In the rush to join in the digital marketing revolution, many individuals and companies have built an online presence for themselves over the last couple of decades. Whether these sites are as effective as they could be is, however, a different matter entirely. If you would like to make sure that your corporate website reaches as many people as possible and encourages those that visit to return on a regular basis, the following design tips are sure to be of interest.
- Think about the type of visitor that you are trying to attract when you are considering what colour scheme to use. The visual impact that a site makes on visitors plays a crucial part in whether they stay to explore or click the back button in their browser and visit another site instead. The number of people that land on the various pages of your website and leave without clicking on any internal links, as a proportion of total visitors to those pages, is expressed as the bounce rate in website analytics software and can provide vital clues to what is right and what is wrong with the design of your site. As an example, if you are promoting a clinic that helps people to overcome social anxiety and you use bright colours such as lime green and red that are energetic rather than soothing, you may find that very few of the visitors you are attracting stay on the site long enough to find out what you have to offer.
- Whether you opt for a hi-tech site with flash animations and dynamically loaded content that varies according to visitor input or a site with static pages and content, you should make sure that the information it contains is easy to find. The navigation features that you provide your visitors should be simple and intuitive or they are likely to give up looking for whatever it is that they are interested in and try their luck elsewhere. The free website design software that can be found on sites such as SiteZulu boasts many templates with simple navigation, making them a good place to start for companies and individuals that are on a tight budget.
- Use key words and phrases for page titles and headings, which are relevant to the products and services your company provides. This tip comes under the heading of onsite search engine optimisation rather than design but because it will have an impact on the look and feel of your site as well as the amount of traffic that it attracts, I have included it here. When you are producing content for your site, in addition to ensuring that it is informative and interesting to your target audience it is important to use appropriate headings to make sure that this audience is able to find your site in the first place.
- Choose images that are not just visually appealing but that are highly relevant and informative as well. When designing a website many people, especially if they are artistically inclined, have a tendency to include pictures that they think are beautiful, which is understandable. However, if these pictures are not relevant to your company and what it has to offer, they have no place on your corporate website. Aesthetics should always be considered when creating a new design but such considerations should never override relevance and usefulness.
There is much more to learn if you would like to create a website that will make a real difference to your companyâs long-term survival prospects but I hope that these tips will get you off to a good start.