If you are considering a website redesign or a fresh site for a brand new business, there are a few common things any developer should take into consideration during creation. These are what we think are most important.
Any website design project should be pre-planned before diving in. Part of this planning involves mapping out the different elements and where they will go. The flow of the site and the layout is all determined by spacing.
The important thing to consider is that negative space is not a bad thing. Think about the late, great Bob Ross. He was an artist that knew how to appropriately use space to develop an image. To make certain “happy trees” stand out he may leave some space around that tree.
If your content is in typical blog format, you’ll want to think about how large your text is, the space between the paragraphs and how often you place images throughout the text.
On a sales page, you’ll want to think about how to get your message across with a clear call to action leading the visitor into your sales funnel.
When a new visitor lands on your website, can they easily find what they are looking for? As part of design, you’ll have to think about what you want people to do when they come to the site and, in reverse, what a new visitor might be looking for. Ideally those things match up.
Menus are the most important navigation tools on your site. The main menu, usually at the top of each page should have everything someone would be looking for.
Don’t over think this part. Keep it simple and easy to use.
Buttons and calls to action throughout the site should also guide people into your sales funnel. Internal links should lead people to related content.
About The Company
Your “About” page should be a representation of your brand and what you stand for. Tell people in a simple, clear message who you are and why you do what you do. In most cases you’ll want to display the people that make the company run.
Being transparent in this section of a website builds trust in your brand.
Make it easy for someone to contact you!
First and foremost make sure your phone number is on the homepage of your website and can be easily found on all devices, especially if you offer an emergency service like water damage restoration. Menus change format on most mobile devices so if you add the phone number in the header, it will most likely not show on mobile, the most important device to have a phone number on. Make sure the number has click-to-call functionality.
Next, create a contact page. A basic contact page should have you address, phone number and any applicable email addresses. This is also a good location for a simple contact form.
If you have multiple locations, you can have a contact page per location. Each location page should have a Google Maps embed that will give you directions to the location if you help customers at your office.
You can also have separate contact pages depending on what the intention is. If you offer support, have a support page on your website where people can contact you specifically for that.
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Call to action
We say it over and over. Your website is a sales tool, not a marketing tool. Your homepage should tell people what you want them to do.
- Do you want them to call you? – “Call Now!”
- Do you want them to contact you? – “Contact a specialist”
Each sales page promoting a service should convince someone to do something.
If a visitor has something specific they are looking for when visiting you site they’re usually going to look first at the top and in the main menu, then they will look to the footer. Your footer should include all of the basic contact information that a person would need for support or information about your services.
This may sound basic but make sure your buttons look like buttons. If you want someone to click on something on your site, make it look like they can.
We’ve touched on this on multiple pages on our site but the images on your site should be appealing and original. A new web design cannot be started without the images that will need to be placed on the site. Most sites today are very image driven. Make sure these images are of high resolution and, ideally they should be your own pictures, not stock photography. If you do choose to go with something that is not original, make sure you have the right to use those photos. If you take something that is owned by one of the stock photography companies, they will send you a fine in the mail. We’ve seen it happen. Avoid this mistake.
Choose a font family for your site that is easy to read on any device. You shouldn’t have to blow it up on a big screen to read it. It should also represent the personality of your brand. If you’re going for a creative feel, try something like Lucida. For a more traditional, authoritative message, go with Times New Roman or Georgia.
If you have ever looked into marketing your business online, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Content is King”. While this is very true in the eyes of search engines and users alike, it is important to make sure your content is organized. Headings and structure make it easier for readers and search engine bots to digest what you’re trying to say. Break it up with some images, graphs, checklists, etc and you’ll do just fine.
Your website should not only convince a visitor to contact you, it should also show why they should want to. Leave room to brag about your brand.
- Do you have a lot of reviews online? Show them!
- Do you have certifications? Display them!
It’s also important to show what makes you different from other companies that offer the same product or service. The web is unfortunately full of price shoppers so if you’re not the cheapest, you need to make sure you’re building value in what you have to offer.
Plan ahead when you build your website but know that you will be changing it over time. There is always room for improvement but having the basics in place can make all the difference when you want to make adjustments down the road.