Much like your storefront, your business card, or your wrapped work truck, a website is a way for your customers to get to know who you are and see a first impression of your business. You are able to craft your website to reflect your business branding, your important selling points, your products or services, and the best way for people to contact you. However, when your website design is outdated and missing important elements, people will be less likely to trust your business. To encourage customer conversion, learn six keys to a professional website design.
Say Goodbye to Old Website Technology
There are many elements of old website technology that people do not use in their websites anymore. One of these is flash animation. Websites from 2000 to about 2008 used to love to use flash animation, from animated website backgrounds to scrolling word banners to American flags waving next to contact pages. After Google released an SEO update about site speed, Flash animation became a thing of the past. Not only does this animation look very outdated, but it actually slows down your website. The slower your website is, the lower your quality score from Google that prevents search engines from showing your website.
Basic Design Elements Are Important
It takes a basic eye for design to see what elements will work for a professional website design and which do not. Generally speaking, black backgrounds and websites designed with the content only taking up the middle of the page are considered outdated. Instead, use blocks of color or neutral backgrounds and spread your content throughout the screen to attract customers.
Likewise, it is very important to consider your navigation, font, over site formatting when approaching a professional website design. The navigation should be simple and self-explanatory with plenty of opportunities to encourage people to click through your pages. The font should also be clean, modern, and easy to read. Fonts that are too “curly” or that are too small will dissuade customers from staying on your site. Overall, your site formatting should be consistent to portray professional website design. If all of your content is centered at the top of your homepage and then the bottom half is all left aligned, it looks off-kilter. Consistency is key!
Focus on Visuals but Balance with Content
Today’s websites are all about the visuals, just not the Flash animated American flag from the websites of old. Having a large main image or slider of rotating images is a common element to grab attention and create an emotional connection in the customer. Many sites also use full background visuals in various website sections as well as creative design elements like icons, columns, colored fonts, and more.
The most important part of adding visuals to your professional website design is to balance with content. Sites that are all visual with no content will not rank well in organic search results. You need to have some content that describes your company, who you are, and how you are different from the competition. Of course creativity in your content is encouraged to showcase the persona of your company, but don’t go overboard where someone reading your website has no idea what you do.
Stick to Branded Colors for Professional Website Design
Colors are a big part of a professional website design. The best strategy is to stick with your brand colors, like the colors that you use in your logo or on your business cards. Sometimes businesses want “cool colors” but this can quickly turn unprofessional. We have had a website customer who wanted Seattle Seahawks colors, yes bright green and blue. Great for football season, but not so professional. Just because you love hot pink and teal does not mean that it matches your business or portrays professionalism.
Think About Call to Action and Networking
Not only should your design be professional and clean, but you should also think about the purpose of your website. Yes you need to convey what your business does, but the design should also be structured to keep people on your website longer to increase the chance of conversion. Your website is also a great opportunity to promote networking with your customers. Be sure to have links to your social profiles as well as any links to organizations you are a member of or awards you have received.
Personalize Your Website Design and Content
Lastly, the most important key to a professional website design is personalization. Your website should strike that emotional connection in your target audience. Your homepage should draw people in and then your about page should spell out all of your unique qualities that will make people want to do business with you. By following the above rules and explaining the wonderful business that you are, your website will draw people in and help convert sales!