How long has it been since you’ve updated your website? Do you have a website that looks good on desktops and on mobile devices? If you want to get more out of your existing website, you might want to consider optimizing some important design elements. But do you know where to start?

A recent round-up by FitSmallBusiness examined the best startup websites along with the elements that made those websites effective. In this article we focus on 5 elements for designing a successful website.

elements of a successful website

1) Simple & Clear Layout

The acronym, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly), broadly applies to most things, and web design is no exception. You want your website design to be flat and clear, with minimal fancy or flashy images. Too many large graphical elements will only slow down the speed of your website.

When it comes to web design, visual clarity is the most important factor. It’s the first thing visitors see when they come to your website. If they don’t like what they see, or even if they’ve found what they were looking for, if it isn’t visually appealing, lagging in speed or feels less than trustworthy, chances are great that potential customers will leave your site immediately; never to return.

2) Mobile Friendly

Numbers don’t lie. And the numbers show that mobile optimization is a must-have for your website.

  • 31% of traffic that comes to the top 10 websites all come from mobile devices
  • 80% of internet users browse websites from a smartphone
  • According to Google, 61% of users don’t return to websites that they consider to NOT be mobile-friendly
  • 40% of users who have difficulty accessing a website end up going to that website’s competitors

In addition to having a responsive website that looks good on different devices, a mobile friendly website need to be fast. Visitors can become very frustrated if they have to wait a long time to see your content. Additionally, avoid using pop-ups that appear when a user visits your website.  Pop-ups, like mailing-list sign-up forms, block the page content and can make for a bad user experience.

3) Contact Information

NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. NAP is very important for businesses wishing to rank well in the local organic search results. Search engines like Google take the data into consideration when determining which websites to show for geo-targeted searches. Make sure your NAP is both accurate and consistent on your website, Google My Business listing, as well as other directories you list your website on.

Making sure visitors can easily get in touch with you is one of the easiest ways to generate leads. Your contact information should be listed on every page, in an easy-to-find area; generally located in the footer or header area. Business information, such as your address and phone number helps build trust and credibility.

4) Use of Call to Action

A Call to Action (CTA) is a term or phrase that encourages your website visitors to do something on your website. CTA elements are highly essential because they tie everything together on your website. CTAs are an important aspect of any conversion optimization strategy because they help guide your visitors through the buying journey.

A button on your website is a simple form of a call-to-action.  To be effective, make sure to use contrasting colours to make buttons stand out on the page. The text used in the buttons need to convey a sense of urgency and describe what happens when someone clicks those buttons. For example, instead of simply saying “Download”, it is a lot more effective to say “Download the FREE Guide Today”.

5) Content Optimization

Correctly optimizing your content can help your website rank better in search engines. On-page optimization, or on-page SEO, refers to all technical steps that can be done directly within a website in order to improve its position in search rankings.

Content optimization often starts with keyword research – an exercise that helps identify the phrases and keywords people enter into search engines when searching for content similar to yours. Once identified, consider adding these important keywords, and variations of the keywords, to various elements on your website. These elements include the title and meta description tags, the page URL, the page header, image alternative text, and the content itself.

An important, and often overlooked, aspect of content optimization, is internal linking and the diversity of anchor text. Review your existing pages, and make sure you are connecting pages together with links that describe the pages your are linking to.

Conclusion

There you have it.  5 simple yet effective elements that can help make your website more effective. A simple and fast loading website can mean the difference between a happy visitor and a frustrated one. Making your website easy to navigate, meanwhile providing important contact information and using effective call-to-action elements can help convert visitors into leads or even paying customers.

 

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