Have you decided to start up a new website or completely redesign your current website? If so, it’s important to learn how to maximize the effectiveness of your design so you can get the most benefit from it. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not good enough for your website to look cool. To bring in traffic and customers, it also needs to be user-friendly, quick to load and fully functional.
There are more than 1.8 billion websites in existence, so you have a lot of competition. If you want to bring traffic to your site, you need to build a site that’s worthy of your holding your visitors’ interest. The best web designs anticipate and meet users’ needs. Whether people visit your website to make a purchase or learn more about a product, your site should guide them to what they want. Here are a few web design secrets your web designer may not tell you.
Building a Quality Website Doesn’t Have To Cost a Mint
One of the best-kept web design secrets is that building a quality website doesn’t require you to hand over your life’s savings. Many business owners believe they have to pay obscene amounts of money to hire the very best designers in the business. However, there are many great designers who charge reasonable prices for stellar work. To find them, check online review sites like Yelp or reach out to your professional contacts to find out what web designers they recommend.
When comparing prices for various designers, make sure you’re comparing similar packages. Some designers may charge similar rates for different packages. Choose the designer who offers the services and rates that most closely match what you want. If your site is going to have a lot of text, for instance, a designer who specializes in graphics may not be the best choice.
Testing Is Critical
You’d never release a consumer product before testing it on a portion of the general public, would you? Similarly, you should always test your website before launching it to make sure it’s received well. Failing to test can lead to embarrassment and a poorly performing site.
Testing, on the other hand, can help you catch weaknesses and problems. Once you identify weak areas, you can work to strengthen them even before launching your site. The importance of adequate testing is one of the key web design secrets you need to know about. Here are a few of the top website tests you should conduct before your big launch date:
- Images: Optimize every image for the web and label each one with alt-text and titles.
- Site Speed: If you’re uncertain whether your page loads fast enough, use Google’s site speed test to check. In addition to discouraging customers and losing out on potential sales, slow site speed can hurt your search engine ranking.
- Forms: Fill out any forms (contact us, request a quote, etc.) on your site and make sure they aren’t cumbersome. Are the instructions accurate and easy to follow? Is the form properly directed to the right person or department once submitted? Can you streamline the form in any way?
- Mobile-Friendliness: Did you know more than 48% of web page views around the world come from mobile devices? If your web page isn’t currently mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on huge traffic opportunities. Test how it looks on smaller and vertically oriented screens.
- Ease of Navigating: Make sure all your pages on your site are easy to navigate and functional. To do this, check every link and every page to make sure there are no error messages or broken links.
In addition to these tests, you should also test all content for accuracy, spelling, and grammar. If your content is sloppy, viewers won’t view you as a competent source of information. Ask your designer what other tests you should perform to make sure your website is the best it can be.
Load Times Affect Site Rankings
One of the top web design secrets is that load times are more important than you think. You probably already know that load times can discourage visitors from coming to your site. One survey shows that 53% of customers refuse to wait longer than three seconds for a page to load. The same survey showed that 47% became frustrated when page loading time exceeded two seconds. That’s a big deal whether you’re a startup company or an established business.
In addition to making your site visitors unhappy, did you know that slow load times can also have an impact on your site ranking performance? Google decided years ago that load time speed should factor into a page’s ranking algorithm. So, even though load time doesn’t have anything directly to do with search relevance, it can still help or hinder your rank.
Branding and Design Are Not the Same
If a web designer tells you that branding and design are the same thing, watch out! The two are vastly different skills. A professional who knows web design may not know how to communicate and interpret a brand identity, or vice versa. To make sure your site is properly branded, find a designer who has skills in both branding and design.
You Don’t Have To Be Unusual
Many businesses make the mistake of thinking their page needs to be completely different from all other websites if they want to be successful. This is faulty thinking and can cause you to go out of your way attempting to be one of a kind. One of the most surprising web design secrets is that some of the highest-performing websites are quite standard. They feature elements that other successful websites commonly use instead of trying to break the mold. People like familiarity. A website with familiar elements and design components can feel welcoming and comfortable to visitors.
Bad Content Can Sink the Best Website Design
Many business owners think content is secondary to good design. In reality, great content and good website design should always go hand in hand. If you get lazy with your content, your site will suffer even if it’s designed very well. First, make sure your content is free from errors and delivers quality information. Then, use good search engine optimization techniques to draw more traffic to your site.
SEO is a complicated process that leverages a variety of techniques to help websites rank higher in search engines. The higher your page ranks, the more visible you will be to potential customers. No one understands Google’s algorithm perfectly. However, SEO professionals do extensive research to figure out what factors help a page’s ranking and which may hinder it. Hire an SEO expert to help you with your website content if you don’t extensive knowledge of optimization techniques.
Find Out How Your Website Is Doing
Now that you know some of the top web design secrets, it’s time to find out how your site stacks up. Use our free website submission tool to see how effective your SEO strategy is and where improvements can be made! Or if you’re in need of some professional help, our affordable SEO services for small businesses will help you see results without breaking the bank. Speak with a digital marketing expert today!