by Gabriel Shaoolian
The ultimate goal of any website is to achieve results. While every business’ measurement of success might have varying key performance indicators, your goals for your website (or a client’s website) can often be achieved by utilizing the same effective design elements—regardless of your industry. If you’re trying to increase conversion rates, implementing a strategy that has a heavy focus on design is crucial to accomplishing your objective. Consider the following five essential design elements for a more lucrative website:
Calls-to-action are steps that you encourage your users to take on your website, and the actions that will help bring users into your sales funnel. The completion of a call-to-action (CTA) is how most businesses measure conversions. Whether you’re a B2C or a B2B, CTAs are crucial to business growth. That said, a poorly designed CTA that isn’t created with usability in mind won’t necessarily increase conversions in the same way that a user-centric one will.
With CTAs, simplicity is key. Users should never have to search for the button—it should be prominently displayed on the page, and always in close proximity to the core message that you’re delivering to your audience. Never anticipate that users will actively look for the button. Instead, make the process as easy as possible for them. Buttons should be bold and vibrant.
In a world that heavily relies on mobile and tablet devices, ensuring that your calls-to-action are optimized for users on those devices will be necessary to reach your entire audience. The buttons should be optimized for a smaller screen, where users are likely “clicking” the item with their finger, and not a mouse.
Click-to-Call Phone Numbers
The display of your phone number must be showcased on your website in an obvious location. On your mobile site, the number should be a click-to-call button. Click-to-call numbers make it easy for visitors to get in touch with you—providing instantaneous connection. Poorly-designed sites will often make the mistake of using image-based buttons to share their phone number, but this inconvenience can make it difficult for users attempting to connect with your business.
Searches that start on tablets or smartphones are growing immensely. Cater to that significant percentage of users, and tailor your site to the devices they are using to access your online business. Regardless of the industry you’re in, if users are looking at your website and gathering more information about your brand, products, or services, your phone number should be readily available for them to connect with your team. If they have difficulty finding your phone number, and there are other companies in your landscape that can provide similar offerings, users will go elsewhere.
Social Media Integration
To increase the visits to your website, social icons for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ should be visible on the homepage and blog for your business. When users can easily click a button and share an article or website they like with their friends, family, or colleagues, they’ll be far more likely to actually do so. Social platforms connect businesses with their audience in every industry. Active accounts with creative and intriguing posts will help establish brand credibility and brand recognition.
To bring more users to your website, it’s important to have an authoritative, optimized website. When your content is shared frequently, especially on top-tier, relevant media outlets, it can boost your search engine rankings and the overall visibility of your website.
It’s no surprise to a designer that choosing the right fonts can be instrumental to the overall branding of your business and success of your website. Elements such as font size, color, and typography all send messages about your company. In order to prove to your potential customers that your business is reliable, it’s important showcase the value behind your products and services—which is often done through concise messaging. If your messaging is excellent but is difficult to read because the font is too small, or your typeface is less readable, the concepts won’t resonate. Readers need content that is easy to digest, and choosing an appropriately-sized, clean font will help.
If you’re trying to highlight important areas of your site, font styling on core messages can draw the eyes to that particular section. Bolds and italics or header tags will help put emphasis on certain phrases that are significant. Select only a few key words or phrases to have as your “central” thoughts so that they have true value and importance, and remember that if every word is big or bold, they lose their value.
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Users come to your website looking to fulfil their needs. If they can’t access the solutions that you have to offer, whether you offer products or services, your efforts are meaningless. To be effective with your web presence, the navigation structure of your website needs to be simple and easy to use. By creating a route for users to follow and go on a specific journey through your site, your business can have control over how introductions with the brand are made.
Sites with a difficult-to-navigate structure are overwhelming to users and discourage further interaction. Users should always know what section of the site they’re on and how to return back to certain pages.
Building Websites for Success
By designing a website to include elements that are effective at fostering business growth and producing results, and a strong focus on usability, you can build a more successful online presence.
Gabriel Shaoolian is a digital trends expert and CEO and founder of Blue Fountain Media, a digital agency in NYC focused on growing brands online through effective websites and online marketing. From start-ups to Fortune 1000s, Blue Fountain Media helps generate more leads and increased brand recognition.
In The Strategic Web Designer, Christopher Butler will teach you how to think about the web, and in doing so, prepare you to lead web projects from the critical inception phase through to the ongoing nurturing process every website needs. That’s what web strategy is all about: having a comprehensively informed point of view on the web that enables you to guide a web project intentionally, rather than reactively.