With so many different users to think about it's not surprising that it can be easy to get lost when designing your new website. That's why we've put together a list of what we think are some of the most important basic elements to any new website. Take a look through our top 10 and see how many you've perfected already. Let us know how you get on.
One of the most important features of any homepage is the headline. Not only does assigning a H1 tag headline help search engines define what’s relevant, but it tells your users exactly who you are and what you do within seconds of reaching your page.
Your website needs to demand action from its visitors. An effective call to action could take the form of a button, sign-up form or even a telephone number. Remember to ensure that the options available are limited and not overwhelming and that your business goals align with the calls to action across your site.
It is a government requirement that websites are transparent when it comes to ownership and contact information and it’s considered good practice to make sure that your company address and contact information is as easily accessible as possible. If you’re looking to generate phone calls or emails, make sure that information is at the forefront.
The graphic impact of your website can be incredibly important. Including images and videos in your webpages can bring them to life. The adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ holds true in that your imagery can make or break your website. Poor quality or poorly chosen images can give the wrong impression while the right image can connect you to your users on a fundamental level.
Videos are a great way to show off your products and services. You can provide value to your visitors with how-to videos and tutorials, or help your users convert with video testimonials from your satisfied customers. Define your goals and choose the right videos to help support these.
Written reviews and testimonials are your decision-making bread and butter. What your clients say about you in public and in private matters as their approval can help new customers choose you over your competitor. It’s important to make reviews easy to access and keep them as diverse as possible. The more reviews covering specifics the more you can use them as proof that what you offer works.
Remember to accept the reality of negative reviews and deal with them professionally. You don’t have to put them on your website, but nothing makes a company look as unprofessional as reacting to trolls or bad-mouthing customers in a public forum. Be assertive but not overbearing.
This one is pretty straight forward. Always make sure social media is easily accessible. Not only your own social channels but share links for your blog posts and articles. Make it as easy as possible for your visitors to share what they find with others and to continue a relationship with you through your chosen channels.
Keep this in mind from stage one of your website. Do your keyword research and find out exactly what you are looking to be found for on search. Write your content around what matters to your business. Don’t just throw in a keyword every 5 words, be mindful of how search engines will read your content. Make sure your key messages are in there and that the surrounding information is relevant and useful.
While images are your art, white space is your pedestal. The use of white space in web design has been debated back and forth for years. Some designers prefer more, some less. Whatever your preferences it can be an incredibly useful tool to emphasises your most important brand messages. Don’t give in to clutter.
No one is going to forget their website footer (well probably no one) but it’s important not to neglect this handy little piece of design. For Example, the footer is often the first-place people will look for company information, careers pages or terms and conditions. Having the layout well balanced, readable and optimised can help your customers find the information they need quickly and efficiently. It’s often the last thing blog readers see as they head for the “X” button and it’s perfect for a last little call to action.
While technically linked to the SEO optimisation section, internal linking isn’t just for the crawl bots. Helping users to find supporting information or jump straight where they need to go is a great way to reduce the time it takes to make decisions. Whatever your KPI’s, getting your users there as quickly as possible does help.