A website is pretty much an essential business tool these days, with so many of us going straight to the internet every time we want to learn information about something. Your business’s website allows you to take control over the narrative you share with your audience and build an experience that aligns with your brand.
That experience you’re building? You want to make sure it’s a positive one, free of frustrations and clutter. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider the design of your website, and make sure it’s up to standard.
So, here are 6 visual elements to check as you design or update your website. With the tips below, you’ll create a website that not only looks attractive, but will also help you convert more of your audience into leads for your business!
1. A strong typographic hierarchy
Effective use of headings helps you organise your content and make it as easy to read as possible for your audience. The most important text (the one you want your readers to see first) is your main heading — the title of your blog post, for instance. Under that, you’d have sub-headings to break up your content and make it easier to skim. You’ll also have your body text of course.
With each level of your typographic hierarchy, there should be a noticeable difference in size, font, colour and/or styling that makes it clear how your content is organised. This helps your site visitors to consume information and easily understand what the important parts are.
In HTML (the coding language used to build websites) headings are set with “H1”, “H2”, “H3”, etc. tags which make it nice and easy to set the different levels of your typographic hierarchy. Using these properly also helps with your SEO. Whatever site building platform you’re using, these days it’s usually pretty easy to set the appearance of each levels of your typographic hierarchy.
2. Images that tell a story
Photography, illustrations or other images are a great addition to any website… but make sure you’re choosing ones that are actually relevant to your content and brand. Your site visitors are going to try and make a connection between what they read on your website and the accompanying images. So, make sure there’s actually a connection for them to make!
Don’t just throw pretty images in there for the sake of filling space. The images you share on your website should support the message you’re communicating. They should help you convey the narrative you’re creating for your audience.
If it’s relevant to your brand, it’s great to include images of people expressing emotions that match the tone of your message. That can be a very powerful way to help people immediately associate certain feelings with your brand.
3. A limited colour palette with strong accent colours
Can your audience pick your brand colours simply by seeing a page of your website? They should be able to! Like any piece of business or marketing collateral, you should paint your website in the colours of your brand, and they should be used consistently across each page.
When it comes to your brand colour palette, you don’t want to include too many different shades. Keeping the number of colours restricted helps your brand feel more polished and makes the colours more memorable.
Of your colour palette, there should be one key accent colour. That one bold colour that you use to draw the eye to the most important elements on each web page, such as calls-to-action, hyperlinks and buttons. Make it really easy for your audience to know what you want them to click on next.
4. A logo that’s unobtrusive and easy to read
Your logo is important, but that doesn’t mean it should be the biggest, most noticeable thing on your website. Sure, you want it to be easy to find (top left or top middle is a good place for it) but don’t make it scream at your audience from every single page.
A lot of the time, your logo is going to sit in your navigation bar, and you don’t want your navigation bar to be too tall. If possible, use a version of your logo that is in a more horizontal configuration.
You also want the logo to be perfectly legible. If your logo is very ornate, it might not look so good when it’s shrunk down to fit on the top of your website. If that’s the case, use a version of your logo that’s much more simplified. You might even use a super-minimal icon version of your logo.
Speaking of super-simple icons, be sure to set a favicon! Those are the little square-shaped icon you’ll see indicating the different websites on the tabs in your web browser. This’ll help to build recognisability of your brand.
5. White space
All these design elements need room to breathe! White space is the empty space you leave on the page, to separate different sections of your web pages. That space is important to keep your website from looking cluttered or overwhelming to navigate and read.
Leave a comfortable amount of space above and below headings, around images and between paragraphs. I also like using lots of white space to draw the eye to important things like the main call-to-action. If you have a big chunk of space with just a single line of copy and a button in the middle of it, you’re definitely not going to miss it!
6. Consistency between page layouts
Not only do you want each page to look attractive, but you want them to be consistently attractive. Your website should maintain the same style and design elements on every page. Consistent colours, typefaces, use of white space etc.
If you’re just starting out with your website design, I suggest completing one page first and once you’re totally happy with the design, use it as a basis to design the rest of your website. A lot of page builders give you the option of setting templates to make that even easier. Take advantage of that!
Your website is your business’s online HQ and a clean, attractive website design is how you keep it performing to the best of its ability. Your website is there to communicate your message, build awareness of your brand, and bring more leads and clients to your business. So, it’s important (and profitable) to take care of it!
Click here to learn more tips that go beyond the visual design about creating a high-converting website.
Looking for more content? Try these:
- Is your website welcoming new leads to your brand?
- How to generate quality leads to your service-based business
- Why your logo is not your brand and how to start branding
- 22 hand-picked colour palettes for your next project
- Writing prompts for creating compelling website headlines
- How to stop wasting time designing your brand identity