Great website design tips to improve your website
I have been working in website design and the graphic design industry since leaving school With the years of building sites and providing SEO service to clients I have some great knowledge about what could improve your own websites, partly due to making the mistakes myself and learning. The list below isn’t a magic wand but what it does provide is very simple tips to help your sites give customers a great website and find what they are looking for.
1. Content – This first tip is by far one of the most important aspects of being successful online today. Google just loves compelling and unique content. If you can’t write it yourself employ an article writer. When visitors find your site and get the correct information from it they return. To get higher in Google searches don’t copy other sites content write it yourself, duplicated copy will only get your site penalised by searches and prepare to see your ranking drop… Alot!
2. Navigation – Apart from the overall website design, navigation is extremely important. You have 3-4 seconds to get your customers to where they need to be. Provide navigation on every page in a prominent position. Try to avoid long navigation drop down menus to annoy customers. Keep your products within categories, I found that also adding a search bar above the main menu will give visitors a chance to quickly search for the page or product. This is vital if you are running a retail store.
3. Pop-ups – I made this mistake offering customers a discount if they sign up to my newsletter. Unfortunately it annoys visitors. If you have a retail store leave the pop-ups behind, if customers want to sign-up to your newsletter provide a form on your home pages an automatic pop-up annoys visitors to the point of not returning unfortunately.
4. Responsive design – Mobile and iPad are huge, when I analyse some of my sites statistics almost 40% are viewed via a mobile browser on iPhone and android. Having a responsive website design (scalable to mobile) will provide visitors with a perfect screen view whatever the browser. Although this is no. 4 on my tips, all of the above are level in importance. If you use WordPress CMS there are plenty of free responsive boiler plates, one good one I use is called bones, this provides me with a cleaned up CSS version totally responsive and ready to get creative with the CSS.
5. Page load – Compress your images and graphics, Photoshop will enable you to scrunch down your images. This isn’t as important as it once was due to the speed of broadband today. However if you run a retail site it would soon become a lot slower in page load the more product images you upload. A good GZIP compression is the best option for Magento built sites, WordPress has lots of plugins, pretty sure a developer has already coded one as I write this.
6. Fonts – Make your body text font size minimum 12px, don’t force your visitors to squint reading the text. The text is your information, make it legible and easy to read. Check your spelling to save any embarrassment, it will look more professional.
7. Be contactable – Provide telephone and email address details on every page, usually at the top right. Give your customers the same information on the footer and on a main contact page accessible via the navigation menu.
8. SEO Meta description – SEO meta description tags should be unique for every page. Give a brief synopsis of the page with the company name. Same for page-titles, unique for ever page (example – contact us / company name).
I hope these tips help you on your projects, if you need some further help I am always available via my blog or email. I currently work as a website and graphic designer based in Loughborough, Leicestershire.