For most small businesses looking to get ahead in the digital space, web design is often an afterthought, placed far down the list behind things like beefing up content or setting up social media pages. Unfortunately, this attitude can be a mistake. Your web design can be a central aspect of your digital marketing strategy, and failing to keep your approach in line with best practices can cost you leads, conversions, and revenue. These web design techniques can help you make sure your website is on track for success.
Incorporate Responsive Design
Responsive web design is virtually a must-have in today’s climate. Google demonstrated back in 2015 that failing to provide a mobile-friendly platform would mean a loss of traffic and worse rankings, and this hasn’t changed at all. Without a site structure that accommodates all of your traffic, you’re going to sacrifice access to customers and lose footing to your competition. Even if you’re not concerned about the impact to rankings, your customers still may not be interested in remaining loyal: 52% of customers claim that a bad mobile experience will keep them from shopping.
While it’s certainly still possible to have a separate mobile site, this is increasingly discouraged. Keeping functions aligned and issue-free can be challenging with more room for error, creating additional costs and extra headaches that may drive customers away. A responsive design alleviates this, allowing you to use a single site across all devices for superior ease of use.
Prioritise Landing Pages
When customers are directed to your page after clicking on a promotional link, where do they go? Your home page? Your contact page? If the answer is anything but “a dedicated landing page” there is significant room to grow in your approach to web design.
Landing pages are a highly effective way to convert clients, providing a platform expressly positioned to communicate valuable information and provide a pipeline for purchase or registration in a way that your homepage doesn’t. Instead of bombarding customers with information that may confuse or overwhelm, give them exactly what they asked for with a targeted landing page. One landing page for all offers and opportunities isn’t sufficient, either; every reason for lead conversion should have its own dedicated page with unique content and a strong call to action. More landing pages are always better, too: companies with at least 10 landing pages see improved leads by up to 55%. Failing to heed this advice will only hurt; companies who attempt to cut corners and double up offers on landing pages may see opposite results.
Consider the User Experience
User experience is incredibly important in website design and development, with even the smallest adjustments to interfaces and page organisation making a world of difference. In spite of this, many small business owners feel that how a website looks and functions is a secondary concern. However, if users aren’t impressed with the experience they’re getting on one site, 79% of them will leave and go elsewhere.
Instead of going with what you think looks good, put a dedicated effort into creating a website that works. Think about things like navigation, headers and drop down menus, the quantity of content, necessary information, and all of the other things that go into website construction. All of these little details are accompanied by best practices, and failing to go with what works can seriously hold your business back. If things aren’t working, consider investing in A/B testing to attempt to isolate problem areas and come up with workable solutions to pain points.
You know that your business offers quality services and adds value to customers’ lives, but do your site visitors know that, too? If it’s not abundantly clear based on independent review sites on the web, make sure your website features words from satisfied customers. Don’t make your own – this is usually relatively easy for customers to see through – but do make sure to showcase the good feedback you’ve received.
Placing testimonials on your website can be done in a few ways, including on a dedicated testimonials page, but placing a footer or bar across the bottom of your site can ensure that those who visit actually see them. With 72% of customers indicating that the presence of positive reviews and testimonials can build trust and 92% of shoppers using testimonials to influence purchase decisions, the better appearance you can give your business, the better results you’ll see. And if you feature feedback on your page, be sure to reserve a place for customers to submit their own thoughts – this bolsters the authenticity of your testimonials and allows for an easy way to collect additional reviews to use.
Use Pop-Ups Strategically
Pop-ups have historically been associated with spammy sites and poor web practices, but a new form of pop-up is making waves – in-site pop-ups designed for conversion. If you’ve ever been to a popular blog or e-commerce retailer, you’ve surely seen them: a message that pops up in the middle of the screen with a benefit for those who sign up, like savings on a future sale or access to an exclusive e-book. While mildly annoying, the average pop-up has a conversion rate of a little over 3%, and the most effective pop-ups can convert as many as 10% of site visitors.
Using a pop-up to advertise promotions or collect leads is one thing, but going too far is another. Keep your alerts to one maximum per website visit and be sure to communicate as much information as possible. When your pop-ups won’t stop coming, customers are likely to leave – and they won’t be coming back. Instead, focus on crafting a great message with a tempting offer and a strong call to action to see the biggest benefit, like the chance to get a discount or score a freebie with an email signup. The advantages are big for you – new leads – and big for your customers – a way to get acquainted with your business.
Encourage Customer Contact
Handling customer questions, complaints, and feedback is a big part of running a successful business and your website design should support this objective. Even if you’d rather not hear criticisms or issues from customers, creating relationships is a key part of creating a fan base and encouraging repeat sales. Your website needs to make this easy, so clearly and prominently list a mailing address, phone number, and online contact form. You want to appear honest, open, and eager to listen, and the right information can go a long way in making this happen.
If you want to really go above and beyond, investing in a live chat feature can help. With over 30% of customers expecting live chat options even on small business websites, providing a way for customers to reach out quickly and conveniently can build confidence and trust. Today’s customers have come to rely on immediacy in all forms of commerce, and meeting expectations is a good way to maintain a positive reputation.
Web design can improve virtually any approach to digital marketing, offering a way to boost your perception among your prospective buyers. From creating a web design that provides a good experience to prioritizing tools like testimonials and landing pages, there’s a lot your site can do for you. With these best website design techniques, you can build a strong, stable foundation to ensure your digital marketing campaigns succeed. Feel free to contact us with any questions!