8 Principles for Designing an Engaging Website

Guarantee optimal performance with these best practices.
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We have built a number of websites over the years and learned a lot along the way. Here’s a sampling of the best practices we apply to guarantee optimal performance.

  1. Design with the user in mind. Graphics, layout, text and interactive elements work in concert to deliver an experience, not just overload the user with information. Consider the demographics of your audience and their reason(s) for visiting the site. Ensure content is organized to take them on the shortest possible path to the information they seek.
  2. Focus on clarity, simplicity and a clear call to action. Users evaluate the design of a site in half a second. Decide what you want them to do and make it apparent. Action buttons should be easy to find and tap.
  3. Remember websites are scanned, not read. Think about the last site you visited and how you absorbed information. We scan content for something that strikes us and then pivot to reading to find out more. Use infographics, photography and other visual cues to encourage visitors to stop mid-scroll and dig deeper.
  4. Establish visual hierarchy. Highlight the most important elements on the interface so that users naturally focus on them. There are many ways to emphasize one specific thing with design, but the most effective is to simply make it larger than anything else on the screen.
  5. Add main keywords early in your content. To drive search engine optimization, understand what search terms your target demographic uses. Align your copy and content with the longtail keywords and phrases your audience is typing into the search bar.
  6. Write unique titles, descriptions and content. Avoiding duplicate content is one of the most important SEO best practices to follow. This rule applies to every piece of content on your website, including title tags, meta descriptions, landing pages, image alt text and category pages. They should all be unique.
  7. Optimize site load time. Site loading speed is a rare ranking factor where Google is totally transparent. The faster your site loads, the better it will rank — and Google shows you exactly where you stand and how to improve. Compress images. Reduce redirects. Leverage browser caching… just to name a few.
  8. Track performance over time and iterate. When building a site, leverage insights from historic data about visitor patterns. After the new site is live, monitor Google Analytics and other available performance data to understand which pages are performing well. You’ll discover opportunities to improve content, navigation and more.

If you need help designing a website for your business or organization, let us know. We’ll get things on the right track.