Seven top tips for website design

1. Stay on brand

Every element of your website should mirror your brand. Remember, play up your point of difference. Use imagery and language to clearly articulate what sets you apart from your competitors. Consistency is key. Deliver an online experience that compels prospects to buy into your brand story. When you eventually meet a prospective client, continue to deliver that brand message in all your one-on-one interactions.

2. Be mobile responsive

It’s vital that a website can be easily viewed on any desktop or mobile device. In other words, your website should look as good on a PC or Mac as it does on a smartphone. To be truly responsive, the site should instantly – and seamlessly – make the switch. No clipped words and no cropped images. All content should immediately resize to fit any device.

3. Ensure swift load times

Check to ensure large images and/or videos aren’t slowing down your load times. These types of delays could be turning traffic away! Loading lags can be costly for your site’s rankings too. Search engines penalise sluggish websites, so make sure you prioritise getting up to speed.

4. Deploy compelling content

Put your best foot forward. Incorporate professional photography to introduce team members and to best illustrate your work. If possible, engage a professional copywriter to draft your website text. It’s important to note that all readers skim read. Clear and concise text works best. Share how you’ve overcome challenges or driven innovations – these are common objectives that will resonate with your marketplace.

5. Highlight contact details

Your location and contact information must be easy to find. Ideally, incorporate a hyperlinked phone number to enable smartphone users to call you instantly.

6. Drive traffic to your website

Social media is a great way to encourage followers to visit your website. Whet their appetites by asking a question or posting a behind-the-scenes image to encourage them to click through to a more detailed story on your website. Deploy hyperlinks to make it easy for clients and prospects to switch from your social media platforms to your website.Email signature blocks are another effective tool to encourage your network to visit your site. Produce a signature block that incorporates a powerful image or short, snappy line of text. Enable email recipients to simply click the signature block to be instantly redirected to the full story on your website.

7. Optimise your site for search engines

Popular SEO strategies may include:

  • Using keywords (ie to target frequently searched terms)
  • Uploading fresh content – consistently and frequently
  • Decreasing load times for your website
  • Incorporating internal and external links
  • Appropriately labelling images and videos (ie to include keywords)

These notes have been prepared by Lindy Johnson Creative Agent for the Australian Institute of Architects. Australian Institute of Architects eligible members can access the full “Website design and best practice” Acumen Practice Notes here.

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