Whether you’re fulfilling orders or answering emails, it can be challenging to tackle all the daily tasks of running a business while also making sure your online presence is effective and aesthetically-pleasing. Not only that, but carving out the time to make improvements to your website design can be an overwhelming endeavor, especially if it’s been a few years since you’ve updated your site. However, it goes without saying that keeping your site looking great and operating smoothly should be at the top of any business’ “to do” list. A bad website design and a poor user experience will negatively affect your conversion rates—and your bottom line. Thus, keeping your website up to date is one of the most worthwhile investments you can make towards the success of your business. Luckily, our Denver marketing company knows the ins and outs of quality website design, and our web developers have picked up a few tips and tricks over our many years of building and maintaining stunning websites for our clients.
Here are the biggest things we recommend you do for your next website design refresh.
Know Your Brand
Before thinking about what changes to make to your site, it’s best to take a second look at your brand strategy. Having a solid brand strategy (and knowing it from top to bottom) can help shape your copywriting, messaging, value proposition, fonts, colors, and overall website design style down the line. In our experience, brands who have a well-thought-out brand strategy have an easier time with website design projects.
Have a Solid Game Plan
Thorough, thoughtful preparation will do wonders for the rest of the website development process—trust us!
Thoughtful website design planning starts with getting your goals in order. Ask yourself: do you want to sell more product, receive more client inquiries, or improve your rankings in search engines? Knowing your top priority is integral to reaching your desired outcome. But no matter what, your visitors must be able to gather who you are and what you do within moments of landing on your page. Otherwise, all those goals immediately go by the wayside.
With your objectives in mind, it’s time to refer to your sitemap.
If you don’t have one drafted up already for your current website, take a few minutes and draft one up. For you visual learners out there, sitemaps look something like this:
With your goals and current sitemap laid out in front of you, it’s time to make some changes. Figure out which of your pages you need, what information could be combined or reorganized, and what pages you should ditch. It can be helpful to use analytics to find the most popular content on your existing site. For ideal usability, this content should be the easiest to access in a navigation menu. Then, it’s time to move on to outlining what it will actually look like!
We like to wrap up the prep phase of the web design process by creating a wireframe (here’s a great guide to creating one in case you haven’t done so before!) This is a rough sketch of what content should go where on your pages. The wireframing process helps ensure that your pages will flow logically, and that no important information is left out.
Channel Your Brand’s Voice
Using your wireframe and sitemap as a roadmap, the copywriting stage can be completed a bit easier. Keep in mind that design should support your content—not the other way around. As we said before, your branding should be cohesive not just visually, but also through the voice and tone in your copywriting.
Make It Stand Out
Now, let’s talk design.
Sometimes, less really is more. At Red Egg, we favor clean and simple designs over fussy bells and whistles. A complex design might seem impressive at first glance, but it often sacrifices readability and focus. Clutter will only confuse your visitors and send them packing to your competitors’ sites. Each element on your page should be there to add explicit value.
One way to declutter is to use no more than two fonts. Second, make ample use of white space or “negative space.” White space helps to guide the eye, provide visual breaks for visitors, and define the separation between sections. Note that these areas don’t need to be literally white—a spacious blue background provides the same visual benefits.
Simplicity is key, but your site shouldn’t be so simple that it’s just plain boring! Break up your design with eye-catching elements, including images and videos, rather than endless walls of text.
Keeping your audience engaged means mitigating confusion and obstacles. Referring to your wireframe, display your content in a logical order so visitors scroll through an orderly flow of information. For example, be sure that the most important content appears above the fold: the top area of the web page that you see without scrolling. Also, arrange the elements with gestalt in mind. Gestalt is the study of how we perceive and recognize patterns, such as by proximity, or by similarity in size, shape, or color. So, if you have a group of icons that are meant to convey a unified idea, they should also be unified in appearance. Similarly, use a clear visual hierarchy to direct attention. This means that your most important content should be larger and bolder than lesser information. Most importantly, make sure your calls-to-action stand out and contrast their surroundings.
Make It Work
It doesn’t matter how great your website design looks if it doesn’t function. Put user experience above all else—if your site looks cool, but is a nightmare to use, then it’s all a pointless endeavor. In this regard, your site must be responsive and mobile friendly.
Once your design is complete and your website is developed, be sure to test the functionality of everything before you launch. You can also opt to A/B test your pages to study the best execution of various elements.
Finally, when revamping an existing website, our Denver marketing company strongly recommends watching out for 404 error codes. These occur when a page that used to be on your old site is no longer available, and then this undermines your website’s rankings in search engines. But fear not! To resolve 404s, simply redirect your old page URLs to new pages with related content. For instance, your old Location and Hours pages can both be redirected to your newly combined Contact page.
Get in Touch with a Trusted Denver Marketing Company
In summation, your website revamp should go a little something like this:
Establish Goals > Organize Pages > Arrange Page Structure > Generate Content > Design the Appearance > Test Usability and Functionality > Launch!
With these factors in mind, your website revamp should go off without a hitch, and you will have many more conversions heading your way! If it’s time (or past time) to update your website, let us do the heavy lifting. Engaging a Denver marketing company like us here at Red Egg for your website revamp will leave you with a beautiful online presence that both works and works for you! Reach out to Red Egg today.