As users become ever more ravenous for unique content, the actual structure for a website can seem to diminish in importance. Though consumers may seem fixated on the content of a website, it would be remiss of you to assume the form to which that content is presented is irrelevant. Traffic is at least partly interconnected with site design, so it makes sense for a significant amount of care to go into constructing it. Here are a few methods of Web design that will help to maximize traffic and conversions.
The term “page fold” is used to refer to the portion of a website which is visible without scrolling or clicking. Mastery of this concept is absolutely imperative, as failure to successfully execute it means failure to keep your users around for any meaningful period of time. Consumers decide immediately whether or not they should invest any more time in exploring your site based on the information displayed in the page fold, so it is important that you carefully construct what is presented in this space.
The most prominent debate with regards to this subject is whether or not to display your “call-to-action” buttons above or below the page fold. That is, whether or not the call-to-action buttons should be discovered immediately or by scrolling down. This debate partly misses the true purpose of the page fold. Individuals are likely to engage with CTA buttons so long as they are interested in the content immediately presented to them. So it is of more importance that a basic mission statement of what your company does, how you can help your consumer achieve their goals, and some sort of headline are above the fold. The CTA button could be above or below the fold, but either way it will only be used if the relevant information is seen first.
Jakob Nielsen, a professor in the subject of human-computer interaction, has stated that user readership “falls of significantly after 50 words.” So it is important that the information presented above the fold, in addition to giving a basic synopsis of what your company does, is presented in a very minimalistic manner. This becomes an issue of even greater consequence on mobile devices, as you have an even smaller page fold to work with.
The Balance Of Artistry
It is perhaps tempting for the aesthetically inclined to present content in an extraordinarily flowery manner. Though it is important to distinguish oneself from competitors, you will want to do so in a way that keeps users engaged. You require a design that distinguishes your own site from the myriads of others, while simultaneously not being too sterile. It is therefore important to have a balance between these two extremes.
Imagery is the first way in which we can discuss this concept. Though it is important to have visual elements that catch the user’s attention, you don’t want one that confuses the visitor, or draws their eyes to less important parts of your website. A good example of this is when complex images are used as the backdrop for pages heavy with text. Though it may be visually pleasing, users will often struggle to extract the salient information from this layout. All visual design elements should be used for the express purpose of conveying information, and if they instead distract from that information, they should be excised.
This concept can also be instantiated in the area of typography. Readers are more likely to engage with a site if the text they are confronted with is streamlined and uncluttered, with information being presented as lucidly as possible. However, a single commonly used typeface in one monochromatic colour is just one more feature among many that is likely to decrease user conversions. Text shouldn’t be too fanciful, but it also should not be written in the style of an essay paper either. Sizes and colours should be played with, so long as they still present the same information clearly.
Social Media Integration
Neglecting the use of social media in your web design is to neglect what is potentially a bevy of dedicated users. With the degree of competition websites have to face for user attention, consumers can’t be expected to scour every crevice of a website to find the piece of information relevant to them. Social media integration, when done correctly, can attract old and new visitors to old and new content.
The integration of native one button instant sharing is likely to facilitate both traffic and conversions. By integrating this feature, content is automatically transmitted to a user’s feed, giving you access to the rich tapestry of individuals associated with said user. This allows your content to become more easily searchable, thus increasing your popularity and traffic.
At a more basic level however, it is important for you to integrate content to your site that is actually conducive to sharing. Product lists or minor alterations to basic mission statements are unlikely to generate interest to prospective customers. However, sections of your website dedicated to say blog posts or forums are much more likely to incite interest. So it is important you tailor at least part of your content around shares.
The Importance of Site Design
Aside from its more artistic permutations, website design is a concept which on the whole works best if it goes unnoticed. The best measure of quality web design is if through a series of subtle cues, visitors are unconsciously persuaded into spending time on your platform. It is your job as a web designer, not to make these cues blaringly obvious, but instead to optimize them so as to enrapture the interest of your consumers.