Are you confident with the way your business website is performing? Is the traffic you’re getting from your web development strategy matching up with your projections and expectations? Or, do you feel that there’s room for improvement in terms of the overall design and efficiency of your web pages?
Whether you already have an existing business website or are still in the planning stages of developing one, it would be in your best interest to figure out the best way to build a website and to learn about the different features and key elements that make it a highly efficient and well optimized online portal for your brand.
Similar to other business investments and opportunities, building a website is also a form of investment that requires the right approach if you want to make it work. Just because you decide to build one, doesn’t mean that customers will flock to it or if they’ll even find it.
Why is it important that my website is well-designed and properly optimized?
You need to understand that your website, its pages, and the content that you put in them are online representations of your brand. It is the face you show to potential customers in the online community. And the experience that they get when visiting your website is often a determining factor whether they’ll keep coming back or not.
A website that’s poorly built and designed can harm your business reputation and your brand.
So what are the key elements of a well-designed and highly efficient website?
The Primary Characteristics of an Effective Business Website
If you want to figure out what makes a website good and effective, you need to put yourself in the shoes of users. As a visitor of a certain website, what’s the first thing you notice upon opening a page? If you’re like most people, then it’s probably the appearance, right?
1. How the website and its pages look.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, your website is a digital representation of your business in the World Wide Web. So it’s only reasonable to make it as visually appealing as possible. You wouldn’t want to receive a guest in your home without looking presentable, right?
But just because appearance is a crucial element in web design, doesn’t mean that you should go all out and start embellishing your web pages with anything you find attractive and eye-catching. What you want has more to do with aesthetic appeal. You want your business website to look legit and professional.
To improve the appearance of your website, you want the following:
- Appropriate use of color and color schemes.
- Text that can be easily read by your guests.
- Graphics that are clean and doesn’t strain the eyes of viewers.
- Quality images.
- Practicality and simplicity in the overall layout of the website.
Another element that can significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of your website is,
2. The significance and value of your content.
Your content is one of the main reasons that potential customers visit your website. They come because they need something. Now, you may have decided to build a website so that you can attract more customers to your business. However, you can also use your website to serve a specific need. And that’s where your content comes in.
An effective and well-maintained website should have content that is,
- Regularly updated
- Relevant to a specific niche
- Engaging to its target audience
- Short, but precise
- Well-written and to the point
But appearance and content are not the only factors that make a good and effective website. Another element that’s perhaps one of the most integral in today’s web design landscape is,
3. Responsiveness and usability.
If you’ve been doing your research about web design or searching the web for the right web development services to help you build your business website, then you probably came across the terms “responsive web design” and “responsive website.”
Now, you’re asking, what is a responsive website and how does it affect the quality and effectiveness of the business website I’m trying to build? The straight answer is,
A responsive website is a website that can adapt to any screen size in any device in a quick and efficient manner. No double-tapping, no pinching, or no horizontal scrolling necessary. Seems not that important, right? Wrong.
Internet users are no longer confined to their desktops and laptop computers. Nowadays, people use their smartphones and tablets to browse the web. But these mobile devices have smaller screens relative to that of a desktop or laptop computer.
A non-responsive website, or a website that’s not optimized for mobile use, is hard to navigate through in a small screen. Users may have to double-tap the screen to zoom-in and zoom-out, scroll horizontally to view the entire content, or do a pinching gesture just to get a clear view of the page. All of these equate to poor user-experience. And that is the crux of responsive web design.
You want your website to be accessible and user-friendly across any platform, whether it’s a desktop computer or a smartphone. Web design and development is all about quality user-experience nowadays, as users tend to gravitate towards websites that are easy to use and highly adaptive.
There are three development principles that should be observed when it comes to responsive web design:
- Flexible grid-based layout that adapts to the screen size of the device.
- The use of breakpoints to allow the website to detect device type and screen size to accurately adjust the display.
- Ensuring flexibility when it comes to images and other media.
You, as the website owner, can benefit from responsive web design as well. Instead of developing two types of websites, one for large screens and the other for smaller ones, you’ll only need to build one responsive website that can adapt to any screen size, thus minimizing expenses, time, and effort during development. Do you see its significance, now?
Another element that you also have to factor in when designing a business website is,
4. The importance of mobile-friendly design.
Okay. You may be wondering, doesn’t this fall under responsive web design? Well, a part of it does. But, optimizing a website for mobile users doesn’t just involve screen resolutions and adaptability. A website can be responsive, but it doesn’t mean that it’s properly optimized for mobile use.
The fact is, in addition to a website’s adaptability across different platforms and devices, you also have to consider the actual layout and design of the website and see whether or not it is able to provide a good user-experience.
Remember that your website is a way for your target audience to reach you, gain relevant information about your products and services, and engage with other users. And there’s no reason that user-experience should suffer just because people are accessing your website on their way to work, using their mobile devices.
So what are the important factors to remember when figuring out how to make your website mobile-friendly for all users?
- Keep a mobile-first mentality. When it comes to building a website, the mobile-first mentality is a very effective approach. The goal is to always consider the mobile users whenever you come up with new design ideas and features for your website.
- Keep things simple. Stylish concepts and flashy designs are not worth sacrificing ease-of-use and quality user-experience.
- Consider your site layout. Be mindful of the fact that when it comes to mobile browsing, quick and snappy is the name of the game. So you should keep a streamlined site layout so that pages load faster and not slower.
- Keep your content short and to the point. We’ve covered this earlier, but it’s important to emphasize the significance of precise and well-written content. If the user can read the gist of your message in one screen, without scrolling down, the better.
- Utilize available space on your web pages more efficiently. A good responsive web design takes care of the content spacing when transitioning from desktop to mobile screens. But remember that there’s very little real estate in mobile devices, so make sure that you don’t cramp everything into that small screen.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when designing a website that is practical and efficient across multiple platforms. But you should also realize the importance of responsive web design and how it impacts user-experience, traffic, and SEO.
If you want to create a website for your business, or if you’re thinking of updating your existing website to the latest standards in web design and development, you need to find a web development company that appreciates the importance of responsive web design.