These days, setting up and publishing a new website is easy to do and can be done in just a matter of minutes. While this sounds like good news, it isn’t always the best route to go for many businesses because such websites aren’t always optimised to attract the right visitors and ultimately convert them to customers.
In addition, it’s important to stay ahead of competitors by making sure your business stands out to your target audience and in search engine results. By doing so, web traffic to your website will noticeably increase as your conversions follow suit.
A website should not only be aesthetically pleasing design-wise, but should be functional and versatile. Below is a list of the top digital design best practices for 2021 we believe will catapult your business to greater visibility and success.
- Easy navigation
When visitors click on your website, they shouldn’t struggle to find anything they are looking for. All the website’s elements need to be intuitive and logical, from headings and graphics to drop-down menus.
Always try to view your website through the eyes of a first-time visitor. Is everything located where you could expect it to be? Are you able to keep track of which part of the website you are? With all the competition that’s out there, a visitor will simply move on if they see your website as too complex to navigate.
- Consistency is key
Keeping things consistent in digital design goes a long way in maintaining your brand identity. Customers associate a website’s brand with certain colours, logos and messaging. Make sure this is the case when people visit your website.
This doesn’t only hold true for design elements. The content also needs to have a consistent tone and value proposition. Having colours or content that are inconsistent creates confusion and that is something you want to avoid at all costs.
- CTA needs to be clear
Calls-to-action (CTAs) need to be clear and be seen by a visitor on first look. This can be achieved through a CTA button which lets them know where to go or what action to take next. Customers don’t need to return to your website at a later stage in order to convert.
Also, your CTA has to be big, visible and available on the majority of your pages, not just the home page. It must stand out on the page it’s on, by having less elements around it.
- Tell a story
Storytelling is one of the best ways of communicating powerful messages. In web design, it can be a conduit to deliver a message into the mind of the visitor: that they should buy your product or service.
It’s important to tell a story as this reinforces consistency, while keeping readers engaged. Having facts without a good story to follow makes them lose interest and move on to something better. Your website needs to follow a logical order that ultimately leads the visitor to your CTA or contact information.
- Less is more
Page visitors don’t want to be bombarded with a barrage of text, graphics and colours, such that they don’t know where to look first. It’s an important part of telling a story to only display essential information by eliminating any unnecessary text or graphics.
Keep text to a minimum by using fewer words, shorter sentences, shorter paragraphs and bullet points. Always use good content writing techniques that deliver your point across with as little words as possible and direct you to where you need to go next.
Just about half of all website traffic comes from mobile users. It’s a no-brainer why your website needs to be mobile-friendly to cater to this group of visitors. In fact, many developers have even gone a step further and are mobile-first.
The main advantage of creating responsive websites through mobile search engine optimisation (SEO) is that it raises their ranking on search engine results. This means that more people will be able to view your website regardless of the device they are using.
- SEO is king
SEO is undeniably one of the major and most popular best practices when it comes to digital design; every web designer has no option but to make it a priority. Always make sure that your website has relevant keywords that users typically input in search engines.
By using dynamic content, you can appeal to all possible visitors with various interests within your target market. By paying attention to tags, descriptions, sitemaps and using shorter URLs, your website can rank higher in search results.
We live in a world where not all individuals possess the same abilities that enable them to successfully navigate a website. With 15% of the world having some form of disability, it’s necessary to make sure your website can accommodate their needs.
Simple changes can be made to websites, such as by enabling keyboard-only support. This is particularly useful for individuals with motor impairments. You could also increase access to those with visual impairments by using contrasting colours.
- Speed optimisation
This ties well with “less is more” due to the fact that websites with complex graphics take longer to load, which sends visitors off in search of greener pastures. A Google study noted that sites lose 53% of their visitors if they take more than three seconds to load—You don’t want that.
Web developers should prioritise file compression (particularly for media), using prefetching, and removing unnecessary fonts, CSS and JS files. Another upside is that your SEO rankings will be higher if your page loads faster.
- A/B testing
A/B or split testing shows two different versions of a web page to different audiences, then compares them to find out which one performs better, with a certain goal in mind. It helps to find out what works and what doesn’t.
This should be a continual process as your target users’ needs are constantly evolving. By focusing on noticeably popular web elements, you can increase website conversions. Besides, analytics are always welcome when it comes to design.
So here’s our CTA too
At Digital Grind, we offer bespoke digital design services for platforms, websites and web apps, encompassing user interface and user experience design techniques. We can give your brand a facelift using the best practices mentioned above, to turn customer success into advocacy. Talk to us!