“Get out of the pool and do five pushups! Then dive back in and sprint to the other end and do five more! Do that same drill ten times!” When I was swimming in high school this was the drill our coach would frequently make us do at the end of practice when we were exhausted. When you’re running a business, you’re exhausted too. 

Like sprinting back and forth in a pool, you’re already maxed out and just focused on staying afloat. Then come the five pushups, or for you, here comes the website design. When you’re already responsible for running your business and inundated with all the tasks that come with that, the last thing you want to be stressed about is the site design. “We put it up, it looks fine!” Does that sound familiar? Well here are five quick and easy things you can do to make your website look stronger and still allow you to do your job without distraction.

Pushup #1: Give Them Some Space

If someone on your site is squinting at your content as if they are trying to “interpret” an abstract painting, then you may want to consider adding more white space. It sounds simple, that’s because it is. Whitespace is the amount of room between elements on your page. Most users want breathing room on a site, it looks cleaner and is easier on the eye. Remember that many people today are also visiting sites from their mobile devices so they are okay with scrolling a little more.

Pushup #2: Paint with All the Colors of the Wind, or at Least Some of Them

You don’t necessarily need a color overhaul, just add in a few new colors to bring your site design to life. After running the same layout for months it can be nice to update smaller areas and show repeat visitors that you’re actively doing things on your site. Some items of interest may include anchor links, headers, backgrounds, and toolbars. Here’s some fun psychological information, men and women prefer different types of colors. Women prefer tints. A tint is any color mixed with white. Baby blue or soft greens. Men prefer shades. A shade is any color mixed with black. Shades are often darker and deeper. If your site is marketing to a specific gender, adjusting your colors is a good practice.

Pushup #3: Most People Don’t Want To Go On A Treasure Hunt

Make things easy to find. So consider implementing small changes to enhance website user experience on your site. For example, when you don’t tell your visitors exactly where to go or what to do next, they guess and this can be a huge problem. Imagine you have a huge mansion and you are throwing a dinner party, a guest asks to go to the restroom so you say “It’s up stairs…” but up stairs are dozens of hallways and doors. Your guest has no idea where to go and they get desperate! Don’t let this be you. You might ask,
“Isn’t having a lot of stuff on my site a good thing?”. The answer is, having useful things on your site is a very good thing. But you don’t want content overload. For example, people often make the mistake of having too many tabs in the menu. This can lead to visitor confusion and a higher bounce rate. Remember that attention spans are shrinking, the most essential information that your customer needs to know should be easy for them to find otherwise they’ll simply leave.

Pushup #4: Use Icons & CTAs

To draw more attention from visitors you should include icon design in your web page. Customizing web links is a great way to condense messaging, show that you are creative, and allow you to personalize the experience for your audience. For example, if you have a landing page targeted at “culinary fanatics” it may be wise to have icons in your menu bar that have imagery of food or cooking. Flaticon is a great place to go for more ideas on what works best for your company’s icons. Additionally, CTAs help the user experience by giving them something to do. This allows them to take action and moves them along the buyer’s journey. For more on CTAs go here

Pushup #5: Share the Love

You can exchange links with industry thought leaders. This gives you valid content to have on your site and also sends traffic to the sites of experts in your industry. This opens doors for new users to find your website faster, and to see that you are actively engaged within the industry related community of other websites. Gaining backlinks from other websites with authority in Google can only help your site’s credibility. At a minimum this shows your customers that it’s not all about you. Instead it highlights that you’re interested in providing them with useful information even if it’s coming from someone else.

Bonus: Keep in mind that what your audience wants should be at the center of your website design and is where they should start when arriving on your site. Figure out what the audience wants and then design the website around that.

Feeling ready to make your website design stronger? Now you have the tools to succeed. Next time we’ll talk sit ups.

Image by Pixabay