Virtually all marketers and entrepreneurs of today are hung up on generating leads.
Converting visitors into leads via a website plays a pivotal role in this endeavor. It’s what allows you to capitalize on traffic, close more sales, and boost revenue.
Website design is the best shot of nailing these goals: it can either be a magnet or repellant for leads.
But, you cannot rush into creating, redesigning or updating your website.
You’re much better off getting familiar with website design best practices.
We are talking about techniques that make a true impact instead of wasting your precious resources.
This is all to say it’s time to arm yourself with data, tools, and know-how.
Their synergy enables you to make pages “speak” to each other and also to your visitors.
The Mindset Behind a Winning Website (Using Web Design Best Practices)
So, here are some ideas that make a real difference in terms of maximizing leads.
I. Successful Web Design Isn’t Set in Stone
The whole designing project starts with the right mindset.
First off, you should know design is never really done. That’s because there’s always something new to discover and improve.
Your visual identity continually evolves and grows, together with your business and customers.
So, ditch “build it and they will come” mentality. Visitors will not pour in through the funnel just because you launched a site.
You need to actively push them to ensure this outcome.
And you can to longer do this by unleashing a flurry of sales pitches. This is an old way of thinking, which sees websites as little more than digital brochures.
You better brace yourself for ongoing monitoring, learning, and refinement.
II. Deploy a Customer-Centric View on Web Design
You’re designing a website for your audience, not yourself.
People come to your website in search of real value and accept nothing less.
You can either shape up or ship out. The former requires you have to embrace a smart, customer-centric approach to web design.
However, that doesn’t have to end with your website. Customer centricity is something that should be part of your whole company.
It’s hands down the most reliable strategy for lead generation.
You can start by performing a conversion audit and evaluate your current state of lead generation.
Understand how exactly this process unravels, especially what happens after a visitor lands on a page.
Similarly, familiarize yourself with the steps the precede conversion, such as Google search queries.
See the website through the user’s eyes and you will get a good sense of direction.
III. Pages Have a Specific Job
Each and every page has to be on your site for a reason.
Generally, they all convey helpful information to visitors. More specifically, they correspond to one step or stage in the buyer journey.
This strategic alignment gives you a concrete feel of purpose.
Not only that but you measure the value of pages based on how well they perform that job.
3 Winning Web Design Cheat Sheets
Moving on, all pages should fit the big picture (a whole website, sales funnel, and your brand).
For instance, landing page typically sits at the top of the funnel. A “purchase” button is at its very bottom.
Upon making these realizations, you’re better able to guide visitors every step of the buyer journey.
Here, the homepage usually marks its beginning and a page with a CTA the final destination.
IV. Usability Is More Important Than Fancy Visuals
Your visual identity has to reflect your brand — who you are what you stand for.
However, usability takes precedence over sheer visual appeal. This quality refers to how easily can visitors reach their goals. Although the goals vary, we know what universally facilitates them.
We’re getting at easy navigation with a limited number of non-ambiguous options.
These options take the form of:
- Navigation bars
See to it they are instantly noticeable and understandable. Organize them into a logical structure.
These steps enable you to transform your website into a real customer service hub.
The Mindset Behind a Winning Website (Using Web Design Best Practices)
1. The Bait Must Attract the Fish, Not the Fisherman: Start With a Customer in Mind
At this point, you need to turn your ideas into comprehensive, consistent guidelines.
To make it happen, conduct detailed research on what your visitors really want and need.
Wayne Davis said lead generation “starts by finding where your target market lives on the web.” And he was absolutely right!
You want to focus on the following:
- Media preferences
- Personal information
- Major pain points in real-life
- Topics of interest
Most B2B brands take advantage of these data points to populate buyer personas.
This marketing concept represents a semi-fictional profile of your ideal customer. It informs both your online strategy and overall decision-making.
So, integrate personas into guidelines and share them across the board. Marketers, developers, and designers must be on the same page and pursue common goals.
2. Prospects Don’t Like to Feel Overwhelmed: Keep the Web Design Clean
A wise man (presumably Leonardo da Vinci) once said:
This saying still rings true in a booming cyber-age, after centuries rolling by. Indeed, it has been proven countless times that functional aesthetics trump overly fancy and flashy design.
In recent years, they have been dominating across B2B industry sectors.
In other words, pure and clean style is your best shot at online prominence. It visually informs people without overwhelming them.
Moreover, it fosters better navigation, which is an essential component of search engine optimization.
The takeaway is clear.
