The success of a website is largely dependent on how it has been designed. Remember, it’s the face of your online business and it’s the first thing potential leads see when they visit your site. Therefore, if it’s poorly designed it could end up costing your business.
The right website design will include detailed elements intended to guide visitors through a sales funnel and encourage them to convert.
The two major factors that determine how effective a website design is are visual appearance and usability. A properly designed website will always keep a good balance between aesthetics and usability.
In this article, we are going to share with you 7 website design principles that should help take your local business site to the next level.
1. Choose a simple design.
An overly designed website is just too busy for the average user to deal with. Including too many unnecessary elements will only distract visitors from doing what they came there to do.
Choosing a simple design, on the other hand, works wonders. It’s able to quickly establish trust with your website visitors and get the job done. It also helps visitors navigate from one page to another rather seamlessly.
What’s more, a simple web design helps in quick loading times. And, did you know that Google gives preferential treatment to websites that load quickly? As a matter of fact, page speed is one of Google’s key ranking factors.
2. Make use of the right color combinations.
Did you know that colors have an influence on the human psychology? Colors can evoke different moods and feelings, and this can spar interest, generate certain emotions, stir up different emotions and reactions, create ideas, and express certain messages.
For instance, too many colors can make a place feel hot and stifling, while too much of cool colors can evoke a cold or aloof feeling.
Bright colors like red, pink, orange, and yellow help create a feeling of positiveness and happiness. Conversely, dark ones are associated with sadness and malevolence.
Therefore, when designing your website, keep colors in mind. Choose the ones that help meet your business goals rather than the ones that you fancy.
3. Keep the 8-second rule in mind.
Most websites lose more than half of their visitors within the first eight seconds of them landing there. While eight seconds doesn’t seem to be quite a lot, for someone who is surfing and browsing through sites, just the first look of a website is usually enough for them to lose interest in it.
We are no longer patient as a human race. The days of patiently looking through a website to find out more about it are over. Nowadays, web visitors are looking to be impressed. And if you fail to do that, they will immediately leave your site and go somewhere else.
The following are a couple of things to help grab visitors’ attention and keep them on your site.
- Optimize your headlines. Make them short, sweet, and on point.
- Make use of great images that are in line with what your content is all about.
- Use clear, simple, and large call-to-action buttons. You may also want to incorporate hover effects, too.
- Include interactive videos and audios.
- Make your content enticing and engaging by using power words.
- Consider using animated popups when visitors are trying to leave your page. This can help re-engage them and help you continue keeping them on your site.
4. Use high-quality images.
Low-quality images are not only boring and unprofessional, but they are also poor in converting site visitors. High-quality images, on the other hand, just do the opposite. In fact, according to Skyword, high-quality pictures can help you get 94% more views.
What’s more, according to a survey by BrightLocal.com, it was found that 60% of consumers are more likely to click on search results that have images.
Fortunately, there are many sites that provide high-quality images. They include Unsplash, Superfamous Studios, Negative Space, Gratisography, Little Visuals, and Pexels.
5. Understand the F pattern layout.
Every design has a flow. An F-shaped pattern helps people scan a website more easily by creating a design with good visual hierarchy. Scientific studies, in fact, show that website visitors navigate a website in an F-shaped pattern.
The F pattern layout heavily favors the left side of the screen. It dictates that visitors first read a page in a horizontal direction, mostly the upper content area, and then move down the page and read across the second horizontal line before finally scanning the left side of the content area.
To make maximum use of the F pattern, here are some things you could do:
- Make use of short sentences and paragraphs.
- Use headers and subheaders that give a quick and informative tease of what’s to come.
- Make use of elements that create a natural pause. These elements include bountiful spacing, hyperlinks, bolded text, images, and bullet points.
- Cover only one idea per paragraph, using bullets as much as possible.
6. Make use of directional cues.
Directional cues help point towards call-to-action and are therefore prominent. Whether explicit or suggestive, they help grab attention and direct visitors towards some sort of action.
Suggestive directional cues are rather subtle and make use of imagery while explicit directional cues make use of lines or arrows. But no matter which of these you use, the goal should be to help direct visitors towards a call-of-action on a given landing page.
7. Have a goal in mind.
Be crystal clear on what you aim to achieve with your web design. Your online business can have a range of goals, from online sales to lead generation, But, your ultimate goal should be, needless to say, to promote your brand and help with income generation.
With the competition being ever so fierce, you need to utilize anything and everything that makes your online business stand out. And keeping these 7 principles in mind when designing your website can help you do just that.