As a business owner, it is important to remember that your website can either help or hinder your digital marketing strategy. Accordingly, you must have a site that is regularly updated with the current best practices in usability and SEO. Most importantly, you need to adopt web design features that are geared towards generating conversions.

This article will outline the seven dos and don’ts of web design.

The Dos

Chart your customers’ journey in your web design

The primary objective of your e-commerce site is to sell products and services. With this in mind, you need to plan how you can lead people from simply viewing your items to actually making a purchase. So if your website is still in the design phase, make sure that your web designer in Northampton incorporates this capability. Even if your site is already up and running, it’s not too late to make the necessary adjustments.

Add several call-to-actions (CTAs) to each web page

CTAs are essential, especially for online shops, as they guide visitors on how to navigate through a website. It is not unusual to include more than two CTAs on a single page. In fact, the more you have, the better your chances of visitors clicking on the ‘Buy’ button.

Quality is also crucial. Therefore, you must ensure that your CTAs comply with one or all of the following criteria:

  • They create a sense of urgency – “Buy now! This product is available for a limited time only”.
  • They generate excitement – “You need this item!”.
  • They offer a bonus award – “Sign up now for our newsletter and receive a free gift in return”.

Which of these CTA types will convince you to click on the button?

Choose and use readable fonts

When it comes to the readability factor, it is imperative that you use suitable fonts on your website. Here are some important tips to remember when selecting fonts.

  • Use script fonts only for accents – If used in the body of your content, they make your text very difficult to read. You can use them in the headers, but only if they are legible.
  • Display fonts should be limited to headers – They usually don’t look good as a body font.
  • Compare the fonts for readability – If you are having trouble deciding, test a variety of fonts by comparing them side by side on one page.

Remember, the font size will also affect the readability of your web pages. Most people have no patience with small text and are likely to leave any site that is difficult to read.

Make your website mobile-responsive and optimised for speed

Having a mobile-responsive website is a must, especially considering Google’s mobile-first policy whereby mobile-friendly websites are often the first to appear on the results pages.

Your website should also have a quick loading time; anything beyond three seconds will prompt potential customers to look elsewhere. However, if your online shop is taking too long to load, you can improve its speed by:

  • Resizing or compressing images
  • Removing non-essential add-on scripts
  • Monitoring the number of fonts used on the web pages

The Don’ts

It’s not a good idea to flood your main navigation menu with too many links

As a general rule, three to five links in the header will be quite sufficient. Nevertheless, you don’t want to make it difficult for visitors to search for vital information about your products and services. Use your judgment to decide on the usefulness of adding a particular link.

Avoid using poorly formatted text

As a general rule, your text should inform people and convince them to buy your products and services. However, reading a single large paragraph of content can be quite tedious and it may even reduce your chances of successfully engaging your readers.

You can ensure that your text is easy to read by following these simple formatting tips.

  • Use short paragraphs – Break down your content into smaller sections of perhaps one to three sentences.
  • Create a hierarchy – Headings will set the focus topic of each paragraph. A hierarchy will also make your online text scannable since most people don’t actually read every sentence on a web page.
  • Arrange the text in small column widths – Limiting the width will make the text readable and will also provide some visual appeal.

Content, such as sales pages, can often be too long. Divide your text into sections and consider using images. You may even be able to convince people to read a 10,000-word article if it is correctly formatted and scannable.

Don’t settle for low-quality images

To paraphrase an old saying, a product’s image is worth a thousand words (or sales). This means you need to post professional-looking photos and not just generic ones. Fortunately, stunning images don’t need to cost the earth. Many online resources offer professional photos for a small price.

You may also wish to consider hiring a professional photographer, although an amateur whose work is exceptional will probably suffice.

Web design is critical to the success of your products

Think of web design as the equivalent to business signs or the window display of a high-street shop. This approach will encourage you to incorporate design features that will attract online visitors. Once people click on your site, it should be easy for them to learn about the benefits of your products. Also, place several CTAs in strategic areas to help customers with their purchasing decisions. In order to achieve your objectives, you may need to employ a professional web designer. They will provide valuable insights and enable you to increase your online traffic and sales.