With so many websites currently in existence, it is a constant battle to make sure that your website stands out from the crowd.
With the constant change in website trends and design styles it can make your head hurt trying to keep up with the latest and trying to make sure that your website has what it needs to be successful.
Before getting weighed down with all the extra bells and whistles, there are 9 key ingredients that you need to make sure you have on your website which will pave the way to your site being successful and help it draw in customers/viewers.
- Simple Navigation
You need to make it easy for your customers to navigate around your site to engage them. It also needs to be easily identifiable so users can find it quickly and not have too many steps that it becomes confusing to find certain pages. It is also important to keep your navigation consistent across all pages – eg. Same style, size, location.
- About Us Page
You need to tell people who you are and what you do. This develops trust and a more personalised user experience when visiting your website. Keep it simple though, you don’t need to give everyone your life story, just enough information to keep people interested but not bored.
- Contact Information
Make this clear and easy to locate. A lot of the time, people use websites to simply find your contact information and they don’t want to have to go looking too hard for it. Having a contact form on your website is also handy in that people can quickly write out their enquiry and send it to you, rather than having to open their emails and write to you that way. It also means you get the necessary contact information you require to call them back.
- Call to Action / Sign Up
The point of your website is to encourage action from your customers – eg. Make a sale, provide information or gather contact information. Sometimes it just has to be something simple as a sign up form to your newsletter – that way you have their details and you can continue to send them information and reminders about your business so you will always be in the back of their minds.
If you have a fairly extensive website, a search bar is essential as people want to find the information they require quickly and easily. People don’t want to have to scan through all of your website pages for the one thing they want to know. This is especially important when you have an online store or product gallery.
- Informational Footer
This is a way you can connect to your audience and provide them with essential information, but not impede on the design of the website too much. As it is at the bottom of every page on your website it is a great location for business contact information, newsletter signup forms or sitemaps as it is a constant prompt when the customer navigates to a new page.
- Stylised Buttons
Every button of your website should be easily recognisable and consistent so that customers can easily identify that it is a button and they can discover more information by clicking on it.
- Great Images
People love to see things in action. Images can essentially make or break a website. A couple of great key images can entice people to your site and give you an overall sleek and professional vibe. Rely on your own custom images rather than stock images as well because it will create a unique visual experience and also creates trust between you and your customers.
Space is one of the most important aspects of your website design because it dictates everything, from flow to readability. The way that you use space in your website design subconsciously directs the eye of your customer to where you want it to. You can create focal points that will draw people in by surrounding it with space. Strategic use of colour within space also helps to direct the eye.