So, what exactly makes a website great? Is it beautiful photography? A clean, modern layout? Clear call to actions? Yes, yes and yes. But, that’s just the beginning.
A great website is well planned and carefully executed. And contrary to what you might be thinking… you don’t need a massive budget to accomplish it! Arming yourself with research, a little bit of planning and a lot of careful consideration can take you a long way towards making your website successful!
Understand your audience.
Think about the customers you currently have and the customers you want to have. What are your business goals and how can your website help you achieve them? What services or offers will you make? Do you want your clients to be able to schedule appointments and make purchases? Will most of your users be accessing your site from their mobile phone?
Truly consider your client’s needs and expectations from your website. After all, the website is really a resource and tool for them!
Go with the flow.
If a website is confusing or difficult to navigate, chances are your customer will abandon the site and move on to something else. Think about how your eyes naturally flow through other websites and other documents - left to right, top to bottom.
- Consider the end result you’d like out of your client’s visit. Make it easy on them with a minimal number of clicks to get what they’re after.
- Your most important information should be near the top of the page. Make call-to-actions (an instruction to your audience to do something) items stand out and easy to access.
- Keep your page content concise, relevant and informative. The longer the page, the less likely users are to scroll to the bottom.
- The main purpose of each web page should be obvious with a clear page title at the top of the page.
- Create a site map so you can visually see the pages of your website and think about how they all need to work together. You can just use a text editing program or there are a variety of online resources to help you build a site map.
Your website has got to look good and be appealing to your users! A professional looking site says a lot about your business and yourself as a business owner.
- Choose color schemes and photos that compliment your business’s industry and values. For example, if you run a food co-op, go with an earthy color palette of browns, greens and oranges. If you own a high-energy fitness studio, choose bright vibrant colors that are exciting and energizing.
- When choosing fonts, consider their legibility, not just style. The designer’s rule of thumb is to never use more than 3 fonts and choose a complimenting combination of serif and sans serif fonts.
- Give your users some breathing room! Avoid cluttering your pages with too many images, clip art or text. Overwhelming your user with content can create a negative emotional response. According to Crazy Egg, utilizing white space around page titles can increase your user’s attention by 20%!
Use images wisely.We’re all familiar with the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” It’s true. Images speak volumes and can evoke emotions from just about anybody! When choosing images for your website, there are a few important points to take into consideration.
- Use images that are relevant to your website! We just said that images are worth a thousand words… so send the right message to your clients with images that match your ideas and values.
- Utilize images of real people that your customers can relate to.
- Don’t have any images to use? No problem! There are tons of photo resources available! Check out sites like Pexels or Pixabay. The both offer literally thousands of free photos for use on all types of projects. You could also purchase photos from stock photography sites like iStock or Thinkstock. Or, you could even hire a photographer to take images of you at your business - then you’d have a collection of photos that are truly unique to you!
Above all, build your website with your customers in mind!
These are just a few things to think about as you’re building a new website or working to improve an existing one. Knowledge and some thoughtful organization can serve you and your clients well in your efforts! You can do it and the team at LiveEdit is here to help!