We live in a digital age, which means the first interaction people are likely to have with your company is through your website. Your brand has one chance to make a good impression on potential clients. If it's been a while since you've updated your brand's website, or if you haven't given much thought to how your site looks and functions, it's time to go back to the basics. A well-designed website can make all the difference in converting leads and getting your brand's name on the map. Let’s get into what good web design looks like.
Helps People Find Your Site
Many people find companies' websites through a search. They might look for keywords that relate to what your brand has to offer, and, ideally, your site will appear at the top of the search results. But if your website design is lacking, search engines will skip over it when ranking sites.
There are a few reasons for this. While the search algorithms are constantly evolving, some things remain constant. One of those things is the value of a fast-loading website. If your site loads quickly, it will rank better on search, and more people will see it. The design of your website has a direct impact on its loading speed.
Another feature search engines look for when ranking sites is mobile-friendliness. Since most people access the web on their tablets or smartphones, sites optimized for those smaller screens perform better in search results. Again, the design of your site has a direct influence on how mobile-friendly it is.
Keeps People on Your Site
Finding your site is just the beginning. But getting a user to stay on your website is what matters most – web design helps with that. Think of it this way: A person is looking for something specific, such as a new pair of shoes to wear to an important job interview or a tent to bring on their next camping trip. The user will search for "business shoes" or "camping tents" and end up on your website.
You want them to stay long enough to find the shoes, tent, or whatever they need. If you're an eCommerce site, you want users to linger long enough that they put an item in their cart and follow through with the purchase. But if your site isn't designed well, or if it's difficult to browse your product offerings or to find the cart and checkout option, people will bounce before completing their purchase or giving you more information about themselves.
Good web design welcomes people in and guides them through the site. A well-designed site will keep people clicking and browsing for as long as possible. It's the key to conversions and furthering the relationship with customers.
Improves Your Reputation
Your brand's website is its calling card. It's often the first introduction people have to your company. How well your site looks and functions can reveal a lot about your brand and what it does. A site that's busy, cluttered, or slow to load is often a big turn-off to visitors. It gives the impression that your brand has too much going on and may not have a sense of purpose.
In contrast, a clean, fast-loading site appeals to people. It shows them that you care about how your brand looks to the public. In turn, they're likely to think that you'll take care of them as customers.
Web design sends a message. Suppose you visit a site that uses a font such as Comic Sans, what opinion do you form of the company? If you look at the company's about page or mission, does the use of that type of font match up with who the brand claims to be? Ideally, the design you choose and use for your site will align with how you want the public to perceive your brand.
Sets You Apart From Competitors
There are more than 1.5 billion websites online. That's a lot of competition. Your brand needs to do what it can to make its site stand out from the crowd and grab attention. Good design does just that. Think of two companies, both of which offer a similar product at similar price points. Company A has a website that hasn't been updated, isn't mobile-friendly, and uses outdated styles. There are also lots of large images on the site, so it loads slowly. Company B has a responsive site, which automatically adjusts based on the user's screen size. Its images are optimized and load quickly. Which site would you prefer to visit?
Customers are likely to visit and stay on sites that use good design. If you want to stay several steps ahead of your competitors, focus on creating a website that makes you stand apart and includes these important elements.
Elements of Good Web Design
Well-designed websites have several features in common. The elements of good web design include:
- Accessibility: Anyone who visits your site should be able to interact with it. That means using alt-tags to describe images and designing the navigation of the site so that people can move around using only a keyboard.
- User-friendliness: Don't make people guess when they visit your site. They should be able to find what they're looking for easily. Design elements such as visual hierarchy and an F-shaped reading pattern increase your site's user-friendliness while enhancing its design.
- Brand identity: It should be clear from the start that your website belongs to your brand. Using your company's logo and brand colors melds the website's design with your brand's identity.
With an attractive and easy-to-navigate website, your brand can stand out from the crowd and increase conversions.