1)What is the purpose of your website?
Knowing the answer to that question is vital to building a website that helps you achieve your goals.
The purpose of your website is the foundation of your website design. Do you want more leads and traffic? Do you want to brand your company and increase consumer awareness?
Understanding the answers to questions like these will help you determine which design elements to include.
If you’re looking to sell a product, you may need to set up an eCommerce page. Do you want to grow your email list? Then you’ll want to look into squeeze pages. Looking to increase your traffic numbers? You’ll need to give serious thought to your blog page.
Your goal will set the tone and direction of your website. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your purpose before you start working on the new website.
Once you know what you want from your website, the next step is thinking about user experience (UX).
2) User Experience
UX is just a fancy term for how easy and comfortable it is to use your site. Good user experience will benefit your site’s performance in search rankings; bad UX will hurt it.
People on the internet are not forgiving when it comes to page useability. Over 50% of people will leave your site and go elsewhere if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Consumers expect fast, intuitive websites that guide them to the information they are looking for. The internet is excellent at determining what users want. It’s so good at it that people have gotten a bit lazy.
If your website makes visitors work to find what they are looking for, most will move on to the next source.
To avoid unhappy visitors, you need to make sure your website loads quickly, is easy to use and is easy to understand. That means following conventions users have come to expect on the internet.
A few tips for good Ux
- Avoid cluttering or confusing your users by having too many links or too much text.
- The most important pages on your site should be clearly linked in your website’s primary navigation.
- All links need to be easy to understand and be working correctly (e.x. a link or button that takes users to your about page should be labeled “about.”)
Another critical element in website design is page structure:
How will your pages be arranged?
Again we come back to the question of purpose. If you have already answered question one, determining your page structure will be much easier.
Is your site going to be a blog style with recent posts at the top or a long scrolling page? Will you be using subpages, and what will they contain?
The easiest way to determine your page structure is to decide what pieces of information you want to provide to visitors. Then you need to decide which order you want them to receive those pieces of information.
Suppose the goal of your website is to sell a product. In that case, you will probably want to inform your customers about a few things about the product, like what it is and how it works, and you’ll probably want to sell them on it a little too.
But how should you present that information, and in what order? That is the essential question of page structure. In this example, your website is acting as a sales tool. So your website should present the information as a salesperson might. Your information flow could look something like this:
1) what is the product
2) how does it work
3) how it benefits the customer
4) proof that it works
5) how the visitor can purchase the product
6) Call to Action
By designing your website around your goal and providing visitors with a defined path to follow, you help consumers find the answers to their questions. You also increase the likelihood that they take a specific action.
Another thing to consider:
Make sure you only create the pages you need. Unnecessary pages often lack clear value and feel meandering and out of place. Guests may feel confused when visiting them and see your company as unprofessional.
3) Color scheme
Your website can’t just work well. It needs to look great too, and color pallets are a big part of a nice-looking website.
No matter the colors you choose, consistency is key. Pick one set of colors and stick to it. Having a consistent visual theme will create a sense of cohesion and help users navigate your website.
A few things to think about when choosing your color pallet:
Make sure that the colors on your site don’t clash with each other. Beyond just being a basic rule, this will help to keep all text legible; we don’t want any light beige text on a yellow background.
Think about differentiating the color of sub-headlines from body text. This will create clear visual separation and make the text more approachable by breaking up the monotony.
If you’re struggling to pick colors for your website, consider using a color pallet generating tool like Coolors. These kinds of tools will automatically create a pallet of complementary colors to use on your website.
Another crucial design element in website development is your fonts.
Fonts help to set the tone of your website. So think carefully about how you want to represent your company while picking fonts.
No matter the fonts you choose, make sure they are easy to read and look good on a web page.
Keeping your font sizes large (14px+) and avoiding large blocks of text will help readers consume your content. Small fonts and too much text can appear hard to read.
A good rule of thumb is to use sans-serif fonts (Arial or Verdana) for body text and serif fonts (Times New Roman) for page headings and titles.
Of course, there are no hard rules here – you can use whatever font styles you like as long as they look good together on your website.
If you’re unsure what fonts to use, tools like Fontjoy will generate sets of fonts that work well together.
Your logo is an integral part of your branding and website design.
Many contractors struggle to understand why they should design their logo a certain way. To explain their businesses, many contractors include too many elements in their logs, making them hard to understand. While presenting your business is undoubtedly the goal of a logo, it’s essential to keep in mind its context.
Most logos will only be looked at for a few seconds before being left behind for some piece of text. If your logo is too complicated, it may fail to communicate your company brand in such a short window.
Your logo should be memorable and should effectively communicate what your company does at a glance. Keep your logo simple and easy to understand and eliminate unnecessary icons. This will help your logo stick out in people’s minds.
Once your logo design is finalized, You need to brand your website with it. Having your logo appear next to your company name in several places on the site will help your customers identify your brand with the logo.
6) Website Copy
Website copy is often one of the most overlooked elements in web design, yet it’s one of the most important.
You want to make sure that your website has clear and concise information about who you are, what you do, and how people can get in touch with you.
Avoid the temptation to write too much. Do your best to communicate essential details in the simplest way possible. This will keep visitors engaged and moving towards your intended goal for the website.
7) SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to appear more often in search engine results.
SEO must be considered when designing your website – after all, you want potential customers to find you easily online!
SEO may seem overly technical, but the essential elements are relatively easy to implement, and the cost of not doing so is hefty.
The most essential element of SEO is using the right keywords. That means identifying which terms and phrases are most commonly searched for in your industry and using them on your website.
While that is a gross oversimplification of SEO, it is the basic idea. Using keywords on your site will increase the likelihood that your ideal customer will find your website.
There is a ton to think about when building a new website. But if you want to get the most out of your website, you have to consider everything. Building a good website isn’t a simple process, but the rewards gained from doing it right are significant.
If you’re looking to build a new site or revamp your existing one, CGN offers professional web development and SEO services. We build custom SEO-optimized websites for contractors that look great and run even better.
Contact us today to talk about a website that will help your business grow.