For any business owner, upgrading your online presence is essential to growing your business. The first hurdle to clear? Building an attractive, high-performance website.
But where do you even begin? What is SEO, and why should you care? Why do you need a host? You're not at a restaurant!
Let us help you out by translating the jargon and explaining the most important elements of web design.
Before you engage a web designer or digital marketing agency, it pays to know at least some background information on what elements of web design will help you achieve specific goals with your website.
We’ll discuss the eight most important aspects of the web design process that we think every business owner should be aware of:
- Clear Goals
- Style & layout
- Easy navigation
- Attractive font & colour scheme
- SEO optimization
- Mobile optimization
- Maintenance & updates
Let’s dive in.
The 8 Elements of Web Design Every Business Owner Should Know About
Setting Clear Goals
Before you begin a significant endeavor like launching a new website, do yourself a favour by defining the overarching goals of the project and mapping out how you’ll achieve them.
Make An Outline
What are your goals for having this website? They might be to:
- Sell products
- Advertise services
- Grow your audience
- Educate potential clients
- Book appointments
Just writing these targets down will help you, and the professional you hire, form a strategy around every element of web design that’ll be used on your website.
With these goals in mind, every decision you make – from colour schemes to content to call-to-actions – will take your business further towards these goals.
Sketch It Out
You might not think of yourself as an artist, but they aren't the only ones who can spew their ideas onto paper through sketching. Go ahead. Download that intuition and throw it out on paper.
If you want to collaborate with your management team, or just vent out some of the ideas that have been brewing in the back of your mind this year, taking the time to sketch out your web design ideas will give your web designer a direction to follow.
We have all had those lightbulb moments that tend to fade just as quickly as they fell upon us. Write them down! If you use them later, great! If not, who cares. Just write them down.
Gather Important Documents
Does your business have brand guidelines or company photography? Have you been creative on Pinterest and built a mood board for your new website? Create a digital, shareable folder so you can easily share this important information with your web designer.
This will help speed up the web design process and make sure the final product aligns with your other marketing collateral – so online visitors can recognise your business and appreciate your new online presence!
Style & Layout
Mama says looks aren't everything, but she never made a website.
Truth is, first impressions count – it takes visitors two-tenths of a second to form an opinion of your website, and therefore your business. The style and layout of your website are some of the most important elements of web design that can’t go overlooked.
You should be honest with your web designer and be punctual with feedback throughout the web design process. This way, you’ll get to a finished product that you’ll be proud to associate with your business online.
When it comes to building websites, less is more.
If your website has too much going on – flashy headers or too many colours and fonts – it will distract customers, and they may not remember your marketing messages. They will only mindlessly digest the scattered information and go on their merry way.
I'm not saying you can't express your brand freely, but the less people have to process, the more they retain. It's like the mindful app reminders of things, "eat one meal without any distractions and really enjoy each bite." Instead, you watch 90-Day Fiance and eat a bag of chips.
The best websites make it effortless to find the information you want. Creating a simple yet persuasive UX (user experience) will maximise your conversion rate.
Wait, that was a jargon word.
Let’s translate that real quick along with a few other terms you should know about:
The percentage of website visitors who take the desired action
Visitors who click “buy now”, “contact us”, “subscribe to the newsletter” or “book appointment’. They’re taking the next step to becoming a customer.
Increase conversion rate
The number of visitors who click on a link that takes them to your website
After reading one of your blogs or ads on social media, customers click “Contact Us” or “Find Out More” to visit your website
Increase conversion rate
The number of visitors who leave your website without taking any action
Someone lands on your website doesn’t like the homepage, and either clicks away or closes their tab.
Minimise bounce rate
With a winning combination of web design and web content, you can create a clear pathway through your site that takes visitors in the direction of the information they want – and the desired action you want them to take.
Label Menu Clearly
Create a helpful menu so the customer can navigate the site easily. The more straightforward and organized your website is, the better the online presence it will have. Remember, every click is one step closer to a new client, reader, or customer.
Have Clear Calls-To-Action
Every section of your website should incite a desired response from the visitor. Call-to-action buttons help guide the reader to the information they need and the
Attractive Font & Colour Scheme
The typography and colours on your website will set a tone for your entire brand.
We’ve already established that people make judgments quickly, so be intentional with your fonts and colour schemes and use a combination that supports your website goals and reflects your brand identity.
Colour psychology and website trends in your industry are important factors to consider. Who is your target audience? Which colour combination would they respond to?
Set global settings to lock in your fonts, colors, and the style of your overall website. You don't want to be setting the style and font for every page.
Content brings your website to life. The words on your website can help you:
- Engage potential customers
- Educate visitors about your services
- Demonstrate your point of difference
- Leverage your SEO efforts
Too many business owners assume that website content is of minimal importance, so will try and do it themselves or undermine its significance with their web designer.
But the words on your website are an essential element of web design because they bridge the gap between your customers’ needs and your business’s expertise.
A professional web design agency will have a website copywriter on hand, they’ll know what words work best to help achieve your website goals.
Search Engine Optimization
This might be one of the biggest buzzwords in the web design industry.
SEO means search engine optimisation. It’s the practices you follow to maximise the chance that your website will be found on Google (and other search engines, I’m told they exist).
SEO strategies include:
- On-page keywords
- Blog writing
- Mobile optimisation
- Page-speed optimisation
- Pillar pages
- Voice search optimisation
The goalposts of SEO tactics shift every day, but there are some key best practices that every business’s website should use. An experienced web designer will explain which SEO strategies are most pertinent to your business.
Many of the other web design elements mentioned here will take a while to get right, requiring considerable effort, planning, and creativity from yourself and your web designer.
But mobile optimisation is the simplest and most effective element of web design for you to remember.
If you haven't noticed, the world has gone mobile. More people own a mobile phone than own a toothbrush! Gross.
People look at everything through the tiny window on their phones. A potential customer may often do a quick search for you on their phone and only delve in online later after interest has already been sparked.
Most of the hosting sites will offer a preview on a mobile device but a few pointers:
- Keep paragraphs small
- Use an easy to read color scheme
- Maximise page load speed
People still use desktops, but mobile web traffic surpassed desktop traffic back in 2015, and it's not going to change any time soon.
Maintenance & Updates
You may have thought that web design was a set and forget it kind of thing, but it's quite the contrary. It is crucial to have a maintenance care plan for your website for the long haul.
Regular website updates and security maintenance is essential to:
- Stay relevant and up-to-date with customers
- Protect your site and your visitors from malware
- Check that your site is running efficiently
Protecting your website keeps both your business and your customers safe – over 18million sites fall victim to malware each week.
Maintenance is also a requirement to keep your website running at an optimal speed. Slow websites kill traffic and conversions. Should your business’s website become outdated and slow, customers will click away without a second thought.
If you can find a web designer that can maximise your page speed and take care of your website maintenance, you’ll have one less thing to worry about while running your business.
Conclusion – We Can Help You Out
Web design can be a pretty daunting task to busy business owners who don’t know what any elements of web design mean.
But with the right digital partner, the process of building your business’s online presence can be stressless – and even exciting.
At Phiranno Designs, we help business owners achieve their goals through strategic and attractive website design. Get in touch today to discuss your needs and start a project.