One of the most important things that a business needs is a responsive website. Not only does this enable long-term growth, but it also enhances the company’s perception by its consumers, stakeholders, investors, and team.
It is impossible to run a successful online business without a proper website. However, the criteria for a proper website change over time, and your understanding of one may be outdated because of this. However, no worries; in this article, we will dive into what is necessary to have a well-functioning and optimized website.
The criteria for a stellar website include the following primary buckets; content, user experience, and SEO. Each of them are equally important, and ignoring one or more in favor of others is a fatal mistake that many business owners make. Let’s break these down further to show you what we mean.
The Primary Parts of a Website
Content is the bulk of any website. This includes text-based content, images, video, and other visual elements. Without good content, it is very difficult to keep users engaged or attract new people to your website.
User experience is tied in closely with content and SEO but is important enough that it deserves its own category. It’s so important, in fact, that there is a career dedicated to it, a UX designer or researcher. User experience refers to the way that content is distributed across a website, how it functions, and the user journey.
SEO is the backbone of a website. It’s hard to summarize in a simple paragraph, but for the purpose of simplicity, we will focus on on-page SEO, which is the most relevant to this. On-page SEO focuses on the organization of pages, overall technical setup, and aims to give a website the best chance of being seen by a target audience.
The Impact of Website Design on User Experience
A website’s design has a massive influence on its success. Not only does a properly designed website increase growth potential, it also improves accessibility and adherence, aesthetics, and usability.
However, visual appeal is more than just looks; it shapes a brand’s identity. The colors, shapes, fonts, and images used all influence the ways a brand is perceived by consumers. This is why an investment in effective website design will rarely not pay off.
From a purely analytical perspective, responsively designed websites will experience reduced bounce rates, longer engagement and sessions, higher conversions, and a more satisfied user base. For these reasons and many more, ensure that your website is quick, attractive, and intuitive.
The Key to Reaching a Wider Audience
We briefly touched on responsiveness in the previous section, but what does website responsiveness really mean?
A responsively designed website is one that can adapt to different screen sizes, resolutions, and formats. This means that the website can be viewed on mobile and desktop devices of different brands with little impact on the user experience across different devices.
With the rise of mobile phone usage, it’s essential to accommodate smaller screen sizes. While desktops, laptops, and tablets are still frequently used, the trend toward compact devices cannot and should not be overlooked by businesses and marketers.
According to a recent study by Oberlo, as of May 2023, 67.81% of the total web visits are performed on mobile devices, compared to just 32.19% from desktops. This is an obvious change since the 2010s when desktops and later tablets reigned supreme. Considering this, the importance of responsive website design becomes even more evident.
Benefits to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The benefits of a responsive website design stretch further than what we’ve already mentioned, and its use case for SEO is among the top reasons why it is so essential. There is a close-knit relationship between a website’s design, responsiveness, and speed and how it is viewed by Google and other large search engines.
While not quite as important but nearly on par as on-page content, a website’s design and responsiveness, or lack of it, is very indicative of how it will perform on and be viewed by search engines. This is why any company that wants to grow online and reach new audiences cannot neglect its website’s structural integrity and design.
In case you are unaware, following search engine optimization best practices is the best way to set up your website for long-term success. When you show that you are a trusted and high-quality resource or partner online, the chances of you being shared and recommended increase significantly. Since SEO and website design are so closely correlated, having an integrated and individual strategy for each is key.
Building Trust and Credibility
It is also important to consider the downsides of operating a non-responsive website, not just the upsides of a responsive website. The primary negative factor is brand perception. With so many incredible websites that consumers are exposed to every day, having a lackluster or irritating website is an easy way to lose people’s interest or lead to them holding a poor perception.
This also ties into professionalism. As much as your company may be excellent at what you do, from first impressions alone, it is difficult for new customers or prospects to discover this. When the first touchpoint for leads or new customers is your website, make sure it’s a good one.
Increasing Engagement and Conversions
If you want to improve the design of your website, consider implementing some of the following strategies or best practices:
Utilize Color Theory
By using complementary colors and fewer colors overall, you can clean up the look of your website immensely. Consider creating a basic palette for your brand to use across other platforms for consistency.
Add Captivating Visuals
A picture is worth a thousand words, and this is no truer than with websites! If something can be communicated via a diagram, chart, or simple image, you should almost always use one. People’s attention spans are shortening every year, and you need to adapt to that reality to thrive in this new era.
Include Clear Calls to Action
Get. to. the. Point. Nobody wants to wander around a website unsure of where they need to go or do to send a contact form, book a call, or make a purchase. The harder you make it for your prospects to complete the desired action, the less likely they are to do it.
Clean Up Cluttered Pages
This ties into some of the other points here; however, it is important enough to merit its own section. For pages with heaps of text, complex graphics, or cramped sections, spend some time cleaning each of them up and reducing the concentration of information. Your customers will thank you.
Decrease Text-Heavy Sections
Most times, what you want to say can be said in much fewer words than you realize. After writing a paragraph or a section, always review it and see how you can remove unnecessary parts or clean up the delivery.
The Competitive Advantage of a Well Designed Website
Not only does website responsiveness benefit a brand in terms of its own goals, but it also keeps them competitive. If your competition all have websites that are awful, by being the exception, you could scrape a massive amount off of their bottom line. On the other hand, if all of your competition has beautifully crafted responsive websites, then you must follow suit to keep up!
Implementing Proper Website Design
As you can see, responsive website design is a non-negotiable in 2023. It is no longer acceptable to use a mediocre, cluttered, and slow theme while expecting your company to grow online. By using the best practices and advice that we have provided in this article, you should be in a much better position to be able to improve your website and its performance.
If you are looking to redesign your website or build a new one from scratch, our team at Bluehour Digital Marketing can help. We have more than 10 years of experience in the website development and design industry and have helped dozens of clients with the planning and build-out of their websites. If you would like to learn more, contact us today!