Today, many people spend most of their time online, which includes buying stuff, watching a film, following the news, using a service, and so on.
In light of how much time people spend online, having a functional and effectively designed website for any business has become the need of the hour. A successful digital marketing campaign has always depended on solid branding and a well-designed website.
An out-of-date and bland online appearance can deteriorate the reputation and potential of your online business, reducing sales. On the other hand, an effective website design can do many things, like providing visitors with a positive first impression, encouraging conversions, and much more.
For further enlightenment, here are a few good reasons why an effective web design is crucial for impressing your audience:
Your audience gets their first impression of your company when they visit your website. They’ll make an immediate judgment about your company. You want to impact your target audience in the opening seconds positively.
Because it affects how your audience views your brand, web design is crucial. The first impression you provide them will determine whether they stay on your page to learn more about your company or whether they click on a rival’s page instead.
In the United States, every company struggles to compete with established ones. The main reason? Marketing. While the giants can invest in ensuring their marketing schemes work, most companies don’t invest much, which is a significant red flag.
Take Colorado, for example. The city has a rapidly developing and growing startup ecosystem, creating numerous startups. Moreover, venture capital increased by more than 80% in 2022. To stand toe-to-toe with the competition, you need a dedicated web design agency that understands what it takes to compete.
Thrive Engine is a web designer in Denver that provides cost-effective and excellent web solutions to its clients to help businesses effectively stand out.
A well-designed website makes it easy for Google’s crawlers to rapidly and effectively index your website. These search engine crawlers have been created to imitate user behavior.
In addition to making it difficult for visitors to use your website, crawlers will give up on it if it is challenging to navigate. If your website is user-friendly, more visitors will arrive at your page, increasing visibility, credibility, and traffic.
An outdated or poorly designed website will perform badly in search engine rankings. Google takes a business’s investment in its website very seriously.
Therefore, you must appropriately invest in good website design to maintain top search engine rankings. To achieve a high ranking, make sure it fulfills all of the requirements that Google wants to see. Focus on user experience, as that counts as a significant reason for high or low search engine rankings
Your website’s users are more likely to explore further if it is designed well. In fact, after checking out the homepage, they are more likely to leave.
As a business, the ideal situation for you would be for them to explore and learn more about your business. This can involve looking at case studies, ratings, and the range of services you offer. The bounce rate should be as low as possible.
This is more about how visitors interact with your website than how it looks. After going through your website design, ask yourself. How user-friendly is your website? What is the speed? How simple is it to look for information, and how easy it was to find relevant information?
If your website isn’t doing well across the board, consider making UX improvements to ensure users have a pleasant experience there.
A quality web design allows you to dominate your industry and push your rivals to keep up. Regularly working on and updating your website forces your opponents to be one level behind. While your competitors are still trying to understand the meaning of good web design, you already have a well-established site and are working hard to maintain your presence.
Responsive websites cater to more platforms, particularly tablets and smartphones. Responsive design engages more users because it offers a better user experience, leading to better search engine rankings and engagement.
According to a study, 53% of mobile visitors would leave the site if pages took more than three seconds to load. According to the same research, quicker website load times resulted in increased conversion rates and user engagement.
Since their main expense is time rather than money, many business owners opt for a do-it-yourself strategy. Or, to save money, they can select the cheapest web design provider available.
Since it produces the results you want, effective web design can be the most affordable choice. Additionally, you will save money by executing it correctly the first time rather than spending additional money correcting mistakes and shortcomings.
A good web design can boost the number of times people share your content on social media when done correctly. This is yet another reason to have an effective web design.
Sharing links to the pages on your website is simple, even on smaller displays, when responsive content and relevant social networking icons are used. This could help you establish greater trust and reach a wider audience, enhancing conversions and traffic.
However, social signals can also indirectly affect your search engine ranking because search engines will take notice of the increased interaction and search demand.
Whatever your goals, they must stem from luring people to your website and urging them to buy. Your brand may appear disconnected if the website design does not convey a message aligned with your company’s voice.
By keeping your branding consistent across all online platforms, including your website, you can improve the likelihood of increasing brand recognition.
As users navigate the social media highways and come across your website, it will help raise awareness of your brand/services and give them the confidence to contact you.
There we have it; compelling reasons why good design is essential when you want to stand out from the competition and attract more users.
An effectively designed website can help you make an affirmative first impression on your people. It will also play a significant role in increasing the number of conversions. But much more importantly, it facilitates easy accessibility and navigation for visitors and offers a positive user experience. Moreover, if you already have a well-designed website, conducting a site audit should help you zero in on areas that need improvement.
The way a website looks and feels is crucial to its overall success because it dictates the way its users will interact with it. For instance, a website’s users are only able to navigate the site with the navigation tools that are built into the site. A search bar, which is a component of a website’s feel, allows users to more easily find the exact page they’re looking for. In this way, the feel of the website is quite literally controlling your users’ means of exploring your website.
Improving a website’s look and feel will make it more popular, and by extension, more successful. In this article, we’ll define what the “look and feel” of a website refer to, and what components are important to a website’s look and feel. Then, we’ll give specific tips and considerations you should make when addressing your website’s functionality.
The look of a website refers to any of its visual components. These components include the website’s font styles, color scheme, images, page layout, and anything else that would fall under the umbrella of visual design. A website’s visual elements are incredibly important because they are the first impression a user will get of your brand. In fact, 94% of people have cited poor web design as a reason they doubted or rejected a website.
Your website’s look should also be in line with your brand’s personality. Let’s take the hypothetical example of a fashion brand that specializes in athletic wear. Chances are this company has an encouraging, active, exciting personality, and its website should reflect that. It should include images of people exercising and feature content that is clearly directed at people who enjoy being active.
