At Nolen Walker, we talk a lot about empowered local SEO, paid search campaigns, and successful content marketing tactics! These all heavily impact lead generation, especially in highly competitive metropolitan environments. Some of the most crucial website design practices however, revolve around stimulating visuals and smart organization. While a pretty colors and fancy features don’t always make for a lead-driving website, they certainly make a difference!
Today, we’re going to discuss five of the best web design practices businesses can incorporate in their company homepage (and beyond). Not only do these features typically improve conversion rates, they also make for a pleasant user experience. If you’ve been looking to update your web design, be sure to read along carefully!
5 Best Practices for Web Design
Best Practice #1: Consolidate and Prioritize
Empty space can be more powerful than you realize! Not only does it keep readers sharp and focused, it naturally draws the eyes to important elements on your homepage. In the picture above, this company’s web design professional utilizes white space to highlight the visually striking menu text and company logo. The calls to action clearly stand out from the rest of the text as well (more on this later).
Many contractors mistakenly believe that cramming more services and colors into homepage top will ease the search process for site visitors, when it actually creates the opposite effect. Congested menus and overly stimulating pictures make it more challenging to focus, slowing the search process. If you’ve ever landed on a website, seen a crowded page, and instinctively looked away from the screen (or clicked the back button), you already know the danger of overstimulation.
Try to leave plenty of space to highlight your menu, headers, and contact information!
Text walls, large blocks of uninterrupted paragraphs, also produce the same result. As tempting as it is to try to explain how great each and every one of your services is, remember that less can be more! This conveniently leads into our next pro tip…
Best Practice #2: Format Your Text
Above is yet another screenshot from one of our favorite website designs! As mentioned before, huge blocks of text make it challenging for readers to effectively digest information. That’s why breaking up your text into short paragraphs, then sprinkling images into the mix, creates such a powerful combination. This particular formatting tool is called a media and text block, a recent addition to WordPress since the Gutenberg update. The bolded and colored text also makes it easier to navigate onto other pages and call the business.
Powerful Tools for Formatting Text
- Varied headers (H3s and H4s)
- Mixed text/media blocks
- Bullet point lists
- Numbered lists or how-to’s
- Isolated quotes and key points
- Occasional bolding, italics, and underlining
- Carefully spaced out exclamation points
Text is just one more facet of your homepage that benefits from consolidation and prioritization. You can easily create more invested readers by breaking up large, bulky paragraphs into shorter, focussed sections. Add in a quirky and enthusiastic header every few paragraphs, and you’ll naturally have site visitors staying longer to consume your stimulating content!
One last note: be very careful with how frequently you add emphatic formatting on text.
Bolded text, exclamation points, and even italics should be used sparingly. This makes the instances you incorporate them especially powerful. That’s why emphatic formatting is best saved for key points, calls to action, and humorous moments.
Best Practice #3: Call Them to Action!
What’s the most frustrating oversight for an experienced web designer? Probably the lack of a clear call to action. That’s because all the hard work that goes into crafting an engaging user experience and beautiful aesthetics goes out the window if your reader has can’t find their next steps. Calls to action (CTAs) direct site users on how to respond to your content.
CTAs Direct People To…
- Phone Call
- Direct Message
- Continue Reading
- Consult a Directory
- Check Out Another Page
- Perform an Action Offline
- and More
In the image above, this roofing contractor effectively draws attention to two separate calls to action. One directs readers to call the listed phone number, by using vivid red text to grab attention. The other uses a large text box for a more generic “Contact Us”. Both provide ample opportunity for site visitors to connect with the business.
Make sure your company website’s calls to action are clearly visible. Too often, these crucial tools get lost in a sea of text or obscured by colorful backgrounds. If an average visitor can’t locate your number and other CTAs within a few seconds, your homepage web design may be too crowded!
Best Practice #4: Use Schema Lists
Schema coding helps Google identify the purpose of different elements around a page. It can also turn boring text lists into clearly visible and productive directories. In the picture above, this schema list feature incorporates hyperlinked services and descriptive text in a very legible format.
Where can you use schema lists?
Most businesses that favor these features often use them multiple times on the homepage alone. They can be broken up by service category, making it even easier for users to find their desired page(s). With that being said, they also make great navigational tools on your top level parent pages too (example: “Residential Roofing”).
As you use these schema lists, just make sure to not overdo it and cram dozens of services into a single roster. Again, these special coding features work best with a handful of solutions related to a single service category.
A similar design feature is the service category block. These blocks offer an even more visible way to connect website visitors with their desired pages. Many companies add them towards the top of the homepage, either on or below the first page fold. Hovering over the blocks causes them to change color, display a new picture, or show descriptive text.
Four to six blocks of popular categories can transform any sluggish website into an efficient user experience!
Best Practices #5: Integrate Your Reviews
Word of mouth makes a way, especially when it comes to contractors! Online reviews are one of the purest forms of digital currency these days, but most businesses don’t understand how to use (or even collect) them correctly. That’s why even top ranking businesses sometimes lack any reviews on their local search listings.
When it comes to web design, reviews naturally fit inside the scope of your homepage. The process of review integration can take some specialized coding skills, but it’s certainly worth the time and/or money investment. At Nolen Walker, our web design professionals favor a tool that cycles some of the latest reviews from our clients’ customers.
Of course, you can utilize reviews almost anywhere in your homepage web design. Some companies even take their favorite client feedback and display it at the top of their landing page. Cycling reviews tend to have a greater impact however, since they include unfiltered reviews from a variety of clients. This scares many businesses however, as they fear a client might leave a scathing, low star review.
Remember this: limited negative feedback can be a good thing!
How so? Negative feedback shows that your company is open to accountability. The smartest company owners get excited about negative reviews, because it gives them a chance to improve their customer service. A tactfully-worded apology can make turn an angry individual into a lifelong customer.
Plan Your Web Design!
No website is perfect. Successful business however, learn to take their web design shortcomings and transform them into strengths. If your website has struggled with poor conversion rates, poor user experiences, or even Google penalties, our team at Nolen Walker would love to help you transform it!
Our seasoned design team incorporates…
- Schema Coding
- Rich Imagery
- Convenient Navigation
- Striking Calls to Action
- and More
Find out why our customers throughout the US earn better rankings and stronger lead generation than their local competitors! Give us a call at (866) 356-8198 to consult with one of our SEO experts. We can’t wait to serve you.