Website design can often be a complicated affair, between copy, graphics, responsive layout or interaction design, there is a lot to take into consideration when creating a strong digital experience for your customers and viewers alike.
Creating a space that tells a brand story can do wonders for your sales margins, while building sites with engagement in mind will ensure you always have a steady stream of potential clients.
While every brand is focused on improving its site optimizations by cycling through new designs and developing unique web copy, there are more simple steps you can take to capture those few allusive conversions.
Whether your brand or business is starting from ground zero, in the middle of a website redevelopment, or simply looking to tighten an already optimized site, there are a few easy design tweaks you can easily execute to drive engagement.
Disclaimer! These tips are not concentrated on any particular platform or design process. The tips are general in nature and can be implemented on any software provider that offers editing for CSS. These tips are call-outs and not detailed descriptions of how to implement the changes.
1. Ensure all email and call text are Hyperlinked.
Making sure your link structure is neat and tidy is one of the simplest tactics to improve engagement. Adding hyperlinks to direct customers to reach your business may seem like an obvious action, but you would be surprised how many sites I review that lack any call or email links on descriptive text or have one number hyperlinked on the footer and not on the navigation menu. As a golden rule, hyperlink any representation of contact information, no matter where they are present on the site.
Think about it from a viewer's perspective. They are scrolling through your site and after reading the last piece of information they want to make a connection. They notice an email address in the footer and decide to reach out by clicking on the link and to be directed to email, when...
They leave the site frustrated with the experience and never bother to email your business.
A simple pain point that leads to increase in drop-off rates. Link everything to capture these leads and save yourself the pain.
2. Add Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp contact links.
It is not 2015 anymore, and your customers utilize engagement on multiple applications. I know that may be shocking to hear, but there are multiple applications for instant messaging and calling. How you utilize these alternative channels can increase your lead gen.
If you are targeting a customer demographic that is not a dinosaur, most likely they use Facebook messenger as a main means of communication and that means you should be reaching them on that application.
The same goes for applications like WhatsApp. If you're using any communication app in your day to day life, there is a high chance your customers are as well. Offer these alternative channels along with the traditional communication channels.
3. Always show Social media links on the page.
It goes without saying, social media is a MASSIVE part of a brand's digital presence, and is generally how your consumers interact with your brand on the daily (they are not checking your website every day, are they?). Realistically your social media game is equally as important as your website performance, and in some industries even more so.
This is common knowledge for most brands, so why do I constantly see a limited representation of social links on so many sites. Yes, I understand big brands don't show social links at the first viewport and yes, you want to keep people on your site as long as you can, but if you're reading this blog most likely you aren't working at Nike and you're looking to grow your brand awareness. Social media is the perfect way to grow that awareness.
Show social links from the jump, above the fold, and on the first viewport. On mobile, ensure these links are visual and easy to click. Nothing worse than tapping tiny social icons to be directed to Pinterest when you wanted Instagram. No one uses Pinterest anymore.
4. Let your design breathe.
I don't mean in the literal sense, your site is not a living organism. When I say breathe, I'm referring to the spacing of elements on your site. There are far too many people creating websites without understanding the basics of visual design and then wonder why their site is not converting or, has a high drop off rate. I'm telling you now, it's because the site looks horrible.
You don't have to go and get a degree in graphic design to build a beautiful site, however, one principle you really need to take into account is spacing and interaction between elements. If you have chunks of text stacked on top of each other, no viewer will want to read it. If you don't show a distinction between different sections of information, a customer finds it difficult to understand what the hell is going on.
When designing or editing your site, use spacing between text, elements, and sections, to break up information and tell a story through the design. If your layout seems crammed, it most likely is. Add spacing between elements on the page break that Info up and give the viewer the opportunity to process what they are reading or viewing.
5. Lead the viewers to action.
You have created a site for a reason, whether it is to share information, showcase work, capture emails or drive sales. Generally speaking, you don't invest time and money for no reason. So why, do so many websites exist with no direct call to action (CTA). Seriously! Why do you spend time and money and miss the main reason you create a website. It actually brings me to tiers, such a waste of effort.
In saying this, you have to be strategic when you do introduce a CTA. It also depends on the goals of your content and whether you're driving a soft or hard CTA.
A soft CTA is when you ask someone to take an action that isn’t your main desire but is a step towards it, especially important if your service/product requires some education before purchase. While a hard CTA takes a direct approach and directs customers straight to a sale.
PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, add some form of a call to action, even if it is as simple as a email sign up, you are still grabbing the viewers attention. Give careful consideration to where the CTA's are used and understand intention of the view on each page.