It’s no big secret that a website is one of the most valuable assets a business can own. But if you want to take hold of your business’s space on the market, designing any sort of website simply won’t do.
You need to consider many design factors to ensure you meet both your users’ needs and your business goals.
In this article, we will help you understand the importance of quality web design and provide you with a list of the five most important features you should consider when you build a website for your business.
Why is website design important?
Whether we would like to admit it or not, we as people are very quick to judge a book by its cover. We’re just as prone to forming a snap judgement when we visit a website for the very first time, so it’s vital that the initial impact your website has on its visitors is positive.
Statistically, 75% of users estimate a company’s credibility based on its website design. As many as 94% of users report their first impressions of the business when they visit their website are design-related.
Another concerning statistic data shows that it takes users about 50 milliseconds to form their first impression. This is how long you have to grab your audience’s attention and make them want to interact with your business website and engage in your content further.
If these numbers are starting to make you feel anxious, don’t worry. In our next section, we will discuss the five most important elements for designing a successful, easy-to-use website.
5 essential elements of a quality website design
For your website to have any chance of success, it needs to be:
- Optimized for speed
- Enriched with multimedia content
- Optimized for search engines
The latest 2022 statistics showed that 62.06% of all web traffic came from mobile devices. And this trend is constantly on the rise.
You could potentially miss more than half of your opportunities to make a good first impression if you don’t ensure your website loads just as well on smaller screens.
Here is what you can incorporate into the design to make sure your website is mobile-friendly:
- Opt for a website builder that offers responsive themes and templates
- Shorten any forms or required fields to a bare minimum. Ask only for information that is absolutely necessary.
- Optimize button size for smaller screens by making them slightly bigger and placing them within a thumb’s reach.
- Create enough space between the links so that your users don’t end up clicking the wrong one unintentionally.
- Choose a large and readable font. You may also take advantage of bolding or capitalizing text whenever it’s possible.
Don’t forget to test the end results. You can either access your website from different size devices and see how it acts or use Google’s free mobile-friendliness testing tool.
- Optimized for speed
Your page shouldn’t take more than three seconds to load. Studies show that a single-second delay will result in:
- Decreasing page views by 11%.
- Decreasing customer satisfaction by 16%.
- Lowering conversion rate by 7%.
- Tripled bounce rates.
All these negative impacts on your overall site performance will not go unnoticed by Google algorithms and your rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs) will drop significantly.
Some of the things you can do to reduce your website loading time to the desired three seconds include:
- Shed some “weight” from your images’ files by compressing them, changing their file formats, and enabling lazy loading.
- Reduce your redirects to an absolute minimum.
- Cache your website pages.
- Make sure you enable browser caching.
- Remove any unnecessary plugins.
Since your website loading time is crucial for your business success, you might want to consider assigning this task to professionals. You can hire one of the top web design companies in the UK to ensure you don’t lose any potential customers over a one-second delay.
- Enriched with multimedia content
Users will spend 88% more time on pages with videos than on those without video content. Another interesting survey was conducted by Top design firms where they asked users to say what visual elements they value the most on a business website.
It is also important to know that blogs that include images receive 94% more views than those that don’t.
In addition, multimedia content will help you attract your visitors’ attention and ensure you rank higher on SERPs.
- Optimized for search engines
Contemporary studies consistently show that a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is something every business must have in place. For instance, the return on investment (ROI) of SEO can be more than 12 times higher than marketing ROI.
Additionally, SEO can increase the business value per blog post visit by an astonishing 429%.
When it comes to SEO your ultimate goal is to ensure your position on the number one page in Google’s results. This is important because results on the first Google page receive 32% of all clicks while second page results get only 0.78% of all clicks.
Here are the three main steps for optimizing for search engines and boosting your website’s visibility:
- Conduct keyword research
- Optimize for on-page SEO – place your keywords in the headlines, subheadlines, URL, and meta tags
- Optimize for off-page SEO – engage in guest blogging, social media, influencer marketing, etc.
Keywords are an important part of a successful SEO strategy but what could be even more important is providing value to your users by offering them quality content – the kind they want to consume.
Other important factors for SEO are the above-mentioned fast loading times and mobile-friendliness.
It is important to design a website that your users will navigate with ease and leave satisfied with the interaction. This is because 88% of visitors are unlikely to revisit a website after a bad experience.
Fast loading times and mobile friendliness also play a big role in customer satisfaction but other important features can help the cause. These include:
- Intuitive user interface
- Clear call-to-action (CTA)
- All users’ accessibility
- Scannable content
An intuitive user interface ensures your visitors don’t have to go through too much trouble to find the information they are searching for or complete the desired action. It should reduce the knowledge gap to a minimum.
This means that it should be as little difference as possible between what a user already knows about browsing a website and what they need to know when they browse your website in particular.
Clear CTA is crucial for any website designed for business as it is the only thing standing between your visitors and their completion of the desired action. The best CTAs are easy to spot, short in length, with actionable text, and a sense of urgency.
All users’ accessibility means that your website should be adapted for individuals with various disabilities. It should offer the same value to people that have problems with sight, hearing, mobility, or cognitive functions.
There are many ways you can achieve all users’ accessibility goals, such as enabling keyboard navigation, choosing high-contrast colors, providing Alt text images, and adding captions and transcripts to your videos.
Scannable content is strategically placed content that follows our eyes’ natural movement when we browse a webpage for specific information. It is based on the fact that we don’t read everything we see on the page, instead, we scan the content usually in the F-pattern or Z-pattern.
There are many tricks of the trade when it comes to scannable web design. These include making the most of the negative space, creating bulleted and numbered lists, arranging the content according to the visual hierarchy, putting the main navigation into your website’s header, and many more.
The quality of your website design is what could ultimately make or break your business. To ensure your website corresponds to its users and your business goals you need to make sure it is optimized for both speed and search engines.
Your business will also benefit from developing a website that offers valuable multimedia content and stays consistent through all devices.
Make it user-friendly so that your visitors spend as little time as possible searching for the desired information and as much time as possible engaging with the actual content on your pages.
Don’t forget to make your website accessible to everyone. This will help you gain more trust from your users, and it’s a great way of presenting your company’s values.
We hope our article helped you understand the importance of quality web design and provided you with enough information on what to include in your site to make it useful and appealing to all of its potential users.
Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. His work is focusing on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.