Web design 101: Designing a site
By Elliot McHugh
Ever wondered what makes a website great? This blog unpacks the key tips and tricks which can be used to achieve a striking website that will encourage engagement.
- Think style.
When designing a website, you need to consider the ‘style’ of the business you are designing the site for. Are you looking to create a minimalist tone or something bold which ‘pops’ at the web visitor?
The best web designers think carefully and creatively. They don’t just stick content and images together on a page, they think about how elements interact with one another. If the brand calls for a minimalist site, pages should be less noisy and colour tones should be dark (black and white achieves a sleek appearance). When you think website, think brand.
- Create an awesome navigation menu for your website
One of the first places people look when landing on a website is at the navigation menu. That’s the bar that (usually) runs across the top of the page and allows the user to find the specific web content they are looking for and, according to Clutch, 94% of Consumers Say Your Website Must Be Easy to Navigate. For example, for a web design company, one user might land on the home page and want to find the ‘web design Ealing’ page. They’d usually look at the navigation menu, find the page, and click.
That’s why it’s crucial to have a good navigation menu on your website. Don’t fill it with pages, keep it simple! Also, make sure your navigation menu is compact and mobile optimised – nowadays there has been a tremendous shift to mobile-first web design, thus consider this when designing your site.
- Quality over quantity
Be sure to write quality over quantity. Don’t just write paragraphs to fill pages, write paragraphs to provide meaningful and valuable content for the end user.
You’ll find that increasing the quality of your content, you’ll be able to increase the conversion rate on your site. When users find your content interesting, they’ll usually stay on your page for longer which is brownie points from Google! One thing search engines sure do like is when users stay on your page for long periods and engage with your content.
This will help to reduce your bounce rate, which represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site (Wikipedia). Make sure you write quality content!
- Pictures, pictures, pictures
Pictures are one of the most important elements on your web page. They often immediately set the tone of your website. For example, a web design company in London might have a night sky with the London Eye as one of their pictures to represent their office location. Similarly, a marketing agency might have a ‘meet the team’ section with high quality images of the staff members.
Image size and quality is crucial. Make sure you’ve chosen your images well – when images are placed behind text (such as on the homepage banner), ensure the image is clear and not distracting when the text is overlayed. Add ‘alt text’ and descriptions behind every image to help search engines index them and boost SEO for your site.
- Call to Actions
Call to actions are also a crucial way to drive engagement for your business. At any one moment when browsing a website, you should be able to see 3 call to actions on the page. Using command words like ‘call now’ or ‘get in touch’ sends a subconscious message to the user, encouraging them to interact with your site.
Remember, you can have the best site in the world, but if the site user cannot find a way to get in touch quickly, they will go back to the search engine and likely choose one of your competitors. Don’t let this happen to you! Make sure your business number, address and forms are sitewide to get maximum engagement.