Your website is a powerful tool for your business. It’s your first impression, what engages customers and what drives your sales. Since the world of web is always evolving, here are a few suggestions for what to focus on in the upcoming months to ensure a year of success and growth for your organisation.
Optimise, Optimise, Optimise
Conversion Rate Optimisation should be your buzzword of this year. CRO is making the most out of the traffic you are already receiving and getting to know the likes and dislikes of your website visitors and customers.
CRO is data-driven, accurate and entirely unique to your business. Use it to test better ways to guide users through your sales funnel or creating opportunities to get more email subscribers to even conducting polls on your site for customers to send instant feedback. All are incredibly valuable opportunities to use gained knowledge to increase your bottom line and make your business stand out.
With more people using smartphones and tablets to browse the web and shop online, it is absolutely critical that your site is mobile friendly in 2017. If not, you will be left in the shadows in no time.
By using the mobile first design approach, you can design a lean version of your site, which contains the critical elements. By working with a simplified version, you ensure a positive user experience and full functionality of your online checkout experience.
Another reason why this will make you stand out is that Google is placing more emphasis on favouring mobile optimised sites. Your search ranking will improve if you have a quick loading, easy to navigate, user-friendly mobile site.
Whitespace Is Gold
Not long ago, all the space on a webpage was considered ‘Real Estate’ by designers. Pages were cluttered with content, packing in as much information that could fit as to not ‘waste’ space. It’s time to throw that mind-set out the window.
A well-designed site that gives a pleasant user experience needs a balanced design. Space on the page that provides breathing room is referred to as Whitespace and creates a contrasted balance to your content. Simply put, it is the areas of your page that are untouched – space on your margins, columns between content or breaks between graphics and it gives some visual breathing room.
If used appropriately, whitespace can transform a design, making it easy to view and encourage users to keep reading your content. Well designed whitespace will help you stand out by:
Removing unnecessary distractions allow the user to quickly find the information they came looking for or draw their attention to a specific area or call to action. Human Factors International performed a research study that showed whitespace increased user comprehension by almost 20%.
Improves User Experience:
Whitespace between paragraphs and graphics helps users understand what they are reading and navigate them to additional content. Design and balance make the first impression on your visitors and a well laid out site that uses whitespace correctly exudes authority and elegance.
The Like Button – Social Influence
It is absolutely unavoidable. The world is connected to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and any other new social sites that pop up along the way. It has turned individuals into their own brand channel and that can be good news for your conversion rate and sales if they engage with and support your business.
Social media and marketing are a quickly changing and ever evolving platform. Being current should be a key focus point for the direction of your website design. A few areas to consider and utilise are:
Make your Social Media Icons Visible:
Include in your headers and footers so visitors can quickly see what channels you are active on and click to view. In addition, making a Call to Action to ‘Like’ your Facebook page makes it easier for users to quickly follow you with a single click, and people will respond more favourably to being asked to follow you than if they are left to their own to make the decision.
Make your Content Shareable:
If you have icons under your content that will instantly allow a user to share a product, blog post or other information from your site you can harness the power of social engagement. Make it simple for someone to pin, tweet or post something they love.
Embed Quality YouTube Videos:
Appropriate videos to your brand and content can help your Google ranking. Videos help increase the time a visitor spends on your site and has been shown to increase conversion rates.
There is never one right way to stand out online. The best success comes from being current in web design trends, continued optimisation and most importantly, cultivating quality relationships with your customers. Make it a priority to utilise creativity and innovation this year and distinguish yourself from the competition.
Jamie FitzHenry is the director of Grizzly, a Bristol based digital agency helping businesses drive more sales with innovative digital marketing methods.