An effective website can do a lot for your business. It will help you attract new clients, provide information, and show people that you’re a legitimate, professional business.
It sounds easy, but there’s actually a lot that can go wrong with your website. A poor design, slow loading speed and poor functionality are enough to send anyone running for the hills.
Your business is where your expertise lies. And while you might know a lot about running a business, things like web design can leave you puzzled. Understanding what makes a website appealing, how to make it run effectively and what content it needs takes some research and a lot of hard work.
If your idea of a cool and effective website is writing everything in Comic Sans, then this article is for you. Here are some tips for creating an on-trend website that will appeal to web users in 2022.
Wait, what’s wrong with Comic Sans?
Back in the 1990s, long before iPhones and Netflix were a part of daily life, there was Comic Sans. Launched as one of the limited number of fonts available through Windows, Comic Sans was the quirky, child-like alternative to the stuffy Times New Roman that became the default for documents all over the world.
Flash forward to today, and Comic Sans is the often-mocked older sibling of today’s limitless selection of fonts. While it may be popular with teachers, you can be sure that Comic Sans is not a font you want to be associated with for your website.
You can read more about the rise and fall of Comic Sans here.
The importance of effective web design
Websites are often compared to shop windows, and with good reason. They’re designed to represent your business and create a positive first impression. When someone lands on your website, they need to be able to navigate it easily and find the information they want. Whether they’re making a purchase or an enquiry, their experience of your website should be simple and hassle-free.
Effective web design is easier than ever thanks to easy to use applications and content management systems. or you could use a web design company to create a quality, on-trend website for your business. Experts will be able to advise on the type of design and content that works for your business, and carry out the job for you.
Whichever option you choose, it helps to understand the principles of effective web design to ensure the finished product is exactly what your business needs.
Creating a website that works
Choose a name that’s easy to remember
Choosing a website name should undergo a more considered approach than the email address you created at age 11! It should be:
- Reflective of your business, such as its name, if available.
- Be easy to remember.
- Contains no alternate spellings.
- Is as short as possible.
Your website name will appear everywhere, from your email addresses to your promotional material. Getting it right is important – it can be difficult to change further down the line.
Keep the design clean and simple
A website doesn’t have to be full of bells and whistles to be effective. A clean, simple design is considered contemporary and appeals to a lot of web users. If you look at examples of clean web design, you’ll see that the websites are easy to read and eye-catching. They’re also far from boring. A clean web design will help keep your website relevant so that you won’t need to keep updating the design every year.
Factor in different devices
While you might think of your website design with a computer in mind, the truth is that mobile browsing has overtaken a desktop or laptop as the most popular way to browse the internet. People look at websites on their phones, tablets, game consoles and even their televisions, and that’s something that needs to be factored into your web design.
A responsive web design helps cater for all users, making it more likely that people will take the time to browse your website than visit a competitor’s page instead.
Use striking visuals
Striking visuals catch a user’s attention and make your website look high-quality and professional. The right visuals, whether they’re graphics or photography-based, will elevate your website and create a look that appeals to users.
However, there is a fine line between striking imagery and too much imagery. Less is more when it comes to your website’s main visuals, so keep things simple to ensure your website remains easy to use.
Highlight your products and services
If your business sells products or services, then your website is the place to highlight them. Consumers like to carry out detailed research before they buy a product or service, and the more they can find out about it from you directly the better.
To create an effective product page, you should include a detailed description, provide photographs, videos and even suggestions for how to use the product. There are some effective product page designs that can give you inspiration for how to display your own.
Adopt simple navigation
When someone lands on your website, you hope they will use it to navigate to where they want to go. Whether that’s straight to your products or services, or to learn more about your business, it should be easy for them to get there.
Simple navigation keeps in with your website’s simple design, and it stops your visitors from wasting their time. If something becomes too difficult to find, you can be sure that they’ll exit and look elsewhere.
A search function is also a must for your website. Make sure it’s somewhere visible and that it has the right filters for people to help find exactly what they’re looking for.
Create strong, engaging copy
Writing for the web is a different process from writing an essay or a novel. People’s attention spans are short, so you need to make sure that the copy on your website hooks in the reader and tells them what they want to know in a way that’s easy to understand.
You might want to employ a copywriter to help you put copy together for your website, especially if you run a small business. It takes time to craft copy that sells, but you can learn more about writing website copy to help you do it yourself.
Make it SEO-friendly
After creating a beautiful website, you need to make sure that people can find it. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) helps your website appear in web searches, and includes a number of factors including the copy used on your website, to decide if it’s relevant to people’s search queries. The better your SEO, the better your search ranking will be.
While SEO can be complicated, there are SEO basics you can adopt to help your website get seen.
Have clear calls to action
Your website should display clear calls to action to help people take an action easily. A lot of business websites will show a contact form or a quote generator on their homepage, or a sign-up to a newsletter.
With a visible call to action in place, you’re more likely to provoke a response from the user and convert those website leads.
Make security a priority
Security is one of the most important elements of your website. While it might not be as obvious as your visuals, security is something that needs to be factored into your website from the very beginning.
There are a lot of things you can do to keep your website secure. From stronger passwords to SSL certificates, you’ll want to make sure you’ve taken all of the necessary steps to keep your business and customers’ data safe. Consulting with a web security company will help ensure your business has the right protection in place and that it is always protected from the latest threats.
Keep it updated
After taking all of the steps to create a stand-out website, you don’t want to then let it date easily or become neglected. It’s important that your website is regularly updated to keep it relevant and ensure that your visitors are accessing the latest information. A news or blog page is a handy way of updating your website regularly, with the bonus of boosting your SEO too.
Having a content plan as part of your business’s marketing activities will help you keep your website up to date, and makes your website a firm part of your ongoing strategy.
Creating the best possible design for your website will bring many benefits to your business. Incorporating a strong website, sans Comic Sans, will help attract visitors and keep them engaged during their visit, helping you to convert them into customers. Whether you employ experts to help you or you take on the job yourself, pay attention to the websites you visit and see what catches your eye to help you decide on the perfect design for your own website.