Web design projects can be complicated. From layout, to colors, to content, there are a myriad of choices and inputs that affect the success of a site. While the purpose of commercial websites vary greatly, at a basic level successful sites really only need seven components.
1. Technical Fundamentals.
Regardless of which type of programming language or content management system that is used, having correct code is important for a site’s utilization and optimal performance. You want your website to load quickly and have clean, condensed code helps make this happen. Fast websites help keep users on websites longer and page speed is a factor in Google’s search engine algorithm Also, setting up Schema markup language on a site can also provide an SEO boost.
Content is the backbone of a website. Websites that are thin or provide little unique content or useful information aren’t likely to resonate with users or search engines. Providing relevant, high quality, engaging content on your site is a building block for traffic growth.
It’s also important to use a content management system that is easy to use so that authorized and trainer users can add new content to the site.
3. Easy to Use, Clear Navigation Structure.
If visitors come to your website and don’t in short order find what they’re interested in, they’re going to exit your site. Your website should make it easy for users to find the information they’re looking for. Make your most popular content prominent and intuitive and provide a logical navigational flow. What you don’t want is to have your highest converting pages to be buried deep in your site without an easy to find link from the other pages. This kills conversion and can really drag down a site’s performance.
In addition to navigation and content, user-friendly features such as images, infographics, videos, a search box, calls to action, and live chat can all make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for.
4. Professional Design.
Your website should be viewed as your marketing hub. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week highlighting your brand and providing information to visitors on your products or services. Why wouldn’t you want the best possible presentation? Having a professional design helps make your site a place your customers want to stay at and continue to use your business. It also helps to reduce bounce rate.
While you may be able to design your own website, it isn’t recommended. Your design should also account for your website browser usage, so it renders optimally on a smartphone, tablet, desktop, or whichever device the visitor is on.
5. Trust & Sharing.
The Web can be a pretty anonymous place where scammers and other deceitful practices can thrive. Your website should show social proof that others like your company. Awards, honors, recognitions, testimonials, reviews, social share buttons all show social proof that builds trust and confidence in your business.
6. Retention, Email Sign up.
Email marketing is marketing that you own that you don’t have to pay for every time you utilize it. This is why an email capture form is a crucial element for most websites. Facebook’s algorithm can change, Google’s search results can be volatile, but email isn’t going away and the email lists are contacts that you can easily connect with.
Email isn’t reliant upon another company or media to provide you access to their and services, which is one of the many benefits of focusing on building up your email subscription lists. Some major retailers view the email sign up option with such importance that they feature it twice above the fold.
7. Capture & Convert.
A business website is largely measured by how well it converts visitors into customers. That is why it’s important to have well constructed messaging that prompts them to take a desired action. Pop-ups and live chat on a website also help boost conversion rates. Having an email subscription box, an RSS subscription button, blog comments, and social sharing buttons also help keep users coming back.
By planning, preparing and implementing these seven elements in a web design project, you can aid in setting up your site up for success on the Web.