The moment you decide to redesign your website is a pinnacle moment. But it’s important to remember that this shouldn’t be the only time you focus on improving your web presence. Since many online trends emerge at the drop of a hat, we don’t necessarily advocate hopping on every new trend you read about.
What we do advocate (strongly) is that you update your website on a regular basis. Regular updates are a crucial part of maintaining a proper web presence for your company, your brand and your business overall. In our digital age, regularly updating your website solidifies your business – it helps people take you more seriously and it helps you grow your company, no matter what type of industry you’re in.
Ideally, you should always be working to improve your website’s design and user experience, adding fresh content and making other strategic enhancements along the way.
Enhance Your Web Design
Good web design is a website’s foundation for success. Without it, your website visitors won’t stick around and convert to make that sale or make contact with you. But with good web design, you can encourage visitors to stay on your site for as long as you want them to, pointing them in the direction you want them to go and making the overall experience enjoyable, whether they’re reading an article or buying a pair of shoes.
On that note, here are 5 simple ways to improve your web design.
- Eliminate Clutter. The more effort your website visitors must put into deciphering what they should look at when they come to your website, the less likely they are to stay on your site and shop around or explore. Make it easier for everyone by eliminating clutter as much as you can – without sacrificing aesthetic value. Get rid of excess images, text, or anything else that draws attention away from where you want your visitors to go.
- Make Your Logo Shine. Your company logo is one of the most important elements that make up your brand. Because it plays such a critical role in the overall impression of your business, don’t skimp on it. Have your logo designed by a professional. Your finished logo should appear on your home page and be readily visible. You can also add it to the top left corner of each of your web pages and link it back to the home page (a popular web best practice).
- Make Navigation Easy. If you expect your website visitors to convert and buy products or make contact, you’ve got to make it easy for them to do that. Think intuitively when you outline the user experience for your site. Feature your most important links in the primary navigation. Links that are less important can live in the footer. Add helpful buttons and calls to action that point the user in the direction you want them to go.
- Implement Responsive Design. Millions of people use smartphones and other mobile devices to access the Internet and browse the web. Responsive web design adapts to the device a website visitor is using at the time they access your site – which means they will have a better experience and are more likely to convert if you use responsive web design.
- Use Images and Color with Care. This is a must if you want visitors to enjoy their experience and return to your site. Neutral colors are best for the most part (adding minimal dashes of bold color can help liven it up). Images should be clear and professionally done – they should enhance the user’s experience rather than detract from the ideal path.
Think Like Your Target Market
The best possible way to find out how to improve your individual website is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What do they want? How do they think? Ask yourself these questions and go through your website step by step to see what the experience would be like if you were the customer. Pretend you know nothing about your own products or business and judge the experience from there.
Since it’s pretty difficult to forget everything you know about your own business, it’s a good idea to test your website on a regular basis. In fact, if you really want to improve your website, just read what Google has to say about it.
Not only does Google advocate testing, they’ll help you do it with Google Analytics. With tools in Analytics you can test different types of content and different designs to see what your visitors like and interact with more. How do you know whether “Learn More” or “Get an Estimate” works better to encourage visitors to click on a button? You test it and find out.
Making sure web pages load quickly is important, too. Regardless of your target market, most people who use the Internet don’t want to sit and wait for a website to load.
Last but not least, optimize your website for search engines by using relevant terms and information. Not only are you more likely to turn up in Google’s search results this way, your customers will find you more easily – which is exactly what you want to happen.