5 Web Design Decisions You Can’t Ignore For Digital Marketing In 2020

Thursday, 6 February 2020  |  Posted in: News  |  8min read

The design of your website plays a crucial role in the success of your digital marketing.

An optimised website will not only improve your ranking in search engines… a good design will also provide a better flow that improves your bounce rate, keeping more of those organic visitors that SEO brought to you around long enough to make a purchase. It will provide an optimised user experience that will convert more of those visitors to paying customers. Perhaps most importantly, it will decide how professionally your company is perceived by visitors.

In this post, we are going to look at 5 web design decisions that you can no longer ignore and that will improve your digital marketing results so that you can start 2020 on the right track to becoming your best year yet.

1. Responsive Design – Look Your Best Everywhere

The responsiveness of a website refers to how well it adapts to changing screen sizes.

This is an extremely important design factor now that much of the traffic to your site will be coming from mobile devices. Still, it is an area that many websites fall short on. If you do much web browsing on your phone, you’ve likely visited websites that just do not fit well on the screen.

They require you to:

  • Use horizontal scrolling to read the text;
  • The images do not scale properly;
  • And the buttons are often too small to comfortably press with a finger.

These are all problems that can be cured with responsive web design. Some important tips for responsive design include:

  • Layout: Your layout should be designed in such a way that it flows well when the screen changes sizes. Whenever possible, elements that can’t fit beside one another at a given screen size should stack on top of one another. The text should always flow gracefully around images rather than having its position hard-coded into the site.
  • Media: Images and other visual media on your site should not be scaled in absolute units. You have no way of knowing what size a screen will be or what orientation it will be in. An image that is predictably sized on the horizontal 16:9 monitors of most desktops will very likely not fit well on a small phone in a vertical orientation. Solve this problem by scaling the media to match the screen size.
  • Text: This is a similar problem to the media. It isn’t uncommon to go to a website on a mobile device that was designed for a desktop browser and find the text too small and difficult to read. CSS3 includes a unit for font size called “rems”. Use this unit instead of pixels to ensure that your fonts look good on any screen size.

2. Accessibility – Be Accessible To Everyone

Navigating your website could be a problem for people with disabilities.

Even without disabilities, a person using a small mobile device may find it difficult to see some of the aspects of your website. You do not want either of these people leaving your website because they found the user experience lacking. Some of these problems, such as text that is too small to read, are solved by a properly responsive design. There are a few other points to keep in mind for maximum website accessibility, however.

The key ones for you to consider are:

  • Alternate Text: You can define “alt text” for every image on your site. This will be the text that is displayed if the image can not load. This is good for when problems prevent the image from loading but great for people with vision problems that rely on screen readers to tell them what is on the screen. All images that convey important information should have a basic alt-text so such visitors aren’t wondering what they are missing.
  • Input: People with motor control problems can not use a mouse very effectively. Your website should allow full control with a keyboard. Some people can also not use keyboards but they have solutions to replace the keyboard with voice input that will allow them to browse a keyboard capable site. The W3C has published guidelines for keyboard accessibility.
  • Transcripts: People with hearing problems can not hear any audio or video that is on your site. Mobile users may not be in a location where playing audio is appropriate. Both of these groups of people can be accommodated by providing transcripts of any important audio and video on your site.

3. Click-Optimisation – Maximise Your Click-Throughs

When a visitor comes to your site, you are only going to make a sale if they follow the correct path to a sale. They can not end up on the checkout page if they have left after the landing page.

Image carousels were once a popular navigation feature until it was discovered that they have poor click-through performance. You want to be taking steps that make it as easy as possible for the user to find their way to information they seek within the interior of your site.

This includes:

  • Clear and easy navigation;
  • A minimal number of clicks before they get to the information they want;
  • And active prompts to encourage them to visit the pages that you want them to.

How often a visitor leaves a given page without going further into the website is called its bounce rate. You can rely on trial and error to test your click-through performance or you can utilise the power of tools like Google Analytics to give you hard data on which pages are producing high bounce rates and which ones are driving visitors further into the site.

4. Search Engine Optimisation – Accelerate Your SEO

“If you build it, they will come.”

This is a nice phrase but it’s only half the story when it comes to web traffic. There are far too many websites out there competing for attention. You need to do everything in your power to maximise your chances of ranking high in the search results so your site can be among the ones that cut through the clutter.

The way to do this is through Search Engine Optimisation.

  • Rich Results: You’ve probably seen search results that contain extra information in them. This may be a star rating, a price, dates for an event or other information. These extra bits of information are more eye-catching and result in a greater chance of the result being clicked on. You can create them for your site using rich results in your meta-data. Rich results also impact how video and top-story news reports are shown.
  • Voice Search: With digital assistants becoming the norm, voice search is on the rise. You want to make your site as appealing as possible to the voice search algorithms. Voice search relies on some key information to decide which results it gives. You can maximise your chances by optimising your snippets and ensuring that information about your hours and address are prominent on your site.

This means that you are never done building, you have to keep evolving.

Continually adding content to your site will give search engines a constant stream of fresh data to index. Proper usage of internal linking will tie all of those unique pieces of content to the keywords that are important to your search results. Of course, search engines are smart enough to know when you are throwing content at them that is meant purely to drive up your results.

You want a solid content strategy that provides actual value to the humans who will be clicking through. Otherwise, you are putting off potential customers who do click through and lowering your chances of ranking high in search.

5. Use Professional And Customised Web Design

Branding is one of those things whose importance extends far beyond just your website.

Simple templates are not going to be able to provide you with the most consistent branding. Visitors to your site will know if they’ve seen the same template over and over again regardless of how heavily you decorate it. This makes your website look cookie-cutter and generic.

Hiring a professional to design your website will not only keep your branding on point but it will ensure that the other four steps on this list have been accounted for. In fact, in the hands of a good web design firm that has a strong digital marketing background, your website will benefit from far more improvements in revenue-generating ability than could possibly be described in a single blog post.

Conclusion

The rules of what makes for good marketing are constantly changing. The rise and fall of image carousels is just one example. Just last year, Google made five important updates to their algorithm. Anyone who did not stay on top of the changes and adapt their strategy to match them likely saw their search ranking drop.

Reading this post and implementing the strategies outlined is a good first step but this is just the beginning. You should always make an effort to stay on top of the frequent changes in the always evolving and competitive digital business landscape.

If you are an established organisation with proven products and services, but your current website and digital platforms are lagging behind and preventing you from providing better customer experiences, our team are here to help you to overcome these challenges.

Contact us today and discover what a professional Adelaide web design and digital marketing agency can do for your website.

Talk to the Experts at The Digital Embassy today and find out how to make 2020 a record year for your business.

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