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- Website Design & Development
Having a website that will keep the attention of your visitors has never been more important. No matter what industry you are in, it is extremely valuable to have a site that stands out from your competitors, is easy to navigate, and functions properly. We have identified some tips from our own experience with creating and editing client websites.
- Make sure that your top navigation bar is clear and has relevant information
The first thing that a majority of website visitors will look towards will be your navigation bar. Because it is near the top of the page, it is important to have the key areas of your company/business highlighted here. Imagine yourself in the shoes of the site visitor, and think about the information you’d want to discover first. Does your site have a robust online shop where you want to drive customer traffic? Maybe you want to be able to display your mission and vision statements prominently? Whatever you end up deciding, make sure to at least have these three pages included:
- Home: this will allow the visitor an easy way to navigate back to the homepage. When websites don’t have an option for this, it is more likely to cause frustration and decrease valuable time spent on the site. The easiest navigation option would be to include a link in your company logo (usually in the top left or right corner) to the home page so that visitors won’t have to manually click back.
- About Us: this page will be useful to share information about the history of your business/organization and to highlight your employees. Depending on the industry, many curious visitors will be interested in learning more about the background of your company before doing business. It also allows you to build a more personal connection with your customers.
- Contact Us: For this page, many businesses like to have a contact form that can be filled out and easily viewed internally, but a smart option is to also include social media links within this page as well. If visitors are already interested, sending them to engage and follow your social media channels allows the accounts to grow and gain more active followers.
Other pages can be added to your navigation bar, such as a Blog or events calendar, but these three page types are essential to building the foundation of your website.
- Find a font that fits the feel of your website.
Before anyone ever takes a look at the content on your website, the way that your website is styled can give an immediate impression of who you are and what you do– and that includes the way your text looks and reads as well. There are two main families of fonts that are used for writing: Serif, and Sans Serif fonts. Serif fonts generally look more formal, with popular examples being Times New Roman, Georgia, and Merriweather. While these fonts are great for writing business proposals and important documents, they can sometimes be hard to read. This is why Sans Serif fonts have become much more popular in the design world, as they don’t have the “serifs” at the bottom of letters like N, I, and T that can make some words illegible in smaller font sizes. Common sans serif fonts include Arial, Montserrat, Helvetica, and Verdana.
When picking a font, there are a few fonts that should be avoided, unless for very specific reasons. These include Comic Sans, Papyrus, and Impact. These three fonts are infamous for both being hard to read, and also not great for design, as they tend to look unprofessional. If site visitors are not able to read the text on your site, they are much less likely to continue to browse your site.
- Have clear calls to action in multiple spots across your site
Once your site visitor has engaged with your site content and built up trust, they might want to look to further support your site. Having clear calls to actions, or CTAs, will help streamline the process for them. These are usually best suited as clickable buttons with simple messages, such as “Donate Here,” “View our Collection here,” “Buy,” etc. These will make your site much easier to use, and easier for customers to support. When looking in the back-end analytics of your website, you can see how many clicks each CTA got, giving a general sense of what your customers are interested in. This can then give you insight into what to continue to promote on your site. For example, if you sell gift cards for particular services, and you notice that one has gotten double the clicks that your other promotions have, this can benefit you and your strategy in the long run.
- Having complementary color schemes.
For aesthetic purposes, making sure that the color scheme of your website doesn’t take away from your content is key. Usually, more neutral colors like whites, grays, greens, and blues are easier on the eye and mesh better with text-heavy pages. For consistency, it is important to focus on having a few colors that you repeat throughout the whole website, rather than having a new color scheme on every page. Similar to how you should choose a font that reflects your company or brand, you should do this with choosing a color palette as well. Having multiple color schemes can make the browsing experience feel disjointed and awkward, and the user is more likely to be turned off from the appearance of the site.
These are four basic areas that can help you optimize your website. However, not every business owner has time to handle their day-to-day tasks on top of having to make these edits. At Pulse, we are happy to help you improve your website, which is one of the best ways you can bring more traffic and recognition to your business. Our development and design team has over two decades of combined experience, and we will make sure to work with you at every step of the process, from interpreting your vision into a tangible site map, to helping you choose the right fonts and colors, and eventually launching your website! We hope that these tips were helpful, and for more tips on digital marketing, check out our other blogs.