As illustrated in a recent post, we know that websites are a must-have for business owners. Even the best pre-existing templates require the right content and formatting to make a site a success.
Great web design is eye-catching, mobile responsive and user-friendly, built with web-searching consumers in mind. Here are five things that every professional website needs, with more to come in part two of this post:
Clear Text Font and Background
Typography is a powerful tool and the invention of new fonts each year gives everyone the chance to show off their sense of style. Who hasn’t been tempted by some of the prettier fonts available, especially when used together with a fun or brightly coloured background and sidebar theme?
When building a professional website, however, it is important to keep such things in check. There is a reason that fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, Helvetica and Garamond are so widely used in both print and online publications: they are easy to read and help reader comprehension.
Choose a font or family of fonts that are crisp, clean and offer great readability. In terms of the site’s background, avoid anything distracting or messy, which will distract visitors away from the main message of your site. Instead, use clean design elements with plenty of white (or blank) space to draw eyes where it counts, such as to headlines, sub-headers and bullet points.
There are many reasons why a business website might allow visitors to enter data, including in a contact form or appointment request. To help protect the site, first restrict the data input to text only.
Next, use sanitised inputs to prevent code injection attacks. Sanitising data works by stripping out any formatting or code that could allow unwanted users to run programs or hack information.
Strong Visual Elements
Know your enemy: although this famous saying is taken from The Art of War, the sentiment remains the same for businesses competing in the same market. How do your competitors’ sites compare to your own? Humans are highly visual creatures and are also often swayed by the power of first impressions.
Help your site stand apart and be memorable by implementing an eye-catching design that reflects your image and brand. Besides using good formatting, including strong visual elements is an easy way to capture attention and encourage visitors to spend more time on the page.
Include visual features such as:
- Vector images
- Slideshow galleries
- Charts or diagrams
In some cases, though, remember that less is more. If every page is overcrowded with images, visitors will not know where to focus or how to find the content they need.
Compatible and Mobile Responsive Web Design
The best way to reduce a site’s high bounce rate? Make it mobile-friendly. Users access everything on the go, including information about local coffee shops, dry cleaners and even dentists.
Before launching your new site, build in its cross-browser and operating system compatibility with a responsive design. Doing so will ensure the site displays well across a variety of screen resolutions, including mobile devices and tablets and will help you rank better on Google.
Prominent Contact Information
Simply put, you should never make potential clients have to hunt for contact information. It does not need to be cheekily displayed across the top of each page as if it were the end-all, be-all, but it should be readily accessible across the site.
Types of information to share include:
- Phone number
- Email address and/or a simple, embedded online contact form
- Physical address, with a thumbnail map or link to Google maps
- Office hours and emergency contact information, if applicable
Many businesses choose to build separate contact, about and testimonial pages, while others choose to merge the three. The key is to keep it simple and make it easy for potential clients to contact you. However, feel free to direct their feedback.
For example, is your online form for all queries or should appointments be made by phone only? If you have an email newsletter, be sure to keep that form separate, ideally by only accepting a visitor’s email address and following up with a confirmation page.
If you do not have a separate contact information page on the site, be sure to include any pertinent information at the bottom of each page. Using prominent contact information across the site is one of the best ways to convert leads as they browse.
Until Part Two…
Keep watching our blog for additional tips and insights in part two of this post. If you have questions about building a better website or are ready to get started, contact Espresso Digital Marketing today for superior web design and advice. Call 0401 535 584 from within Australia or +61 401 535 584 from anywhere else or fill out our simple online form for a quick response.
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