Website Design is one of the most essential elements of starting a website. The design of your website will convey a message to new visitors and you have the ability to control what their impression is.
Having a website design that sends the wrong message to your audience can have an impact on your bounce rate (the rate at which someone clicks on your site and immediately clicks the back button within 5 seconds). Having an ineffective design will cost you money! It’s the money you could be making if people signed up for your list, stayed to look through your resources or hired you for your services. A website design that lacks proper Internet Marketing planning and strategy is something we see often, unfortunately, but something you can change luckily.
When we sit down with a new client who has a pre-existing website, we will review their existing design and discuss the holes which lead to visitors exiting the site without taking action. When sitting down with a new client who wants to start a new website, we teach them the proven strategies for web design that will get them a higher conversion rate and better long-term results.
Below I have listed a few key things to consider when approaching design. Before I explain those points, I’d like to show you a few website design examples we’ve recently launched in the past few months.
Our Recent Website Designs:
Click on the image to visit the client’s website:
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What to Consider for Your Website Design:
- Make sure you ask your designer for your “final files” which will most likely include a Photoshop file with layers, any fonts the designer used, and a copy of the iStock photos they used. If you need to make a change later or hire a new designer (or that designer just isn’t around in the future) you want to have all copies of your design. It’s also wise to ask your designer if they will provide these files to you before even starting design work – if they say no, run!
- Do you have a logo that describes your business or has a visual meaning?
- Your tagline is important. It should be less than 7 words and should totally describe your business and intention. Having a confusing tagline can be a turn off to new visitors and they may exit your site unless something else grabs their attention
- Once your design is built into your website, check to make sure your web programmer checked the site in all browsers for inconsistencies (FireFox, Internet Explorer 7 & 8, Safari, Google Chrome). When a programmer codes the design into the website frame they need to have a knowledge of how these different browsers read code – they all read HTML and PHP code slightly different. So while your design could look great in FireFox it could look totally screwed up in Safari. Be sure to check this.
- Do you make it easy for visitors to find a way to contact you? I mean, in your face easy. If not, change this immediately!
- Check to see how you website design looks on a smart phone (Droid, iPhone, Blackberry). It is worth the cost and time to get your phone optimized for mobile web. WordPress makes this easy with the help of a plugin.
- Some website have tiny text that’s hard to read. You also don’t want your text to be huge and in your visitor’s face. I suggest 14px for size depending on what font is being used.
- Be sure to only use “web ready” fonts on your site or fonts that you have the rights to use. Click here to see a list of web ready fonts. If you have a font on your website that is NOT on that list, you may not realize that you are possibly using it illegally. Similar to not wanting to use stock photos you don’t have the rights to use, you need to have the same consideration for font-use. We can help you understand this process and show your website online safely.
- It’s not recommended to use more than 3 colors, fonts or styles within your website design. We want design to be modern, professional yet soothing to your visitors. If your colors or design jump out at them, they will leave. Even check out how simple Facebook is – there’s a reason for that.
- Never use large amounts of reverse text (white text on a dark background). Your visitors will be able to read your content for the first minute maybe, but then their eyes will start to feel strain and they will leave your site no matter how great your content is.
- How are you using the Upper Right Quadrant (URQ) of your header? This is the most looked at spot on your site for new visitors (just as your About page is the most clicked page in your site). This is a great place to add a phone number, testimonial, search bar, book cover – what you really want visitors to see.
- Does your opt-in newsletter signup box (for email subscribers) stand out, or get lost in the design?
- Is your content clear and well-organized or is it a challenge to find answers. Don’t leave your visitors guessing because I can guarantee instead of waiting to figure it out, most will leave your site and not come back.
That is a great list to get you headed in the right decision of approaching your website with a strategic action plan. These are just some of the things we consider when creating a website design for our clients.
I’d love to hear from you! Add a comment into the Facebook comments section below. Let me know which design of ours you liked the best and what questions are holding you back from having a website you LOVE!