Web design is the process of creating a visually appealing and effective online presence for your business or organisation. A web designer must have a firm understanding of both the technical and the graphical aspects of web development in order to create a website that looks professional and works well on all devices.

In this article, we will outline what web design is, the purpose, key elements of web design and how to use it to your advantage, with an emphasis on how to create a successful website.

What is web design?

A web designer creates a layout, graphics, and content for a site. The goal is to make the site easy to navigate and look professional. There are different elements that go into web design, including:

User-friendly design – The layout of the site must be easy to understand and use.

Graphics – The graphics should be appealing and sophisticated enough to look good on any device.

Compelling content – The content must be relevant and interesting enough to keep visitors coming back.

A well-designed website is like a well-dressed person. They stand out from the crowd and look professional. This is important as it helps build trust with your users and will inspire them to take the next step with your business.

Purpose of web design

The purpose of web design is to make your website user-friendly and easy to navigate. A good design should be easily understood by all users. It should be simple enough to use that even a novice user can complete the tasks you want them to. This could be filling out an enquiry form, signing up for your newsletter or making a purchase online.

An effective website can help you make a good first impression on prospective customers. It can also help you nurture leads and generate even more conversions. But most of all, it should provide a great user experience that makes it easy for your website visitors to access your content and navigate your site.

Key elements of web design

There are 7 key elements to successful web design. When used in conjunction with each other, they will help you design and build a website that achieves your strategic goals.

User-friendly design – Your audience and customers should be at the forefront of your mind when developing a website. Easy navigation encourages people to engage with the site and results in a more successful website.

Mobile responsive – In today’s mobile first society, more business is taking place on mobile than traditional computers and laptops. A responsive website will keep your visitors engaged for longer, and the more time they spend on your website, the more likely they are to do business with you.

A mobile responsive website is essential – 57% of internet users say they would not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website.

Built for SEO – An SEO friendly website is designed and built to easily allow search engines to crawl your website. This allows the search engines to learn more about what your business offers and how it should rank your content.

The website (or content management system) should also make it easy for you to manage important on-page factors such as:

  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • Internal & external links
  • URL slug
  • Page structure (h1, h2, h3 etc)
  • Image alt tags

Speed – Internet users have grown accustomed to receiving information almost instantly. If your pages take longer than 3 to load, the majority of users will exit the site before the page finishes to load. That’s a lot of potential customers who won’t even look at your website. This is why speed should be at the forefront of your website design.

Compelling content – Crafting compelling content that provides information to your visitors, builds trust and establishes you as an expert in your field will keep users engaged. Content is also important as it helps visitors learn more about your company and ultimately converts them into customers.

Anything from blogs, webpages and videos can be considered content on your website. Content should provide value, knowledge and even entertain your website visitors. The formatting of your content also matters. Creating content that’s easy to scan and easy to read will contribute to its success.

Calls-to-action – It is important for a call-to-action to communicate exactly what you want the user to do when they visit a website. Having calls-to-action across your website will add to the user-experience and will help convert visitors into customers. A call-to-action is a simple way to get people to take the next step. It can be anything from a buy now button, social media share buttons, or “read more” link text.

Aesthetically pleasing imagery – One of the key elements of effective web design is using high quality imagery that shows off your business. Your audience isn’t going to feel confident completing a purchase or making an enquiry if the first image they see is low quality or does not represent what you offer.

How to use web design to your advantage

A lot of people think that web design is just about creating an attractive website. However, there are a wide range of other ways you can use it to your advantage.

The first way to achieve this is to start with a goal or objective in mind. What do you want users to do when they arrive at your website and what steps do they need to take to complete that goal?

Map out the customer journey from the moment someone visits your website to the moment they become a customer. This map will help you plan your pages to ensure you answer all their questions, address any pain points and provide all the information they need.

You will probably have more than one customer journey as potential customers will be at different stages of the sales funnel.

The next step is to remove any distractions from your website. When a visitor arrives at a page, they have a limited attention span of 8 seconds on average. You need to grab their attention and make it immediately clear how you can fulfil their needs.

Remove anything from the page that will distract the user or take them away from completing the objective. This includes pop-ups, complex animations or graphics or content that doesn’t add value to the user.

After this, you want to ensure your website is easy to navigate. Users will quickly become frustrated if your website is confusing or not in a logical order. Plan your content out in a hierarchy and cluster groups of similar content together.

This strategy will make it easier for the user to find what they’re looking for. Clearly organised and well-structured content will also signal to the search engines that you fully understand the topic you’re talking about, which will likely result in your website ranking higher in the search results.

Once you have built and launched your website, you need to have a content plan. Adding fresh or updated content to your website is an ongoing process and should be part of your marketing strategy. Many businesses will stop adding new content shortly after the website has gone live. In the medium to long term, this will have a negative impact on the search performance of the website.

If you want Google to see you as an authoritative and trustworthy website, you need to keep adding new content to cover every aspect of a subject. This will go a long way to improving the organic search performance of your website.

In conclusion

Web design is a key element to a successful website. It is important to understand the purpose of web design, and the key elements that make up a well-designed website. By using these tips, you can create a website that is both user-friendly and effective.

About Wild Marketing

Wild Marketing build stunning websites for small business and craft online advertising strategies that convert visitors into loyal customers. We have a range of different website options available to suit all budgets.

If you are looking for an affordable website for your small business, we offer a pay monthly web design service that includes everything you need to get online.

If you have web design requirements that are more complex, please feel free to contact us to discuss.