Website Design Essentials
Graphics Should Be Optimized To Ensure Good Page Load TimeGenerally speaking, you want your graphic formats to be as small as possible without sacrificing quality or user-friendliness. Even with the growing popularity of broadband connections, a lot of people still use dial-up – these could be potential users or customers that you don’t want to lose because your website isn’t loading fast enough for them. There’s also all of the mobile traffic to take into account. Mobile devices can yield slow page load times, and if you have overly large images and graphics on your site, you’re likely to see a high mobile bounce rate (the rate at which users quickly leave your site after entering it).
Make Your Website Design Sleek, Simple, & IntuitiveThe next big thing that’s going to increase your bounce rate is having a website that looks cluttered, convoluted, and unnecessarily complicated. This also distracts users from your main goal – creating conversions (newsletter sign-ups, contact form submissions, etc.). Instead, users will be spending too much time trying to figure out what your website is even about Your site should be easy to navigate. Don’t leave users wondering – even for a second – how to navigate from a parent page to a child page. Have a global navigation menu set up on your website that contains all of the most important hierarchies on your website. Usually, navigation menus include Services, Products, About Us, Contact Us, Patient Portal, etc.
Websites Should be Designed With the Understanding That People Are ImpatientIt only takes a few seconds for the average person to decide if they want to continue reading or navigating a site, or try a different one. This decision can be based on a number of factors, like the clarity and explicitness of the message or the intuitiveness of the user interface. Don’t meander, don’t digress, don’t take long to get to the point. You want the most important elements up front and at the top of the page. Only then will users decide to stay on, scroll down, and play around on your site. That said, don’t be tempted to cram all the important elements right at the top, either. Remember what we described above – don’t overcrowd your site! Structure things in a way that grabs a user’s attention upfront, then lead them deeper into your site and onto a conversion.
Structure Your ContentNo one likes hitting a website only to find a giant wall of text. Establish a clear structure to your content – start with comprehensive heading titles and then structure your content with subsequent H1, H2, and H3 titles. Also, include bullet-pointed lists, highlight important messages, and insert images where appropriate. You want your content to be scannable – the overall message should be able to be interpreted with a quick look-over, then users can begin to dissect it piece by piece.
Your Website Design Shouldn’t Have Color Schemes That Strain the User’s EyesYou want your text to stand out and to be easily read. For instance, don’t put red text over an orange background. Also, you don’t need to go overboard with different colors. Again, keep your design simple and intuitive – you don’t want your website looking too “busy”.
Put Calls-To-Action In All the Right PlacesA call-to-action is any message that invites the user to do something:
- Contact Us
- Fill Out Our Form
- Leave a Review
- Sign Up for Our Newsletter
Have a Flexible Website Design That Is Easy To Update & MaintainOwning a website is an on-going job. It requires constant updates and maintenance. For this reason, it’s best to create a website that can be modified easily.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)Above are the essentials when it comes to creating a website design with a good user interface that people will like. However, once you get the design down, you want to make sure your website is as search-optimized as possible.
Include Local Search Terms in Your ContentGoogle and other search engines show results to users based on the website’s content; they interpret what’s on the website and look for terms that match the user’s search query. This means you want possible keywords (search terms) included in your content. Let’s say you own a landscaping company located in Des Moines, Iowa. You want people to find your website, so think in terms of a local resident who needs a landscaping company but doesn’t know who to choose. What would you do? You’d likely open Google and type in Des Moines Landscaping Companies – that’s a keyword. Include it and others like it in the content of your website.
Fill Out All MetadataMetadata is “data about data”. This helps search engines understand what your website is about and return it to users based on their search queries. Be sure to fill out:
- Title tags – These are brief titles that appear in the search results that explain what users will find on the page.
- Meta descriptions – These are brief descriptions that appear underneath title tags and further explain what users will find on the page.