We like to view your website as the home base of your operation, which means you need a high-powered site that gets the job done and accurately represents your brand. Each business needs its own unique site, but these elements are essential to every website.
Focus on these elements of your website to create a visually pleasing, easy to navigate digital home base for your brand.
If there’s one thing you want to prioritize, it should be the element that helps get people to your website. SEO is a vital aspect of your site that will impact how you are found online and how well your site performs.
Ranking and Visibility
93% of users begin an online session using a search engine, which means you need to be at the top of the list to attract any viewers. Your rank and visibility will greatly impact how many people actually see your site at the top of a SERP, and SEO will get you there.
- Rank is where on the list of results you appear after a search. The top sites get the most clicks, so you need to utilize SEO properly to increase your ranking.
- Visibility is how likely a web user is to find your site. Improving your search engine ranking is one of the best ways to increase visibility.
Search engines like Google rank based on relevance and authority. To demonstrate your relevance, you want to prioritize certain keywords that are most relevant to your brand. This will help your site rank higher when someone includes those keywords in a query. Your authority will have to be built up over time, but as you increase your visibility and attract more traffic, you will be seen as an authority in your field.
You might think tracking every keyword that is slightly relevant to your brand is the best way to increase traffic, but this can actually hurt your SEO strategy.
You want to focus on a few keywords, both long- and short-tail, that are the most relevant to the users you are trying to attract. These should be included in content throughout your site to demonstrate (both to the reader and the search engine) that the information on that page is closely related to the query. You will want to test out using different keywords and review your results to see which keywords have the greatest impact. Sites like Keyword Tool can help reveal what keywords you might want to try.
HTML is the code behind your website, but no worries, you don’t need to be a professional web designer to work on SEO from the backend of your site. HTML is how search engines are able to “read” your site and determine the relevancy of its content.
Three main elements you will want to focus on are H1 tags, meta descriptions, and alt-text.
- H1 tags need to be included on every page to help keep the information organized and better explain the relevance and importance of the content on the page to the search engine.
- Meta descriptions are a brief synopsis of the page that is displayed under the title on the SERP. It is very important that you fill out accurate and precise meta descriptions on each page so users and search engines can check the relevancy of the content. You must include keywords to improve ranking and visibility.
- Alt-text should be added to each image on your site to help search engines (which cannot “see” images) understand what the image shows and whether it is relevant to the search.
Your homepage is the first page many visitors will see. Having an attractive and intuitive homepage can have a huge impact on whether visitors choose to stay or bounce- and you only have 0.05 seconds to convince them to stay!
Clean and Modern
Most brands are now embracing a more minimalist style, especially on their websites. Simple but striking web design not only makes your site look good, it also will help visitors find what they’re looking for and encourage them to continue exploring.
As the introduction to your site, your homepage should clearly represent your brand but not give too much information at once; too many images, animations, and large blocks of text can be overwhelming and unattractive to both new and returning visitors.
Including whitespace throughout your site will give it a clean and modern look; it also helps to emphasize certain elements of your site. Having a page with lots of whitespace, minimal text, and large images will make the most important aspects of the page stand out and guide the viewer through the site.
Landing on a homepage is one thing, but searching through the site for the information you actually want can sometimes be frustrating. Confusing site layouts and inefficient navigation will increase your bounce rate, but there are many things you can do to help guide your visitors.
Always have some sort of navigation menu available on every page; this will help viewers understand where they are on the site and where they can find the information they need.
Using hamburger menus can actually increase conversions when properly utilized. By simplifying your navigation, users are less likely to become distracted by other elements of your site. Hamburger menus have all the links conveniently available without crowding the page. This can be especially useful for mobile-responsive sites, as users on smartphones and tablets are looking at a much smaller screen; the simpler the better!
CTAs are often your best bet for getting users to take the desired next step. Having bold and intriguing CTAs can reduce distractions and give your visitors a clear path to take throughout the site.
CTAs can be used anywhere on your site to encourage any action. To create an effective CTA, you should test which phrases, imagery, and location work best for your target audience. The small difference between “Download our eBook” and “Recieve Your FREE eBook” can have a big impact on your audience.
You also want to make sure your CTAs bring users to a specific landing page, as this dedicated page can encourage users to take up your offer. Include CTAs throughout your site to ensure your visitor always has a hint at where to go next.
With the ever-expanding possibilities for web design, the options for content on your site are endless. Many brands are venturing out of standard text and images and moving on to bolder, more engaging designs.
Large, responsive hero images are one of the biggest trends in web design right now. You will often find homepages with a single image and a bit of text. This element goes along with the minimalist trend; including one high-quality image is much more powerful and engaging to viewers.
Using large images can be a bit tricky for inexperienced users. There are two aspects you must check before using an image- resolution and file size.
- Resolution is what is going to affect the quality of your photo; we usually recommend a width of 1920px to 2400px and file size of 250kb or under. Using images with low resolution will result in grainy, blurred images and will not be as compelling or attractive.
- File size can affect your page speed. If the file is too large it can drastically slow the load time and responsiveness of your page.
Images with low resolution and large files not only look unprofessional, but they also impact the performance of your site.
Many brands are now including videos on their homepages and throughout their site. Video is a diverse medium that can be utilized by almost every business.
Much like a hero image, background videos are used to engage the viewer and get right to the point. Videos can often lock a viewer in and can convey more information quickly and easily compared to images and text.
You can use video throughout your site in many ways, including:
- Demonstrating your product
- Introducing your business
- Telling your story
- Educating your viewers
Whatever your brand, there is a way to include video in your marketing.
Informative but Attractive
Like with video, providing information in an entertaining way is much more engaging than plain text. While some media may be solely aesthetic, you can also use images and videos to convey important information that may otherwise be a bit dry.
Infographics are a great way to add a little color to your site while still maintaining focus on the information. This can be especially helpful for B2B sites that want to include more relevant imagery, but may not have many images of products to display.
Most information can be transformed to combine appealing visuals and concrete information. Tutorials, data and statistics, or instructions can all be designed to not only give answers but do so in a way that engages the viewer and assists their understanding of what they are reading.
Ultimately, the aesthetic and layout of your site will be unique to your brand, needs, and goals. Utilizing these key elements will help you create an attractive and high-functioning site that will delight viewers and bring you closer to your goals.