Have you noticed a high-ranking website built from old-school HTML codes, or sites built using Adobe Flash?
I bet not often.
Web design practices have come a long way, and each year some new standards and features greatly enhance the website and its design.
With this, the best website practices continuously change. As a website owner, you have to go with the trend to meet the search engine’s demands and website visitors.
Our websites are our storefront 24/7– it reflects our brand personality. Our target audience can easily judge our products or services just by looking at our site. That’s why it is essential to have a good impression. It is our goal to have an appealing, effective, and intuitive web design.
It applies to have a physical store, right? We want it to be aesthetically pleasing to attract customers. If you care about your web traffic and want to have an active online presence, you have to ditch the old web design trends– give what the viewers and search engine are looking for.
How to start revamping your website? Right here:
Best Web Practices
- Consistent Branding
- Design for User Experience (UX)
- Reduce Giving Out Website Choices
- Make CTA Buttons Highly Visible
- Use Negative Space = Clean Design
- Mobile-Friendly Design
- Write Valuable Website Content
- Prioritize SEO
- Fast Page Loading Speed
- Secure Website
Brand identity is a crucial factor in having an efficient online presence. It is the foundation of your business, so you need to keep it consistent across all customer touchpoints and their moments of truth, including the website.
Make it consistent from the color scheme, icons, to your logo. The same way goes with the voice and contents your website provides. It should be aesthetic and valuable.
If you laid out a consistent branding, you would see your marketing efforts pay off and build brand equity.
Design for User Experience (UX)
In User Experience, you have to enhance user satisfaction by improving the accessibility, usability, and pleasure they get from interacting with your product or service. The product or service we are talking about that the users will interact with is your website.
That’s why, when designing your website, you have to think about your target audience. Your web design should be simple and easy to navigate to make your visitors efficiently interact with it. Poor designs will make your visitors leave off of your website.
For you to effectively provide the best user experience, your website should be:
- Credible: People should trust you. You have to present your website with the authority and expertise to earn their trust.
- Desirable: Make your website reflect your brand the best way possible.
- Usable: Let the web visitors easily use and navigate your website
- Useful: Create original and valuable content to fulfill the needs of your visitors.
But, what would you do if the result of your User Experience is not what you desire?
- Know what to fix: Check the “useless page elements” on Google Analytics. You would determine the web pages with the highest bounce rate and buttons with the lowest click rates.
- Plan the full website structure: You might want to start modifying the website’s code, but before doing so, make sure to have a detailed plan of the website structure. It is tricky to make all the changes without a mindmap.
- Determine the needs of your audience: The function of User Experience is inter-related to customer psychology. Even if you have designed your web comfortably, the audience may not still like it. Perform A/B testing, there might be one element on the site that affects their opinion, and changing it might affect the conversion rate.
If you assess the needs of the audience and identify some mistakes in your web design, you will save time and money! Research on the early stages of User Experience development to have a foundation.
Reduce Website Choices
You have to lessen or avoid giving out too many products or services on your homepage. According to Hick’s Law, analysis paralysis may happen when website visitors are given too many choices. It makes them paralyzed to make a decision on which to choose.
It would be best to have them focused on your Call to Action (CTAs). Your CTAs may direct them to vital landing pages, opt-in forms, or to the product page.
Make the website choices to a minimum to gain higher conversion rates.
Make CTA Buttons Highly Visible
It is a general practice for web designs to make the CTA button attention-grabbing and accessible in the content. In creating content, the most challenging is applying an innovative CTA button that does not disturb.
Matthew Woodward did an observational study of CTAs. He measures the efficiency of color combinations applied to CTA buttons by their conversion rates. The marketer applied four different color combinations on the button before he made the final change.
First combination: Blue and black
Second combination: Red and black
Third combination: Purple and black
Fourth combination: Orange and black
Below is the results of the study
With the results, the study concluded that classic colors gain more conversion rates than the others. The red and black combination achieved about 52% conversion rate. Meanwhile, the other color combination only had below 48%.
If you implemented a bright background color, make sure that the CTA will remain in a neutral color and readable text.
Aside from the color of the CTA button, you have to take note of these few things:
- Make it clear. Your CTA should contain the message that will entice the target audience. Giving out a clear message will set the stage for your CTA.
- Provide opt-out choices. Assure the consumers that they can cancel the service subscription anytime.
- Place it in a highly visible location. Aside from using a catchy color combination, make sure the CTA is visible and easy to locate.
Get your uses into action with your highly visible CTA, and you will appreciate the results.
Use Negative Space = Clean Design
Websites need to have a clean, scannable design and digestible content.
