This blog was written by Jeff Hecht of ClikzDigital. You can learn more about Modern Website Design go to: www.Clikzdigital.com
Having a modern, up-to-date website design is a relative phrase. Some might think a website designed in 2012 is modern, while others with all of the changes in website design we have seen just in the past year believe that anything pre-2018 is already outdated.
A modern website doesn’t necessarily benefit from lots of bells and whistles. A clean, simple site can, in many cases improve the user experience. And the user experience is critical for Conversions and to your site’s rankings.
We think of your website as a salesman for your business that works 24/7. You want that salesman to reflect your business. Maybe not where your business is today, but where you want your business to be.
Here are eight of the most critical elements of modern web design:
1. A Strong, but Limited, Color Palette
This might sound incredibly basic, but color schemes and color usage are vital in modern web design. A strong color palette will help create cohesiveness between everything your business puts out. Branding experts will tell you that maintaining consistency in everything you produce to represent your company is critical to brand recognition. When you have defined the primary and secondary colors, you have more room to work with when creating new elements for your website, whether it’s the homepage, landing pages, and blogs.
However, the number of colors you incorporate in your design is also a crucial aspect. Too many colors become visually distracting, so most modern website designs opt for only two or at the most three in their major design elements.
(Check out huge sites like Apple and Verizon. You won’t find a rainbow of colors, just one background color (white or black) and one primary accent color (silver, red, and black, respectively). A simple color scheme for your site makes it easier to focus, and this is why there are only minimal color combinations in modern website designs.)
If you are concerned that everything is looking too repetitive on more content-rich pages, you can experiment with different shades and tints of your brand colors. This will add a little variety to your designs while keeping consistent with your brand.
2. Plenty of White Space
This, along with your color palette is essential, “white space,” is also very pleasing. “White space” doesn’t necessarily even have to be white. It is a term used for the amount of “empty” space that acts as a buffer for the elements on your page, including copy, sidebar, margins, etc. Things should have room to breathe; if your website is crowded, it is tough to direct the attention of your visitor’s eye.
Purposely designing your website with white space makes for a clean design that is easily digestible and organized. As sites are adopting a more minimalistic style, keeping areas open on your page will allow your reader to navigate their way around the page with more ease.
3. Relevant Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
The most important reason to have a site is to convert visitors into customers. Websites are meant to connect you with the people who are interested in your content, products, and services. If your product or service is not something they can order online, you want to develop a relationship with them.
Things like email subscription forms, free downloadable e-books, whitepapers, free product forms, free consultations, or other invites are great calls-to-action. Strategically incorporating them into your website design is very important for gathering contact information, so that you can continue to pursue them as leads and eventually, customers.
It is essential to include relevant CTAs in optimal places throughout your website – at the end of blog posts, in the sidebars, and in your resources page, to name a few.
(These next few points discuss essential design elements that actually happen during the build. A site built on WIX or SquareSpace cannot deliver on these elements. A website created by your neighbor’s daughter will no have these elements.)
4. Clean Backend Coding
This modern website design element is one that you might not notice visually, but one that is probably the most important when it comes to the functionality of your site.
Behind every website is a great deal of coding in the backend that will dictate how your website performs. Your website designer needs to be more than just a skilled, experienced designer. They must know how to code a site to function flawlessly, load quickly, and be easy to navigate for an enjoyable user experience.
(Think of the difference in finding something in that junk drawer we all have in our kitchen versus finding something in your silverware drawer with an organizer in it. Like that junk drawer, if you don’t have clean backend coding, it will only be harder to locate and fix any issues that may come up.)
5. Design for the User First
You should design your site for the user, not just to boost your rankings. Companies, out of a sense of desperation to get better rankings, tend to do things that are “good” for Google but bad for the user.
However, this shouldn’t be the hierarchy of website design. A website should be user-friendly before a company should concern itself with ranking higher on a Search Engine Results Page.
(Google has evolved: it can tell when your users are having a good experience and finding valuable content from your website because they keep coming back and spending more time on it. Place your content above SEO, at least when first starting off, to optimize your site for the user and build a group of loyal, recurring visitors.)
6. Search Engine Results
While a website should be designed for the user first, it doesn’t mean that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) doesn’t matter. There are modern website design elements that can significantly improve the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your site. A lot of these are invisible to the naked eye and also appear in the backend coding of your pages and posts.
Design basics like meta tags, title tags, heading tags, and other HTML coding go a long way in helping your site climb the ranks of Google’s search engine. Make sure you fill out, tweak, and optimize these elements,
7. Speed Optimization
Optimizing for speed is a crucial design element that should not be overlooked. With today’s technology, people expect things to load immediately (in less than three seconds), or they will bounce from your site. As a business, you don’t want leads and prospects to think negatively of your brand just because your website is slow. Website speed also impacts SEO.
8. Mobile Responsive Design
Google values a site that is designed for use on phone and tablets as well as for desktops. This does not mean that your site simply displays on a phone and visitors have to pinch and zoom to read your site. It means that the site layout changes to present clearly and usable from their phone.
In fact, we have found that Google will penalize your site in their search results by 30 percent. So any investment in SEO, great design, and content will still not rank well.
Mobile accounts for more than 58 percent of all web traffic in the US last year , increasing from the previous year’s 50.3 percent. With its algorithm, Google is hoping to accommodate this rising trend.
If you incorporate these eight elements into your modern website design you will be well on your way to creating a visually appealing, user-friendly site that ranks well. A professional website design firm should incorporate all of these elements into your website. They will prioritize user-experience, and optimize your website for not only its visual design but its functionality. Your company can have a top-notch website that will attract new visitors, generate leads, and convert prospects into customers.