Website design trends come and go, but truly great websites have certain core elements in common. Whether you’re a small business or a large company here are some must-haves when building or revamping your website:
Dramatic Visuals - Be a Hero
A picture speaks a thousand words, and the right imagery will truly resonate with the end-user. Too much text is a distraction - great websites do more with less, and tell the story visually. The use of large, beautiful images is especially impactful; ‘hero’ shots create an emotional connection with your audience and set the overall tone of the website.
Clear Navigation – Keep It Simple
Navigation doesn’t need to be complicated. Clear organization and a logical website flow eliminates confusion and keeps visitors from getting frustrated (and leaving). Great websites limit the overall options, cap the number of menu items and keep section and page titles descriptive and to the point. Remember, the easier it is for visitors to use your site, the longer they’ll stick around.
Compelling Content - Have a Point
Website content must be relevant to your visitors. Today’s users are too knowledgeable and sophisticated – if you don’t provide them on-message, accurate and concise information they’ll go elsewhere to find it (and quickly). Keep in mind website audiences consume information in different ways; great websites offer a variety of content types, including blog posts, infographics, guides, e-books, case studies, videos, and reviews/visitor feedback.
Go Mobile – All Devices Are Created Equal
Audiences are on the go, and consuming more content from their mobile devices than ever before. The best websites embrace the mobile environment and tailor the interface to accommodate smaller screens. Of course, screen sizes vary; an iPad and an iPhone are quite different (the number of hardware versions creates even more variations). Today’s Responsive design and development techniques solve the screen size issue by delivering an optimal experience on every device.
Get Social – Remember to Share
Great websites enable people to easily share content through their social networks. It’s an important mechanism that increases brand visibility and positions your company or organization as an industry expert. Over time this helps to build trust with your visitors, which ultimately leads to new business.
A.B.C. – Always Be Closing
The best websites convert visitors into customers. Each website is different, but users should always be encouraged to perform a specific action – make a purchase, complete a form or sign-up, get in contact, etc. Specific ‘Calls to Action’, or CTAs, help persuade visitors to commit to a desired instruction, i.e. ‘Call Now’, ‘Schedule an Appointment’, etc. It’s a delicate balance – too many inducements are confusing - but always keep the primary goals of your website in front of your audience.
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