14 Easy Ways to Quickly Improve Your Website!
Does Your Website Support Your Business?
You have about 5-seconds (give or take) to let your website visitors know what your company or brand is and what you do. Is your website easy to navigate? Is the layout of your pricing easy to see and understand? Do you have a high bounce rate? It may be time to improve your website design.
Within five seconds of landing on your website, can your visitors determine what your company does? Could users easily navigate to the blog if they need to? Is the layout of your pricing easy to understand?
If the answer to all of the above questions is “no,” it might be time to take a hard look at the way you’ve been designing and optimizing your website. It never hurts to go over website improvement ideas, especially if you are trying to learn how you can improve your website.
A website only supports your business objectives when it has a design that meets your user expectations, offers the expected functionality, and complements your content.
Why You Need to Improve Your Website
So much of today’s business is conducted online. People depend on the Internet to help them perform everyday tasks from shopping to marketing to communicating with providers. Without having a website, companies, blogs, and brands risk failure.
Web designers and developers have numerous ways to improve your website design. However, even if you have a clean, smooth, professional website, that doesn’t mean it is converting how you want.
When it comes to web or e-commerce design, you want to make sure the layout conveys the right message without overwhelming visitors.
It can be easy to neglect these things, thinking these updates are low on your list of priorities. But a successful website needs both high-performing content and an exceptional user experience to support your business objectives.
You don’t want to spend time writing content on your blog or service pages, only for it to go unnoticed due to design flaws. Navigation issues, confusing layout, and missed conversion opportunities can significantly affect your bottom line.
So, how can you start improving your website?
14 Tips to Improve Your Website Design
There is a lot of information out there about ways to improve your website design. However, narrowing it down can be difficult.
These are 14 essential tips to improve your website design. So, when you ask yourself, “How can I improve my website,” these are the ones you want to review and implement.
1. Be Mobile-Friendly and Responsive
There is no argument here. Of course, you want several things in place to improve your website design. But no matter what anyone tells you, a mobile-friendly and responsive website should be at the top of your website design tips list.
Having a website that is not mobile-friendly or responsive hurts you in several different ways. Not only does Google drop you in rankings (started in 2015) and searches. But you lose visitors anyway because they have a hard time looking at your content in specific formats.
While responsive and mobile-friendly work together to create a streamlined user experience, they are two different things.
- Mobile-Friendly: Your website can be viewed properly on any mobile device and looks correct on all phones and tablets.
- Responsive: Your website responds to screen size, browser choice and displays correctly no matter what those are.
More than likely, you have created a responsive and mobile-friendly website by now. If you use WordPress or another popular CMS for your website, then you are good to go.
However, suppose, for some reason, your site is not mobile-friendly and responsive. In that case, this is the first website design tip you should tackle to improve the overall look, feel, and functionality.
Look at this from a user’s perspective. How often do you visit a website and find the navigation is cloudy and muddled? Is it challenging to get around the site? Are menus, links, and other information displayed all over the place?
It would help if you simplified the navigation for users. Even if you have a lot of content and need to map it out differently, simple navigation will immediately increase traffic.
Here are a few things to remember when simplifying website navigation.
- Limit your navigation menu to no more than seven items in your main menu (this does not include the dropdown portions).
- Users should be able to access any page from any other page within three clicks or less. It’s better to strive for two clicks, though.
- Be as descriptive as possible with your labels and links.
- Keep your navigation bar fixed.
When it comes to improving your website, simplified navigation should be toward the top of the list. Remember, if your website users can access information and get around quickly, they will stay on your website much longer.
3. Improve Page Speed
Your website page speed is crucial for keeping users on the site and interested. Remember, over 53% of people will abandon a mobile site if it takes longer than 3-seconds to load.
So, when you are making your site mobile-friendly and responsive, you also want to take steps to improve website design by making sure your page speed is up to par.
Improving page speed goes for any website you have—blog, business, shopping cart, etc. For example, suppose you have even a 2-second delay in your load time during a transaction. In that case, the chances are that your potential customers will abandon carts, and you will end up with one less customer.
There are several things you can do to optimize and speed up your website. Some of them include:
- Optimizing images
- Reducing plugins
- Cleaning up themes and frameworks
- Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
- Optimize the homepage
- Get better website hosting
- Use redirects as little as possible
Page speed goes hand-in-hand with other ways to improve website design. Therefore, consider this a top priority when you are thinking about website design tips that will enhance the functionality of your website.
4. Let Visitors Scroll on Your Homepage
There was a time when we were wary about making our website pages too long, especially your homepage. This practice was based on a fear of users not scrolling, so it forced folks to try and cram what they could into the most common screen size people view their website.
But those days are long gone. In a 2018 study by the Nielsen Norman Group, 74% of the viewing time on a website page was spent in the first two screenfuls, up to 2160px horizontally. So there’s no need to be afraid of creating a more robust below-the-fold experience.
