You have about 5 seconds (give or take) to let your website visitors know what your company or brand is and what they do. Is your website easy to navigate? Is your pricing plan easy to see and understand? Do you have a high bounce rate? Maybe it’s time to improve website design.
If the answer to all the questions above is “no,” then it might be time to look carefully at how you’ve been designing and optimizing your website. It never hurts to go over website improvement ideas, especially if you’re trying to learn how you can improve the layout.
So much business today is conducted online. From shopping to marketing, to communicating with providers, people rely on the Internet to help them carry out everyday tasks. Without a website, businesses, blogs and brands are about to fail.
Developers like you have several ways to improve website design. Even if you have a clean, smooth, professional website, that doesn’t mean it converts how you want.
Always consider website improvement ideas as time goes by.
When it comes to design, you want to make sure that the design conveys the right message without overwhelming visitors.
10 Tips to Improve Website Design
There is a lot of information available about ways to improve website design. Narrowing it down can be difficult. You want to make sure you cover the most important website design tips out there.
Here are 10 essential tips to improve your website design. So when you ask yourself “How can I improve my website,” these are the ones you definitely want to review and implement.
1. Mobile Friendly and Responsive
There really is no debate here. Of course, you want several things in place to improve your website design. But no matter what anyone tells you, a mobile and responsive website should be at the top of your website design tips list.
Having a website that is not mobile friendly or responsive hurts you in many different ways. Not only does Google drop you in rankings (started in 2015) and search, but you lose visitors anyway because they are having a hard time viewing your content in certain formats.
While mobile-friendly and responsive work together to create a simpler user experience, they are really two different things.
- Mobile Friendly: Your website can be viewed properly on any mobile device and looks correctly on all phones and tablets.
- Responsive: Your site responds to screen size, browser selection and displays properly no matter what.
You have probably created a responsive and mobile friendly website by now. If you are using WordPress or another popular platform for your site then you are definitely good to go.
However, if for some reason your website is not mobile friendly and responsive, this is the first website design tip that you should tackle to improve the overall look, feel and functionality.
2. Simple Navigation
Look at this from a user perspective. How often do you visit a website and find that navigation is cloudy and mixed? Is it difficult to navigate the website? Are menus, links and other information displayed all over the place?
It is important that you simplify navigation for users. Even if you have a lot of content and need to map it differently, simple navigation will give you a traffic spike almost immediately.
Here are a few things to remember when simplifying navigating a website. These can be followed loosely, but following them closely will help.
- No more than 7 items in your main menu (this does not include the drop down portions).
- Users should be able to access any point of the website from any other area within 3 clicks or less. It’s best to strive for two clicks, though.
- Be as descriptive as possible with your labels and links.
- Keep your navigation bar fixed.
In terms of ways to improve your website, simpler navigation should be towards the top of the list. Remember, if your website users can easily access information and get around, they are going to stay on your website much longer.
3. Improve Page Speed
The speed of your website page is crucial for keeping users on the site interested. Remember, over and over 53% of people will abandon a mobile site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
So when you’re making your website friendly and responsive, you also want to take steps to improve website design by making sure your page speed matches.
This applies to any type of website you have. Blog, business, shopping cart, etc. It is a matter of fact that if you have a 2 second delay even in your load time during a transaction, the chances are that your potential customers will abandon carts and you will end up with one customer less than you started with.
There are several things you can do to optimize and speed up your site. Some of them include:
Page speeds go hand in hand with other ways to improve website design. Consider this a top priority when you are thinking of website design tips that will improve the functionality of your website.
4. Remove Unwanted Content
Believe it or not, a great deal of content is not always better. In many cases, less is actually more. This applies even more so when we talk about website design tips.
You want your site to be clean, smooth, professional and to the point. It’s about walking the line of saying what you need without being visually oppressive.
You may have some things you need to remove from the site. This is called unnecessary content. Removing it will greatly improve website design, as they do not follow website design best practices. Consider removing some of the following items if they are on your website:
- Complex Animations
- Long Content, Mixed
- Stocky Web Images
- Overused Colors
In addition, it is a good idea to be careful with the words you use. If you can, go through your current content and look for the following words you might have used:
- The Next Generation
- Easy to use
- Cutting Margin
- Breaking new ground
While these are not necessarily terrible words, they are overused by hundreds, if not thousands of companies. They do not make your content more appealing than original.
5. Social Sharing and Social Following
The world we live in today has become the world of Facebook and Twitter. That is, people connect and keep up with news with each other through social media.
Any website improvement ideas should include the benefit of social sharing and social follow-up. Why? There are 800 million monthly active users on Instagram and 100 million daily active users on Twitter.
