7 website design elements your business needs
Why consider web design when you create a website?
Most businesses today understand the benefits of having a website, but it can be hard to find time to think about your site more strategically. According to business.gov.au, some benefits of having a website for your business include:
- reaching a global audience
- helping your customers to access your products or services anywhere, anytime
- increasing customer engagement
- creating or enhancing your brand and reputation
- improving your business productivity and efficiency.
The more thought you put into your platform, the more it can help your business reach and serve customers online. Web design, or website design, considers both the visual aesthetics and functionality of your platform. Here we’ll cover some of the basics.
To build a website that reflects your business, there are seven essential components that you should strive to include. Keep reading to find out more.
1. A homepage that tells customers who you are and what you can offer them
Might seem obvious, but every business website needs a homepage. You can think about your homepage as the virtual entrance of your business and should design it accordingly.
Your homepage should make the following points obvious:
- who you are
- what your offer, and
- why customers should choose to stay.
The reality is that you’ve got only a few seconds to make a good—or bad—first impression of your business online. So, the web design of your homepage should grab the attention of your customers and give them a reason to stay.
Every business will approach the layout of their homepage differently, but no matter your design it’s wise to include the following:
- A clear value proposition, via a strong headline.
- Intuitive navigation, written in plain language.
- Clear calls-to-action, helping customers engage with what you have to offer.
To help customers get to know you better, you can also publish an ‘about us’ page. This will give you the space to tell your brand story in more detail, helping you to share more about who you are, what you offer, and why customers should choose to work, shop, dine, or book with you.
2. Landing pages to capture leads
Landing pages are web pages that serve as entry points for different sections of your website. You can encourage customers to ‘land’ on these pages by sharing links to them via social media advertising; and digital marketing emails.
For example, an eCommerce clothing store might have a landing page for womenswear that it can link customers to in the lead up to Mother’s Day.
Landing pages can also be built to offer potential customers deals or resources in exchange for basic contact information. Most of us have been asked to enter our names and emails to access a downloadable white paper or report online, the places where we do so are usually landing pages.
The power of landing pages is that they help you generate leads while simultaneously capturing customer information, which can then be stored in a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
3. A contact us page to help customers reach you
Depending on your website design, your contact information may already be visible on every page. Even so, building a specific ‘contact us’ page makes it easy for customers to connect with you online.
To help customers reach you, include the following on your ‘contact us’ page:
- Business email address for general enquiries
- Business phone number
- Your physical address, where relevant
- Links to your social media accounts
- Links to automated help and support, such as chat bots
Some businesses may also choose to include the contact details of specific team members, such as sales managers or marketing directors, where it makes sense to do so. For inspiration, you can look at how other businesses in your industry design their own ‘contact us’ pages.
4. Optimised pages to help improve your search engine ranking
When we think of design we often think about images. But good website design also considers search engine optimisation (SEO), and that means thinking carefully about your written content on every page.
To help your website show up in search engine results, you can:
- Design an intuitive navigation menu for your website that's easy for both customers and search engines to understand.
- Include keywords that your potential customers may search for on all of your website pages.
- Publish blog content regularly, to help increase the likelihood that search engines like Google will rank your website higher in search engine results.
It’s worth putting thought into how you can boost SEO on your website. Want help with SEO? Our Online Search Ranking plan is designed to help you reach more customers and drive them to your website by improving your search engine ranking.
5. A web store to serve online shoppers
If you want to sell your products or services online, you'll need a website with a web store. An eCommerce website allows you to accept payments online so that your customers can shop and book with you day and night.
Most websites today offer the option of adding a web store, but it’s always best to check that the provider allows you to host this particular website design component.
To help encourage sales and improve customer satisfaction, consider the following when you add a web store to your site:
- Discover the payment methods your customers want
- Choose a shipping cost method that suits your delivery process
- Learn how to create a returns policy for your online business.
6. A shipping information page
Whether you run an exclusively eCommerce business or sell products both on-premises and via a web store, you’ll need to ship online shoppers the items they purchase. You’ll also need to provide details on shipping methods and delivery timeframes.
A page dedicated to shipping information will help keep customers informed about your policies. It will also minimise the likelihood of customers getting in touch with questions, which will save you time on fielding ad hoc enquiries.
Some eCommerce businesses publish information on shipping methods and delivery times alongside their returns policy. With this approach, you can call your page ‘Shipping and returns’.
7. Links to social media accounts
You probably already use social media to market your business online. But have you made it easy for your customers to find your social media accounts via your website?
Including well-integrated social media links in your website design helps to strengthen your online presence. Depending on your digital marketing strategy, you may choose to link to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
Benefits of including social media links on your business website
- You can help grow your social media following organically
- You can help expand your business reach and raise brand awareness
- You can help increase engagement with your customers online.
When it comes to website design, you can always outsource digital experts
When you build a website today, there’s a lot you can do yourself, which is great news for small and medium businesses. Even so, outsourcing website design can help to simplify your online marketing efforts, so consider consulting with digital experts. Doing so may save you time and, as every business owner understands, time is money.
To take action today, consider the seven website design elements listed above and think about whether you’ve got each one covered. And if you want to test your existing website at no cost, you can check your business website to see how it performs.
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