It only takes 50 milliseconds for a website visitor to form a first impression about your site. That is scary. The value of your website can’t be formulated — it is in fact priceless. This is because your website is more than just a website — it is your brand, your voice, your mission, your everything. Today’s websites hold more than some paragraph blurbs and photos. They are filled with intrinsic value that goes beyond what meets the eye.
Therefore, a website must put your best foot forward. It is an everyday tool used to connect with potential customers and expand your industry reach. So if you’re building a website from scratch, it is critical to your success that you do right. Here are nine tips to help you build an effective website from the ground up.
1. Pick The Right Platform
The platform is the foundation of your website. Picking a platform that enables you to design, customize, and provide the necessary functionality is key to having an effective website. Every business has different needs which will lead to different choices between WordPress, Squarespace, Magneto, etc. Just keep in mind that your business needs will grow over time, so don’t pigeon hole yourself with a platform that doesn’t offer the right scalability.
2. Make Your Goal Clear
When planning and building your website, you need to keep your singular goal in mind. That could be to sell product XYZ, receive newsletter sign-ups, gain demo requests, etc. No matter the main goal your website tries to achieve, it should be consistent and laser-focused. Every part of your website should support the action you wish visitors to take — because sometimes it is best to spell out the next steps.
3. What is Your Target Audience Seeking?
During the planning stage, you should assess why someone would visit your website. It sounds like a straightforward answer, but believe it or not, many websites lack a positive user experience. Websites are littered with jumbled information, inconclusive answers, and irrelevant material that lead consumers on a wild goose chase. Be sure to plan out your website that it provides a positive user experience, not letting your website visitor leave your digital environment.
4. Don’t Rush It. Wireframe It.
It is easy to fall into the rush of building a website and getting it launched. However, a website isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. It takes considerable planning, editing, and beta testing. Wireframe your website to get a visual layout of all pages, content, and navigation. This helps eliminate future issues as you start to develop and piece together the project.
5. Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)
We’ve all heard the saying… keep it simple stupid (KISS). This applies to your website. As the main touchpoint for customers, your website needs to execute its job effectively and efficiently. Provide website visitors with the right information and make it easy to find. Don’t overcomplicate the use of your website. People like when things work the first time. If your website is too confusing or poorly designed, you’re going to see high bounce rates and low conversions.
6. Prioritize The Mobile Experience
The majority of search engine queries are done via a smartphone or tablet. This REQUIRES that websites are not only optimized for mobile — but built to provide an excellent handheld experience. Without this prioritization, your web presence is going to flounder.
7. Make Navigation Easy
When designing the layout and workflows of your site, make it a point that navigation is quick and straightforward. Don’t buildout countless pages, megamenus, and endless scrolling — it makes users want to pull their hair out… Easy navigation ensures that you help visitors get from point A to point B in a timely manner — good UX is always a good choice.
8. Consistent Design & Theme
Half the battle of attractive web design is consistency. Humans are oddly satisfied with consistent harmony, in all things, — nature, art, work, and even website design. When building your site make sure you pick only a few colors, one or two font styles, the same shapes and content placement, consistent CTA themes, etc. Pick and choose elements from across the internet from other websites to take inspiration from and blend it into your own original, eye-catching web design.
9. Include High-Quality Content & Media
Lastly, a website needs to be filled with high-quality content in order to attract and retain website visitors. A content plan is never-ending. As you build out your site, you will continuously need to brainstorm, develop, and implement this content. In the end, a website is just the house that holds service pages, blogs, videos, images, and all the other pertinent content consumers are seeking.