The first impression of your website can play a critical part in the success of your site.
Like a meal at a restaurant, if a waiter brings out a plate of food and it looks terrible, regardless of it is i possibly the nicest thing you could have ever tasted, you probably won’t even try it.
Your website is your ‘meal ticket’, and that means you want it to look as appetising as it tastes. (Yes, I am the King of analogies!).
You want your website or blog design to suit the content of your business, product or service you are selling, and even possibly your own personality.
Your website should also have good practical navigation and functionality, as this not only makes it easier for your audience, but also can increase your rankings.
Here’s a few tips when planning the design of your website….
CREATE A SITEPLAN
If you were building a quality home or office you wouldn’t start without three things…a siteplan, an artists impression and then a good foundation.
Your website is ultimately your office or home online, so treat it in a similar manor. Draft out how many pages you’ll need, where the navigation will be, the key components of your site that your audience will want.
Then work on the visual aesthetics of the site….who is your target audience, what is your business about, does the site match your branding. For instance, if you are targeting a high-end business audience, give the site a more structured, corporate feel. If it is a light-hearted blog for single parents, give it a more playful, relaxed feel. Making it suit your audience so it is inviting to them and they can connect more easily.
If you are not a designer, and have not created a website before, here’s a tip.. Go to ThemeForest.net and they have a tonne of great WordPress themes for sale which give you a professional look and great functionality, and for a small price they’ll even install the theme for you. This means you can then just edit the navigation to suit your siteplan, and you are well on your way fast.
Okay, so you may be all excited about creating your first website, but don’t get carried away with too much functionality. Simplicity is always the key, and while it’s nice to see sliding images, galleries, rollover buttons and things that flash, you can go to far This not only can distract from your main message of your site, but also can slow things down when it loads, and also the more plugins you add to your site the more things there are that need updating or can go wrong.
Keep the functionality simple, or spread out over the entirety of the site rather than bombard your audience with everything at once, so that you have the perfect amount of ‘wow factor’ to be visually appealing, look professional, but not too distracting.
CALL TO ACTION
If you are utilising the site for business, or creating a blog for monetization, keep in mind that you need a ‘call to action.’ A call to action is the critical element that gets your audience to either enquire about a product, join your mailing list, or click for more information. This could be a pup-up mailing list form, a button somewhere in easy plain site, or something else. This serves as two purposes…the first is it obviously gets your audience going where you want them to, but it also lowers your bounce rate. Your bounce rate is where people visit your site but bounce away. The more people action things on your site, the lower your bounce rate, telling Google your site has value, and therefore it will give you higher authority, and in return a better ranking.