5 website design strategies for your next website
Your website is the cornerstone of your business’ online presence and your digital marketing. It’s vital to get it right to ensure that you’re not building on a bad foundation. That starts with better website design.
In this blog, we’ll review the top-5 website design strategies you should employ on your next site—and where to start.
The winning playbook for better website design
Let’s dive deeper into some of the ways that 5 Fold builds websites for our clients:
#1. Build a website that works for visitors
First impressions matter. Websites are, by their nature, visual. From the second a site visitor arrives at your site, they’re soaking in information—much of it before they even read a single word. That’s because your website design and images provide subliminal cues and ideas to visitors.
This is not to say that content isn’t important. It is! But, your site also has to be built to hit those right visual cues right off the bat. If your site looks sketchy, visitors will leave. If it’s hard to navigate or find things, they’ll leave.
If it looks like it was built in 1990, they’ll probably reminisce on the days of AOL and dial-up, and then—you guessed it—leave.
This process happens in the first few seconds of a visitor arriving at your site, so it’s important to get things right. A modern, design-centered website provides the right initial visual cues to site visitors, so that they stay and take the next step: interacting with your content.
#2. Establish trustworthiness
Okay, you’ve passed that initial visual cue test. Now comes the hard part: getting the prospective customer or client to the call-to-action. This means that the customer has to decide whether or not your business merits further action.
Let’s say that you’re an ice cream shop in the small city of Dudsville, Nebraska (about 70,000). Even here, you have a lot of competition from both local stores and large chains. You’ll have to think about what makes your business stand out from them. What are the trust elements that will make someone choose your product, service, or message?
In our ice cream shop example, maybe your business has been named the Dudsville Citizen Reader’s Choice Ice Cream Shop of the Year for the past three years. You’ll want to display those badges prominently and proudly on your website.
Accreditation, awards and certificates are perfect ways to highlight your reliability. This will show customers that you are the real deal, and help establish local authenticity.
Here are a few other things that establish trustworthiness with your site’s visitors:
- Real photos of your product and services (“Wow, that ice cream does look good.”)
- Testimonials and quotes from real customers (“I loved this ice cream, and so will you!”)
- Standing behind your product (“You’ll love our ice cream so much that we give you your first scoop—free!”)
No matter what kind of business you run, an effective website is key to great digital marketing.
#3. Make it clear with call-to-actions
Ok, your site visitor has started to engage with your content. Good! Now what?
Effective site design provides site visitors with interactive items and things to do on a site that match their intent. For our ice cream shop, a lot of visitors to the site might be looking to find where we’re physically located. Having a button that says “Get Directions” prominently on the homepage might fulfill their needs.
Of course, that only covers one subset of user intent. Other users might want to know what your flavor selection is before visiting (“Do they have chocolate pistachio?”), or if you have any sugar-free options. Finding user intent takes some research. It’s the kind of stuff we do here at 5 Fold Marketing using heat maps and other tools.
Here’s a general rule: The easier and more accessible your CTA is on your website, the higher the likelihood of producing a conversion. In other words, a better-placed “Get Directions” button is going to lead to more clicks on that button and more people visiting your ice cream shop.
#4. Sweeten the deal with incentives
Turning every site visitor into a real-life customer can be tricky, if not altogether impossible. Some visitors might be going to your site just out of curiosity, without the intent of actually getting ice cream.
However, there are circumstances where search is intent-rich. A visitor who comes to your site after searching for “Ice cream near me” is probably looking for, well, ice cream near them, with the intent to go get some. We call these micro-moments, and they’re the place where your website can really shine.
Pairing an intent-rich site visitor with the right content, at the right time, can increase your odds of actually getting them to become a customer. Many businesses use incentives and coupons to do just that.
Maybe Steve—father of three—is looking to take his daughters out for ice cream. What gets him in the door at your place is that you have a buy three-cones-get one-free coupon on your site that comes up when he clicks on the “Our ice cream” page. Sounds perfect to Steve!
At 5 Fold, we help our clients experiment with different incentives—such as $10 off vs. 10% off—to see which gets the greater response. Help your customers feel successful by giving them a sweet deal!
5 Fold builds user-focused websites with effective call-to-actions and interactive elements.
#5. Words on a mission
Forget the riffraff and babble talk. The content on your website needs to be as precise and to the point as possible. It should be written for the site visitor, to help them achieve their goals and objectives on your site.
Do not write your content for search engines. Over the past decade, major search engines like Google and Bing have moved toward favoring content and websites created for users—not just those optimized for the search engine to read. If you’re a fan of keyword-stuffing or using hidden text tricks, it’s time to change.
Instead, make sure it is written for the visitor. If you have images or videos on your website, ensure that they are very high quality to strengthen that first impression.
Website design + great marketing = better results
An effectively designed website can only take you so far without the right kind of marketing campaign to support it.
At 5 Fold Marketing, we design campaigns around our marketing products, including not only website, but social media, PPC advertising, and video. Built around a great website, your campaign should funnel leads to your business.