To improve ranking, conversions, and UX, you have to do away with any clutter and distractions.
Adhere to the principles of minimalist design to pull it off.
3. Don’t Limit Yourself to Your Brand Colors: Direct Attention With Colors and Contrast
Colors are one of the most potent design tools of them all.
They awaken emotions and profoundly influence the behavior of internet users.
In general, light and warm colors are a good choice for the palette’s core.
But, the basic principle remains that color scheme should match your brand visuals.
Going bolder can really pay off, provided you’re able to harness the power of contrasts.
This visual trick grabs attention like few others out there. It helps you accomplish that stunning feel of professional web design.
What you need to do is find a few complementary tones.
They create an interesting interplay on the screen without causing eyestrain. You cannot wrong with them as long as they match your brand.
You would be wise to maintain the color scheme balance with the 60-30-10 rule.
These numbers pertain to dominant, secondary, and accent colors respectively.
4. Uncover your Human Side: Use Personal Images
“What I love about content is it has the power to change people’s lives for a second, or a day, or forever,” argues Jolie Miller.
We couldn’t agree more, but the truth is content isn’t created equal.
Many marketers make the mistake of coming across as too formal, generic, and unapproachable.
Those who know better do their best to show off the warm, human side of the brand.
Ultimately, people trust people, not abstract entities such as corporations.
Hence, the best way to achieve more leads is to upload images of real people. Preferably, they are your employees and associates.
You can display them going about daily office work or interacting with customers.
Feel free to add pictures of your clients to testimonials and quotes as well.
Stick to facial expressions conveying simple, positive emotions.
5. Less is More: Leverage Whitespace to Make Your CTAs Stand Out
Having plenty of whitespace on pages is a practice liked to various benefits.
This element allows you to easily direct user attention where you want it to be.
Most notably, surrounding whitespace makes lead generation staples like CTAs stand out.
You can also break blocks of text and bolder graphics down.
This trick increases text readability and ensures existing visuals go easy on the eyes.
Similarly, whitespace should exist between images, graphics, columns, margins, etc.
This kind of streamlined look comes across as elegant and sophisticated.
Of course, it needs to be consistent across different pages, flowing nicely throughout the site. This is a way to avoid sending mixed signals and creating a confusing UX.
6. Size Matters: Know The Optimal Length and Number of Your Pages
This is one of the most misunderstood aspects of web design.
Well, as a rule of thumb, it’s better to have fewer long pages than many short ones.
We know Google ranking algorithms favor long-form content.
The length seems to indicate quality and credibility in their eyes.
Besides, having a limited number of components makes it easier to find an optimal web structure.
One mistake to be mindful of is going overboard with length. “Empty Length” and fluff do more harm than good.
Make each design and content piece count.
You can use heatmap analysis to examine how visitors interact with pages.
Investigate whether they drop off at a certain point and figure out why that happens.
7. Don’t Follow Every Trend: Design Is What Works
These days, trends come and go fast.
Many of them turn out to be fads and a huge time/resource waste.
Others have staying power, but it’s not easy to recognize them. If we had to choose, we would bet on minimalist design.
It has permeated almost every segment of the internet and shows no intention of going away.
Still, you never want to go all crazy about trends, even when they are all the rage.
Things may change in the near future and leave you with redesigning headaches.
For that reason, take proven best practices over design trends every day of the week.
Refrain from blindly following something other brands are doing.
It may not work out for your specific case and could compromise your brand’s authenticity.
Create Content that is Aligned with Web Design Best Practices
8. Don’t Try to Reinvent the Wheel: Use the AIDA Formula
There’s no online force stronger than a compelling narrative.
Here, you don’t have to bust your head — rely on the AIDA formula to drive best results. This marketing principle stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
Yes, these are basically four different stages of the marketing funnel.
Using AIDA recipe, you can contextualize your messages and connect with customers on a deeper level.
While at it, steer away from the industry jargon, technical lingo, and buzzwords in your copy.
Write like you’re addressing someone individually.
This approach to content production should help you move and inspire visitors.
They will come to trust your business and become leads without second thoughts.
Yes, it takes time to master the art of storytelling, but your effort will pay dividends.
3 Winning Web Design Cheat Sheets
9. The Most Ancient Sales Technique: Tell a Hero Story
Along the similar lines, we have a hero story as a true benchmark.
It’s a quintessential example of a narrative that checks all the necessary boxes.
It essentially portrays your employee or customer in a difficult life/professional situation.
At one point in the story, this individual overcomes adversity and solves the problem.
