Introduction

Web design has a huge impact on your business in several ways. It directly impacts how customers perceive your business and can mean the difference between turning those clicks into revenue, or your website visitors leaving and looking to one of your online competitors.

How much of a difference does it make to the bottom line? In this post, we’ll look at some major aspects of web design for service-based businesses as well as eCommerce, and how you can improve them to increase lead generation and sales.

User Interface Design

UX and UI are both crucial elements into increasing user engagement. UI is essentially the appearance of a website. It’s style-based design elements that make a visitor’s journey from the initial visit to goal completion, more desirable.

Remember, the design elements of your website play a huge role in customer perception of your brand. Get it right and you’ll not only increase user engagement, but you’ll also increase the bottom line. Another bonus is by getting this crucial element done correctly, it will have a knock-on effect on your websites search positioning – which means more people will find your business online.

Minimal Design

Minimalism continues to be a key trend and has no signs of slowing down. Removing unnecessary components of a webpage has several benefits. First, it simplifies the process and interaction for your visitor. It also removes bloat from your websites code, making it faster to render in the browser and it makes the intent of the page easier to understand leading to higher conversions.

If your webpage has a lot of content on the page, i.e., a product page on an eCommerce website, then adding more whitespace between elements can achieve very similar results.

Fonts and Colours

You’d be surprised at the difference fonts and colours can have on your conversion ratios. A famous A/B test by Google which tested 50 different shades of Blue for its advertising links, increased revenue by $200m per year. That’s a huge difference for a colour change.

Obviously, your results are not going to be as high, but you get the idea. Psychology plays a big part in this as well as contrasts. A crucial element for buttons and CTA’s, this quick tweak can reap big rewards when monitored and studied.

Bigger colour changes can have big impacts as well as it’s one of the first things people notice when visiting your website. Most websites have a defined colour scheme using brand guidelines, whilst some seem to have a rainbow of colours spread out for no good reason.

Depending on your industry and brand guidelines, will determine a starting point for picking out a colour scheme for your website, and there’s various free tools available online to help with that process.

Equally, fonts have a big impact on the customer experience and the main rule here, is that less is more. The golden rule is not to use more than two fonts across your website. There’s also the matter of typography, but to keep things simple, stick to the basics. Two fonts, maximum.

It’s also worth noting that some fonts are much easier to read than others and things like spacing, line height and weights make big differences to the visual appearance and interactivity of elements.

Multimedia

Always use high quality multimedia assets on your website if you want to create that professional look. Images, videos, and other visual elements such as icons should be created and displayed using the correct formats that gave the best visual representation whilst also taking performance into consideration.

For images, where possible, use vector-based formats such as SVGs. For product photos, high-quality PNG’s or WebP formats are best. Make sure to resize appropriately and compress using a free tool like TinyPNG. This gives you the ideal balance between quality and performance.

Videos, should ideally be hosted on 3rd party platforms as to not cause slowdowns with loading your website as speed makes a big difference on the UX (More on that later.)

Visual elements such as icons should ideally be uploaded in vector format, so they appear crisp at any size.

Get these elements done right, you make your content more engaging and scannable which improves time on site and conversions.

User Experience Design

When you’ve worked and optimised your websites design, you’ll want to focus on the user experience. The end goal is to get your website visitors to complete some form of action, from filling out a form, or adding a product to the basket and checking out. Your website is there to generate your business revenue in one form or another, and getting your visitor from point A to point B relies on providing them with a good UX.

Performance

One of the biggest direct impacts to how users engage with your website as well as how search engines determine if that user had a good experience and then ranks you higher within the search results, is performance.

The problem is websites are getting more sophisticated. The design may be minimal, but the chances are you have some form of integrations or custom features which relies on coding languages such as JavaScript. This slows websites down. As does high-quality multimedia.

It’s a battle between providing a great UX for your customers and providing a fast-browsing experience. For multimedia, the solution is simple. Resize, compress, and use the correct formats.

Other areas of performance optimisations depend on how your site is structured, if it’s a service-based business or an eCommerce store and what assets are being loaded on the page.

Some easy and quick implementations would include utilising a CDN (Content Delivery Network) minifying JSS and CSS files and leveraging browser caching.

Even a one second delay in your websites load time can lead to significantly lower revenue, increased bounce rates and lower search engine rankings and several studies back this up.

Visually Appealing Calls to Action

When creating call to actions, as above colour, adequate spacing and fonts directly impact how your website visitors will engage with the content. If your website has CTA’s (If it doesn’t, why not?) then one way of monitoring interactivity with these, is by using a free tool as mentioned earlier, called Hotjar. It’s free to sign up and you’ll be able to view recording of how users engage with your website. Are those forms being filled in? Are people adding products to the shopping cart and not checking out?

Identifying how users interact with your website will give you clear insights into areas that could do with improvements.

Internal Linking and 404’s

The chances are, unless you’re running regular website audits, is that you have some 404’s somewhere. As websites evolve, pages get deleted, renamed, or consolidated. Maybe you’ve had a redesign at some stage during your businesses lifetime and broken links exist for that reason. If you’ve been utilising internal linking in the form of CTA’s and you’ve not updated these broken links, your website visitors are not going to have the best experience when they click on one of these broken links that leads them to a 404 page.

Here at Silver Scope Media, we offer website maintenance packages that includes regular site audits to keep your site in peak condition.

Focus on your structure and navigation

It doesn’t matter if you’re a service-based business, or an enterprise level eCommerce store. Navigation and structure are crucial to providing customers with the best browsing experience.

If your customers can’t find your services and products, the chances are neither can search crawlers. Ok, so it’s a bit different for search crawlers depending on other factors such as your sitemap, but the general rule applies here – make finding your services and products as simple as possible.

Navigation should be clear and simple to use, on both desktops and mobiles. Structure is equally as important. Can customers find your webpage within 3 clicks from the homepage? If not, consider this and improve your layout.

Conclusion

Your website visitors expect a fast loading, visually pleasing and seamless user experience every time they land on your website. Design and structure may well make the difference between a website that brings in leads and sales, compared to one that doesn’t.

Look at your website through your visitors’ perspective. Look at your competitor’s websites and ask yourself if you’re leading the standards or falling behind.

Award-Winning Digital Agency

Based in Hereford, we provide web design, eCommerce development and digital strategies in the form of monthly SEO services that increase user engagement and provide added business. Call us on 01432 483163 or send us an email.