Decisions are made fast online.

That’s why it’s important your site is spot on if you don’t want your visitors to drop off. After all, there’s just so much choice why should anyone hang around if a site doesn’t immediately deliver?

Getting your website design right is crucial. To help you we’ve canvassed our team of experienced designers and developers and put together this cheat sheet.

It will give your new site an unfair advantage.

In it we highlight every important consideration for you and then we offer you links to insanely helpful tools and advice from the best minds in the industry.

We’re nice like that!

Our top tips will help you reduce the bounce rate, increase the dwell time, generate leads and bag conversions.

Let’s do this!

1. Find the perfect host…

Every second really does count.

Find a quality web-hosting service that will help you deliver those pages faster and ensure that you are always there when your visitors start calling.

Explore more

Find out just how significantly speed can affect your revenue and lead generation:

portent.com/blog/internet-marketing/research-site-speed-hurting-everyones-revenue.htm

2. …And make sure your guests hang around at the party

If your beautiful new website loads slowly you may find that you are the only one admiring it.

  • Keep your website design and structure simple.
  • Make sure your code is clean.
  • Place your CSS and JavaScript in external files.
  • Consider separate image files for mobile.
  • Always specify the height and width of your images so other content can be loading as your images do.

Tools of the trade

Use Google’s Page Speed to analyse your pages and discover how you can make them faster:

developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/

3. Let everyone know who you are…

Credibility sells.

Make sure you are upfront with testimonials, impressive customer lists, membership of professional organisations, rating information and anything else that can build trust.

Explore more

Find more ways to build your credibility online from the Content Marketing Institute:

contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/05/trust-credibility-website/

4 …And make sure you know who they are

It may be your site but it’s not all about you.

It doesn’t matter what you call something: people will search for what they call it. Make sure you follow their lead by putting the terms that people use to search for your product or service into your Meta titles, headings and text.

Don’t hide your light under a bushel!

Tools of the trade:

Find out exactly how most people search with data from the Big G:

adwords.google.co.uk/KeywordPlanner

5. Let them get to where they want to be…

If your visitors get lost you will lose them.

Never ask someone online to think – always make sure your navigation is intuitive and uses unambiguous words to describe what it contains.

Explore more

Kissmetrics detail the most common navigation mistakes so you don’t have to make them:

blog.kissmetrics.com/common-website-navigation-mistakes/

6. …Even if it means leading them by the nose

Make sure every page has a purpose.

That way you are clear about exactly what you want someone to do when they visit it. And, now that you are clear, all you need do is offer them the chance to do so at the top of the page (and remove any other invitations or bury them at the bottom).

Explore more

Hubspot outline how to make calls to action loud and clear:

knowledge.hubspot.com/cta-user-guide-v2/call-to-action-best-practices

7. Don’t crowd your guests…

Clutter on a web page just makes people’s brain ache. It’s confusing and they want clarity. Remove all unnecessary elements from your design and keep just one call to action on each page.

Explore more

Read this hymn to white space and sing its praises forever more:

seguetech.com/blog/2013/03/20/why-whitespace-important-web-design

8. …Give them space to breathe

We scan rather than read web pages.

  • Keep your paragraphs short
  • Keep your sentences shorter
  • Allow plenty of white space
  • Use images to break up text
  • Keep your use of bold colours to a minimum – that way they’ll really standout when they are used

Explore more

Find out how to make your copy easy to scan:

madisonsolutions.co.uk/news/is-anyone-reading-your-web-copy/

9. Every page is a landing page…

On successful sites visitors enter from search engines on many pages – not just the home.

Make sure your site is designed in such a way that, whatever page a visitor lands on, key information and calls to action are always there.

Explore more

There are 101 landing page tips from Unbounce waiting patiently for you:

unbounce.com/101-landing-page-optimization-tips/

11. Invite a select few friends to your pre-party

The worst person to test the usability of a website is anyone who has been involved in developing it. Of course it makes perfect sense to them. You don’t have to get all scientific to test your site: just invite some friends to have a play around and report back any problems they found.

Tools of the trade

Got no friends? Try Peek’s offer for five minutes of feedback from a user for free:

peek.usertesting.com/

So, there you have it.

Everything you need to make your site sizzle, sparkle and, most importantly, do the biz. After all, that’s why you’re building it, isn’t it?

Get in touch!