If your website isn’t converting visitors into customers, you have a large problem on your hands. Or perhaps you don’t yet have a website. Whatever your site conundrum, following the right protocol to create a more successful site can only do great things for your business. Incorporate these website design tips and increase your profits.
Website Designer Vs. Doing it Yourself
Are you tech savvy and a lover of learning new things? Do you have the patience of a monk? If you answered no to these questions, you might not be cut out for creating your own website and may benefit from hiring a professional web designer to get you started. If you do choose to make it yourself, you’ll need to understand a variety of things: word processors, image formatting, HTML code, the list goes on and on. If any of these terms made you shake in your boots, a professional is probably your best bet.
A Do It Yourself Platform
If you do decide to forge the path on your own, there are many software programs that can help you along with your website design goals. Many of them offer 24-hour customer service and support chat lines, which is essential—don’t buy one that doesn’t offer this. You are bound to have questions and bugs do happen, so it’s best you have someone on-call to help you throughout the process. Squarespace and Godaddy Website Builder both have dedicated users that commend their programming services, but there are dozens of others that you can easily find through a simple Google search.
A Web Professional
If you don’t have the time or energy to create a website on your own, or you’re simply interested in seeking the help of an experienced designer who has done similar projects before, then hiring a professional is your best bet. Selecting your web designer or team of designers isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. Make sure they’ve worked on websites before, talk to any references they’ve provided, and make sure you have similar communication styles—miscommunication can cause some definite website woes.
If you’re on a budget and can’t afford the steep fees many web designers can demand, your next best option is to approach local design students looking for experience. They will sometimes do it in exchange for college internship credit, and their payment fees are hundreds or thousands of dollars less than an established designer would charge.
Whether or not you choose to hire a designer, you’ll still need to make key decisions about how you want your website to look. There are some basic design rules that can get you started and help your site appeal more to web visitors.
The more white space you have, the more pleasant your website is to the eye, at least as a general rule. It will give your site a clean, uncluttered appearance that will keep customers clicking through.
You need to be aware of how you utilize space on your website. One of the easiest ways this can be messed up is through overloaded text. Keep your text concise, with varying lengths of sentences for a smooth read. Offer plenty of paragraph breaks and space between the lines to ensure the eye doesn’t become overwhelmed and view it as one mass.
Color is important, especially on your website. Take the time to choose colors that complement each other and your business aims. Using key hues from your company logo is always advisable, but there are plenty of online tools that can help you figure out your preferred color scheme.
One of the most important components to consider is the ease of navigation on your website. From site maps to drop down menus, tabs to home pages, making sure customers can get around your site easily is key to capturing high conversion rates.
Follow the Leader
One of the easiest ways to improve your site is to learn from those which are already successful. Look at modern web store examples (like the one below) to find things that you like about other companies and how you could best emulate their online tactics. If you do have a designer, direct their attention to these sites for more specific parameters on the type of layout and features you’re looking for.
In the screenshot below you can see how TouchofModern lays out their site content and the placement of other content and social features throughout their site. Having a perfect site design isn’t something that comes easy. Amazon.com is another example of a site that has perfected the art of online commerce and getting people to add more products during their shopping experience.
No matter what industry you are in, look at your competition and the leading sites to see what they are doing — and also how you can implement these changes and improvements into your own site.
You may be missing out on some essential website components that could be serving your business aims well, so incorporate these guidelines into your design or redesign process and make more sales. Maybe you want to require an email signup for access to the site to start curating a list of potential customers, or perhaps you’d like to make your website more interactive like this one. Whatever your product or service, there’s bound to be competitors out there who have sites that you can learn from.