Some components that if you get right, should help your website stand out from the crowd;
- Design, colour and graphics
You would think this would be an obvious thing to say. However, you’d be surprised at how many websites I see that have not been professionally designed and have garish colours that clash and don’t match the rest of the company’s publicty material. Or websites that look tired and old (designed over 6 years ago when the internet was a different place) or sometimes don’t have any images at all. A professional design will get a great balance of all of this by including colours that are easy to read, a good balance of text and images so the pages don’t look too wordy and graphics that can help to highlight the business or service visually.
It is important to keep this up to date and Google takes more notice of websites with regularly updated content. Make sure it is succinct and clear, and if you’re not sure what to write then employ a copywriter to get the right message across. And don’t forget to check for spelling mistakes!
- Easy navigation
It must be clear to website visitors how to find the information they are looking for. Don’t bury pages under lots of headings, sometimes less is more and the navigation should be consistent across all pages.
- Easy to read
This is closely linked to the two points above but also in the design and the choice of font and colours. People tend to scan read websites so contrast between the text colour and background is important as is font size and style. Not too much text and breaking up pages with short paragraphs, headings and bullet points can all help.
Anyone got enough time to hang around for pages that take ages to load? Not me. Make sure they load quickly and that all images are optimised for web use.
- Cross device friendly
This is becoming more and more important. So many internet users look up websites on phones or tablets that you must ensure your website works on all devices or you could lose out to competitors.
- Keep it fresh
This applies to both content and the visual look of a website. Anything that is over three years old visually is likely to need an update to keep it fresh and current. And content that is not updated will also let a website down. There’s nothing worse than the last news or blog item listed being from 2011!
- Contact info
Make sure this is easy to find. Include a ‘Contact’ page but it is also recommended to have in a prominent position on all pages. Web visitors don’t want to have to look too hard.
- Calls to action
Make sure you encourage your visitors to pick up the phone or fill in a form. You are trying to generate business after all so sell your USPs.
And finally – search engine optimisation. And after all the above, you need to make sure your website can be found after all!
And the bottom line is that if you employ a professional designer, they should ensure that all of the above and more is included. So if you’d like to talk about applying this to a new website then please get in touch.