Aligning your website’s look with its personality makes it easier to connect with your target audience and grow your brand. It will also improve your brand’s overall brand recognition, meaning more people will recognize your company.
The feel of a website is more concerned with its functionality. The tools used to navigate a website, the speed at which its pages load, and whether or not its design is responsive are all components of a website’s feel. Websites should aim to feel intuitive and quick. If a website is buggy or difficult to use, then it is unlikely to garner much of a following.
Two of the most common barriers to a website feeling well-made are broken links and long loading times. Broken links are links that result in an error instead of redirecting the user to the proper page. These typically occur when a page is being moved, but the incoming links to that page haven’t been updated. The simple solution to this would be to update the incoming links, but this can be tedious and time-consuming.
Long loading times can inconvenience a website’s users to the point that they will leave. The most common reason a webpage takes longer than usual to load is a large volume of unoptimized images. High-resolution pictures are some of the most resource-intensive elements a webpage has to load. Compressing your website’s images can make the entire page load more seamlessly.
Nobody enjoys waiting around for a website to load when they’re browsing the internet. This is especially true for internet consumers who have several options for shopping online. Therefore, the faster your website loads from page to page, the more users it will convert into customers. Remember to compress your images to instantly improve your website loading times.
User experience refers to the average journey taken by an individual on your website. A positive user experience is one where the individual is able to quickly and easily access the webpage they were searching for and find the product or information they need. An excellent example of a positive user experience is the online shopping experience provided by Amazon.
Amazon makes every step of the online shopping process as simple as it possibly can. The exact product you want can be found by simply using the website search bar tool. Amazon makes it clear what method of shipping is being used to deliver your package and when it will arrive. And the package can be tracked through Amazon with ease.
One of the most common barriers to a positive user experience is a poorly organized website. Poorly organized websites make it unclear how to navigate to the precise webpage you need to visit. This is a major issue because many online consumers have very little patience for websites that are slow or buggy.
Take some time exploring your own website to ensure it is intuitively designed. Start at the homepage and have an end destination in mind. How many pages do you have to travel through to find that page? Is that page located where you expected it to be?
Remember that your website is more than just a digital store for your company. It is also a reflection of your brand and should be developed as such. It is important to keep the color scheme, messaging, and tone consistent across everything your brand creates, the website included. Consistent branding will also make it easier for consumers to recognize your brand, even if your company’s name isn’t included.
Keep the Layout Simple
Simple layouts are a powerful tool in website design because they are easy to create and look fantastic. Additionally, simple website designs are much easier to navigate. Even people who aren’t tech-savvy are able to find their way through a website that has clearly defined navigation tools.
The easiest way to build a website with a simple layout is to use the grid method. With the grid method, websites are built such that they align with a predetermined grid of rows and columns. This gives the website an appealing look and makes them easy to understand.
Readability should be an absolute priority for every brand’s website. The primary reason you want users to be able to easily read your website’s content is for accessibility. People who are visually impaired or struggle with other disabilities can have a harder time navigating the internet. By choosing a font style that is legible, you’ll be making your website more inclusive.
The second reason to focus on readability when creating a website is to reduce its bounce rate. A bounce rate is the rate at which people visit one page on your website and then quickly leave. This is oftentimes because your website has scared users off because it isn’t easy to read. Maintaining a legible website will help increase the time a user spends on your website.
The standard conversion rate of a good-performing website should be above 10%. And you need a solid web design to convert your site visitors into clients. Your site’s design should be simple, quick, and stress-free for visitors to navigate. A strong e-commerce design ensures a seamless procedure and shopping experience.
You need to ensure that your site is well optimized to match your effective online marketing. Besides, if a visitor leaves your site within seconds, you may just lose a potential customer and a possible income.
Over 17% of clients abandon their carts due to poor navigation and website design. That’s why you need to ensure your site is appealing and pleasant enough for visitors to buy from your store. You need to have an ideal web design to experience the success of your ecommerce website. Read along to see effective strategies for designing a successful e-commerce website in 2022.
Consumer habits and technology are changing every minute. The core principle of sensory perception and human psychology remains constant. How we view and process visual information is dependent on visual hierarchy.
Your site should have a visual hierarchy to make it easy for visitors to digest your content fast. Or have a strategic structure of your website pages to ease visitors’ navigation. According to a web design company in New York, most people browse a new website before buying. So it’s essential to ensure your web pages are well organized to reduce the bouncing rate. You can engage with web designers to help you bring out the best in your website.
Logo, call to action (CTA), Unique Value Proposition (UVP), and your business name are essential aspects of the visual hierarchy. You need to prioritize their placement and the suitable font to use. For instance, you should strategically place your logo and use the right font.
Your UVP should be next, and it needs to be above the fold. This is advisable as it allows visitors to understand your brand’s products quickly. Moreover, it is essential to have a CTA button on the center of your home page and product detail pages.
The CTA button is vital as it directs your site’s visitors to the page you would like them to visit. You’re confident visitors can navigate your site without huddles with an appealing visual hierarchy. Besides, it helps reduce visitors’ bouncing rate and cart abandonment.
A landing page is an effective strategy you should consider when designing an e-commerce website. The landing pages usually function as a gateway at the front entrance. Moreso, landing pages need to be appealing and concise to what a website is all about.
For a landing page to be effective, you need to display the best-selling items beside the rotating banner. This may seem like an old tactic, but web designers find it a practical addition to a website.
A powerful landing page will attract visitors’ attention and assist them in finding products they desire to purchase. What’s more, video content can be a practical addition to your landing pages. Basically, videos can improve your site’s conversion rate by 86%. Also, some people find video content more convincing and trustworthy.