Being sensitive to the cognitive load of web visitors is an excellent website practice. You do not want to welcome with explosive colors and images, right? It makes our eyes hurt. We cannot deny that clean design and meaningful content is appealing to our eyes.
You should establish a visual hierarchy on the arrangement of the design elements. Also, it is crucial to effectively use white space or negative space between layout elements, texts, and visuals
Below is an example of negative space
Let your website breathe. Do not use a cramped up template– apply negative spaces between content and design elements. A breathable website is appealing to visitors.
Apply padding and spaces between headings, texts, and images. Negative space will make your content scannable and digestible.
Do not think twice about having a mobile-friendly design. More than 50% of Internet traffic comes from mobile usage. Having a mobile-friendly website helps you reach out and engage more with your target audience. However, there are things you need to remember when designing for mobile.
Mobile screens are not large and wide like desktops, allowing users to interact with the content differently. Luckily, we have stumbled across a recent report by Google that shares helpful tips on optimizing mobile designs. Make use of this crucial point:
The first screen should contain actions. You would notice that web developers and designers usually apply sliders or larger banners on the desktop version. When you view the website on your phone, the large banners will cover a large portion of the screen.
You have to optimize the sliders and banners into mobile design standards. If you fail to do this, the web visitors cannot take a good look at your website. Apply your CTA on the first page, and do not use vague CTA.
Without a mobile-friendly website, it would be hard to survive in the competition. Mobile usage has become a standard and not optimized for mobile will make you lose traffic.
Write Valuable Website Content
Aside from web design, the most crucial factor is making it appealing to the search engine, and converting more visitors is the content. Some may find it hard to balance content and web design. So, here are some of the tips:
Visitors are on your website to have more information about your company and the products or services. How can you create high-quality content for your service page?
- Discuss the product or services you offer
- The features and specifications of the product or service
- Discuss what they will benefit from selecting your product or service
Those are some of the points you should emphasize in your service page content. More so, you can write educational content that discusses in-depth information about your product or service. You can provide answers or solutions to common problems or questions related to your product or service. Provide guides as some customers want to know more about how to use the service or product.
By writing valuable content, you are educating consumers, increasing brand awareness, and helping your website rank higher.
Our main goal is to land on a high-rank on the search engine results page and drive more web traffic, right? Prioritizing and integrating the best practices of SEO will likely give you that result.
You can apply target keywords throughout your website. Make sure to use the right keywords by searching for them. Make your content speak to your users to gain more organic traffic. Here are some takeaways to optimize your website for search engines:
Responsive design: Google rewards better SERP rankings for websites that have highly responsive designs.
Relevant header tags: Header tags or H1 are the page headline. The search engine will target H1 for keywords. Make sure to include the keyword on your headline. But, do it naturally. Remember, your visitors are real people.
Descriptive URLs: Make your URL readable and naturally apply the keywords.
Proper tags and meta descriptions: Search engines will understand the content and properly index it if there are relevant title tags and meta descriptions. These are shown whenever your page appears in the search engine results.
Acquire relevant links from high-quality websites: Linking authority websites to your site will bring new users and increase overall traffic.
Increase your organic traffic and gain more consumers by integrating SEO principles.
Fast Page Loading Speed
Did you know that about 50% of the web visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds? If the loading process takes more than 3 seconds, they will most likely leave the site.
Three seconds is all it takes to lose a potential consumer.
Websites that contain several designs and features load slower than a leaner site. Using multiple typefaces, font sizes, media, and animation can slow down your website. Carefully consider the elemnts of the design to avoid slowing down your website unnecessarily.
Whether you are selling products online or not, your website has to be secured. Your target audience will not visit you if it is not secured. More so, it is not only for the safety of your web visitors but also for the security of the website itself.
Several websites are leaked every year. Why? It is because of:
- Compromised weak passwords
- Data leaks
- Insecure plugins or out of date themes
- Lacking security updates
- Security policy loopholes
Do your website and visitors a favor. Take these proactive steps:
- Install an SSL Certificate to have an encrypted connection to your website.
- Set a security plugin that is highly compatible with your website.
- Make sure that your CMS platforms and plugins are in their latest version.
Is it Worth to Update with the Best Website Practices?
With this question, you are likely asking, is it worth the time, money, and effort to update my website that is already giving me the results I want over a couple of years?
Our answer is a solid YES.
More than half of the website visitors express their opinion about web design. They claim that one of the factors that can help them determine the credibility of a business is their web design.
Each year, thousands of new websites are launched with unique web designs. Each of these designs creates an impact on the visitors, and it effectively has outdone the competitors who are using outdated designs.
Remember, neglecting your website for a year is relatively jeopardizing your business.