] First impressions go a long way, and that applies to your website too. If it looks dated, visitors might think your site and business are behind the times. But if it’s too trendy, you run the risk of not being taken seriously. Ideally, your site features a timeless design that is clean and focused on usability. These five guidelines will help you get your site in that sweet spot.
1. CHOOSE STANDARD DESIGN FEATURES — Obviously, you want your site to stand out and not look like every other site on the web. However, embracing a traditional design will make it easier for users to navigate your site. Your logo should be at the top of the page so guests know they’ve come to the right place. And make it clickable so it doubles as an easy way to get to the homepage. Include a “Contact” button so potential clients know how to reach you. If they have to go searching for a phone number or email address, they might just move on to the next option.
Keep your site’s navigation at the top of the page. Another key function to include is a search feature. Lastly, create a customer mailing list by adding a signup box in the footer so people can subscribe for email updates.
2. BUILD A STRONG HOME PAGE — You only have a few seconds to grab people’s attention, so make sure your home page is on point. You’ll need a visually appealing design with strong images; well-written and captivating text to get your mission across; and a clean, obvious path for navigation. Additionally, have a clear call-to-action button — like “Buy Now” or “Learn More” — to encourage engagement.
3. INCLUDE SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS — The footer of your site is ideal for social media icons that link to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms. Social media allows you to show customers another side of your business and engage with your base in an entirely different way. Keep in mind that your Facebook page or Twitter account can say just as much about your business as your website can.
4. USE RESPONSIVE DESIGN — It’s also important to remember that not everyone will be visiting your site on a computer, so be sure that it works equally well on phones, tablets, and other devices. That means getting a responsive site, or a site that can easily shrink down to fit on those smaller screens. In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than computers in the U.S. In fact, mobile-friendly content now takes up 65 percent of all digital media time. If you’re worried about creating a mobile-friendly site, consider using WordPress to build it. There are countless mobile-friendly themes that make it a cinch to update your website.
5. BUILD A BRAND — A website is key in communicating the voice of your brand, so be sure your website’s design gets that message across. Color palettes, fonts, and tone of voice are different for every business and site, so think those through. Also, create a style guide so that your text is consistent and has a point of view. Images are a natural way to add visual interest and get the aesthetic across.
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