken into account by Google and other search engines when ranking websites. Because more people will visit your site if it is optimized for all screen sizes, and the more people who visit it, the higher your rank will be.
Links, both internal and external
After crawling website material, search engines index pages. A software application (called a website crawler) is used to follow all links going to other pages in order to accomplish this. This happens every time you make a new webpage or make a change to an old one. Include internal links to aid search engines in determining your site’s design, and use descriptive text to inform readers about the type of material they’ll find if they click on it.
External links, on the other hand, inform web crawlers that the content of a webpage is relevant to specific search engine queries.
Names of Image Files
Although you may believe that naming an image JPEG.421 is little, it can have a significant impact on your SEO rankings. Because search engines can read this, separate words with hyphens and add relevant keywords to make it easier for them to index your content.
Images with alternative text
Images are invisible to search engines, but they can read alt text (alternative text). A text box appears beneath uploaded photos in website builders and CMS platforms, allowing you to write a brief description of the image. Make use of this opportunity to include keywords.
Metrics to Track in Order to Assess the Success of Your Website
Following the launch of your website, you’ll want to maintain track of specific elements to see how well it’s functioning. These are some of them:
Visitors to the website
You want to keep track of a lot of information about your website visitors, such as how many people view your page, how they engage with it, and how many of them return. A low visitor count indicates that your SEO approach needs to be improved. A good one could indicate that you’re performing well, as long as it’s generating qualified leads. You’ll also want to keep track of first-time visitors and return visitors so you can use smart content to provide a more personalized user experience.
Rate of Bounce
The percentage of users that abandon your site shortly after clicking on it is referred to as the bounce rate. If you discover that specific sites have a high bounce rate, you should investigate why. Slow loading times, broken links, muddled navigation, and weak calls to action are all common causes. Change one at a time to see if it resolves the issue.
Rates of Conversion
The number of website visitors that complete a desired action is referred to as conversion rates. Subscribing to your blog, attending a webinar, downloading lead magnets, arranging a call, requesting a demo, or completing a purchase are all examples of this. Your site is operating successfully if your rates appear to be normal. Change the color, shape, placement, or language of some CTAs if you observe that they are usually disregarded. Remember, as always, to only test one element at a time.
Sources of Traffic
The origins of visitors to your website are referred to as traffic sources. Search engines, social network posts, backlinks, or whether they typed your URL into their browser’s address bar could all be factors. You need to know this since it will help you figure out which channels your target demographic uses the most. As a result, you’ll be able to develop better focused marketing messages.