Business Owner? Here are the 10 Must-Have Web Design Elements You Need for Your Website

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April 26, 2024

Websites are like digital storefronts – imagine if you were walking down a city street. Would you want to enter your storefront, browse, and buy? Not sure…Remember, your online presence is a fundamental part of attracting new customers off the digital online streets and into your space.
Is your website designed to keep your current users engaged? How do you know you are doing enough to stand out from all the other vendors? The answer lies in incorporating vital web design elements that prioritise user experience and steer visitors to your goals.

Here are some essential web design elements that all websites should have…

1. Strong Domain Name and URL

The motto here is: ‘Keep it simple!’ A domain is your website’s address on the internet, and nobody wants to struggle with remembering, typing, or spelling when looking for products or services. Your domain should reflect your brand name or be closely related to the industry you do business in. A URL structure knits everything together, with clear concise page names.

Example of a poorly constructed URL for a home and office cleaning business…

URL: www.123cleaners.biz

Service pages: www.123cleaners.biz/listofservices

What’s wrong with it? The words ‘123cleaners’ are generic and don’t indicate which cleaning services the business provides or a location. The number ‘123’ doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Lastly, ‘biz’ is a less credible extension than ‘com’ or ‘co.nz’, and the business may be perceived as offering inferior services.

Let’s look at a better example for the same business…

URL: www.hamiltonelitecleaningservices.co.nz

Service pages: www.hamiltonelitecleaningservices.co.nz/home-cleaning

What works? This URL is descriptive, features a location, and contains the ‘co.nz’ extension, which applies to the country where the business operates. It also clearly indicates what services they offer. The word ‘elite’ showcases superiority over others like ‘best’. Overall, the URL conveys all that it needs to in order to attract customers and appeal to search engines.

Take away URL tips by Mantis Digital…

  • Domain names should be on-brand and easy to remember.
  • Keep it keyword-rich (if possible). This will help with SEO.
  • Short and sweet is the name of the game, and it provides a seamless user experience.

2. User-Focused Design

Remember, your website is not about you; it’s about your visitors. Imagine walking into a store where you can’t find anything. A confusing website is just as frustrating. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Navigational menus should be easy to follow and understand, use simple labels, and be accessible from every page. Think intuitive layouts and uncluttered pages.

3. Loading Speeds

No one likes waiting for a website to load. Optimise your website for speed by compressing images, minimising code, and using a reliable web hosting service.

Fun fact: Did you know 83% of online users expect a website to load in under 3 seconds? [WebFX]

4. Call to Action (CTA)

Keep your visitors from guessing what to do next! A solid call-to-action (CTA) tells users precisely what you want them to do, whether contacting you, subscribing to a newsletter, or purchasing.

Example (we’ll use the cleaning business again): Transform your space, sparkle guaranteed! Schedule your cleaning today!

Steal our top tips when it comes to creating a WINNING call to action…

  • Use decisive verbs like ‘download’ or ‘contact us’.
  • Make your CTA buttons stand out with vibrant, contrasting colours and clear, easy-to-read text.
  • Place your CTA buttons prominently throughout your website, especially on landing pages.
  • Don’t just use a CTA on your website. Remember to include it in your marketing emails, blogs, and social media posts.

5. Clear Contact Details

Can your online customers find your contact information, such as your physical address (if applicable), email address, or phone number? A contact form is a great design element to include for online users. If a customer can’t find a way to connect with you, they are likely to head over to your competitor—something no business wants! Moral of the story here: Do not hide your details or make them impossible to find.

6. Responsive Design

Most web browsing happens on mobile devices. Your website absolutely must be responsive, meaning it adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes and devices.

Fun fact: Nearly all internet users (92.3%) access the web via mobile phones. [Exploding Topics]

Check out the website we did for Barry’s Firewood to see responsive website design in action…

Barry's Firewood - Website by Mantis Digital

7. Social Media Integration

Social media is not just a tool; it’s a powerful ally that connects with your audience, promotes your brand, and establishes your community presence. By integrating social media buttons on your website, you empower your visitors to easily follow you on their preferred platforms, enhancing their experience and your reach.