Use your homepage real estate to your advantage.
A good rule-of-thumb is to include three to five sections that help direct new and recurring users to the critical areas of your site.
What should these sections be? This list could go on forever, but a shortlist of some of the more crucial elements includes:
- Each nav item has ample space, so it’s clear where the separation is.
- The hover effect also clarifies to the user that these are links that will result in them going to another page.
- With one click, users can get to these places with ease, so make sure you’re enacting a similar strategy (without overloading your navigation).
Clean and specifically organized navigations like this let the user know that you want them to have an easy time moving around your website and that there’s nothing to hide. As a result, your users are more likely to visit more pages during their session, increasing their time spent on your website.
5. Remove Unnecessary Content
Believe it or not, an excessive amount of content is not always better. Instead, less is more, especially when it comes to mobile website design.
You want your website to be clean, smooth, professional, and to the point. It’s all about walking the line of saying what you need without being visually overbearing.
You may have unnecessary content you need to remove from the website. Getting rid of it will improve website design, as excessive content does not follow website design best practices. For example, consider removing some of the following items if they are on your site:
- Complicated Animations
- Long, Muddled Content
- Stocky Web Images
- Over-Utilized Colors
Furthermore, be careful with the words you are using. If you can, go through your current content and look for the following terms you may have used:
- Next Generation
- Easy to Use
- Cutting Edge
These words are overused by hundreds, if not thousands of companies. They don’t make your content any more appealing or original.
6. Don’t Be Afraid of White Space
Often people get nervous about white space on a website. In reality, you can use whitespace to your advantage, and it should be a part of your layout.
White space is an essential design element that helps you break up the page and increase readability. Also called “negative space,” white space refers to the areas around elements on a page that are empty and lacking content or visual items.
Whitespace also plays an essential role in the design process and positioning of website elements. More whitespace shows what sections are separate and guides the eye. Less whitespace dictates which parts are related to one another due to their proximity.
7. Use the Right Stock Images
We always recommend using original photography on your website. Still, if that’s not an option, there are techniques you can use to help pick out the correct type of stock photo.
While stock photos save you the time of producing your imagery, many websites have imagery that falls into cliche. You’ll also find many other websites that may be showcasing the same imagery, which certainly doesn’t help your credibility.
So, when choosing stock photos, try to stay away from these cheesy images. These are the photos of people high-fiving with exaggerated smiles, groups looking at the camera, executives in superhero costumes, groups of suited people jumping in the air.
When was the last time you saw people in these scenarios in real life?
Look instead for photos that depict realistic scenes in well-lit environments. Suitable images could be people in an office talking over a meeting table in business casual clothing, over-the-shoulder shots of people typing on a laptop, or people drawing on a whiteboard in an open room.
These are the types of scenes others will start to recognize as legitimate. Again, look for candid images and ones in real-life settings rather than studios.
8. Allow Social Sharing and Social Follow
The world we live in these days has become a Facebook and Twitter world. That is to say, people connect and keep up with news and each other through social media.
Any website improvement ideas should involve taking advantage of social sharing and social following. Why? There are 800 million monthly active users on Instagram and 100 million daily active users on Twitter.
Those are astronomical numbers, but both come in behind Facebook, which has over 1 billion users. These numbers are why your website needs to offer social proof and sharing options for your visitors.
If by some chance, you are unfamiliar with social sharing buttons, you need to get acquainted. They are the small buttons that are around the top or bottom of blog posts. They contain icons of different social media sites and allow you to share the page directly on the channel of your choice.
The idea is to get guests to share your content when they like what they read. Sharing content puts it out for everyone else to see without you having to do any work. This strategy will allow your website to become more popular and gain site visitors that would have never known about you otherwise.
Social sharing options are a fantastic way to improve website design. In addition, social sharing is an easy way to boost your social media engagement quickly.
9. Use Strong and Visible Calls to Action
Your website is a place to sell your products and services, pump your brand or blog, blog, blog. Make sure you have a strong and visible call to action in place. Give your site visitors a way to connect with your company.
A call to action can be many things, including a free trial, account creation, linking them to buy something, or having them sign up for a newsletter. A solid call to action will be the thing that increases your conversions, so make sure you put some time into coming up with the perfect one.
Other great examples of high converting calls to action include:
- Click here for more information.
- Download our sample XXXX.
- Sign up for a webinar.
- Watch the video.
- See all marketing services.
- See pricing.
A call to action can be in the form of a banner, buttons, a popup box, or anything that helps grab the site visitor’s attention. Improve your website design by giving site users something to do and let them interact with the site.
10. Have an SEO Strategy
You will hear people talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) all the time regarding ways to improve website design. While this visually will not affect the front in of your website, it is crucial to have a good SEO strategy in place.
