By Karina Popa
Add Contact Details
Visitors should be able to contact you, so make sure that your phone number is displayed clearly on top and bottom of all pages. Add your email address, and if possible, your place of business in the footer, at the bottom bar of each page. Create a page with all your contact information, including a map, direction, operating hours, and leave a portion in which visitors can fill out their personal information.
Make Your Brand Look Professional and Consistent
Animated graphics and smiley faces should be used in your emails to friends instead of your website, since the latter should look professional to reflect your brand. It is best to choose the same colors as your logo. Use one or two font sizes consistently throughout the site. Graphics and photos should also look professional and complement one another. When in doubt, make it simple.
Simplify Navigation on Your Site
Make navigation buttons/tabs consistent on all pages. As earlier mentioned, facilitate navigation by means of the F-shaped reading pattern with the use of links, buttons or tabs positioned on the top or left part of the page. In addition, you should:
Limit primary navigation up to eight tabs, with five being the ideal number.
Make sure clickable elements are consistent when in comes to font, size and style.
Add a header and footer on every page for information and key links.
Include a progress tracker, or a so-called Breadcrumb, near the top of every page. It should look like "Home> Catalog> Product #1", making it simple for visitors to backtrack.
Place Important Information "Above the Fold"
In a newspaper, the top stories can be seen on the first half of the page, referred to as "above the fold", which is also applicable to your website. A recent Nielsen report reveals that 80% of visitors will not go over the entire page of a site therefore the most important information should be found close to the top.
Put the business name and the logo in a noticeable spot.
Use a powerful headline/tagline to highlight the things you do.
Add special offers to attract more visitors.
Outline your services/products with the help of visuals and menu bar.
Visitors should know what to do once they land on your homepage, which is the "call-to-action", so you need to include your contact details, a form to be filled out and perhaps an option to download info. Remember that while "above the fold" is a moving target because of the increasing use of mobile devices, it is still essential in web design.
Make Sure Your Site Loads Fast
When your site takes too long to load, like more than 3 seconds, visitors will leave and instead navigate to your competitor. To make sure that your site loads fast, keep the size of images smaller, but with good quality, and limit the amount of photos, videos, videos, as well as social media sharing buttons.
Build Trust and Credibility
Your website should be a tool by which potential customers get to know more about your products/services. To look more credible, your site should include what you offer, feedback from customers, links to articles about your business, any awards received and logos of organizations in which you are a member - like the Chamber of Commerce.