Marketing a website can be pretty challenging, especially for website designers. Aside from making sure that the website is visually and aesthetically pleasing, website designers also have to ensure that each and every element on the webpage is beneficial to its visibility.
Rarely is there space for fluff pieces and meaningless eye candy when making a website marketable.
Thankfully, custom website design can work hand-in-hand with SEO (search engine optimization) to drastically improve a website’s online presence and credibility.
That being said, here are three web elements that professional website designers strongly recommend you include in your website design.
Website Designer Tip #1: Use SEO Elements in Your Website Design
Think Search Engine Optimization is simply taking a bunch of keywords and scattering them throughout your page copy?
While keyword usage, targeting, and bidding are all huge parts of SEO, they are not the only elements of it. A lot of SEO elements that can boost your page’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rank by a ton are actually quite subtle and, in the case of custom website design, can easily be overlooked.
Casually listed links, carefully constructed backend coding, descriptive meta tags and flavorful meta descriptions, smart HTML coding … all these elements are beneficial to your website’s search engine optimization and therefore are definitely worth including.
Website Designer Tip #2: Use Responsive Website Design Elements ONLY
We’re just going to keep repeating this until it sinks in: websites must be mobile-responsive and optimized. Period. No ifs, no buts, no “oh, we don’t cater to that demographic.”
Regardless of your business’s size, model, specialization, or industry, your website must be viewable, navigable, and usable on mobile devices.
We live in a generation that values maximum productivity, and people adore the fact that they can access practically anything they want to at the tap of a button. Social media platforms and major retailers have invested thousands into the developing their own mobile app specifically for this reason.
And you can bet their ROI is pretty sweet.
You don’t need to create a mobile app, but your website definitely needs to be responsive. Responsive website design means that the page moves and realigns itself based on the screen it is being viewed on.
When a webpage is responsive, all of the elements, from the links to the body text to the images, automatically rearrange and resize themselves in order to optimize the viewer experience.
Here’s an example. A normal image gallery of 12 images may be presented in a 4×3 grid if it’s being viewed on a wide desktop screen. However, on a vertical mobile phone screen, the layout will change to a much narrower 2×6 grid to account for the lack of width if the website is responsive. This way, the user doesn’t need to scroll sideways to see all the images; they simply need to scroll up and down.
Responsive website design optimizes the user experience by making it as convenient as possible for them to navigate the website. Search engines like Google reward this user concern by prioritizing responsive websites over static ones.
Website Designer Tip #3: Breathing Room (aka Blank or White Space)
In order for your website to be visibly balanced, you need to use blank space. Each visual element you include—from the text to the graphics to the links—is another element for your viewers to process.
If there are too many on one page, your visitors may feel overwhelmed or irritated.
It’s similar to having too many songs playing at once or listening to too many people talking over each other. People need room to breathe and process what they’re seeing.
This is where empty space comes into play.
Smart custom website design uses blank space to dictate the flow and readability of a website. It acts as a buffer between blocks of text, images, headlines, links, fillable forms, and CTAs. This buffer helps people focus and process each individual element which, in turn, makes the element more effective.
It’s also useful for emphasizing an element or creating a point of focus. Text, images, or CTAs appear larger and more prominent when they’re surrounded by blank space. Since they’re not competing for the attention of any other object in that area, they are immediately noticeable.
And, as many website designers are quick to point out, the use of space also makes a website look cleaner and much more professional.