Branding is a long-term practice that helps companies establish business identity and image. Besides brand identification, it also aids your business to flourish and thrive in new environments.
However, it’s pretty challenging for new e-commerce stores to establish themselves offline and generate an authentic brand name. So you need to know that your website is the first representation of your company. Therefore, your brand colors, core values, mission, and vision statement, should align with your business.
Leverage consistent branding to avoid confusion and make it easily recognizable. Moreover, your color scheme should match your company’s logo in your design. Doing this gives your visitors confidence in your brand.
Take note, there are a few exceptions when it comes to color. You can select a different color from your color scheme to make your CTAs and fonts visible and readable. Having intelligent marketing, excellent and consistent customer service, unique selling points, and competitive pricing can help you achieve this goal.
Most of the best-performing e-commerce websites have a search bar on all the pages. Also, website designers claim that about 30% of shoppers use the site search tool when available.
Site search pages improve the usability of your site and reduce cart abandonment. This is because these visitors are confident and know what they’re looking for. Moreover, each page’s search pages help visitors explore an e-commerce site extensively.
Your site’s content is only valuable if it’s clear and concise for your visitors to understand it. Ensure your website design uses a visible font size and color before making it live.
Also, conducting user testing is an effective way to gauge if the content is clear and readable. You can request your family, friends, or coworkers to help you determine all this.
There may be no universal rule on the number of fonts used on a website. However, there are guidelines you can follow. You may decide to use just one font on the entire website. But, a good rule of thumb is to use up to three separate fonts to avoid confusion. Doing this helps your visitors to stay focused and convert.
Detailed, crisp photos improve the image of your e-commerce store and make it more trustworthy.
Leverage professional product photos so potential clients can anticipate what to expect in real life. Moreover, high-quality photos communicate your seriousness and the value of your products. This shows that you care about product representation in your customer’s eyes.
Web designer companies encourage e-commerce sites to work with competent graphic designers and photographers. These people help to boost your image production online.
Working with professionals may be expensive, but it’s the sure way to have appealing custom web designs. A custom website with flashier, appealing, and softer images will attract more customers. Ensure the photos on your website are appealing and attractive enough to boost your site’s conversion rate.
These strategies cover the basics of design and marketing. The techniques ensure online entrepreneurs are successful in their e-commerce representation since they will be having a straightforward and high-quality design for their site.
There’s no doubt that an easy and appealing web design attracts most clients to navigate your web pages. Although web design is straightforward, it is quite challenging to create a converting e-commerce store.
You can hire a top web design company to help with the strategies above. These techniques help simplify the design process and ensure your e-commerce site is successful.
A website’s design has a lot to do with how successful it is. A poorly designed website can be an absolute nightmare for visitors, leading to low conversion rates and unhappy customers.
The numbers make it even more evident. Website users take 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about a website, and 94% of those decisions are design-related. At the same time, 38% of people leave an unattractive website, reveals a study by Social Media Today.
In other words, people will judge your site based on the quality and the user experience you are providing for them. Additionally, Google is boosting the importance of user experience as a ranking factor year after year.
These and several other factors contribute to making web design a vital ingredient to include in your SEO techniques and overall user experience strategies to improve rankings effectively.
When it comes to design, there are principles of design to keep in mind, impacting conversion rates.
A well-designed website will help visitors find what they’re looking for with minimal effort, and it also makes the site easy to navigate. As you can imagine, this leads to increased customer satisfaction and higher conversions.
For example, if your design is made using readable fonts and scannable text, it can improve your site usability by 47%, and 54% prefer a personalized design and experience.
On the other hand, some design flaws that look tiny might have a considerable impact on the website’s success.
This post will discuss seven design flaws that you should avoid when designing your site or sites for your clients.
Let’s get started!
Avoid having too much text on the homepage of a website. This can be problematic for some users trying to figure out what exactly they need from your website and cause them to exit the site.
You should place pertinent information on your homepage, which is clear and well-written.
If you want a quick way to design a beautiful website with the right amount of text and images on the homepage, you could use a website builder. Most popular website builders like Wix or Weebly have tons of templates designed with user experience conversion in mind.
Visitors should understand what your website is about within a few seconds of arriving on it. Most site owners try to do this by placing too much information initially, ending up confusing their visitors.
Another design flaw to avoid is not providing enough white space on a web page. This can make the website feel overcrowded and overwhelming, which might cause people to exit before they explore it anymore.
Here is an example of not enough white space used on a site. For sure, you don’t want any of your sites looking like this.
On the other hand, too much white space can also be a problem because it might make your site feel outdated. You need to make this decision based on the niche of your website.
Minimalism is a design trend that is becoming more and more used by bloggers and website owners, but it is only working and creating the desired effect if done correctly. Too much white space with no directions or instructions, looking too cryptic, will leave visitors with too many questions.
Here is an example on how famous brands use white space to create an impact on the main elements.
Another thing you can do is make use of negative space, which is when a design doesn’t include any content on certain parts of the page and leaves it blank or just with background color such as black. This helps draw in readers’ eyes because they know that more sections are coming.
A navigation menu is a must for any website, but you have to make sure that it’s easy to use and well-designed. You can’t just put links in a long list; they need to be organized so that users know where they are at all times.
The most common ways of doing this are by using drop-down menus or limiting the number of links in a row to four.
You also need to make sure that the navigation menu is mobile-friendly, so it doesn’t take up too much space on smaller screens, and users can easily reach all of the links no matter how small their screen size is.
