9 Core Principles of Effective Website Design
For small business owners making the decision to invest in a either a professional website for the first time or to makeover their existing website can be daunting, there are a number of important elements to consider; often when overlooked decrease the profitability of your website investment. These 10 core principles of effective website design will give you some insight into what makes for a great website and how you can contribute to the overall success of your online showroom.
- Content Planning
Content comes first – Before you start looking for website templates, designs or ideas to define the look and feel of your site, you need to layout your content, have a clear, concise message to share with your customers. Great content is not just about a few words about your business, tell website visitors who you are, what drives you and what makes you different to leverage yourself as an authority in your niche industry or field. Research your target market, deliver industry insights, and tell people why they should support your business. This information will come in very handy when you submit your website design brief to the company designing your website. Remember to include keywords your customers regularly search for in your content by using a tool like Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
Also read: Website content planning done right
- Know your customers
What does your target audience expect from your business? What are the needs and expectations of visitors to your website? It is important to appeal to your customers on an intuitive level, do a competitor analysis to see how your opposition is attracting their new business, be genuine and sincere in your deliverables, the best way to make your website work for you is to make it appealing to people searching for your services.
Free Download: Competitor analysis worksheet
- Get social media RIGHT
The types of products and services that your business offers will determine which social media platforms are best for you. Use social media appropriately to convey business information on the social networks your target audience frequents. Share useful, interesting information with your fans and they will be loyal forever.
Also Read: 8 Best social media channels for Small Business Owners
- Think like your customer
The framework of your website should be well structured, with instantly recognisable links, visual clues and well placed CTA’s (Call to action) so your customers can easily find the path towards their objective. Use your intuition and think about the journey your website visitors will take and how it will lead them where they need to be as well as where you would like them to go. Guide and encourage them to perform useful actions and increase sales or lead generation.
Also read: 15 excellent call to action examples + the 3 rules for effective CTA’s
- Whitespace is your friend
Whitespace makes it simpler to digest the information presented onscreen. Excessive striking colours and busy backgrounds cause cognitive overload, which is likely to lead visitors away from your website, instead of keeping them on it. Well-designed images and visuals are great and whitespace makes them all the more prominent when done right.
Also read: The rapid rise of visual content+ how to use it
- Eliminate barriers
Before you ask website visitors and new customers for their email address or private information give them the opportunity to explore your website first. Let them discover your great products and services so they have a reason to subscribe and continue to receive your latest news, offers and deals.
- KISS!! Keep it simple silly!
While an aesthetically pleasing website is important, your visitors are primarily there to find out more information about what you have to offer, so wild gimmicks, music and continuous pop up’s cause confusion and are likely to make customers leave your site, not to mention cause slow loading which is extremely frustrating. Deliver your message clearly, be subjective and to the point.
- Consistency is key
Branding is pivotal to the success of your business, keep your website layout and branding consistent on all of the pages of your site. A well placed logo, consistent colours and structured layout make for an enjoyable browsing experience and a memorable brand.
Free download: Brand audit template
- Optimise for all platforms
The architecture of your website needs to be fully responsive so users can access your information from their desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. More than 60% of online searches are from mobile phones today, if your website is not fully responsive it is going to lead visitors away from your website.
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Driven by our passion to help small business owners in South Africa succeed, Social Mammals specialises in Social Media Marketing properties + communities management, website design + development and online marketing services. Contact one of our certified specialists today on : 021 827 0607 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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