1. Super Simple Navigation
Think about this, when you head to the store to buy a new pair of shoes surrounded around those brand new shoes are everything you need conveniently placed in plain sight. If you needed socks to go with those new sneakers, would you put a lot of effort into finding them if they weren't right in front of you? I wouldn't. No one want's to go searching for something that isn't easy to find. That is the mentality we need to have when building our website.
To be competitive you need to think like a brick and mortar store. Everything needs to be strategically placed and extremely easy to find. That's why having a super simple and crisp navigation bar is important to your users. You don't want your customers confused and feeling lost looking for those misplaced socks. They want EVERYTHING user friendly, or they won't want anything at all.
2. Mobile/ Tablet optimization
Here's one that is easily forgotten! If you're building a website yourself using a template, they are designed to be optimized for mobile without you having to worry. But in all reality you always need to be reviewing your mobile view and making sure your adjustments transfer properly!
One example you may notice is to the right.
On a desktop this graphic is attractive and flawless, however switching to mobile view everything becomes chaotic and shifted.
Most users will use their mobile devices to view your website for the first time, so let's make sure we are making an amazing impression.
3. A Captivating Subscription Offer
This is one of the best tips I can provide to a business wanting to stand out against their competitors. Make an offer your visitors CAN'T refuse.
Isn't this spammy? Absolutely not, in fact this builds credibility!
How does this benefit your business?
- Makes your company seem educated in your industry above the rest.
- Builds trust by offering a free product that gives value to your consumer.
- Helps build your email list by catching warm leads and turning them into clients later down the line.
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4. Social Media Integration
This is a given, but you'd be surprised to know how improperly executed this is by many businesses. When integrating your social media icons in your new website there are a few things you need to pay attention to.
Here's an easy check list:
- Are you properly attaching the right link to the right icon?
- Have you tested the link on LIVE mode to make sure there are no error messages?
- Have you linked to your business and not a personal Facebook/ Instagram account?
- Are the Icons high quality images that don't look pixelized and unprofessional?
5. A Blog with Strong Industry Content
This is a topic that we've covered here at JoAnne Design CO. A blog not only supports your SEO but it builds credibility like you wouldn't believe. Let's make sure we are staying on topic for your industry. This is not a place for businesses to be talking about Kylie Jenner's latest trip to Bali.
Click Here to Read our Previous Blog on: Why Your Business Should Be Blogging
6. Vector Graphics
I'm sure this is something you've seen many times before! Bad graphics, are the worst. Not only do they look cheap but they are painful to look at.
Take a look at the image to the right. This is a prime example of one mistake a lot of new businesses make. Often times it's due to a lack of graphic education or perhaps not having access to products that create quality imaging.
"See the Proof!" Number 1 was likely typed in word or a screen shot transformed into a jpg and placed onto the website. It's immediately obvious by the pixelation that it was not done by an experienced professional. Can you see the difference between #1 and #2?
The second image was traced from Adobe Illustrator and made into a quality vector image. It makes a huge impact.
7. Less Text More Graphics!
In our world today, you and I both know the power of a graphic. We are becoming more visual as a society drawn to more imagery and less overwhelm. When building a website that can pack a punch... focus on innovative ways to say what you want to convey through visuals instead of text. In other words... less is more.
People will respond to proof!
Here's a simple example of one our our clients at A-Select Tile and Stone, LLC. It was best to develop a slide show of their strongest pieces versus long descriptions of what their work intales.
8. More about Them, Less about You.
This is a personal favorite. It's just psychology! No one want's to be sold to... yet we have the instinct to sell, sell, sell why we are the best. This is absolutely the wrong approach. Focus on how you can solve a problem for your ideal client. Talk about THEM! You're business will serve as more of the Dumbledore while your potential client is the star of the show... say Harry Potter. If you make this simple switch you'll stand out from the sea of businesses still stuck in their intense sales pitch.
Do not find yourself or your website lost because of a lack of consistency. You may be asking... what do you mean by consistency in this context? That's okay! A few errors of the design newbie is the lack of consistency across their site visually. This comes in many different ways, fonts, graphics, color scheme.
Let's pay attention to a few rules of thumb:
- Stick to 3 Fonts or less to stay consistent and on brand. Too many fonts doesn't look good, and is confusing.
- Make sure your graphics/ images are your brands style! Use the same filters, colors, company stamp. Make sure they make sense! Don't put up a cactus on one page and then add a beach view on the next.
- Color Scheme is perhaps the most crucial. A color pallette is one of the elements that makes your brand most recognizable. Develop of pallette of about 5 colors and stick to those everywhere! Use the pallette in your logo, font color, social media graphics, don't start mixing and matching.
10. A Face Your Client Can Trust.
We can all admit to trusting a genuine face. My final piece of advice is to take a professional or sincere headshot and create a short "About" section that highlights you as an individual. Not too much, but just enough to build trust and show your personality. At JoAnne Design Co. we are firm believers in showcasing your true self, because it is only then you attract your ideal consumers. When deciding on your about section image go with what best fits your industry and unique personality. First, write a paragraph on how the business can support the client then feel free to finish it off with a personal paragraph on yourself.