Competing for visitors’ attention is something all website owners deal with, no matter what industry they’re in.
And, while focusing on SEO, email marketing campaigns, and building a strong social media presence, there’s a lot more needed to get people to engage with your content and take action.
In fact, one of the biggest challenges people face is guiding others through their site’s content, getting them into the sale funnel, and encouraging them to sign up or make a purchase.
If the design of your website is not appropriate, it won’t matter how many people come to your site looking for what you have to offer; they’re not going to do what you want them to.
That’s why today we’re outlining some of the most effective web design tips you can follow, so your traffic numbers remain high, as well as the user engagement.
1. Utilize the Rule of Thirds
Any well-established photographer will attest to the power of the Rule of Thirds. And, it’s something many website owners are starting to notice, as well.
This visual design rule states that you should split your website’s homepage (or any image, for that matter) into thirds, so you have 9 equal parts.
In this grid, you’ll want to focus the main points of your webpage around the four intersections that are created.
For example, add your value proposition, subheadline, call to action buttons, and even your company logo near the intersections.
You can also add a large, bold image to your homepage that will make visitors want to see more of what you have to offer.
And don’t forget, many eye-tracking studies have determined that people tend to follow a natural F-pattern when they read computer screens.
This means that anything within that F-pattern will be seen for sure, while everything else may go unnoticed.
So, in addition to designing the layout of your site to center around the intersections you’ve created using the rule of thirds, keep in mind the F-pattern, as well.
Want to make sure people are engaging with the most important aspects of your website?
Check out the free tool Hotjar, which lets you access heat mapping and scrolling tools to see just how people interact once they’re on your website.
2. Watch Your Color Schemes
It’s not unusual for companies to use extreme color schemes in an attempt to stand out from the competition.
But, it’s important to keep in mind that many studies have shown the psychological power certain colors have on people’s perceptions.
For instance, Jon Hallock concludes that:
– Blue, white, and green are the best choices for gaining people’s trust
– Blue, black, and green make people feel safe
– Red, yellow, and orange are most associated with speed
– Orange, yellow, and brown usually mean cheap or inexpensive
And people’s least favorite colors are orange, brown, purple, yellow, and grey.
Color has been known to improve readability, site comprehension, and of course, conversions. In fact, 85% of consumers state that color schemes play a role in the purchasing decisions.
So, choose your brand’s color schemes wisely. The colors you decide upon have the potential to make or break user engagement.
And, make sure to carefully choose the colors of your call to action buttons, too!
3. Optimize Your Site for Speed
It’s not enough to build a perfectly designed website for people to engage with once they visit.
After all, if your site doesn’t load within three seconds, most users will leave your website, no matter what you’re offering them.
That’s why monitoring your site for speed and performance, and making improvements on a consistent basis, it’s crucial.
To start, enter your site’s URL into the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to see just how fast your desktop and mobile sites are loading:
Next, try to make improvements such as:
– Compressing images into smaller file sizes
– Enabling a caching solution
– Getting rid of 404 redirects
– Using lazy load if your site is image heavy
– Minifying CSS, JS, and HTML files
– Choosing a reliable hosting provider
– Deleting any old post revisions, themes, and plugins
Lastly, leverage the use of a CDN to deliver site content to people across the globe in the fastest way possible.
With a content network delivery, servers geographically nearby your site deliver your content, so there are no performance issues or slow page loading.
Doing this will improve the overall user experience and encourage people to stay on your website and engage with your site’s content, which could lead to conversions.
Not to mention, using a CDN is a great way to protect your site from security threats such as the DDoS attacks, in which systems try to take out servers holding many site’s data.
If this does happen, and you’re using a CDN, the nearest servers will take over and continue to deliver your website’s data uninterrupted.
4. Display Related Content
Internal linking is a great way to get people on one blog post to check out other parts of your website, such as additional blog posts, your online shop, or a contact page.
But another way to boost user engagement, that’s also visually appealing (which people love) is to display related content for people to click on and visit.
If you don’t use WordPress, that’s okay. You can always manually add related content to the end of each blog post.
Just make sure to add a thumbnail image if you want that extra visual appeal, especially if you’re directing people to your online shop.
5. Add Calls to Action Buttons Everywhere
Driving traffic to your website is only winning half of the battle. Getting people to take action (whether it be to read a blog post, subscribe, or make a purchase) represents total success.
Adding call to action (CTA) buttons throughout your website will boost user engagement and make you victorious.
Since most people tend to skim content, no matter what webpage they’re on, it’s a good idea to add CTA buttons everywhere:
– Homepage. This is where a lot of your organic traffic will land. However, just because people visit your website being somehow interested in what you have to offer, doesn’t mean they are fully engaged. Encourage them to sign up, check out your best products, or even read a popular post, to fully grab their attention and get them to engage with your content (whether that be now or in the future).
– Landing Pages. The landing page is how you guide people through your sales funnel. If you can’t get them to engage here, you’ve lost an opportunity. Use a clear and valuable headline, along with complementing images, to convince people they’re in the right place. Then use power words on your CTAs to get people to click and go to the next stage.
– Online Forms. Online forms are not just used so people can contact you. In fact, if you use them right, online forms can encourage visitors to engage with your content, with your brand, and online shop in many ways. In addition to the traditional name and email form fields, focus on other ways you can get people to click and convert. For example, offer a valuable lead magnet such as a free eBook, email series, or a coupon to your online shop. All of this will get people to click right now and come back later to further explore your website.
If you need some help coming up with solid headlines to use on your homepage or landing page, or even on your online forms, check out the free CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.
This tool tells you how strong your headlines are so you can make improvements, if needed.
And there you have it! 5 great web design tips that will get your site’s visitors excited to explore your website, to read your content, sign up for your email list, and even buy your products.
Remember, there is no end to the competition, as users have a plethora of websites to choose from. That’s why focusing on more than SEO, social media, and email campaigning is vital to your success. After all, you want to give your visitors the best user experience possible, which goes beyond just a visually appealing web design. There is no secret here, more than the way your website looks, encouraging users to take action is key to a favorable outcome for both you and your site’s visitors.
Author’s Bio: Alex Smith
“Alex is a Writer and a Content Manager. He lives and breathes writing and he specializes in writing about content marketing.”
First image: source.