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Best Practices in Website Design

May 2018

It used to be just having a website that included basic details about your business and a contact page could help you win over leads or inform customers. Today, with most people learning about businesses online (as opposed to any other method), simply having a website is no longer enough to satisfy the masses.

Related: Mobile Remains the Trendsetter in Web Design

You need a terrific website—one that is easy to use and provides just about all the information prospective customers could want. Here are a few best practices for modern website design to help your business meet today’s elevated standards.

  • Anticipate the needs of your audience: You can’t build your website, choose a visual style, or even write copy for a page until you’ve thought about your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? What do they care about? What questions will they ask? The more you can anticipate the needs of your audience, the better. ?
  • Make it mobile-ready: People still use computers, but mobile has become the main way customers browse the web. If your website isn’t mobile-ready (responsive), you are going to lose a lot of leads before they even begin engaging with your site. ?
  • Keep it consistent: Consistency is key with any website. You want every page to have a similar visual style, writing and content style, and feeling. In other words, don’t swap colors or fonts from one page to the next, and don’t stack one page with a ton of content and leave another with only a few sentences. Consistency helps tell your brand story and keeps visitors more engaged (and less confused). ?
  • Test the load times: A website that takes too long to load is dead on arrival. Today’s consumers expect sites to load instantaneously. Any website that takes more than a few seconds to load will either be perceived as out of service or stretch the (limited) patience of your visitors. Don’t risk either outcome. There are tools out there to test your site’s load speeds and let you know if they are sluggish. ?
  • Offer an intuitive layout: A successful website is all about user experience, and user experience is mostly about layout. Avoid confusing your visitors with too many pages or with a menu system that stacks dropdowns upon dropdowns. Instead, try to devise a simple but effective navigation strategy that makes it easy for visitors to find any landing page or page category they need. Again, try to anticipate the needs of your audience so you can create a layout that responds to them. ?
  • Learn the ways of SEO: SEO is more than just keywords. It’s about fast load times, strong internal linking strategies, and image labels, among other things. Consider working with an SEO expert to drive this facet of your site.