You can have top-notch content, but if your web page’s design doesn’t match you run a high risk of losing web traffic. What’s more, your content won’t get the attention it deserves, leading to wasted time and effort.
Good website design amplifies and enhances content quality. Design not only refers to visual components, but also the site’s visibility and usability. That’s why your site must prioritize user experience to help boost readership, time spent on site, and build conversions.
In this post, we’ll discuss the top elements that comprise a well-designed web page to help you improve your content quality, improve your content marketing efforts, and amplify your business’ online presence.
Let’s get started.
8 Crucial Elements to Consider in Your Site’s Design
Consider your web page as your digital storefront. Similar to shopping in person, customers will be drawn to what catches their attention first. In stores, that may be vibrant displays, prominent sales signs, or items at the front of the store. Online the eye may be naturally drawn to compelling visual elements or engaging design.
Visitors aren’t likely to read an entire piece of content. According to recent research, the average time a user spends on a page across all industries is 54 seconds. That leaves you less than a minute to convert a guest to a frequent visitor.
If the actual content on the page isn’t interesting or your visual elements aren’t attractive, you risk them leaving the site. Here are a few ways to capture and keep your visitors’ attention.
Consider Google’s Ideal Page Experience
Google began rolling out its Page Experience update in June 2021, citing the importance of providing a good page experience to the end user and how that impacts search engine rankings. To determine page quality, Google looks at Core Web Vitals, as well as other search engine ranking symbols such as mobile-friendliness, HTTPS, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.
Google looks at the following when evaluating a page’s experience:
- The page loading time
- The page’s interactivity
- The page’s visual stability
- The security of the site using HTTPS
- A seamless experience on both desktop, mobile devices, and different screen sizes
- No intrusive pop-ups that would detract from the primary content on the page
Following Google’s guidelines will not only help your website appear higher in Google Search, but also improves your user’s experience through your website design.
Image courtesy of Rio SEO
Improve Your Site Structure and Usability
Consumers expect their online shopping experience to be simple. Seventy six percent of consumers say the most important factor in a website’s design is that “the website makes it easy for me to find what I want.” The more complex and difficult it is for a searcher to complete a conversion, the less likely you are to make a sale. It’s that simple.
Keep your navigation and site architecture intuitive. You’ll also want to:
- Use highly-visible CTA buttons.
- Use a basic layout, avoid flashy and heavy graphics or videos.
- Continue to A/B test. Find a third-party person and ask them to see if they can easily navigate your site, including making purchases.
- Monitor key metrics regularly, such as time users spent on site, bounce rate, pages per session, and more. Google Analytics or Google Search Console are great places to find these metrics.
- Don’t use fancy wording. Label your menu items clearly so people know what to expect when they click the link.
- Make it easy to contact you. Have your contact information visible without scrolling.
On Forsta’s website for example, their drop down menus are easy to navigate. When clicking their solutions drop down,the user can choose to see their solutions by products or by the user’s role in their organization. Each solution option is clearly named and easy to comprehend.
Keep it Simple
In a survey conducted by Hubspot, only 10% of respondents said the most important factor in the design of a website is if it has a beautiful appearance. Similarly, only 9% of respondents said the website should offer a cutting edge interactive experience.
Users don’t need your website to be over the top. In fact, too many distractions and features can slow your page load time. Keep it simple, clutter free, and include only what’s necessary to boost your design and content utility.
Keep Reading Patterns in Mind
Eye-tracking research has found most people primarily scan a web page, rather than reading every word on the page. They also don’t scan it in a precise, linear manner. Eye movements jump around the page, skip some content, backtrack to see what they missed, and rescan content.
Most visitors use an F-pattern when scanning a website. Consumers gravitate towards text in the top and left areas of a screen, reading left to right and top to bottom, just like the letter F. Your content should be aligned with people’s preferred method of reading or scanning the page.
Use the Right Typography
You’ve likely encountered websites that are difficult to read due to the typography they’ve selected. In turn, you likely navigated elsewhere. Your brand’s typography should be recognizable, simple, and appealing to the end user. Letters can come in different shapes, sizes and styles. You’ll want to consider:
- Is there too little or too much space between letters?
- Do some letters fit too closely together with a specific font?
- Does your word’s spacing fit together too closely or too far?
- Is the font too closely tied to a well known brand’s font?
- Does the font have a font family for bolding, italicizing, and more?
- Are you using too many different fonts?
- Are too many different designers working on the site’s visual design?
Choose a Stunning Color Scheme
People associate colors with different emotions, feelings, and perceptions. For example, when people see the color yellow they might feel happiness or think warm thoughts. Knowing color has the power to sway people’s thoughts, it’s critical for brands to incorporate the right colors for an effective website design. Finding the right color scheme for your site entails:
- Keeping color associations in mind and understanding color psychology basics.
- Thinking about how different color combinations will mesh with each other.
- Keeping it simple and not using too many complicated colors together.
- Using contrasting colors. For example Apple uses simple, yet contrasting colors on its website. The prominent black and white colors are a stark contrast to each other, which helps its content stand out to the reader.
Incorporate Compelling Visuals
Visuals are an integral component in any effective website design and content strategy. Sixty five percent of individuals learn best through visual means. Videos on average get 135% more interaction than posts with just images.
You may have relevant content, but without the use of visuals your content may fall flat. Incorporate high-quality images and video to draw the reader in and keep them engaged. Ensure your images stay in line with your brand colors and guidelines.
Tools such as Canva (an online graphic design tool) and Lumen5 (a video creation platform) are a great place for beginner designers to get started. Canva has a free option and Lumen5 has a free trial so you can test them out before you commit.
Distribute Your Content Properly on the Page
The way your content is presented on your web page will also impact how and if a reader will engage with it. For example, readers prefer shorter blocks of text. Writers agree that a five-sentence paragraph is a good rule of thumb to follow. Keep in mind most readers will skim your content, so breaking that content up will make skimming easier.
Additionally, your content should be broken up with visual elements, such as images, videos, or CTAs. Keep your layout simple and clutter-free, with ample white space, the empty space around the content and other elements on a page. Your text should also be large enough to easily read and include headings and subheadings.
Always leave your readers with a next step to boost your conversion rates, whether that’s encouraging them to continue reading another relevant blog post, directing them to a product or service, or adding a CTA. Guide readers to where you want them to go or do next.
Good website design is synonymous with a good customer experience. It also impacts content quality and whether a user will engage with your content or quickly exit your site. Users expect a seamless path to conversion. Don’t create roadblocks in their journey. Follow the above strategies and recommendations to improve your website’s design and content quality today.