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Improving Your Website Design

Want to attract more visitors to your website? Convert casual visitors into leads? Boost online sales? All of these objectives are heavily dependent upon web design. Every aspect of your site’s design, including colors, fonts, images, videos, etc., plays a role in determining how successful your online marketing efforts will be. These are the things that can either cause consumers to quickly leave (“bounce” from your site) or to stay on your page and learn more about you and your products or services. So how does your current website stack up? To address this question, our two-part blog series will cover 13 smart tips for SMB web design.

Let’s get started!

1. Include a Professional Logo

Your company logo is one of the most immediately recognizable aspects of your brand. Consequently, it’s very important that your website feature a prominently placed and professional-looking logo. This logo should be displayed on the home page of your site, in addition to being included on subpages as a means of linking users back home. This allows for fast, simple navigation.

2. Use Intuitive Navigation

No one wants to waste their time on a website that’s difficult to navigate. The more complex your web design is and the harder a consumer has to work to find what he or she is looking for, the more likely the person is to leave your page for a competing brand. Intuitive navigation, on the other hand, increases the likelihood that visitors will remain on your site, thus boosting your conversion rates. Avoid putting links to every single little subpage on your primary navigation bar, instead putting the focus on the most important pages. Less critical pages can be linked at the footer, and other pages can be found by users via a strategically placed search bar.

3. Banish Clutter

Although it can be tempting to fill your pages with information and images, it’s important that you avoid this common pitfall! Cluttered or “busy” websites are a major hinderance to sales. Research has shown that the human brain actually stops processing information when it’s confronted with too many options, so don’t overwhelm your readers with competing calls-to-action and other visual clutter like photos, GIFs, and pop-ups that will draw user attention away from the most important information on the page.

4. Use Color Wisely

You might think that because bright colors “pop”, they’re the way to go. This isn’t necessarily the case. Colors that are too bright or poorly contrasted against other shades may be too difficult for consumers to read, thus causing them to quickly abandon your website. It’s wise to stick with a neutral color palette with only small dashes of color for headlines and other key areas of text, which can be used to guide visitors to your most important content.

5. Embrace the Space

Don’t cram your headers, copy, and images together. You’ll get much better results when you leave enough space between paragraphs and images for the consumer to absorb all the features of your website and process the information being provided to them. Well-controlled white space can help direct consumer focus and assist users with moving more efficiently through the sales funnel.

6. Keep Fonts Simple

Poorly chosen fonts can also drive consumers away from your website, so be smart with your choices. Make sure that the fonts you select are appropriate across all web browsers and devices. Plus, it’s also important to choose a font that compliments your logo and represents your brand as a whole.

7. Consider Each Page a Landing Page

Many businesses make the mistake of designing their websites to be entirely centered around a home page. The reality, though, is that much of your web traffic will come to you via searches that lead them to subpages, blog articles, etc. It’s important, then, to ensure that regardless of where a consumer lands, he or she receives the same key information that they would have been introduced to on a main page.

8. Be Picture Perfect

Don’t skimp on images. The strongest websites invest in high-quality, professional photography. Generic stock photos can appear very cheap and create a negative impression with your prospective customers that undermines your sense of professionalism and individuality. Remember that your company isn’t generic, and your images should portray that. Use photos that are as unique and one-of-a-kind as you are so that visitors can quickly get an idea of who you are and what you stand for.

9. Respect the Fold

One of the most important things to remember in web design is to keep all of your most pertinent information “above the fold”. Think of your website as you would a newspaper page. When the page is folded, what information are you still able to see? The main headlines, of course. The top of your site — the portion that can be seen without scrolling — is the place for your headlines. Here is where you place your contact information, CTAs, and any other pertinent information you wish for your visitors to see.

10. Be Responsive

With so many mobile users, it’s imperative that your website utilizes a responsive design. This means that the site will adapt based upon whether it’s being viewed from a desktop, tablet, phone, etc. This improves user experience and keeps visitors on your page long enough to make a buying decision.

11. Ditch Flash

Flash players are a thing of the past. Flash only slows websites down, leading to frustrated users and high bounce rates. Avoid Flash like the plague.

12. Bedazzle Your Buttons

“Submit”, “Send”, and other buttons can be an eyesore on any website, but they’re still necessary. Draw the consumer’s eyes to these areas in a good way and make it irresistible for them to click on the button by giving these areas a facelift. Another expert tip is to have the button change color or opacity when a user hovers over the submit button.

13. Test, Test, Test

Think your web design is stellar and ready to go? Never launch your website without testing your design — and then testing it again! Test it from multiple types of devices. Test it from different operating systems. Making sure that your website functions seamlessly for all users will help you to enjoy a higher degree of success and boost revenue.

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