When you're about launch your new businesses and it's time to design your website it's incredibly easy to get lost in the excitement of sharing your new face online only to later realize you have no clear direction or reasoning for your design decisions. This is probably the most common mistake by businesses eager to launch their products. However, what's important to remember is that a website isn't just a website – it's your new face online and most sometimes one of few touch points your customers will have with your business.
This is why, if nothing else, you should always go through these three simple steps when designing your website.
1. Never skip the wireframe
Let's imagine a scenario – you need a website, so naturally you get straight into your favorite design tool and start designing your website in detail. As it's coming together you slowly realize you forgot to add that very important blog articles section, and now you'll have to manually rearrange your whole pixel-perfect design again. This isn't an ideal process, and is why wireframing is so important.
When starting the design process for a new website, it is important to wireframe first. Wireframing allows you to map out the structure and layout of your site before getting into the details of colors and images. It helps you to focus on the user experience and functionality of your site. By taking the time to wireframe, you can avoid potential problems down the road and create a better overall experience for your users. So although you're super excited to get your business online, taking the time to plan each part of your website will in the end create a much better product.
2. Don't forget your call-to-action
A website should always serve a specific purpose. Whether you're running an ecommerce store, a service buisnesses, or recipe blog, you always want to guide your users to take a specific action when visiting your website. If the user can't figure what to do on your website, chances are pretty high that they'll quickly leave, and examples of this can be to contact you, buy a product, or subscribe to a newsletter.
Like the name suggests a call-to-action is a way for you to explicitly tell your users to take a certain action. And in order to do so you need to keep two things in mind:
- Keep it simple – Users coming to your website have likely never seen it before and won't give you more than a few seconds of their time for you to send the right message. This is why it's incredibly important to not overwhelm the user with an overly complicated message, even if you think you came up with the most hilarious copy ever. Use a short attention-grabbing heading coupled with an obvious button suggesting what will happen when clicking it.
- Don't hide it – Sometimes you don't want to come off as too salesy, and in itself that's a good thing. However it might also be preventing your users from understanding what action to take on your website. Finding a balance between having clear communication and not appearing too salesy can be tough. But remember, your users are on your website for a reason.
3. A hero section with clear messaging
Similar to having a clear call-to-action, having clear messaging in the hero section is important for a number of reasons as well. First, it helps to grab the attention of visitors and guide them to the most important information on the site. Additionally, clear messaging can help to build trust with potential customers and ensure that they understand what your business is all about. And an added bonus of this is that well-written messaging in the hero section can help to boost your search engine ranking by including keywords that are relevant to your business. But as with any form of marketing, don’t go overboard. You don’t want your site to look spammy or like you are trying too hard to game the system.
These three steps will help make sure your final website engages your visitors and grabs their attention. Because at the the end of the day, your website your face to the public.