The solution, which should relate to your product/service, effectively serves as a supporting character.
This content type is an effective method for triggering emotional responses.
So, feel free to display such stories on the homepage — you will make a great first impression.
Just respect the rules of classic storytelling and structure.
Joseph Campbell has outlined the concept of “hero’s journey” and set the standard for generations to come.
It can serve as your roadmap.
10. Personalize Your Web Experience: ‘Everybody’ Is Not Your Customer
In this day and age, personalization is the name of the business game.
You need to abandon the idea of offering a one-size-fits-all experience.
Frankly, it’s a hit-and-miss at best.
In its place, start fostering something much better: a unique online journey based on data and business intelligence.
It’s your opportunity to stand out among thousands of similar B2B websites.
The good news is there’s a whole lot you can do when it comes on-page fine-tuning.
For example, dynamic content is a great way to customize the experience to specific visitors. It can take the form of buttons, images, product recommendations, CTAs, etc.
Targeted recommendations deserve a word or two more. After all, they are almost ubiquitous in the online retail sector.
There’s no better proof that the scattergun approach no longer cuts it.
Use Web Design Best Practices to Set Up & Optimize Your Website Code
11. Improve Your Site’s Loading Time: Attention Spans Getting Shorter
Google algorithm updates of recent years have given more weight to page loading time.
This means you have an opportunity to score SEO points and elevate your organic ranking.
In the age of dwindling attention spans, boosting speed is also a great move from a UX standpoint.
If pages take too long to load (more than 2 seconds), visitors will move on and find a faster lane to what they want.
Your bounce rates spike as a result.
To steer clear of this scenario, understand how your design choices affect the loading time.
You can speed things up in many ways.
Let’s just mention compressing file sizes, optimizing page structure, and decluttering the visuals.
Rest assured that even a split-second variance counts in the long run.
12. Things Are Changing Fast: Use a Flexible Design Structure
Nowadays, customers employ various devices to browse for brands and their offerings.
Mobile device use has skyrocketed and new innovations are just around the corner.
This raises the questions of whether you should go for a flexible or fixed design.
Both methods have their pros and cons worth weighing.
That being said, we lean toward flexible design structure.
Sure, it can perform poorly on large monitors.
But, let’s not forget mobile browsing has surpassed the long-reigning king desktop.
Consequently, responsive design has taken the internet by the storm.
It renders pages automatically adjustable to different screen sizes. This leads to an improved mobile experience and more conversions.
There are other flexible techniques like creating liquid and elastic layouts with CSS.
Your specific choices depend on your technical expertise, target audience, and site requirements.
13. You Can’t Predict The Perfect UX: Track and Measure Your Users’ Behavior
Web analytics pose a key piece of the lead generation puzzle.
Namely, do yourself a favor and regularly track user behavior.
Apart from a number of leads generated, some of the key metrics to prioritize are:
- Overall traffic
- Traffic sources
- Conversion rates
- Click-through rates
- Bounce Rates
- Top pages
- Exit pages
- Time on page
There is no shortage of excellent platforms for monitoring.
Google Analytics is perhaps the most widely used and it’s also free.
Similarly, we would advise you to put A/B split testing tools to good use.
They are used to assess two different versions of the same pieces of content.
Make sure to evaluate your landing pages, design layouts, images, and CTAs in particular.
14. Your Contact Page Is Not Enough: Leverage Popups for Lead Generation
Eventually, we all have to get very technical with web design.
There’s a lot of ground to cover here, but we want to underline popups for spurring lead generation.
Many B2B brands are gaining an edge thanks to their smooth implementation.
Exit offers are one of the most commonly used.
Before you jump right into it, know there’s also one pitfall to avoid. Overusing popups may actually turn visitors away.
You should tone things down and always offer something of value with a popup.
Also, it’s advisable to time them right by tying them to certain user activity.
3 Winning Web Design Cheat Sheets
Popups are the last practice we are going to cover, but they don’t mark the definitive end of the list.
It goes on and includes many other ideas you can explore.
Website Design Best Practices – Your Path to Higher Conversions
Nowadays, having a website is an absolute must for any kind of business.
But, we aren’t implying you should knock together just any website. What you need is a digital mainstay geared towards lead generation.
And the only way to pull this off is to put a solid design plan in place.
Of course, based on web design best practices.
So, never follow mere gut instinct. Instead, stick to tried and tested website design best practices.
Feel free to download our 3 templates for conversion-optimized design and contact us in case you have any further questions.