A good idea is to use animated navigation bars, such as elements that flash, roll, and move while users are exploring different elements of your website. Use animation with user experience in mind if you have to; some of the best website builders have custom templates, and they are typically designed not to be invasive.
Another thing you should consider when designing your website navigation, especially when using online store builders, is the location of your shopping cart. Part of creating a perfect shopping cart checkout means that it should be easily accessible from anywhere on the site, not just on a single page (like “checkout”).
Your navigation menu hugely impacts the user experience and, subsequently, the SEO of your website. It’s essential to take the time when designing your website and do it right.
You want to make sure that there is a high enough contrast between text, background color, and any other design elements to enhance readability for all audiences. Readability affects how well people can find and understand information on the page.
The contrast should be high enough to provide ample visibility for people with low visual acuity (vision impairment) or those using devices like screen readers that rely on color contrast and captioning as the only way to convey textual content.
To make sure you are providing ample room for contrast, consider the following:
Getting lots of traffic on your website is of no use if you can’t convert them. One of the most conversion-focused elements of web design is the call-to-action buttons.
Some of the most common mistakes people make with call to action buttons are:
Here is an example of a too confusing button that doesn’t stand out from the rest of the page:
A button should look clickable, so users don’t have to try to figure out which part of the page is the one with the link. But, how do you make a button looking clickable?
A button is a visual presentation, and it may look more clickable when there are effects or bright colors added. For example, buttons with shadows effects or a slight color gradient trigger visitors to click on them. Another example could be to design the button edges with a round form and use a different color for the button’s borders.
Button and background colors should look contrasting so that the call-to-action stands out from the rest of the page. Finally, when it comes to design, you have to test your CTA buttons constantly.
In a website, hierarchy is just as important as it would be on the ground. You need to help your visitors find their way around and not get lost in all the information you provide.
Your site should have clearly defined sections of how the site is structured, and where to find information inside the pages.
A site hierarchy is how the pages are arranged from the menu and how they go deeper into the site following a series of menus organized based on easy-to-understand and follow logic.
A confusing site will turn people away as fast as they come in. Users must be able to find what they are looking for very fast. A navigation menu that is hard to find is a common web design mistake. A bit site without a site map is another example of an error.
Fill space with content that can help organize the information and make your site more user-friendly for navigation purposes.
When you use photos and graphics, they need to communicate your thoughts and contribute to the overall message of the page or post and help the visitor navigate the site. Using low-quality and irrelevant images can be very confusing and make your site look cheap.
The wrong image format may be confusing and give a bad look to your site when it is seen through a mobile or other devices. Visitors may be wondering what you are trying to communicate and leave the site. A menu should be:
Visitors don’t want to search all over the page just to find what they are looking for, so you must take care of this issue before it becomes a problem. Some elements like the table of contents, internal links, and drop-down menus can help with this.
Modern-day web designs come with multiple creative logo placements for maximum impact. But if you’re not careful, your logo can become a visual distraction.
The best way to prevent this is by paying attention to the location of your company’s name and brand on the page. You want it placed in an area with high visibility but minimal interference for site visitors scrolling through content or scanning pages.
Ensure that your logo is in a place that doesn’t interfere with the navigation menu and is nicely designed. If you want to build a creative website, keep the navigation simple, making the website more user-friendly. Based on research, it’s way more difficult for website users to find the homepage when the logo is centered.
Place the logo to the left as an ideal spot for brand recognition and user experience. However, even if you put it on the left, you still have to make sure it is ideal. If your logo is too large, it can create a lot of extra space above the navigation bar and make the home page look messy.
When possible, the logo should have a transparent background to blend better with your website colors. Ideally, you would use a horizontal format. In this way, it looks better on the navigation bar and will take up less space.
If you are not sure about the design and how your headers and logos should look like, you could use website development tools to test different looks and designs or use pre-made templates if you need.
Poorly placed logos do more harm than good and might irritate your visitors to the point where they leave your site without clicking on anything.
When building a website, these are some design flaws you should avoid at all costs. Be mindful of how logos and branding will look when placed on the page because they can irritate visitors scrolling through content or scanning pages.
You want to build brand awareness without annoying your visitors. Other elements such as stock photos and advertisements should also be avoided.
Several other elements, such as improving your website’s lighthouse performance, also contribute to making a user-friendly website. The best way to avoid these flaws is by testing your site for overall user experience with a UX audit before it goes live.
Whatever industry you’re in, your landing page is often the first interaction a person has with your brand. If you don’t hit all the high notes and keep things focused on the goal, you risk losing your site visitors to some other distraction or a competitor’s page.
Manufacturing is a $5.4 trillion industry in the United States that mainly lies in the heart of the country in states such as Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. If you want to capture your part of the market share as a manufacturing company, you have to be smart about your online presence as well as your offline one. Your landing page is a good starting point to gain higher conversions and increase your return on investment (ROI).
The cost of paying web designers and developers can add up quickly. Fortunately, you can do several simple things to improve your industrial landing page while staying well within budget.
Before you hire someone to create or tweak your landing page, figure out your page’s goal. Keep in mind you can have multiple landing pages on one site. Each should feature one offer and speak to a particular segment of your audience.
For example, you might wish to collect email addresses so that you can continue marketing to potential customers in a specific area. Gear your entire page toward that audience, and keep the focus solely on how to get them to share their email and sign up for future news. You can do this through a freebie offer or promise of discounts.
Did you know that by the year 2022, video viewing will compose the majority of Internet traffic? Spend time on competitor websites and other industrial sites to see what design elements are trending. Do most of them employ video in some way? How many of them feature parallax scrolling? Pay attention to everything from the headlines to the images on these sites. Your goal isn’t to copy what they are doing but to recognize trends you can implement while still staying unique in your approach.
