Web design do’s and don’ts
In this article, we assume that you picked the DIY approach to web design. Obviously, you could hire a professional to do it for you.!
Web design is not a piece of cake. To do this right, you need to become a specialist in SEO, copywriting, picking the right images, user experience…. the list could go on and on. But, the good news is – a lot of people have already done that and saw huge successes! You can be next!
In this dos and don’ts guide, we will show you the areas to pay attention to when designing your own website.
Do use the colours that are suitable for your brand
Did you know that a lot of social network layouts are blue, because of proven calming qualities of this colour and a sense of credibility it channels? In web design, using the right colours can be a game-changer. That’s why you shouldn’t pick the colour scheme for your website based solely on the fact that you like them. There’s an actual science to that – educate yourself before making decisions on your web design!
Don’t choose distracting colours or colours that will make the text blend in
One of the worst decisions is picking distracting, bright and in-your-face colour scheme for your website. Think about the priorities of the visitors. Do they want to see how colourful and trippy your website is? Or maybe they just want to buy something from you or read a blog article? In 99.9% of the cases, it’s the latter. Don’t make the experience of your visitors a painful one and pick toned colours that fit nicely with your text.
Do choose ads relevant to what your customers might be interested in
Let’s suppose you have a DIY car repairs blog. If you put ads for businesses offering used car parts, your audience may really benefit from it. Placing relevant advertising on your website will increase your credibility as a person that’s dedicated to bettering the lives of your target audience.
Don’t trash your website with random ads
Weird pop-ups with a discount code for a shop selling bird food are not welcome on your website. Your visitors are going to hate them and as a result, hate your website.
Ads should not be a priority on your website. Content should be. If you cram-pack your website with advertising they will outshadow the things you upload. Remember why you made a website in the first place – to promote your business, not to make others get customers. Don’t turn your website into a huge billboard!
Do keep it simple
Great web design is all about simplicity. Clear design and minimal approach are key.
When someone visits your website, they should know straight away what’s where. Focus on highlighting the basics – your products and key sections (“About us” and contact section).
Don’t overcrowd your page
Do you really need all these sign-up boxes? Or all these weird add-ons?
Don’t make your visitors confused. Let your website breathe! A key to do this is to strip it of all the unnecessary features. Not only this enhances the user experience, but will also make your website lighter and faster.
Do ensure your website is optimized
The best web design is the one that produces intuitive and easy to use pages. That means taking care of optimizing your website, keeping the image sizes low and ensuring it doesn’t take more than three seconds to load.
Don’t be a rebel!
The worst thing you can do to your website is to think that you can outsmart Google’s mechanisms. You can’t. If you don’t do things the Google way, you will end up really far on search result pages. And nobody wants that!
Do ensure that all content and images are optimized
If you’re going for a mobile website, you need to ensure it looks perfect and is functional. Most CMS have mobile edition tools, so you shouldn’t have a problem with that!
Don’t think that you don’t need it
So you think that a PC version of your website is enough?
Did you know that in 2013, 51.3% of online visits had been done via a mobile device? That means, more than a half of your visitors will have to zoom in and scroll across all page to read microscopic letters and click miniature squares.
Do optimize the pictures
By doing that, you cut the size of the pictures, but save the quality. As a result, the entire content page is lighter and loads quicker!
Don’t use cheesy stock photos
Just to clear things up – stock photos are perfectly fine! Don’t be afraid to use them. They are usually done by professionals and available in high resolutions.
However, do take some effort to search for good stock photos. Pictures of models ‘thumbing up’ won’t do! So won’t smiling people in suits or a person jumping with their arms in the air. It’s been done before so many times. It’s just cheesy…
Do SEO for each content page
SEO is not just keywords. Although it’s crucial for your efforts to reach that first spot in Google, there are other things you need to take into account.
Make sure each of your photos has alternative attributes added. H1 and H2 tags are also crucial. They can seriously help your visitors navigate the content page and outline the topic of particular pages right away.
Don’t stuff your pages with content
Allow your pages to breathe. Don’t stuff it to its limits with text and photos. Leaving some blank background space will make your pages clearer and easier to read.
Do write great blog articles
Great written content is valuable and relevant to your target audience. For example, the car repairs website we mentioned before, would publish tips and tricks to repair vehicles. This kind of content is just what the audience would be looking for.
Content serves several functions. First of all, it establishes your presence in the SERPs bringing you more organic audiences. Secondly, a blog establishes you as an expert in the field and can establish a more personal communication with your customers. Third of all, it can prop up your other marketing campaigns, such as social media, SEO or PPC.
To put it simply – great content converts!
Don’t use your blog for Black Hat SEO
Black Hat SEO is a set of practices that can really elevate your exposure, but you seriously risk getting your website banned by Google.
Cram-packing your articles with keywords or pasting an entire paragraph of keywords and changing the colour to the same as the background, are Black Hat SEO practices. Not only they are risky, but also can seriously diminish the experience of your users.
Do choose a font that suits your business
Fonts are governed by the same rules as colours. Spend some time to shuffle through different fonts and pick the one that fits your business. Don’t pick a font, because you like the way letter “g” looks. Pick it, because it reflects the values of your business!
Don’t use different fonts and sizes on a single content page
Consistency is key! It is also a key to avoiding confusion on your content pages. Stick to a single font and defined sizes throughout your website. Obviously, your H1 and H2 tags, as well as your copy, will all have different sizes, but keep these consistent!
Web design can be a time-consuming and daunting task. But it’s exactly what defines a lot of aspects of not only your website, but your business as a whole!
User experience, SERP positions, loading speeds, branding – web design done well is going to improve all of these areas.
If we were to shell out a single adage from this article, it would be – DON’T OVERDO IT!
Keeping it minimal, spacey and toned, with optimized pictures and fitting colours, and fonts, is the way to go!
You can call our Design and Technology Team or use the form below if you need a new website:
0333 014 2035
Author: Seb Waligorski
Digital Media Manager at Ionize
I am a Branding and Digital Media Specialist creating Business Recognition and Online Visibility since 2010. I make sure that businesses stand out from their competitors and benefit from increasing customer loyalty and sales.
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