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Forbes: 13 Website Design Principles Any Business Should Keep In Mind

Website design principles Forbes

A website is crucial is telling a brand's story, and getting users interested in what a business has to offer. But if done poorly, websites can actually drive away potential customers. The agency was featured in the Forbes Agency Council's latest piece, '13 Website Design Principles Any Business Should Keep In Mind.' View the original article on Forbes. The No. 1 contribution is from agency president Stefan Pollack.

1. Cater To Your Audience

Remember your audience. Designers can get lost in features, information or navigation flow but then forget who the audience is, why they are there and what they are looking for. Simply remembering them will help guide everything about a website, from its design to its copy and flow. - Stefan Pollack, The Pollack PR Marketing Group

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2. Lead With What Matters To Ideal Clients

The big mistake in the pro services world is building a website that talks about the company, not the ideal client. We do deep-dive research to understand what's top-of-mind with ideal clients. Then we make sure those concerns are presented on the homepage and other key pages with the option to learn more. This drives deeper engagement into the website with much longer user sessions. - Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group

3. Focus On The Prospect's POV

Look at the website from the customer or prospect’s point of view -- not from the company’s. This means, always add value to every interaction, not by selling, but by guiding the prospect on their journey to achieve their goals. - Robert Finlayson, Zeno Group

4. Focus On The User Experience

Websites nowadays should be focused toward a seamless user experience. People want to be able to find the information they need within seconds. Having a compelling headline with a strong call to action with a lead capture is my go-to formula for a well-optimized experience. Speed is crucial too for best practice. - Sam Founda, Social Connection

5. Consider What Actions Visitors Will Take

When we refresh our site, we start with two questions: What are our client's business objectives and how is this page addressing that need? From there, we map out a basic site hierarchy, and consider what action the qualified visitor will take on each page to advance their journey from "aware" to "engaged." We then launch, track our assumptions versus actual behavior, and tweak accordingly. - Megan Cunningham, Magnet Media, Inc.

6. Create Design And Content Together

Your website's design and copy are like the music and lyrics for a song. They are best created together. Today's best websites have content -- written, video, multimedia -- that emerges naturally from each page to create a unified experience. If the visitor feels like their experience is confusing or disjointed, they will leave. If it feels organic and harmonious, they will stay. - Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

7. Keep It Simple

Keep your website simple. Filling web pages with unneeded nonsense to make your business look impressive can be counterproductive. Remember that people are visiting your site for a specific purpose. Make it as simple as possible for them to visit your page and obtain what they came for. - Zachary Binder, Bell + Ivy

8. Focus On The Response Time

One thing that is very important is the response time of the website. When they come to a site, people have only a short time to be able to be convinced to stay. However, if you are able to get their attention and help them find what they are looking for, you will be amazed at the response you will get from your audience. The one thing that people can never get back is their time. - Jon James, Ignited Results

9. Be Scannable

We flip through magazines before deciding we’ll read deeper and do the same online. Your site should communicate when just being scanned quickly and then also provide deeper information when the user is ready to dive in. - Ryan Short, MODassic Marketing

10. Use Concise Text And Appealing Visuals

Consolidate the most important information in an easy to read engaging format. Avoid “telling” and instead focus on “showing.” Potential customers will be more interested in seeing through visuals why a business is relevant to them versus being told by a few lines of text. - Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

11. Make Menu Options Clear And Accessible

Most people go to a website looking for a specific piece of information or answer to a question. If the website's sitemap menu is not easily accessible, self-explanatory or is too broad, you can lose visitors quickly. Look at your analytics to see what search terms lead to your website or what pages are most frequently visited and make sure that information is easy to navigate to from the home page. - Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

12. Use Intentional, Well-Planned CTAs

One reason websites become challenging to navigate is that they confuse the visitor with choices, or don't ask them to do anything at all. A well-designed website has CTAs (calls to action) that are strategic and well planned. You also shouldn't have too many CTAs, so as not to overwhelm your visitor. Always tell your website visitors where they should go next. Design their ideal user experience. - Ben LeDonni, CreativeMMS

13. Make Sure Copy Isn't A Visual Obstacle

One tactic we've used is keeping the written content to a minimum on the primary pages so we don't visually overwhelm visitors with long paragraphs. Anyone interested in the details of a subject can click the buttons or text links that lead to more information. This approach keeps the site clean and easy to browse, but still provides answers to visitors who are deeper into the buying cycle. - Scott Greggory, MadAveGroup

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