Here is how you can add these elements to your site…

  • Add social sharing buttons to make it easy for your online users to share your content to their own personal social networks.
  • Embedding social feeds lets you highlight your latest social media posts directly on your website.
  • Pop in social media icons that can guide your users from your website to your listed social media platforms.

8. Visual Appeal

Humans are visual creatures. Images, videos, and graphics that aren’t relevant to your message and brand will leave users uninspired. Use high-quality visual elements that make your website more engaging and grab the attention of potential customers. Remember, keep it professional and implement it in a way that supports your website content.

9. SEO

While not strictly a design element, SEO (search engine optimisation) helps your website rank well in search engine results (Google), helping your organic traffic. While it should be something that all websites have, many do not. Local SEO is as important when increasing interest in your products or services within your specific area.

For example…

Broad SEO terms would include cleaning services, home cleaning, office cleaning and cleaner.

When it comes to local SEO, the key is to include location-specific terms within your content, especially in your title tags, meta descriptions, and headings. For instance, if you’re a cleaning service in Hamilton, incorporating terms like ‘cleaning services Hamilton’ or ‘Hamilton home cleaning’ can significantly enhance your local visibility and attract customers from your area.

Another important recommendation is to create a Google Business Profile (try it-it’s FREE) if you do not have one already. The reason for this is that it helps boost your online presence. Like your website and social media accounts, it acts as a digital storefront that allows your business to be discovered in local searches and can drive traffic to your business.

Fun fact: An SEO audit can help identify areas to improve your website’s ranking in search results. [Found]

Here’s an example of how we used keywords (for a cleaning business in Hamilton) in a SERP simulator.

Mangools SERP Simulator Example

  • What is SERP? SERP stands for “Search Engine Results Page”. It’s the page you see after you enter a query into a search engine like Google.
  • What is a SERP simulator? A SERP simulator helps you preview how your snippets will look in search results, ensuring your title tags and meta descriptions are concise enough for mobile users and avoiding any words being cut off. Use Mangools Free SERP Simulator if you’d like to see how it works.

10. Branding

Your website needs to be a carefully curated space crafted to connect with customers and convert those who aren’t. The question is, why choose you over the competition? This is where branding comes in. It’s how your website establishes itself other than from a generic page.

Your brand is your company’s personality, and it considers your voice, values, and the emotions it hopes to evoke in customers. A powerful conversion-inspired website weaves all these elements into every design aspect, creating a cohesive, memorable and, most importantly, recognisable experience.

You can’t afford to ignore this, here’s why…

  • Creates a memorable first impression: People judge a website in seconds. If you have a strong brand, you’ll grab users’ attention and leave a positive impression that sets you apart from the competition.
  • Trust and credibility: Strong branding tells users that you are a legitimate business. This, in turn, builds confidence in your products or services and encourages users to engage with your content.
  • Connecting with the target audience: Your brand should resonate with your ideal customer. This is done by using the right messaging, visuals, and tone that speaks directly to your customers’ needs and interests.
  • Branding recognition: When your website and all other materials, such as printed brochures, social media sites, signage and more, are consistent, it will be easier for individuals to recognise and remember your brand.
  • Support your marketing efforts: A robust brand identity makes all the time, effort, and money spent on marketing efforts far more effective. When your website aligns perfectly with the rest of your marketing materials, it creates a unified message.

Collage of people communicating online via tablets and laptops

Website Design FAQ

Q: How often should I update my website?
A: Regular updates keep your content fresh and ensure your website remains secure. Aim for a refresh every 2-3 years to maintain a modern look and feel.

Q: Is website design expensive?
A: The cost varies depending on your needs and complexity. However, a well-designed website is an investment that pays off in the long run by attracting and converting more customers.

Q: What if I don’t have the time or skills to design my website?
A: That’s where a digital agency comes in! They handle the design, development, and ongoing maintenance, freeing you to focus on running your business.

Get Noticed Online

Let Mantis Digital help you build a website that gets results and reflects your brand’s identity! We specialise in creating, maintaining, and marketing high-performance websites that highlight user-focused design and development.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and let’s build a website that gets you noticed!


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