Website design is constantly evolving alongside consumer and market trends, but there are some key elements and design pillars that will always stand the test of time. From proper branding to SEO optimization, all the way to navigation and customer centricity, there are many things you need to keep in mind if you want to build a winning website experience.
Today we’re putting all of this into perspective, as we share the pillars of good web design that will help you stay in front of your competition and build a thriving online presence.
Building the right website architecture
First things first, it’s important to keep in mind that good web design starts with good website architecture. This is the foundation for all the content, visuals, and UX elements you’ll be adding down the road, so it’s important to build an efficient architecture first.
Having an efficient and effective architecture in place is not only important for user navigation, but it’s imperative when you’re working with an SEO expert to improve your ranking. Not to mention that it’s all tied to the proper functioning of your website.
Make sure to start with a simple site map that has the home page as the top pillar. This pillar will be supported by its main categories, such as your About page, your Services or Products pages, and the like.
Next, support these main categories with subcategories, such as the subcategories for different product types or different types of services. Lastly, support your subcategories with individual web pages, all neatly organized in their respective folders.
This represents a clean website architecture, which will help the search engines index your pages and make sense of your website. This will also help your users navigate quickly and efficiently.
Ensuring customer centricity in web design
While we are on the topic of building a great user experience, we need to talk about the importance of customer centricity.
Customer centricity in web design is the process of focusing on the customers’ needs, wants, and goals during the design process. In order to implement customer-centric web design in your strategy and maximize the potential of your site to delight and convert, you need to delve deep into customer and market research.
Understanding your customers means pooling data from not only surveys, feedback, and market trends, but also from your CRM and your existing website if you have one. When you have the data, you then need to prioritize which changes you’re going to implement in your new website.
Make sure to prioritize based on relevance and need, and don’t forget to focus on intuitive navigation, accessibility and inclusion, content clarity, and continuous improvement. After all, your website is a living entity in the digital world, and it’s important to keep improving it over time.
Including SEO in the process
While many business leaders might not be aware of it, search engine optimization is not just about optimizing your content or images, nor is it just about building backlinks. Good SEO starts the moment you start building your website.
Experienced web designers understand that various design elements and pillars will have an integral part to play in your site’s ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs). These include:
- Mobile friendliness
- Images and videos
- Accessibility features
- Website speed and responsiveness
All of these elements will dictate how well your website performs and how well these various elements will impact your ranking, your content, and your user experience as a whole. They’re also integral in supporting your content strategy and all the lead generation tools you integrate into your site down the line.
You can focus on these elements to truly bring SEO and website design together during the initial stages, after which you can continue to build your SEO strategy with content and keywords, backlinks, and other important pillars.
Proper branding and visuals
Your brand is the identity and personality of your business, and it’s one of the key differentiating factors between you and your competition. Even if you don’t have a unique product or service, even if you do what many others are doing in your industry, you can still build a thriving business based on an amazing brand alone.
But to do that, you need to brand your entire online and offline presence consistently across all channels. Branding is especially important for your website because it’s your main customer touchpoint in a digital world.
Always remember that branding a website not only means using your brand’s colors and visuals on every page–it also means doing it in a way that won’t harm the site’s performance. You can minimize the size of all these files with online jpeg compression to ensure that all your visuals are there but that the pages still load quickly and fully.
Make sure that the content you create, both written and visual, follows your brand style guide, including:
- Images, pictograms, and icons
- Color scheme
- Writing and storytelling
- Tone of voice
If you are building your website and your brand from scratch, you also need to pay close attention to your brand name and all that it brings. Choosing a name for your brand and incorporating it into the website takes careful planning, as you want it to make a lasting first impression.
In order to find the right business name for your company, you should think of something that is unique while being top-of-mind for your target audience. You will then incorporate your brand name into the website in the above-the-fold section to ensure name retention.
Monitoring, data collection, and optimization
On a final note, it’s important to monitor both your website’s performance post-launch and that of your competition in order to make changes quickly and optimize your site. Continuous optimization is important because it’s hard to build the ideal website experience on the first try. Instead, you’ll need to optimize over time until you create the best version.
Knowing how your competitors are adjusting their pages will give you some great clues and ideas for your own website. Have they moved or changed their CTAs? Did they add a video or an image? Have they edited their headings?
There’s probably an A/B testing process behind those changes, and it’s something you should experiment with as well! You can use Visualping as a great monitoring solution that will alert you promptly as soon as your tracked pages have any changes. You’ll get an email with those changes highlighted, so you can quickly see if that’s something worthy of your attention.
This kind of monitoring gives you insight into the changes you need to make to delight your users and optimize your site to maximize lead generation, engagement, and sales.
Over to you
Web design is an ever-evolving process that demands that your web designers stay on top of the latest trends to ensure personalization, good UX, brand memorability, and more. Whether you are building a new website for your business or if you’re revitalizing an old one, be sure to use these key pillars to create a winning web experience for your customers in 2023 and beyond.