While not exclusive to manufacturing websites, focusing on the content you serve up improves your landing pages instantly. Create unique and relevant items that inform the user of your business. Show off some of your best testimonials. Add video while ensuring the information it contains highlights something unique about your brand. Gear everything to your target audience and the details they’d like to have.
Summit Steel features both recent blog posts and customer testimonials on their landing page. The use the heading “Our Customers Support Our Work” to showcase a testimonial. Blog topics include the robotic welding process and an award they won. Everything on the page centers on gaining the user’s trust and showing why Summit Steel is a reputable company to do business with.
Your headline is the first thing a person sees when they land on your page. It needs to answer the question of “what.” What do you do? What product do you sell? What can you do for them?
The headline doesn’t need to be overly long or complicated. It needs to answer a question and get to the core of your business model. If you sell raw materials, you can simply state “the best [blank]” available. Work on your headline, test it and see what performs best with your target audience.
Does something about your brand make you stand out from the competition? One way you can grab site visitors’ attention is by sharing that news. If you’ve won an award, add a link to the press release and the emblem to your landing page. If you recently launched a new, innovative product, highlight it with a video or article. Share new developments with your site visitors to keep the page highly relevant to your company’s unique qualities.
Vollrath does an excellent job of sharing news on their landing page in a box that highlights the information’s importance. Note the box’s outline and the way a call to action (CTA) invites visitors to “read now” and learn about the custom fabrication expansion. They also add a list of new products just under the news.
Your unique value proposition (UVP) is what your company brings to the table that no one else does. You might have the best customization, the fastest turnaround or the most personalized service. You may need to poll your customers to find out what your UVP is from their perspective. Why do they choose to do business with you rather than a competitor?
Once you know your UVP, consider it your subheading — the second question you should answer on your landing page. While your headline explains what you do, your subheading explains why you do it better and why the user should choose your brand.
Attracting new users to your websites takes time and effort. Once they are there, you’ll want to grab their attention and then engage them. Figuring out ways to get them interacting with your site is a good first step. Think about what tools might be most useful to your audience. You might offer free webinars, a download of an ebook or a calculator relevant to your industry.
Martin Marietta offers a calculator to help construction companies estimate the cost of materials for a project. Business owners will likely bookmark and return to this tool time and again to estimate their own expenses before bidding on a project. They will also likely choose Martin Marietta for their needs when it comes time to place an order.
Do you serve specific regions or countries? Be sure to list locations. There’s no need to waste the time of someone in an area you don’t serve — and you don’t want them eating up your bandwidth. Offering an “Areas Served” or “Locations List” section benefits you and the user at the same time.
Your CTAs are the features that drive the person on your site to taking some type of action. Make sure they carefully align with your goals for your landing page. Then, work on placement, color, and language.
If you haven’t already developed a buyer persona that represents your typical customer, now is the time to do so. Gear your CTAs to the persona you’ve created. Then, test and retest to see which CTAs perform best. Use A/B testing to discover the best button placement, color, language, and even size.
Never choose a generic or stock photo for your website. Instead, make photos relevant to the topic at hand. Ideally, the images will showcase what you do for your customers or the finished product you create. You can also use a video in the background to showcase some of your operations and even highlight your workers and their dedication.
Images say a lot more than text alone, so choose them carefully and make sure they tie back into the message you wish to send and your overall goal for your page.
An industrial website typically seeks business to business (B2B) traffic, although some may serve as a business to many (B2M). Today’s busy executives don’t have a lot of extra time, so keep your landing pages simple and to the point. If you know where you’re headed, you can guide your buyers through a clear journey with an end goal in mind. Change the small elements of your page and continue improving it until it gains the attention it deserves and meets your goals for your online presence.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
There’s a very good chance that you’ve already designed your website to be user-friendly, search engine optimized, informative, relevant, and aesthetically pleasing, but if you haven’t yet considered inclusive web design, you may be missing out on a rather large piece of the online marketing pie. Here’s what you need to know about inclusive web design and why it will be critical for your success both now and in the future.
Once upon a time, you could stuff a nonsense article with the right keywords and find yourself at the top of search results, but this is no longer the case. Rather than only focusing on content quality, keywords, and metadata, there are numerous other factors to consider. A holistic website is one in which you optimize the entire user experience from start to finish, and when you can accomplish this through your site’s accessibility, the quality of your content, the aesthetic appeal, and even the information framework, your website will be inclusive by default.
While you might think that your only goal involves ranking pages and making money, there’s much more to it than just that. It’s important to sit back and think of human behaviors and how people use their computers, tablets, or smartphones. For example, people often use their computers to find recipes, which is simple enough for you to build into a website. However, if the person who is looking up that recipe is blind, this presents a whole new set of challenges. An inclusive site, then, is an accessible site – one that everyone can use whether they are blind, deaf, suffering from anxiety, or even unable to physically operate a keyboard and mouse.
While it may seem as if you have your work cut out for you when it comes to making your website more inclusive, the truth is that technology makes it easier than ever. You do not have to sacrifice your current Google algorithm-pleasing website to make it more accessible, either. Here are some examples of things that you might consider adding:
As the years go by and the internet continues to become more saturated, inclusive web design can help you maintain a competitive edge. When people search the web, they want to have the best possible experiences for their individual needs, and the better you become at providing it, the more successful you will be.
If your manufacturing business caters to people from different corners of the globe, a multilingual website quickly becomes a must-have. However, it’s not always easy to create such a site. Some countries read from left to right and others from right to left. You may not be as familiar with the written language as the spoken language and worry that automated translation programs will lose meaning in the language change.
