Good web design is a combination of factors, all of which need equal attention if you’re going to build the best site for your business. Those include usability, visuals, clarity, trust and search engine optimization. If you pay careful attention to each of these traits as you design your website, you’ll find your end result is organized, visually engaging and genuinely useful to your visitors. And you might even save time with your web design in the long run.
Let’s break down the top 5 traits:
Usability is the measure of how easy it is for visitors to understand and accomplish what your site is intended to do for them. It means designing your blog with your visitors first and placing your own preferences in the backseat, at least to the extent they conflict with those of your visitors. Whether that means teaching your customers, converting them to customers, or having a responsive web design, usability is key to a successful design. It means planning your content, target audience and purpose, and designing with an eye toward making those three things work together as a cohesive whole. In many ways, a truly usable design is the cornerstone of a great website, and everything else in this list follows from that.
Websites are a visual medium. Whether they’re built for communicating, reading, shopping or marketing purposes, websites rely on visuals to both delight and convey meaning. Illustrations and using the right photographs for your website provide visitors with an instant signal as to what your site is meant to do for them. Visuals can establish your brand, making your site instantly recognizable. They also allow your guest posts, social media accounts and other non-homepage presence to remain unified. In addition, good visuals are a stunning way to keep users on your site, whether by drawing attention to your mailing list, keeping users engaged with an article or drawing them to your “About” page where they can find out who the people are behind your business.
A business website is always meant to convey information, convert new customers, or both. The only way to accomplish either one of those goals is with clear, consistent messaging. That means copywriting that leaves no room for ambiguity.
It also means bringing together the design and visual elements of your site so users always know where they are and how to get where they want to go next. The Internet is full of confusing and poorly designed sites that do little to point users in the right direction while they’re browsing. Clarity will keep people on your site and make them more likely to return.
You’ll want to create a website that builds trust. Trust, simply put, is everything. In a way, your website and all your social media efforts are aimed at one purpose: building well-placed trust in your brand in the hearts and minds of customers and prospects.
What does this mean in terms of design? Well, it means that everything does what it looks like it does. It means never sharing user information with third parties without disclosing it clearly somewhere users can’t miss. It also means making crystal clear what is an advertisement and what is not. The first time someone clicks a link thinking it goes to another page on your site and finds the link leads somewhere else? That’s the last time they’ll visit your website. While trust is perhaps the most intangible aspect of grey web design, ignoring it is a very big mistake. So you’ll want to think seriously about how to be up front and honest with your visitors.
5. Search Engine Optimized
This is probably the most behind-the-scenes trait of a solid web design. It involves using the right HTML tags for your page titles, headings and links. You should also implement Google Authorship to further assist in surfacing your content in search results.
Finally, one of the best ways to keep your site looking fresh to the search engines is to publish original content on a consistent basis. This is why it’s a good idea for any business to at least try a blog. Whether it’s focused on new products, new hires, or just general industry news, an active blog helps any business develop authority in its field and gives people a reason to link to your site, driving better search performer. That doesn’t mean 10 posts a day, but just a consistent and reasonably frequent schedule.
You probably noticed these traits all have some overlap. That’s because the best web design is a cohesive mixture of these characteristics. If you spend time building on each of them, your website will possess the top five traits of good web design. And that’s a beautiful thing.