Web Design Made Simple

It's a smart business move to have a well-designed website.

Good design creates a welcoming first impression. It engages your site visitors and draws them in so they'll actually spend time on your website learning about your company.

What is good web design?

First, let's talk about what's not good web design. Web design is not just your logo, color scheme and typeface you choose. Sure, this is part of the design, but not the most important part.

Design is actually how you communicate your message to your audience. How you put everything together. It's content, graphics, headlines, footers, and so on.

All of the small details in your website design make a huge difference in the success of your online business.

So what are the most important elements of great web design?

After designing hundreds of websites, here's our top 5 list:

  1. Visual Hierarchy
  2. Effortless Navigation
  3. Readable Typography
  4. Supporting Graphics
  5. Page Goals

How do you get each of these elements working for your website?

The good news is, they're not super hard to implement. Some are time-consuming, but ultimately worth every minute.

1) Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy helps visitors to your website absorb information in the order you prefer.

In other words, you are using design techniques to point users where you want them to look.

Your most important information should be larger, bolder… above the fold.

The less important information should be smaller, less bold, down the web page.

When you think about visual hierarchy, think structure. How do I want to structure my webpage to accomplish the goal for that specific page?

2) Effortless Navigation

People come to your website for a reason: They are trying to find something.

The easiest way to help people find what they want is to make your website's navigation as simple as possible.

We know from analyzing heat-map page data that top-to-bottom, left-to-right navigation works best.

Once people land on your website, your goal should be to have them stay on your site for as long as possible.

Effortless navigation helps people find the information they are looking for.

To be most effective, you should use navigational text that specifically tells your user exactly what to do.

"Enter your email address in the box below and I will send you..."

Use in-context links to link to other related pages in your website. This technique helps people stay engaged and gets them to visit more pages on your website.

The more people read about your products and services, the more authority you build. Authority = Sales.

3) Readable Typography

The format of your content can have a significant impact on how people read, respond and retain what you have to say.

If you want people to take some form of action, you should use a simple, easy-to-read font. People will estimate that it takes less time to complete and therefore, read it.

So what font should you use?

There are two font types: Serif and San-Serif.

"Serifs" are the small finishing strokes on the end of a character. "Sans serif" fonts do not have these small finishing strokes. Think of "Serifs" as "little feet" on the bottom of characters.

We don't have a preference between Serif and San-Serif. What's important is the font size and how many font faces you are using within your website.

A font size of 12px and higher is the best place to start. Also, using two font families is an effective design technique: Serif font for Headlines and a San-Serif font for your body copy.

Thanks to newspapers and books, your website viewers are accustomed to great typography. If you want visitors of your website to stay longer than 30 seconds, pay close attention to your typography.

Many people fail to recognize the importance of formatting text as a component of good copywriting and content presentation. Don't ignore it.

4) Supporting Graphics

Images are powerful. Aside from your headline, they are one of the first items people see when your website loads.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Cliché, but 100% true.

Quality supporting graphics propels your good content and makes it even stronger.

Images are the essential element of engaging websites. They connect people to the story you are telling. Creating an immediate emotional impression, graphics can make or break your content.

Images are powerful. Aside from your headline, they are one of the first items people see then your website loads.

So where do you find images?

Our favorite place is iStockPhoto.

What type of images work best?

There are millions of great images out there. The best images are ones that support the content of your webpage.

Your images should make your reader want to continue reading. Your images should work to get users into the emotional state you want them in.

A well-placed image will get your reader into the emotional state you want them in. Make them react.

Let your images do a lot more of the work in your website.

5) Page Goals

Every decision you make on your website should be to drive your visitors to a predetermined goal.

We recommend that each page have a different, defined goal.

What goal should you have for each page?

Obviously, not every page on your website is the same. You have three main sections on your website: Home Page, Static Content and Dynamic Content.

Treat your home page like an elevator pitch.

In other words, you have a limited amount of time to quickly and simply define your product, service, or organization and its value proposition.

Your home page goal should be to encourage your visitor to take another action.

When we refer to Static Content, we are talking about content that doesn't change very often. Your About Page is a good example.

A lot of your website traffic will hit these static content pages. The main goal for these pages is to turn random visitors into regular visitors.

The last category is Dynamic Content. An example would be blog posts, news items, company announcements and social media pages.

These content pages are super important to keep your website fresh (something Google loves).

Finally, let's talk about your second-most visited webpage, the "About Us" page.

This page is incredibly vital to your online business. It is usually the first place people look before they start to take you seriously.

Here is the most important factors of an About page:

  • Tell the user who you are by showing them what you can do for them or have done for others.
  • Give your visitors the information they need.
  • Give real examples of why your business is important to the visitor.

You can leave out the "fluff" about yourself. People don't care about that. They want to know how you can help them.

About Bullsprig: We are a company dedicated to helping professionals and businesses get the most out of their internet marketing efforts. We offer products for businesses and "do it yourselfers". Click here to learn more about Bullsprig.

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