Emerging countries are growing at a rapid pace of about 3.27 percent, which means more and more companies should prepare for business with countries such as China, India, Brazil and Russia. Of course, which languages your users speak and read in may vary widely, depending upon what you make. Creating a multilingual website takes time and preparation. The last thing you want to do is offer a translation that isn’t correct and frustrates your international customers.
There are several steps to creating a multilingual website that works. Knowing how to proceed helps you avoid the pitfalls along the way. Here are some easy ways of getting your website up and running in more than one language.
Translating a website isn’t always inexpensive, and although widgets are a viable option (more on this below), they don’t always work perfectly. Your best bet is to offer your site in multiple languages and hire a professional translator. Because linguists don’t come cheap, it’s important to know who your target customer is and what country or countries order from you most frequently. You should first offer a translation in the language of the countries doing business with you often. You can always add additional languages or a widget for others as your budget allows.
LDR Medical recently had a name change, but are still controlled by LDR Holdings. The company’s website asks for you to “Choose Your Region” so they can get to know their site visitors better and deliver an experience in the person’s native language and related to their needs locally. As a seller of innovative medical equipment, products and needs may vary from continent to continent.
Languages with a lot of characters or longer words may take up more room than a website in another language. When you’re offering options, keep in mind that automated tools that translate the page may also create an unreadable mess. Since many users now access the Internet via their mobile devices, an extremely long headline might not translate well in another language and become unreadable on a smaller screen. Even if your budget only allows you to use a widget to automatically translate your pages, pull them up in each language and look the page over for visual aesthetics.
If someone from another country lands on your manufacturing page, they won’t be able to read the initial language if they don’t speak it. Make sure language options are easy to locate, so users don’t stumble around trying to figure out where to go. If the user gets too frustrated, they will likely leave your page and head to a competitor instead.
IDC Spring uses Google Translate to offer the site in both English and Spanish. The bar for choosing the language is located right at the top of the page. A user doesn’t have to look hard to find the the language option of their choice, but the page defaults if the person’s location aligns with that language.
If you’re offering a translation into a language that reads right to left from one that reads left to right, then it’s a good idea to mirror your entire layout. When you originally designed your website, you likely laid it out to draw the user’s eye in the reading pattern for that language. However, someone who reads in the opposite direction needs the mirrored layout if you still want the placement to be effective. Not flipping the elements on your page can result in reduced conversion rates and fewer clicks on your call to action (CTA) buttons.
Can’t afford a translator to revamp your entire site? There are some language translation options you can use which allow you to translate your site. You may want tohire a native speaker then to complete some light edits and ensure the words flow smoothly, but you’ll save money not paying them to translate from scratch. You could simply use Google Translate, but it is notoriously off much of the time, especially for large blocks of text. Instead, try a service such as Bablic and let a computer translate the text for you.
HMT Tank offers their site in both Spanish and English. A user chooses a language from the menu at the top and all the options on the page change to that language. Since both Spanish and English are left to right languages, the layout of the site remains the same, including the background images. The only change is in the text itself. Spanish words are sometimes longer than English words, so note how they keep headlines short enough to accommodate both languages easily.
You can add a widget, such as Google Translate or a plugin via WordPress to help translate your site into another language. This is a good option if you’re on a tight budget, but be aware that translations can be off and may confuse your users a bit. As soon as you can afford, you should invest in a translator to help you improve your translation and make your site a better experience for your global users.
The world is becoming more connected when it comes to business. As manufacturers gain customers from other countries and do business with suppliers all over the world, multilingual websites will become even more important. Gear up for the coming growth by getting your site ready now, and you can take advantage of your expanded customer base in the next five to 10 years.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
Just as it’s important to focus your efforts on the things that make good web design better – informative content, high-quality photos, and an easy-to-use interface, it’s also important to think about the things your website visitors don’t want to see. If your bounce rate seems higher than it should be, but you can’t figure out why, there’s a good possibility that your website contains one or more of the five faux pas below.
Once upon a time, getting to the first page of Google search results was as simple as inserting a few keywords into your website content. These days, though, things are far more complex. In fact, Google will rank your website based on its overall design – and so will your visitors. There are several things that might add to a bad design, and they include:
It’s easy to get wrapped up in your website content’s quality while forgetting about its overall design. The biggest goal here is to make sure that it welcomes visitors without overwhelming them.
In today’s world of fast internet and instant digital gratification, ensuring that your website operates the way it should is crucial. If a visitor can’t get to the information he or she needs within three clicks, it could be a deal-breaker. After all, why should visitors search endlessly for information on your website when they can easily find it from one of your competitors?
To combat this, make sure your website is easy to navigate and that users can get virtually anywhere in three clicks or less. Make sure photos and banners do not mislead your visitors, and clearly label your buttons with instructions like “Click Here” or “Buy Now”. Finally, be sure that your main navigation links are tucked neatly inside a menu rather than scattered across the website.
Content is still king when it comes to creating an excellent website that visitors will love. Unfortunately, many people continue to make simple mistakes that are causing their visitors to bounce and affecting their overall rankings. In order to ensure that your content is structured as optimally as possible, make sure that you avoid the following:
Statistics show that companies can lose up to 60% of their sales when visitors struggle to find what they were originally looking for. Keeping your content properly structured will help you avoid this.
When people visit your site, they want to be in control of their experience, so if you’ve considered the idea of videos set to auto-play or background music to help set a tone, you may want to think again. People find it aggravating when they are searching for information only to be interrupted by a video or background music they don’t like. If you’re going to use videos, allow the visitor to decide whether they want to watch it – don’t force it on them.
