9 Instant Design Boosters for Any Website

What if I told you that you could do a few simple things to your website to greatly improve its effectiveness?

Don’t scoff, you know it’s true deep down, but I’m guessing you’re not sure where to start. Do you know what will bring you the most impact?

The main focus you should have for your website is results. Whatever you’re doing, it should all drive results towards the end goal. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to gain more subscribers to your newsletter, or to sell more physical products. Maybe your goal is to drive more traffic to your website in general. Whatever the case may be, here are 9 things you can do to effectively boost your website’s design effectiveness.

design boosters

Instant Website Design Boosters

Create a Color Palette

You shouldn’t be using every color of the rainbow on your website. Instead, why not select a color palette that reflects your brand? This will make everything much more consistent and pleasing to the eye. Think of your website like a plate of food. If it looks like slop, your mind is going to think that it doesn’t taste as good as it does. If it looks delicious, then your mind and body are more open to the possibility that it tastes delicious.

Use Better Imagery

If you’re swiping pictures from free stock photo sites, you’re doing yourself an injustice. Don’t get me wrong; a lot of people use images from there, and if you’re selective, you can actually find some good ones. The truth is, now stock photography is more affordable than ever, with smaller image plans from companies like Depositphotos, or highly discounted, unlimited stock photography downloads from companies like GraphicStock.

Give type room to breathe

Good typography is just as important in web design as it is in graphic design and print. You want your type to be able to breathe and not suffocate from line to line. It’s a super-simple fix, especially if you do this with your body copy. You can select all of the paragraph elements in you’re your body copy with CSS and adjust the line-height. Here’s that that would look like in CSS below.

body p{line-height:1.7em; color:#000;}

That should give your body copy plenty of leading. I added the color black to the actually type, because it brings me to my next point.

Add Contrasting Elements

If your background color is black, make the text white or bright yellow. If the background is white, make the text black. I don’t know where all of this “light grey text on a white background” stuff came from, but come on! I have perfect vision. If I am straining to read it, so is everyone else.

Contrast comes in the form of your images and call to action buttons, too. If the background is blue, make the button a bright green, bright yellow, or bright orange. Make it stand out. If you place text over images, darken or lighten the images enough so that the text is easily readable over the image. These are simple tweaks anyone with an image editing app, or basic CSS knowledge can handle.

Lead Captures

Leads are essential to everyone’s business. You have to have customers and clients to sell to. Capturing leads and contact information should be at the top of your priority list. If not for direct sales, to at least be able to reach out to them later. There are 3 effective ways to do lead capture:

  1. Have a contact for people to inquire further.
  2. Have an integrated opt-in form that collects information in exchange for a freebie.
  3. Have a popup form that blatantly asks for an email address.

All three are effective, and I have them on my site. If you do use a popup, do it the right way. Have it set to pop up when someone is leaving the page. This is called exit intent. That catches them just before they go, and it work. Many people say they hate them, but the numbers don’t lie.

Include a video

Even if it is a simple presentation or slideshow that you recorded, video is a great way to get and hold someone’s intention. There are tons of video and slideshow services out there that will create a video for your business at a cost effective price. If you’re selling a product or service that is hard to explain, a video showing it in use can convert visitors into customers much better than a long-form sales page can.

Use Tap To Call Functionality

No one wants to struggle to do something. Why make mobile users struggle to remember a number, and then flip through their phone and try to dial it in? Make it easy on everyone and include tap-to-call functionality for your phone number. Add it to the top bar of your website. This is easy to do if you’re using WordPress, and it places your phone number at their fingertips.

Add Social Sharing Buttons to Blog Posts

I don’t care what anyone says. Including social sharing buttons on your blog posts just work. People are way to lazy to copy your URL, flip over to their social accounts and manually share your post. Get real. Include social sharing buttons on your posts so users can click a button and have everything pop up automatically. Then, all they have to do is type a personalized message, decide where to share it, like to a page or a community, and hit ok. The 300 milliseconds you save on loading time on your website isn’t enough to justify sacrificing your social shares. The traffic alone will more than make up for it.

Break up long content into manageable chunks

No one wants to read your 10,000 page, text-only manifesto. If you have a lot to say, break it up into sections, breaking up all of the text with images, graphics, videos, or design elements to make the content not so daunting. I’ve come to pages before that were all text, that seemed to go on forever, and I ended up leaving, thinking “Who has time for all of that?”

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Originally published at G Squared Studios.