"Web design is not just about creating pretty layouts. It's about understanding the marketing challenge behind your business." ― Mohamed Saad
A website is a digital reflection of your brand. When designed properly, it can offer an impressive ROI.
Your website can generate leads, improve your reputation, drive conversions, boost revenue, grow your business…the list goes on and on.
Let's take a closer look at 16 secrets of designing a brilliant website.
1. Stellar Content
You must have heard marketers say that content is king. The reason is its educational and conversion power. By satisfying your clients' craving for information, you are controlling the hook that reels them in.
Websites with high-quality content and a top-notch content structure attract the highest number of leads while establishing your business as an authority in the industry.
Content on a brilliant website offers:
- Educational value
- Resolutions to problems
- Attention to pain points
- Analysis and depth
- Answers to questions
The attention span of an average website visitor in the 21st century is short. People tend to skim instead of reading, eager to process as much as possible in a short period of time. That's why content on your website must be skimmable.
A brilliant website should contain:
- Large readable fonts (pro tip: explore Sans Serif fonts)
- Strong headlines to catch the reader's attention
- Numerous subheadings
- Bullet points
- Different colors
- Charts and tables
- Short paragraphs
- Color contrast
The average time a person spends on a website is 15 seconds. With the right level of readability, it's possible to keep them much longer.
3. Intuitive Navigation
A six-year-old kid should be able to navigate your website. Not because your clients are childish, but because they are pressed for time. According to HubSpot, 76% of users say that intuitive navigation is the most important website feature.
If visitors fail to understand which buttons and tabs to click to see what they want, they leave the website immediately. The frustration they feel hinders the reputation of your brand.
A brilliant website should have:
- A stellar search feature
- Clearly marked tabs and buttons
- A sitemap
- Few navigational options
The navigation should stay simple and intuitive when the visitor uses a mobile device. With mobile accounting for over 50% of website traffic worldwide, the focus on gadget users is highly important.
Whitespace is the area around elements on the webpage, such as text, images, and graphics. This area allows the visitor to grasp the key information without being sidetracked.
The right use of whitespace between letters and lines is also important to the stellar performance of your website.
A properly integrated whitespace guides users from one element to the next organically until they end up at the conversion point. (Check out how Apple did it).
5. Color Palette
Colors are the pillars of your website design. Attacking your visitors' senses with bright colors can force them to click the "x" button. Meanwhile, the lack of colors can make your website appear boring and unprofessional.
Finding the delicate balance is tough, especially when you have to integrate brand colors for awareness purposes.
You should also keep in mind the cultural preferences of the target audience. For example, in most countries, white is the color of weddings while in Asia, it's associated with funerals.
6. Professional Images
A picture is only worth a thousand words when it's created by a professional. While stock photos may seem like a good (read: inexpensive) choice, you risk appearing generic and downright boring.
Since images are a powerful attention catcher, a brilliant website should contain high-quality pics. Depending on your industry, you may consider creating photos that showcase your clients' experiences. However, it doesn't mean they shouldn't be well-polished.
Pro tip: Since you would need to sacrifice some image quality to improve the loading time of your website, the initial quality must be stellar.
7. Load Speed
The days of slowly loading pages are long gone. Visitors aren't ready to waste their time watching the blank browser page while your website is loading.
Almost 50% of consumers expect the page to load under 2 seconds. Meanwhile, the loading time affects your website's chances of appearing on the top of search results.
Recently, Google announced turning Core Web Vitals into official ranking factors. In 2021, to get a chance at high rankings, your website would need to load faster than 2.5 seconds.
8. Entertain, Educate, and Inspire
The value they receive when interacting with your website should inspire them to make changes, even if it's just switching dental offices.
A brilliant website should:
- Offer a personalized approach
- Provide human-like interaction
- Give value on every page
- Carry a slight entertainment merit
By hiring an experienced website agency, you can incorporate all the above elements into your website without losing its unique character and educational value.
9. High Interactivity
Another one of the Core Web Vitals is interactivity. The time between the visitor clicking a button and a response from your website should be under 100 milliseconds.
Failing to provide nearly instantaneous interactivity won't just lower your search engine rankings. It's likely to turn the majority of visitors away. Something as seemingly insignificant as 50 milliseconds can ruin the user's experience.
10. Excellent Calls to Actions
One of the key goals of any website is to boost the company's revenue. To do that, it has to convert leads.
All the efforts you make when designing a website guide the visitor to so something (download, sign up, make a purchase, give a call).
Depending on how well you design and place your CTA (Calls to Action), your visitors will take the bait.
11. Visual Stability
Don't you hate it when you try to read a piece of content and the page suddenly rolls up or jumps down, forcing you to look for the place where you stopped reading? This is called visual instability.
Make sure your website is visually stable to avoid the annoyance factor. Not too many visitors are ready to struggle with a "jumpy" website.
12. Clear Hyperlinks
Linking is an integral part of search engine optimization. The anchor text for each hyperlink should describe what the users will find when they click it. Otherwise, you may be misleading the visitors and failing to catch their attention.
Don't try to reinvent the wheel when hyperlinking. The design should be conventional — blue and underlined.
13. Top-Notch Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system is software that allows you to create, edit, and publish content on your website. To make sure your website offers top value while looking stellar in the process, you need to discover a versatile CMS.
Your choice will dictate how easily you can create a brilliant website and how many mistakes you'll make along the way.
For example, HubSpot CMS is currently gaining an edge over WordPress, being an optimal choice for both web designers and marketers. It caters to the needs of all industries while providing stellar analytical functionality.
Videos are currently gaining momentum all over the web. The ability to offer visual and educational value without taking up too much of the visitor's time has made them an integral part of any website.
80% of your online visitors will watch a video while only 20% will finish reading a piece of content. Consider including videos in your blog posts and on different webpages, including the landing page.
Pro tip: Keep your videos short. Long videos don't just slow down your website. 60% of visitors stop watching videos after 2 minutes.
Since some of your visitors may have disabilities (visual and hearing impairments, motor skills issues, cognitive disabilities, etc.), you should make your website disability-friendly.
A stellar website should have:
- Alt tags (text description of images)
- Subtitles and transcripts for videos
- Large CTA buttons for people with mobility problems
- Accessibility guide for disabled audience
- Keyboard-friendliness options
- Carefully chosen color palette
- Clearly labeled forms
In the USA, there is no clear legal requirement to make your website accessible for the disabled audience. However, doing so doesn't just improve your conversion rate, it makes someone's life easier.
Your website is an extension of your brand. Each color, text, video, and image should power up your branding efforts. At first glance, a visitor should associate the website with your logo and brick-and-mortar locations (if any).
Strong slogans, attractive logos, and a consistent tone of voice on your website can contribute to your marketing and brand awareness strategy.
The Importance of Building a Brilliant Website
A well-designed website is a powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal. It doesn't just help you convert the target audience and boost your revenue, it increases brand awareness and helps you become an authority in your industry.