Your website visitors take only 5 seconds to decide whether to stay or not.
This clearly shows that website design has to be super engaging to get your visitors to stay, and drive them down the sales funnel. That’s why you need to follow these web design best practices to optimize your site.
When we land on a webpage, we expect it to load within 2 seconds. If it takes longer than that, we may get impatient. There is data to back this argument as well.
According to data from Google, the probability of users bouncing off from a site increases by 32% when the page load time goes from one to three seconds.
Furthermore, if the page loading speed increases to six seconds, the probability of bounce increases 106%.
Because consumers are often rushing, their patience is reaching an all-time low. So the first thing designers need to do is optimize the page load speed. Here are some ways to do just that:
You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to test your site and find other opportunities to speed up your page.
Anyone with access to a computer and an internet connection should be able to visit your website, regardless of their circumstances and abilities.
However, many business websites aren’t accessible to users with disabilities. According to the World Health Organization, roughly 15% of the population is dealing with some form of disability, which many times prevents them from utilizing the web.
To cater to everyone, you should design a website that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act so that people with a wide array of disabilities can browse. This will also help you avoid any lawsuit connected to a non-compliant web design.
The Web Accessibility Initiative shared the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that you need to follow to make your website ADA-compliant. Complying with these guidelines will ensure that your site is accessible to all users.
Many business owners find it difficult to meet all of these guidelines. You can utilize the automatic web accessibility solution by accessiBe for help. It allows visitors with specific disabilities to adjust the user interface of your website to meet their personal needs.
Additionally, their artificial intelligence-powered engine remediates all HTML issues and orients the functionality and behavior of your site for screen readers and keyboard navigation. To ensure that new content uploads don’t affect the accessibility level of your website, it is optimized every 24 hours
A call-to-action is how you get your clients through the sales funnel. Without clear CTAs, your visitors have no idea where they are supposed to click next.
Ultimately, a well-designed website has clear CTAs that push conversion rates higher. It is the job of the user experience team to do a lot of A/B testing on various landing pages to see what works best.
Great CTAs have certain common elements, such as:
If there is a lack of good CTA implementation, you are going to have high bounce rates. Visitors will quickly scan your content and then leave.
What do you need to consider when designing your CTAs?
Among your top priorities when you think website design is the ease of navigation. Your visitors will use the navigation to find any relevant information they are looking for.
Without clear navigation, you end up with disappointed visitors that exit your website for better alternatives.
What creates a great navigation experience?
Survey Analytics has a great navigation system in place, exhibiting all necessary design elements in structure, minimalism and design.
The responsiveness of a well-designed website needs to be fluid and adjustable to all devices. It is especially critical to make it mobile-responsive as the number of users on mobile continues to increase annually.
Mobile screens are smaller and this is why navigation and CTAs need to be optimized accordingly.
For example, try to keep the main CTA on the main screen as well as at the bottom of the screen. Also, vertical scrolling is more effective than horizontal.
It is important to optimize the e-commerce function on the mobile version of your design as well, giving your customers instant access. If the prospect has to abandon the mobile experience to turn on their computer and finalize the transaction, you risk losing that sale.
The importance of SEO is well established. Without it, search engines cannot find you.
But what is technical SEO?
Technical SEO involves optimizing your website and servers so search engine spiders crawl to index your website better for improved organic results. While it mainly concerns on-page ranking factors, it also involves several off-page SEO ranking factors as well.
How can a designer ensure good technical SEO?
Technical SEO can be tricky. However, the main rule is to remove all possible roadblocks between the website design and Google.
You can use tools like SEOptimizer to audit your site for any technical SEO issues that you need to address. This tool rates your site and gives you suggestions on improving several aspects such as SEO, usability, performance, etc
Clean and minimal design is part of a good navigation system as we discussed above.
However, it is deserving of a second mention. In this section we highlight all the reasons why a clean and minimal design is important:
Consistency is professionalism and it helps your clients trust you.
Let’s use a silly example of a friend of yours, who is constantly changing opinions, personality traits and tones of voice. How much would you trust anything they say?
The same principles apply to brand consistency.
Consistency in web design will:
PayPal has been a brand name for online transactions. No matter who else comes on board, PayPal is consistent and its easy-to-use platform has a friendly interface.
Great online forms will give you more leads, which then results in higher conversions.
According to HubSpot, 74% of marketers say they use web forms in their lead generation efforts. Additionally, 49.7% of marketers consider web forms to be their highest converting lead generation tool.
So how can design help you take advantage of forms?
Conducting regular A/B testing on the website enables you to skip unnecessary risks and maximize your resources.
A/B testing is especially important right before the website launch or new product launch. It helps the team find out what performs better, instead of just assuming.
How do you perform A/B testing?
Once you have enough data to make a decision, go ahead and implement the most favorable results to your web design.
Finally, we need to evaluate the page layout and make sure it works as it should.
What is page layout optimization?
Page layout optimization takes care of all of the rest of the details that you might not have worried about until now, including:
Your website design has as a primary function to be the initial hook for your visitors. When best practices are correctly implemented, the user experience is elevated to create an emotional connection between your brand and the visitor. Remember to start with compliance, make sure you are not at risk for any lawsuits, and then move on to the fun parts!
Gaurav Sharma is the founder of Attrock, a digital marketing company. He works closely with top marketing influencers and has helped numerous brands, e-commerce firms and SaaS companies grow. He is also a certified Google Analytics and Google Adwords specialist and regularly contributes to reputable publications like HuffPost, TechCrunch and many more.