Photos are a great alternative to videos in many cases, and they load far faster, which improves your site’s response time – especially on mobile devices. If your site’s visuals are well-designed and appropriately placed (and sized!) they can go a long way toward giving your visitors a pleasant, memorable experience without the need for background music or videos set to auto-play.
Getting a small business off the ground can be tough, and online ads are indeed a phenomenal way to help you generate a little extra income to keep things moving forward. Though there’s nothing inherently wrong with having an ad on your site here and there, there is a limit. Everyone finds ads annoying to a degree, but if they are intrusive and interfere with your visitors’ experiences on your site, your bounce rate will undoubtedly skyrocket.
To combat this, make certain that your visitor does not see an ad before anything else on your site. Avoid pop-up ads where possible, and if you choose to use them, make sure they are easy enough for your visitors to close. Finally, if you have an entire sidebar filled with advertisements, there’s a pop-up on every single page, or there’s more than one pop up on any given page, there are far too many ads on your site and your visitors are almost certainly frustrated.
Focusing on good web design is crucial, and part of that involves truly critiquing your site to discover what might be putting users off. By going over your site carefully and keeping these five common mistakes in mind, you can discover what’s been increasing your bounce rate, resolve it, and start climbing the rankings once again.
There are over a billion websites currently hosted on the internet, and more than two billion active users browsing those websites. Yet at a two to one chance of getting your website seen – thus procuring a potential lead which could lead to sales – chances aren’t great.
This isn’t a statement meant to make you feel as though creating and maintaining a website isn’t worth it. In fact, a website is vital to modern success in business. This statistic – and all those which follow – are instead meant to make you feel determined to create a great website and give you the knowledge necessary to do so.
The real key to success in grabbing the attention of the billions of internet users is in your website itself. Your company may be amazing, with the unrivaled best products and services, but if your website doesn’t reflect that you aren’t going to gain any new customers.
How do you create a great website? The answers lay in the following statistics. By taking the information found in them and using them to your advantage you can help secure yourself an ever-increasing number of website views. Those views will transfer into leads, which transfer into customers, which then transfers into an overall more successful business model.
According to recent surveys, an incredible 89% of all customers will search the web before making a purchase decision. This is where all that effort you’ve put into search engine optimization (SEO) and online reputation management comes into play.
But don’t get too excited yet.
Of the nearly ninety percent of customer searching the web, 60% of them will go to the brand or product website they are considering to find relevant and useful information on it. Their decision to purchase will be highly influenced by the information they find on your website. Customers are so influenced by company websites, in fact, that 75% admit to deciding how credible a business is based solely on said site.
When it comes to making decisions about your website design, consumers do it fast. The average viewer takes between 17 and 50 milliseconds to decide whether they find your website visually appealing. For reference, a “blink of an eye” is between 100 and 400 milliseconds. It also only takes consumers 2.6 seconds to land on the area of the website page they will use to make their first impression about your website.
It isn’t your products or services which make that big first impression. 94% of consumers admit they’re decisions are mostly design based.
According to the Google research page,
“designs that contradict what users typically expect of a website may hurt user’s first impressions and damage their expectations.”
What does that mean?
In layman’s terms, it means your website needs to give viewers what they expect. If it doesn’t, they aren’t going to have a great first impression of your company. Without a great first impression, most customers will take their business elsewhere. Once damaged, a reputation can be extremely hard to fix. It is infinitely easier to simply make a great first impression in the first place.
You know that it doesn’t take long to make a first impression, but where are consumers looking on your website to create it? Recent statistics state that consumers are looking at the following areas for a minuscule amount of time to create their impressions:
A common idea is that all your essential information must be readily available as soon as a consumer reaches your website. Many believe potential customers won’t scroll at all to find the information they need. This isn’t true. 76% of all viewed pages were scrolled, while 66% of consumer’s attention is directed to content below the fold (or the area to which they must scroll to view).
While consumers are willing to scroll to find the content or information they need, they aren’t willing to scroll too far, however. Only 22% of all viewed website pages were scrolled all the way to the bottom. This means you’ll want to keep the most valuable information near the top of the page, but not necessary at the very top.
To properly implement all these statistics and other pertinent information into your website design process, here are a few key takeaways you’ll want to keep in mind:
If you don’t know where to start the best option is to hire a professional website design company. Some of these sites even offer packages that can help to build a marketing campaign around your site’s design. As with all other aspects of hiring, you’ll want to find one with a good reputation that can fit your company’s brand – i.e. tone of voice, morals, standards, and preferred writing style.
The typical website has some fairly standard features, such as forms and CTA buttons, but you may have overlooked many other features that add value to your site. Every year, new trends and standards filter their way into the design world. While it’s good to add new things and keep up with the trends, there are also some traditional features you’ll want to make sure you have, no matter what is and isn’t trending.
There are nearly 2 billion websites online, but not all are active sites. Still, you’re competing against a high number of other sites to grab people’s attention. If you want your site to stand out and to keep the visitors once they do land on your page, you should add as many of the following 17 features as possible.
Social media is here to stay. Experts predict 2.95 billion people will be on social media by 2020. However, those people have to find your business easily, and one way to ensure your current customers and leads find you is to include social media links on your website. It’s relatively straightforward to add links or icons that encourage people to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more. How you implement your social media links is up to you, but the key is to get them out there and start gaining followers now.
What value does your brand bring to the table that no other brand does? Make this clear to your readers from the moment they land on your page. If you have the best customer service out of any companies in your field, share some testimonials about this from satisfied customers. If you have a stellar safety record, show consumers how you stack up to your competitors. Highlight what makes you unique and better than the competition.