Those are astronomical numbers, but both come in behind Facebook, which has over 1 billion users. This is why it’s important for your website to offer social buttons to your visitors.
If by some chance you are unfamiliar with social sharing buttons, you need to get familiar. They are the little buttons around the top or bottom of blog posts. They contain icons from various social media sites and allow you to share the page directly on the channel of your choice.
The idea is to get guests to share your content when they like what they are reading. Content sharing puts it out for everyone to see without you having to do any work. This will allow your website to become more popular and gain website visitors who would have never known you otherwise.
Social sharing options are a great way to improve website design. This is one of the many tips that will quickly boost your social media engagement.
6. A Call to Act Strong and Visible
Your site is a place to sell your products and services, pump your brand or blog, blog, blog. Make sure you have a strong and visible call to action. Give your website visitors a way to connect with your company.
A call to action can be any number of things including a free trial, creating accounts, connecting them to buy something or asking them to sign up for a newsletter. A strong call to action will be the thing that increases your conversions, so make sure you take some time to think about the perfect one.
Other great examples of high calls to action include:
- Click here for more information.
- Download our xxxx sample.
- Sign up for a webinar.
- Watch the video.
- View all marketing services.
- See pricing.
A call to action can be in the form of a banner, buttons, popup box or basically anything that helps grab the attention of the website visitor. They can even be full landing pages. Improve website design by giving website users something to do and allowing them to interact with the site.
7. Use White Space to Your Advantage
Oftentimes people get nervous about white space on a website. In fact, you can use white space to your advantage and it should be part of your plan.
Also known as “negative space,” white space refers to the areas around elements on a page that are blank and lack content or visual items. White space is an essential design element that helps you break down the page and increase readability.
Too often I come across websites with no white space. Elements, text and graphics run into each other and overflow. All parts of the main page are shaded and used, and no white space is available.
This is a mistake.
If you have a front page or any page of your site that has no white space, then you should review the layout. Remove the content and design, and create some white space to share the content more appropriately. This will also make things more visually appealing to your website visitors.
With all the website improvement ideas floating around, here’s one that could get lost in the mix.
Don’t let it. Proper use of white space is one of the best ways to improve website design.
8. SEO Strategy
You will hear people talking about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) all the time when it comes to ways to improve website design. While this will not visually affect the front of your site, it is extremely important to have a good SEO strategy in place.
Having the right SEO in place will do a number of things to improve your website. Most of all, it will allow you to rank higher in Google and also allow you to tend for what you want and get properly indexed in search engines.
Also, consider an SSL certificate if your website does not already have one. Google has been pushing the https protocol and making websites that have these certificates better.
Most website guests will now offer a free version of the Encrypt SSL.
9. Have a Blog
One of the best ways for people to know what you’re doing is by reading your content. A blog not only visually appeals to your website visitors, but also gives you a place to push content.
This is a great website design tip. So much so that you often see older websites operating a blog, even after being online for years.
Having a blog on your site will also encourage user interaction and engage your potential customers. You should post various articles relevant to your business and services.
Blog pages will generate more online traffic to your business website, which leads to more sales. It can also establish you as an authority in your industry, which will increase confidence in your services.
Remember to integrate your social share buttons in the section of your blog.
10. Use Color Theory to Your Advantage
Color theory and psychology are important and how they are used affects website transformation. Colors, how they are used and what they represent are important.
Use this to your advantage when designing or updating a website. Using color theory can add so much more to your website and is a tip for designing a website that should not be overlooked.
Pantone is the name of the standard language for color communication, and yes, that’s a real thing. You should know about it, and probably do it if you’re in the marketing arena.
To help you out a bit, here’s what colors represent:
- Red: passion, anger, love, confidence
- Orange: youth, cheerfulness, warmth, hunger
- Yellow: sunshine, happiness, energy, optimism
- Green: nature, fertility, balance, cleanliness
- Green: water, tranquility, trust, power
- Purple: nobility, power, elegance, wisdom
- White: peace, balance, purity, simplicity, winter
- Gray: neutrality, sophistication, balance, wisdom
- Black: selectivity, modernity, power, sophistication, mystery
- Brown: earth, stability, tradition, nature
- Pink: love, romance, femininity, baby girls, humanism
- Turquoise: tranquility, clarity, compassion, healing
You have dozens of ways to improve website design. You should at least entertain most of them if you haven’t already. The 10 website design tips listed in this article are ones that I consider to be the most important and these are the best ways to improve website design.
Start implementing some of these immediately and you will notice a big change in visitor traffic and behavior.