Having proper SEO in place will do several things to improve your site. Most of all, it will allow you to rank higher in Google and enable you to trend for what you want and get appropriately indexed in search engines.
Also, consider an SSL certificate if your website does not already have one. Google has been pushing the https protocol and giving a higher ranking to sites that have these certificates.
Most website hosts will now offer a free version of the Let’s Encrypt SSL. However, if your host doesn’t, it may be time to switch hosting providers. Here is one we recommend and use.
11. Keep an Active Blog
One of the best ways for people to know what you do is by reading your content. So not only is a blog visually appealing to your site visitors, but it also gives you a place to push content.
Adding a blog is a very effective website improvement tip. So much so that often you will see older websites implement a blog, even after being online for years.
Having a blog on your site will also encourage user interaction and keep your potential customers engaged. You should post various articles that are relevant to your business and services.
Blog pages will generate more online traffic to your business website, which leads to more sales. It can also establish you as an authority in your industry, which will increase confidence in your services.
Remember to integrate your social share buttons within your blog section.
12. Use Color Theory to Your Advantage
Color theory and psychology matter, and how you use colors affects website conversion.
Use this to your advantage when you are designing or updating a website. Using color theory can add so much more to your site and is a website design tip that website owners should not ignore.
The standard language for color communication is called Pantone, and yes, that is a real thing. You should know about it, and probably do if you are in the marketing field.
To help you a little, here is what colors represent:
- Red: passion, anger, love, confidence
- Orange: youthfulness, cheer, warmth, hunger
- Yellow: sunshine, happiness, energy, optimism
- Green: nature, fertility, balance, cleanliness
- Blue: water, tranquility, trust, power
- Purple: nobility, power, elegance, wisdom
- White: peace, balance, purity, simplicity, winter
- Gray: neutral, sophistication, balance, wisdom
- Black: exclusivity, modern, power, sophistication, mystery
- Brown: earth, stability, tradition, nature
- Pink: love, romance, femininity, baby girls, humanistic
- Turquoise: tranquility, clarity, compassion, healing
13. Create a Self-Selection Experience
Many online shoppers are overwhelmed when it comes to shopping on e-commerce websites. However, this type of consumer appreciates finding tools that can help select the right things for them.
These tools, called self-selection tools, bring users through a series of questions to arrive at a specific type of result. These results could be a customized quote, product, or an answer to a very high-level question (ex. ‘What is my personality type?’).
Tools like this can make it easier for people to understand what the best products or services are for them without them having to navigate through your website to find the answer.
Also, the quicker you get what your prospects to what they are looking for, the faster they might be to purchase it.
While this might be more of a later project, it’s a practical tool that will help differentiate your company from your competitors and offer a unique experience.
14. Test and Iterate
Your website needs to be a living, evolving piece of your company, not static. Therefore, there is likely always room for improvement. Improving certain areas of your website can improve conversions, time on page, and pages per session. Knowing what solution might work best in improving your website is the challenging part.
This challenge is where running A/B tests comes in. Taking two different page variations and testing them against each other can reveal if specific areas are creating issues for your users.
In some cases, your pages may be performing quite well but contain outdated information. A/B testing the page can show you how much the page’s content has on session duration or possibly conversions.
In other cases, you may want to see if design updates could affect a page’s performance. For example, simple changes such as button colors, headers, or refining copy could make incredible differences in conversion rate.
Especially if you don’t know what to change, you can use tools to create A/B tests for them, multivariate tests, or even set up heat maps to see what users are doing.
Each test can reveal various data that identify why users are interacting with pages in particular ways.
From here, I would monitor these tests and tools weekly or bi-weekly to see how changes you’ve made are affecting your page performance. Checking frequently also allows you to adjust sooner rather than later if things head in the wrong direction.
Are You Ready to Improve Your Website?
You have dozens of ways to improve your website design at your disposal. You should at least entertain most of them if you haven’t already. The 14 website design tips listed in this article are ones we consider to be the most important and are the best ways to improve your website design.
Start implementing some of these right away, and you will notice a significant change in visitor traffic and behavior.
Taking the time to implement these tips on your website can bring dramatic change that can help improve your website’s performance, experience, and customer conversion rates. Still, once you implement some of these tips, you may realize the more significant project at hand is to refresh your website with a redesign.
You can hire an experienced web design agency to build a top-notch website or online store. In that case, you have a much better chance to support your business objectives.
Here at PixoLabo, we offer a full range of e-commerce website consulting and WordPress web design services, including website design and development, e-commerce solutions, search engine optimization, and WordPress optimization.
If you are not sure how to improve your website design, we are here to help! We will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best web design solutions for your company or product brand.
Did You Improve Your Website?
Are you meeting the user expectations of demanding and sophisticated mobile consumers? Or did you notice any shortcomings on your website? How did you improve your website?
Do you have anything to add to our tips for improving your website? Feel free to add your comments below so our audience can benefit and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!