Mini animations are on the rise, and users respond well to features that bring a website to life. Things such as hover features allow the user to stay engaged with your website. A hover feature might be as simple as a button changing colors when you place your mouse over it, or as advanced as elements dropping in from the side or top of the page or a video playing.
Houck does a good job using the hover feature. When you hover over any of the image boxes in their grid-style layout, the page animates and becomes text rather than an image. The hover makes it clear exactly what you’re looking at, such as flooring or industrial repair systems. It’s also fun for the user to run the cursor over different boxes and learn more about the site and the different offerings of the company.
You’ve probably noticed more and more sites using hero images to draw site visitors in. Hero images are typically part of the background design, with text layered over the top. Keep in mind the image needs to be highly relevant to your brand and topic at hand. You also need to pay attention to the color palette of the text you’ll use. You want high contrast, so if your text is white, you’ll need an image with dark colors to serve as the background.
About one-third of all online activity is video viewing. People respond to videos, which is why incorporating them into your web design is a smart move. People process images better than text, so you can say a lot in less time with a video. Consider using a looping video as the background of your landing page. However, you can also add instructional videos that allow the user to see your product in action.
Mobile responsiveness is no longer an option — it is a necessity. Google even ranks your site based on how well it adapts to mobile devices now, so if you want to rank well and reach the many users who access the Internet via their smartphones, you’ll need to ensure your site is mobile-friendly. Seventy-two percent of people state they want a mobile-friendly website, but many small businesses haven’t achieved that goal.
Content is still king when it comes to drawing people to your website, and quantity isn’t nearly as important as quality. Try to answer the common questions your site visitors have, and make sure your content covers material your competitor’s content does not. Keep in mind, content is more than just articles, but includes images, videos and possibly things such as guides and infographics.
Urban Decay has a blog area called All Access where they share tips on how to use their products. Note the big, vivid and highly relevant images highlighting their products. They gear their topics toward a younger audience, which is their main demographic, so you’ll see topics such as how to make your makeup last all night or ways to command attention.
If you want to build a level of trust with your readers, your contact info needs to be easy to find and clearly laid out. Include a toll-free phone number. Add live chat so users can reach you during business hours and get instant hours. Add an address and email information. Basically, you want to show users that if they order from you and have a problem, they have a way to get in touch with you. Consumers who have had negative experiences in the past want to know they have a way to contact you if things don’t go as planned.
In one study, researchers found people expect the logo to link to the homepage. Not only that, but the logo placement should be predictable as well. People use the logo as a marker for the entire website and a sort of shortcut back to home.
Obviously, your site needs navigation so site visitors can go where they want. However, is your navigation structure straightforward and intuitive? Go through your navigation as though you are a first-time site visitor. Ask others to test your navigation and adjust as needed.
Note how simple and intuitive the navigation is on Adriatic Luxury Hotels. The horizontal navigation bar across the top features the main categories for the site. They also have linked their logo to the home page, serving as an anchor for the rest of the navigation.
If you run an e-commerce site, take time to add breadcrumb navigation, or a trail of links to show where users have been on their journey through the site. So, if a visitor to a clothing site navigates to women’s, coats and finally ski vests, they can go back to any of the main categories by clicking on a link that shows where they’ve been.
Eighty-four percent of consumers state they trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a personal friend. Reviews are a powerful tool that helps build trust with your target audience. Add a link to your Google reviews page or allow users to add reviews. You can also offer testimonials from happy customers, but these aren’t quite as convincing as a review is.
Choose a font that’s easy to read, no matter what size screen consumers use. Choose a font that adapts to mobile devices and is easy to read on all types of devices. The font should have good contrast and a heavy enough stroke weight to appear vivid. At the same time, you don’t want such a heavy font that it looks ridiculous and blocky on a larger screen.
One trend in recent years has been custom typography, which includes larger fonts that look better with a specific style. Think about some influential newspapers, such as the New York Times, and how unique their typography is. You’ll see larger type for the headlines, which pulls the reader in and instantly makes the site recognizable. Don’t be afraid of custom fonts and making the size larger for headlines.
The New York Times has been around for more than a century and a half and has an established font for their print newspaper. They’ve translated this online with a digital version of the font that works well and adapts to different screens. Note the unique swirls and angles of the letters for the title of the site. At the same time, they’ve chosen a type for their headlines that is a bit simpler than the script font of the title, but meshes well because the serifs are similar.
Pull up research on search bars, and you’ll find sharply divided opinions. Some people insist they are a must-have item, while others say you can do without them. The truth is somewhere in the middle and depends a lot on your particular audience. A search bar is an excellent function because it allows visitors to search for a specific item and save time, thus improving the user experience. However, if the search function returns too many results or results that are off-base, it is an aggravation, and you’re better off removing it until you can perfect the process.
Your call to action (CTA) invites site visitors to do something specific, such as subscribing to an email list or taking advantage of a coupon offer. If you want to convert visitors into customers, you need a strong CTA. Many factors play into how well your CTA performs, including first-person wording, the color of the button and even the placement on the page. Your best bet is to try different styles and wording and conduct split testing until you perfect your CTA.
One important feature you need on your website that isn’t anything at all is white space. If you clutter up your page with too much stuff, visitors may feel overwhelmed and bounce away from your site. An aesthetically pleasing site has a nice balance of positive and negative that allows the eyes a break from time to time and helps set off important content.
These are just 17 things every website owner should take a look at and implement where needed. However, many intricate components make up your site, and how those pieces work with your particular target audience varies. Your best course of action is to rework your site, conduct A/B testing and continuously make tweaks until your site visitors respond to your website design and features.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.