5 Essential Elements of Quality Web Design

By in Web Design & Usability,

Your website is one of the most important tools to help you grow your business. In many instances, your website will be a potential customer’s first impression of your business. This is your opportunity to tell your story, convey your brand, and build trust with these people. In addition, an effectively designed website will help drive conversions that grow your customer base.

Conversely, a poorly designed website can potentially have a disastrous impact on your business. We’ve all been to clunky websites that load slowly and are hard to navigate. The most common reaction when landing on one of these websites is to instantly click out of it and look for a different site that will provide a better user experience. When this occurs, you’re driving off lots of potential new customers, making it more challenging to grow your business.

As Denver’s leading web design company, we understand the high stakes associated with building your new website. With nearly 30 years of experience in the industry, we’ve seen best practices evolve over time. In order to ensure your new website delivers results that convert leads and help your business thrive, it’s crucial that you include these essential elements as part of your web design.

 

What are the Most Important Elements of a Good Website?

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simple website navigation structureYour navigation is the key to delivering a great user experience, and it should quickly and easily direct visitors to the pages which provide their desired information. Avoid overly complex navigation structures, as this can be confusing for users. The simpler you keep your navigation, the easier it will be for your users to access the pages containing the information they seek.

Make sure all the important pages on your website are linked directly from your home page. This will not only help tell your story, but also make it easy for visitors to find these items quickly. In addition, your top navigation should contain a dropdown menu taking users to the high-level pages in each section of the site. Avoid multi-tiered navigation dropdown menus which become bloated and overwhelming.

In addition, make sure your navigation provides users with:

Don’t neglect your footer navigation menu. Many website visitors will use this tool to navigate your site. In fact, many businesses have experienced up to a 50% increase in their conversion rate from a properly optimized footer navigation.

Responsive Design

Ever since the introduction of smart phones, people have been shifting away from browsing the Internet on their computers and instead using mobile devices with increasing frequency to access the information they need. The tipping point came several years ago when mobile web traffic first exceeded desktop traffic, and this trend isn’t going away. Currently, mobile devices comprise over 54% of all web traffic worldwide. Without a mobile friendly design, you’re going to drive away a large number of visitors.

mobile-friendly responsive website designResponsive design is the most effective way to ensure your website is optimized for all devices – desktops, tablets and phones. This approach to web design allows your website to adapt to the device its being viewed on, ensuring all images and text are formatted and sized properly at all times. This will provide the best user experience.

Without responsive design, your pages may look incoherent on the smaller screens associated with smart phones and tablets. Images may be too large or show up in the wrong place. Text may be jumbled or too difficult to read. Responsive design eliminates this wonky formatting and prevents visitors from leaving your website in search of something easier to read.

In addition to providing a better user experience, responsive design will help your SEO results. One of the core components of Google’s algorithm evaluates the mobile friendliness of a website. When your site provides a good mobile experience, it will typically rank higher than competitor websites which aren’t optimized for mobile search.

Appealing Layout and Visual Experience

The layout and appearance of your website is crucial to its success. Since most web users form an opinion of your website within the first 50 milliseconds, it’s crucial that you make a strong first impression. Creating an appealing visual experience will help you connect with visitors so that they want to stay on your website.

There are a variety of components that are necessary to creating an appealing layout and strong visual appearance.

Color Scheme

The colors you choose for your website will significantly impact the opinions of individuals who visit the site. Most importantly, your website’s color scheme should be an extension of your brand and incorporate the same colors you’ve chosen to represent your brand. When determining these colors, we recommend doing some research regarding which color combinations resonate in your industry. For example, healthcare organizations often choose shades of green and blue which are associated with health and wellness. In contrast, a florist may want to choose shades of red, pink and similar vibrant colors which conjure images of beautiful floral arrangements.

Typography

web design typographyAs with color scheme, your website’s typography should be an extension of your brand. The font you choose for your text should match the personality of your business. Certain fonts may convey a greater level of professionalism which is necessary for lawyers, accountants, and healthcare practices. However, businesses in other industries may prefer a font that conveys a more fun or playful tone.

Web designers have access to a larger selection of fonts than ever, and this gives you an opportunity to choose a font that will help your brand stand out from your competitors. When choosing fonts for your website, keep the following points in mind:

White Space

White space refers to the spacing between the different elements on your web page. Proper utilization of white space is crucial to creating an effective visual layout on your web page. It will help you achieve a clean website that draws the user’s attention to the important element on the page, making it easier for them to access their desired information and, more importantly, perform your desired actions.

