Websites have been around for quite some time now, much longer than any of the social media apps that we are all familiar with today. Like anything else, website design has evolved as technology continues to improve our ways of connecting with people and businesses through the Internet. Websites were once the main source of all your company information and were commonly viewed on a laptop or PC. Now, people are viewing websites through many different outlets like smart phones, tablets, laptops, PC’s and more. Another changing element is the size and resolution of the variety of screens we are viewing these websites. Because of all these new factors, it is important that your website design be flexible and functional across all different mediums.
The way people access and revisit your website are changing. People can now access company information from many different ways like Facebook pages, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Below are five suggestions to make sure you are getting the most out of your website design.
Make sure that your website is using responsive design. This means that the website has been designed with a fluid-like structure that allows the website to adapt to whatever size screen it is being viewed. Websites were once built to fit nicely on a standard PC, but that is not how websites are most often viewed since smart phones and tablets have increased dramatically in popularity. Websites need to be built so they look and function properly on any size screen, big or small. If you are rebuilding your website or looking to update it, look into using a template-style website that has built-in responsive design, or if you have a bigger budget, have it custom built for you to make sure you are functional and looking good on any device.
Invest in good photography. Hire a great photographer and make your website more compelling and personal with quality photographs. These days it’s pretty obvious when generic photos are used and great photos help the user connect emotionally with your website. Photographs should be eye-catching and unique to draw the user in for more. Bad quality photos can be a deterrent and are almost worse than no photos at all. Don’t even think of “borrowing” images from the Internet that you have not purchased. Make it interesting by using photographs with people actually using products, dining at your restaurant, etc. Use creative and colorful environments to enhance the visual for the viewer.
Clean Font Styles
It is important to use clean and universally used font styles on your website. People are looking at your website on smart phones versus laptops, so it is a good idea to use fonts that allow content to be easily read on all devices. Using unique fonts can look great on a PC but fall apart or might appear too large on the smart phone.
Importance of a "Landing Page"
With so many different social media apps being used and the appeal of social media marketing campaigns to get your message out, it’s easy to direct people to your website via a different page than just your home page. You can even register other domains to point and highlight current ad campaigns, contests, promotional videos or important company/sales messages to more specific audiences. Make sure every page is treated as a "landing page," meaning that all pages have the information that a customer needs like how to contact you, where to find you, and how to access your social media accounts. It is also important to make sure that your logo is clean and professional, and ideally at the top of every page with a click back to the home page.
Social media is where many companies are starting to focus more time and effort in getting their messages and information out to customers. It is important to make sure that your website is linked to all of your relevant and active social accounts. Ensure your social icons are located in an obvious place on each page (the top and at the bottom) so that people can click and follow you on social for all the latest information. You can embed your social feeds into your website as well. For instance, you can embed a relevant hashtag or your own social feed. Another tip is to create landing pages on your website for social media driven campaigns or contests. And make sure to include your website address in all your social media bios.
Simple, clean and intuitive design will always be in fashion and extremely important when you are designing or redesigning your website. Make sure you know your target audience and keep your messages clear and concise. Use color and white space strategically, and don’t try to put too many bells and whistles in your design (stay clear of Flash!). Bring in fresh content through your social media networks or a blog and you will keep potential customers coming back again and again!
Blog post written by Chana Lynn, website designer for Tabletop Media Group.