Too many companies still underestimate the impact their website design has on their business.

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Think of it this way: if you were setting up a brick-and-mortar shop, you’d invest in getting reputable contractors to help build it. Similarly, you’d probably consult with interior designers to create a chic and trendy interior and plan your layout to ensure customers stay in your store as long as possible.

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Given that you’d put that much effort and money into a physical store, shouldn’t it also make sense that you invest as much into your website? Even now, businesses fail to realize that a website serves the same role as a physical store, just in the online sphere. In fact, your website may play a bigger role than your physical store. Your website can reach a wider audience, while your store is limited to the people in the general area. Thus, you want to do your best and give users a positive experience. If your website fails to make a good impression, then you’ll fail to reel in customers, plus you’ll gain a poor reputation.

Besides making an impression on potential customers and presenting a more professional brand image, a well-designed site could also increase revenue. Your site is where consumers come to check your products and services and gain information about your brand. If they encounter navigation errors or poor design, you can’t expect them to follow through with their purchase. It’s been widely proven that good site design and increased conversion rate are correlated, so if you want a shot at getting more customers and sales, you should try improving your website.

Key elements of good web design

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Now that you understand the importance of good web design, the next question we’ll tackle is what good web design actually means. Know that web design doesn’t just constitute what font or colors you should be using on your site. In fact, it covers everything from site navigability and page layout to device compatibility and loading speed.

Experts from professional Nashville web design companies weigh in and share advice based on experience and current design trends.

Stylish appearance

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Shopping online is a largely visual experience, and if the potential customer sees that your site is modern and stylish, the chances are high that they’ll be converted. Take advice from professional web designers and research on websites that have been praised for their design. Don’t copy their design elements, as you will run the risk of losing your brand identity. Determine what your brand stands for and who your target audience is, as people from different demographics have various preferences.

Page speed

One of the first things users will notice about your website is its loading speed. We live in a time where patience is at an all-time low. With the increased access to faster internet speeds, fewer users are willing to wait more than 3 seconds for a web page to load. Any longer than that and they will only abandon your site, and you’ll lose any chance of a conversion. Run regular site audits to ensure all your pages are loading fast. If any of your pages are loading too slowly, you’ll have to check for the following issues:

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  • Large images. Large photos consume more bandwidth, which leads to longer loading times. Compress images and use smaller file extensions, like JPEG instead of PNG.
  • Excessive Flash content. While dynamic content like moving backgrounds and flashy elements can boost your site’s engagement and uniqueness, it may contribute to slow loading. Ask yourself if these elements truly contribute to your brand image or if you just think they look cool. If it’s the latter, then they might not be worth keeping.
  • Inefficient code. The longer the code file is, the longer the site will load. Optimize the code by removing unnecessary white space, empty lines, repetitive code, etc. You could also have a professional developer help improve your website coding.
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  • Server issue. Your web host could be experiencing some problems. Contact your service provider to determine when they can resolve it. Alternatively, you may be under a low-quality hosting service. Switch to one that’s more credible and has a reputation for good customer service and tech support.

Smooth navigability

19.3% of users state that their main reason for not being converted is because a site is difficult to navigate. Given this, it’s important to ensure that all your links are working properly. If any link is dead or misdirecting, it will interrupt your user’s browsing experience. Too much of these, and your user might just abandon the site. Use site monitoring tools to determine if there are any broken links and fix these ASAP. Ensure that your links are in a legible font. Use colors that contrast the background.

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You can also add search and filter functions to help users easily find the product or content they need. Classify your content in umbrella categories for those who want to casually browse what you have to offer. Ensure that your search and filter algorithm is accurate. If your user searches blouse but is bombarded with product listings of shoes and pants, there’s a high chance that they’ll just click away.

Clean layout

Webpages that are too messy or confusing won’t entice visitors to venture further or make a purchase. You need to arrange your content in a way that makes logical sense. Don’t put product recommendations or reviews above the actual product photo and description. Show them the product they are primarily interested in, then show them product reviews, then recommend similar products.

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These are only a few elements that define a good website. There are specific elements that certain sites need to be mindful of. For example, eCommerce sites need to pay special attention to their checkout process, which is often the main cause of cart abandonment. For those who want to know more, Nashville web design companies offer comprehensive consultations and have all the in-house talent and tools to cover all your web design needs.