10 ways to improve your website design
Does your website showcase your products or services within five seconds of a user landing on it? If not, then it’s time to review and improve your web design.
That’s why we’ve decided to create a list of our top ways to improve your website design. Please remember though, these are our recommendations based on our own experiences.
As a web design agency, we work with a lot of clients and design a lot of websites. One practice that works well for one site but might not work as well for another. Each project is unique, but all have the design elements that compliment the design.
1. Upgrade to a responsive design
If your website has been active for a while, then its time to upgrade to a responsive web design. With more and more web users browsing using smartphones and tablets, it’s important that your website can perform properly.
As of December 2016, 51% of Internet users now browse websites using a mobile device, up 30% from 2015. In 2018, it’s predicted that 80% of all the Internet usage will be via a mobile device, so now is the time to incorporate a responsive design.
Older websites that haven’t been upgraded with a responsive design will show up in desktop view when viewed on a mobile device. This means that web users will have to zoom in on the screen, whilst sliding left and right to read all the content.
This quickly becomes tiring and many readers will leave. Not only does this reflect badly on your brand, but also it increases your bounce rate, which will have a negative impact on your search engine rankings.
2. Choose a simple layout
When you’re updating your website, it’s important to remember that you’re not trying to impress your customers with your design, you’re trying to showcase how beneficial your products and services are.
Not only does keeping the layout simple help showcase your products, it also helps to increase the whitespace on each page and improve the user journey. The user journey is improved through easier navigation, whilst information can easily be found throughout.
3. Include social sharing buttons
As with the responsive design, if your website has been live for a few years you might not have included social sharing buttons on each of the pages.
This works well when you have specific products or services to sell to your prospective clients. Companies that focus on selling lifestyle services or products should definitely consider utilising social media platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest.
Including social sharing buttons also helps your customers to promote your products to their own followers online. This helps to increase both your brand awareness and reach.
If your business wants to utilise social media, but you’re not sure you’ve got the time or know-how, then we can help. We’re always happy to discuss social media with our readers, so get in touch with a member of our team here.
Likewise, we’ve recently written a blog post on which social media site is right for your business.
4. Update your Call to Actions
For any business, the Call to Action (sometimes written as CTA) is vital as it helps direct your readers in a specific direction or encourages them to take a specific action.
Examples of CTAs include:
- Download our free PDF guide here
- Click here for more information
- Request a call back here
- Book your free consultation here
- Take a look at our portfolio of work here
- Contact a member of our team here
CTAs can either be written into the body copy of the page, or added into its own separate banner. You’ll notice if you take a look throughout our portfolio, the vast majority of our websites have CTAs included in their own banner images.
This is because they are more likely to be noticed by a reader, especially if they’ve been styled in such a way that they stand out from the rest of the web design.
5. Don’t forget your contact details
Contact details are vitally important when it comes to improving your websites’ design. When a customer has a specific question about a product or service you provide, how would you like them to get in contact with you? Would you prefer email, telephone calls, maybe even a live chat feature?
Most businesses have a dedicated telephone number that they use for all sales calls, so make sure this is displayed prominently on each page. One of the best places to have this contact information is above the main navigation bar.
6. Use imagery to your advantage
Stock images are great most of the time, but if you’re selling a specific product or promoting a course, occasionally the staged elements can have a negative impact.
If you have a team working with you, then why not use images (with their permission) of them in the office instead of the generic stock imagery? If you do have the budget available, then you might want to consider a custom photo shoot with a professional photographer.
Sometimes a combination of real-life images and stock imagery can yield the best results. If you need images that are abstract or show a specific location, then stock imagery is your best option.
7. Redefine your navigation
In our own experience, websites that have too many sub menus (or even sub-sub-menus in some cases) are more difficult to navigate compared to those that only have a few.
Users want to be able to get to any information within seconds, they don’t want to have to search through pages and pages of content. Try not to give them too many options, but if you do have to then make sure that you include hyperlinks in your content.
8. Introduce more whitespace
This does link into simplifying your websites’ design, but if you do have a lot of content that needs to be published, then you need to introduce more white space into your web design.
Often referred to as “dead space”, white space helps users to navigate throughout each page, ultimately improving the user experience of your site.
Separating out each of the sections also helps to group together key pieces of information in easily digestible chunks. Instead of looking sparse, introducing more white space into a design helps to give it a refined, polished look.
With so many websites launched every day, it can be hard to maintain your competitive edge. One way to ensure you stay one step ahead of your competition is to optimise your site for search engines.
From carefully selected keywords to optimised imagery, there are so many ways you can continue the climb towards page one rankings.
Whilst you’re in the initial planning stages of your web design project, make sure that you have a solid SEO plan set in place. This will incorporate how often you’re going to be reviewing your site traffic, updating your content and re-evaluating your keywords.
For more information on how to define your SEO strategy, why not take a look at this guide written by Moz.
10. Review, review, review
It may be the most satisfying feeling in the world, but hitting publish and leaving your website to go into the world on its own isn’t a great way to maintain a productive site.
You should take the time to review your website design every month, including any content or imagery that could have become out of date, keyword performance and broken hyperlinks.
However it’s not just the content that you need to review, you need to make sure that any plug-ins that you’ve used haven’t updated and broken, or the theme hasn’t developed any functionality problems.
Redesigning a website doesn’t have to be an arduous process, you just need to tackle each individual component and apply them to the whole. Take a careful note of what needs to be changed and how you’re going to achieve it.
If all else fails, ask for help. It’s your website and you need to make sure it thrives in the competitive Internet world. If you’re still struggling to update your own website, then why not ask our team to do it for you? You can get in touch with us, we’re more than happy to help.
So there we have it, 10 easy ways to improve your website design. What do you think? Have we covered everything off or is there anything we’ve missed?
We’d love to hear your thoughts, so let us know in the comments below to share your own experiences. Alternatively, give us a Like on Facebook here or follow us on Twitter here to join in the conversation.