Of course, not all websites out there are created equal, and there are definitely steps that you can take that will make a qualitative difference to the success of your website. Good website design agencies will follow best UX design practices to ensure that their clients receive a website that doesn't just look great but performs well, too. The top website designs will all feature a mix of essential elements that make them shine, metaphorically speaking. So, what's the secret behind the best website design? Check out these top pointers for creating and launching a winning web presence.
Website Success Factor #1: Design
Putting up a website today is not just a matter of throwing a few pages of HTML together, slapping on a row of products, or putting up some low-grade snapshots of your showroom. Modern website design is sophisticated, smooth, sexy. It has to be attractive to the site visitors and to search engines like Google. It has to convey messages, respond to varying requests, and do it all with a smile. Most businesses will require a responsive website design, which means it is mobile-friendly and works nicely on all screens and devices. Bottom line, successful website design needs to wear many hats. And it’s a process.
Whether you’re doing it on your own using a user-friendly DIY website design agency or hiring it out to a professional website designer, take a few minutes to plan out the look and functionality of the site. Built into your design should be purpose, direction, and goals. What are your goals for your website (sell products, promote a new line, schedule appointments, etc.), and what are the goals of your users? Make sure your cool website designs incorporate user-friendly navigation that looks good and can also get the job done efficiently.
When you first sit with your design team or the website designing company you’ve hired, make sure your branding comes through that design and across channels. A consistent branding leads to name recognition, and that’s something powerful. We can all recognize Coca Cola’s branding from a mile away, and we don’t have to think twice when we see the Facebook logo about what it stands for. So, make sure your look and feel is maintained across your website pages, social media accounts, etc. (Of course, then you have to make sure you’re creating a positive image for your business by responding to reviews, interacting with your customers, and building trust, but we’ll talk about that more in a minute). Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Colors and fonts should be visually appealing, pertain to your brand, and not over the top. Have your logo incorporated into this visual conversation.
- Include quality graphics and images (but don’t make it too busy).
- Create clear call to action buttons.
- And most important, make sure you have a responsive website design that will conform to various screen layouts, sizes, devices, settings, etc.
Website Success Factor #2: SEO
As we've mentioned, a sleek portfolio website design will incorporate the various elements of color, design, etc. to make it visually appealing. And that's a must. But good website design also incorporates various SEO best practices, as well. SEO stands for search engine optimization, which consists of various actions you can take to make sure that your website is seen in a positive light by the search engines to get you placed higher up in the search results.
Depending on your business goals and venue, this might include fresh copywriting, useful outbound links, or colorful images. Don’t miss out on the basics, either. Remember to incorporate appropriate tags, keywords, meta descriptions, and URL structure to make the spiders happy. You can utilize plugins and semantic coding if you know what you’re doing. But at the very least, make sure the elementary SEO is being cared for. You can also incorporate Google Analytics and Google Search Console into your website, so you can see how well your pages are performing. Some SEO pointers to check off include:
- Local search
- Onpage content (copywriting, images)
- Outbound links (guest blogging?)
- Brand mentions
Website Success Factor #3: Trust Factors
Additionally, building credibility will be at the top of a professional website designer's to-do list. That's because trust and credibility are strong factors that lead to better search rankings (not to mention a better customer-brand relationship in the long-term). Trust is built through transparency, information, and tools or resources that add genuine-to-the-site visitors. Things like security and trust symbols and media mentions build a reputation (SSL certificate, awards, etc.). Clearly defined terms and conditions (that you really stick to) build credibility. And items that provide value to your customers build trust. So, handing over a free checklist or whitepaper about an industry-relevant topic may seem like a waste of resources, but it's actually a fabulous way to build trust with your potential customers for the future.
Alternatively, a cheap website design will be barebones, it'll be missing key elements that consumers are looking for (like a pricing page or an About Us page that actually tells something about your business). Differentiate your own business from the others in your industry by delivering quality content, providing a genuinely positive experience to your customers, and being transparent about your business practices. That's how real trust is built. Trust factors to keep in mind when designing your winning website include:
- Trust symbols
- Business information
- Case studies
- Social media accounts
- Awards and certificates
- External links
In fact, even your professional website design will be a testament to your business’ credibility.
Website Success Factor #4: Speed
It's embarrassing how often it happens. You pay top dollar for a sleek, cool, custom website design. You invest in products and services right for your audience. You prepare ad campaigns. You're ready to roll. And then...your business goes nowhere. What happened? Page load time is crawling at a snail's pace. A lag in this small element of website design costs business greatly. Skeptical? Here's a sobering statistic: Conversion rates drop by as much as 20% for every second that your page load is delayed. So, a mere 3-second delay could drop your conversion rates by a staggering 60%! People just do not have the patience anymore to sit and wait. We live in a society of instant gratification where people expect everything immediately, and that includes website loading. For this reason, website design services incorporate various practices such as responsive website designs to ensure that pages load smoothly, glitch-free, and, most importantly, quickly!
Some things that hinder your page load speed might be:
- Bad hosting service
- Sloppy coding
- Too many plugins or widgets
- Too many large images that aren’t optimized
- Using Flash excessively
- Too many HTTP requests
- Not caching
Website Design: The Online Presence Your Business Needs in 2020
Finally, spend time finding your USP. A unique selling point doesn’t have to be groundbreaking, it’s just a small detail that sets you apart from other businesses like yours. You can have a simple website design with a meaningful USP, and that will make all the difference.
Biting your nails off thinking about how you’re going to cram all these best practices into a cool website design when you barely know how to draw a straight line? Good news! You don’t have to do it yourself. With the help of a talented website design agency, you can get all of these features bundled into your basic website design pricing package. So, you don’t have to go sniffing out each one individually.
When comparing the various services, ask a few basic questions and read through the plans on offer to see which ones tick off these boxes. Genuinely top-quality design services abound these days, and they can start with as little as $5. Business owners are very often surprised at how easy it is to get an affordable website design without the headache. Compare the best website design services in 2020 and build your business an online presence you'd love to stand behind.