A website should communicate what your company does to someone who visits it within the first few seconds. It should be easy to navigate to your blog if a user wants to. Do you provide pricing on your website and is it easy to understand? Is the bounce rate for your website very high? These are some of the issues and questions you will have when designing a website in 2020.
14 Best practices for designing a website
A website is not only design nor is it only content. The design is to help users find your content through a smooth user experience. Your website needs to clearly communicate with your audience what you do and how you do it. So how do you improve your design in 2020? Discover a few tips that ensure you’re doing the right thing and not chasing visitors away.
1. Plan your website
A website design needs to be according to a plan. A design without a plan will not be effective in meeting the needs of your visitors. You should keep in mind what kind of website you are building. A company website should have company information easy to find. An eCommerce website should help visitors find products which are being sold easily. Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and plan your website to fulfill the concerns they might have.
2. Declutter your website
There are a few things that might look good on a website but might not serve the purpose of your website and the message you are trying to convey. Look at complicated animations, long content sections and familiar stock website images. The purpose of a website is to communicate and communicate well.
One method of seeing if your website is well planned an uncluttered, is to see if you can find what your website communicates in under 10 seconds. This can be done with short content sections, taglines, infographic images, icons and clear headers. You should also take this time to make sure your content does not have jargon.
An example of words to avoid are next generation, flexible, robust, scalable, cutting edge, state of the art etc. These words are used by thousands of companies for their websites and does not help in making your content look good.
3. Connect your social media accounts
Having planned your website to work with good content will not be enough if you have no method of sharing what you have. Your website should have social share buttons especially on content that is generated from your blog. Social sharing buttons a tiny buttons that encourage people to share your website or block content directly from the website.
4. Make Clear Call to actions
An implementation of a good call to action section will help simplify the process for new users to your website. A call to action functions as a sign to users telling them what they need to do on your website. For example: if your business sells hosting space, a call to action button might direct users to information about your hosting plans. Another call to action button might direct them do buying the cheapest plan on your website.
5. Images on your website
The images that you use on your website should be communicating exactly what your website is. There are a lot of places you can find royalty free images to use. Stock pictures might work in some situations, but it is best to use images of real people as that will invoke trust in your company. If stock images must be used, then they should be carefully chosen to match what your content is saying.
A website that has clear and concise navigation is King. It should not take more than 3 clicks to arrive at any content on your website. A clear menu on the Top or a hamburger menu which is implemented well is the characteristic of a good website. A planned website or website plan should include a lean navigation plan. Do not aim to put more than 2 levels of drop-downs in your menu bar.
7. Home page scrolling
The time where less content or above the fold content was the way to go is over. You may choose a single page website design to help new and recurring users find information that they need. A single page website can contain the following items
- Vision statement and Values
- Services provided or product features
- About us or who are we
- Testimonials or what our customers say about us
- Case studies and success stories
- Contact information or contact form
8. White space is good
Do not be afraid to integrate extensive white spaces in your website. White space or negative space tends to emphasize content that this around. This also helps in making your content readable and we’ll organize it well. If some of your pages lack white-space, review the content and strip elements that are unnecessary. This helps you group content properly so that users can distinguish what they want.
9. Mobile responsive
Most of the website traffic you will get will be from mobile devices. It is critically important that you optimize your website for the mobile. If your website is well optimized users are likely to come back more. Most design ideologies design for mobile first and then for the desktop.
Always keep evaluating your website for key metrics such as conversions, bounce rates, heat Maps. These will help you find out how your pages are performing. Changes to the website might be as simple as changing a color of a button so that it stands out better, adding more space between titles so that content is visible, but removing a social feed so that performance is faster and so on. These tests help you evaluate how users I are interacting with your website and help you serve them better.
11. Broken links
If your website has been around for a while and if you have a blog that has been consistently been updated, chances are that you might have broken links on older content. Take the time to evaluate your website for broken links. You might find that some pages might now have broken links because the content they were referring does not exist anymore. You can use tools like screaming frog to evaluate your website. Make sure that links within your website are not broken.
12. Mobile applications
As an optional feature if your company has a mobile application let first time visitors know about it. If your website content is being served through the application, then direct mobile users to the application.
13. Ad blockers
Everybody seems to be using ad blockers, so if you are monetizing your website this will hurt margins as adblockers will block advertisements. Implement a module that checks for an ad blocker and asks the user to unblock the website.
14. Optimize your layout
Many screens the desktops use is wide or ultra-wide in size and more than 800 pixels. Design your website so that you take advantage of the extra real estate.
These steps can help your website really stand out and perform better in 2020. Remember to test, redesign and rinse and repeat. Having a good website and optimized content can make all the difference in helping you improving your visibility and getting new leads. Another option is to use a good website provider