Engaging web design
8 tips for creating an engaging business website
It's noisy out there. The online world is crowded. These days if you sell something - whether that's products or services - you'll have a website. And although more businesses were already headed online, the pandemic sped everything up.
Not only did we see a surge of businesses going online, we also saw reduced customer loyalty. 80% of customers bought a different brand than usual.
More choice and less loyalty mean we must try harder than ever to stand out in the sea of competition.
And there’s no getting away from the fact that your website is a shop front for your business. It’s the first port of call for those looking to buy from you. If your website is uninspiring, or – even worse – you don’t have one, it’s not going to create a great impression.
An engaging website is a must for building up trust among your audience. And have them doing business with you rather than your competitors.
Engaging web design
Mediocre won't cut it when it comes to your business website. When a prospect lands on your site, you don't have long to convince them to stay. And if you don't have an engaging web design, they’ll move right along.
You can give yourself the edge by doing everything you can to make your website engaging. We have an expert WordPress development team here at Feel Created.
We’re specialists in designing professional websites. And we’re well versed in all the principles of design to bring the best website designs to our clients.
We’ve put our heads together and come up with this list of our top website design tips for creating an engaging business website.
Responsive web design is up there on the list of Google ranking factors. Almost 90% of people use their mobile to go online, and predictions are that 95% of the UK population will own a smartphone by 2025.
With this in mind, it's super important for your website to work well on mobiles. If your website isn't built to work on a range of devices, it can be very annoying for the user. People have no patience for websites where they need to zoom in and out to read or find where to go.
If your website is hard to navigate on a phone, visitors will quickly move on to one of your competitors.
A mobile responsive website design means it will adjust for different devices.
- Forms and buttons will be easier to tap on and fill in.
- Menu navigation will be simplified and user-friendly.
- Font sizes will automatically scale, so they can be read on any device.
- Layouts will change according to the size of the screen and its orientation.
- The Google algorithm also loves responsive design. It’s a well-known ranking factor.
But there’s good news: you can make your website mobile responsive without any coding knowledge, provided you work with the right WordPress specialist.
If you’re starting on WordPress, you’ll be relieved to know the Gutenberg default block editor lets you preview this. Choose tablet and mobile options in the editor sidebar to view your website layout on different devices.
- Sans serif fonts are easier to read than serif fonts.
- Fonts that resemble handwriting look great. But they can be difficult to read on smaller devices.
- Make headers and subheads in a large, clear font.
- Make sure the contrast is right between the font and the background.
- Test out your choices on different devices.
- Make sure there’s plenty of white space. So, the page doesn’t feel overcrowded and cluttered.
And don't throw bricks at your audience. Keep paragraphs to four lines or fewer. Otherwise, when people look at your website on a mobile, they're even longer. Huge bricks of writing can be really off-putting for your audience.
Following these pointers would be a good start:
- Never use a long word when a short one will do.
- Keep sentences under 20 words, if possible. But never over 25, unless you can’t avoid it.
- Meet your readers where they’re at. Write in the language your ideal customers use and identify with. Understanding the tone of voice for your brand plays a key role in all great website copy.
- Try to avoid the passive voice. Sometimes you need to use it, but use the active voice instead, where you can.
- It’s fine to start sentences with conjunctions (and, but, or). And it’s a myth to think they’re grammatically incorrect. Plus, in the age of web copy, it really helps with readability.
- Link features to benefits. People only understand great features if they can relate them to themselves.
- Plan your messaging around your ideal clients’ needs, desires, or pain points. Offer them solutions to their problems. Paint a picture of how your product or service will improve their lives.
- Think about who your target audience is and what they like.
- Take a look at your competitors and leaders in your industry for design inspiration.
- Research the meanings and emotions attached to different colours. Too much red can be quite oppressive. While blue can signal confidence, knowledge, and serenity.
Pick two or three main colours for your website that complement each other. You can use tints and shades to lighten and darken them where you need to.
If you’ve got the budget to work with a designer, they’ll help you through this stage. They’ll incorporate your palette into your scheme, and look at aesthetics as well as user experience (UX) and conversion best practices.
If you’re a beginner DIY-ing your website, it’s easy to set up your colour palette. Most content management systems (CMS), like WordPress, let you do this. This way you can keep the look and feel of your website consistent no matter which page site visitors land on.
Get into the head of your user when you're mapping out the navigation of your website content. There's no need to overcomplicate this. You just need to make your website layout intuitive and easy to use, and make sure users can find what they're looking for.
Make sure the pages that are core to your business appear in your menu. Put the most important ones first and then have others in drop-downs. Anything that isn’t too important you can put in the website footer.
There should also be an easy way to get back to the homepage from all other pages. This is usually done through a hyperlink in the header logo.
Any visitor to a page should also be able to find what to do next. So, make sure you place buttons strategically. So, they’re never scrolling through acres of text to find where to reach you.
Image size and type
Large images can cause your loading time to increase. So, you’ll want to look at the images on your website and make sure they aren’t bigger than they need to be. The smaller, the better. But try and keep them well under 1MB.
And make sure images are in a format that works well on the web (PNG, JPEG, GIF or SVG).
Now, you’ll want to find the balance between acceptable quality and file size. So, consider this when choosing your file type. Beware of other file types as some are not supported by all browsers.
You can use lazy loading to speed up your page’s initial loading time. It works by delaying some items on your page from loading until they’re needed.
For example, you can put off the loading of an image near the bottom of your page until the user scrolls down.
Plugins can also slow your website down. So, make sure you’re not using any more than necessary. Here at Feel Created, we build bespoke WordPress websites. And we avoid using plugins wherever possible.
There are some exceptions to this: the Yoast plugin for SEO, for example. But generally speaking, we keep plugin use low to help your website performance be the best it can be.
Apart from who you are and what you do, your website's pages need to tell users what to do next.
This is where your calls to action come into play. You can use buttons and hyperlinked text to shepherd visitors to take the next step.
You don’t want to overcrowd pages with so many buttons that they become annoying, but you do want them easy to find. And it’s also a good idea to have them in bold colours that contrast with the background of the page, so they stand out.
The wording you use on your button can also make a difference. For example, it’s not a good idea to use ‘submit’ on the button for your contact form, as the word can have negative connotations.
You can experiment and test different calls to action. Make them attractive. It might be better to think of your call to action as a call to value instead. Consider what they will get by taking the step and work backwards from there.
Here at Feel Created, we know that no two businesses are alike. That's why we always start by understanding your goals and plans when we create your custom business website.
If you want a custom website tailored to your business, we recommend speaking to a specialist. That’s us! We’ll get to know your business, so we can make the best recommendations to suit your brand. Get in touch today to speak to our expert WordPress designers.