You can leverage white space to balance videos, text, CTA buttons, and other items on the page to avoid a cluttered look. Websites which fail to use white space effectively may be a bit visually overwhelming, making it harder for the user to focus on the important items on the page.

There’s no hard and fast rule for the appropriate amount of white space. The important takeaway is that some white space should be used between every element on the page, and the amount you use should be guided by the importance of each element you are trying to highlight (the more important the element, the more space you may want to include to ensure it stands out).

Strong Imagery

The more engaging the images on your website, the more likely you are to hold the attention of your audience. Using a combination of high-quality photo images, illustrations, tables and infographics will provide your website with a varied feel. While stock images work well in most instances, custom images can help you to more effectively convey your brand to your audience and should be used whenever possible.

Engaging Calls to Action

CTA buttons One of the most important functions performed by your website is getting visitors to take action. Ultimately, the goal of your website is to convert leads and grow your business. The best way to accomplish this is to guide your users towards completing strategic actions that move them closer to becoming full-fledged customers. To achieve this, you will need to place engaging calls to action (CTAs) prominently on all pages of your website.

A well-designed CTA button will align with the design of your website, but stand out from the other elements on the page. You can make these buttons stand out by using the most vibrant colors in your color scheme, and by creating enough space between the CTA button and other elements on the page that your audience’s eye is drawn to the CTA.

There are two types of calls to action:

Direct calls to action are aimed at individuals who are ready to become a customer. Some examples include:

Transitional calls to action are aimed at individuals who are higher up in the sales funnel and aren’t quite ready to commit just yet. These CTAs are lower pressure and typically provide additional information that can help you nurture this lead in an effort to turn them into a customer at a later date.

Generally, you will offer the user a larger piece of content, such as an ebook, a guide, or a video series, in exchange for their email address. Having the individual’s email address allows you to provide them with supplemental materials via email marketing in the future in order to keep them engaged and continue to build trust.

Make sure your CTA buttons are descriptive and clearly tell the user what will happen if they take your desired action. When your CTAs are clear, engaging and prominently displayed, you’ll increase the number of clicks, which will help you increase your sales over time.

Quality Content

website contentMost people are coming to your website for information. Therefore, it’s crucial that you provide them with what they are looking for. Otherwise, they’ll seek out a different website that has more comprehensive information. How do you ensure you provide this information? By writing quality content.

Your content needs to achieve several goals:

High quality content that is informative, engaging, and addresses the needs of your audience will keep visitors on your website longer. They’ll learn more about your business and begin to trust you as a resource when they need information. Over time, this can help turn these people into new customers.

It’s crucial that your content is written in the right style to connect with your target audience. You should speak directly to them and address any concerns or pain points they may be experiencing. After providing valuable educational information, you should take some time at the bottom of each page to discuss how your business can help them.

You should build separate pages for each specific product or service you offer, as well as pages which provide general information about your business. Over time, you’ll also want to create supporting blogs that go into greater detail about many of the products or services you offer.

Web Design Solutions that Will Set You Up for Success

While there are many DIY website builder platforms available to use, it can often be challenging to create a website yourself that contains all of these essential elements. There are many components involved in building a website that can help your business grow and thrive, and it takes a sophisticated understanding of web design to ensure all of these elements are addressed properly. In addition, many of the DIY platforms available have limited capabilities with regard to several of these elements. In most situations, you’ll achieve a much better outcome when you work with a web design company who can set you up for success at every stage of the process.

Webolutions has been Denver’s leading web design agency since 1994. We’ve built thousands of websites over nearly three decades and have refined our process to ensure it addresses the latest web design best practices. Our unique Websites Right Methodology™ has been developed by incorporating the valuable lessons we’ve learned over the years.

With our Websites Right Methodology™, you benefit from:

Our team of web design experts will ensure all essential elements discussed above are addressed during the planning and building of your website to deliver a finished product that helps build your brand, establish you as a trusted leader, and generates the leads necessary for your business to thrive.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation. Webolutions provides web design services to businesses across the country from our offices in Denver, Colorado.

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About Andrew Martin

Andrew Martin is the content strategist at Webolutions. He develops tactical content strategy recommendations and creates all content for clients to achieve their goals and elevate their success. With over 13 years of experience in content marketing, Andrew has the experience to write engaging content that conveys a client's brand story, builds trust and establishes thought leadership.

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