It’s the million dollar question: How do you get people to visit your website, stay longer and keep coming back?
There are many factors to take into consideration when thinking of a well-constructed answer. Speaking to your ideal customer, contributing high-quality, relevant content and maintaining a positive vibe on social media are among them. But some things still come down to the basics. Having a good site design is invaluable. You can offer all the goods and then some, but if your site is a pain to be on, no one will stay for the ride.
Let’s talk about seven great design tips that are guaranteed to attract more visitors to your website.
1. Parallax Scrolling
Parallax scrolling can help your site see as much as 70% more engagement! Crazy, isn’t it?
The reason why the parallax effect works is because it delivers a message in a unique and eye-catching manner. As users move down the page, the design provides them with a dynamic experience that encourages them to keep scrolling.
There are several elements included in a parallax design, including background images, foreground images, speed and depth. We won’t get into the coding details of parallax design here, but just know one thing (okay, two things): it staves off boredom and it works.
2. Symbols and Iconography
One thing that many companies have difficulty with is conveying their messages in short yet impactful ways. It’s easy to want to talk about your company, its history, its benefits, why it’s different than the competition and so on. But you’re not here to pen a book. You’re here to engage your audience. At the same time, you know that in order to build trust and loyalty, visitors need to know what to do when they get to your site.
That’s where symbols and iconography come in handy.
Symbols and icons can help your visitors find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently. With icons supporting your text, you’re able to save the space for what really counts. Plus, when you combine simple icons, dynamic typography and useful content, it makes your site more enjoyable to use.
3. Flexible Typography
Responsive design is more than just a flexible website that adapts to different devices. It’s also about the content. The content on your site must also adapt accordingly so that it’s easy and enjoyable to read on any device.
Consider that mobile users typically don’t like to read through lengthy paragraphs. Your mobile content should account for short attention spans and include simple, scannable paragraphs and clear call to actions. Additionally, reading on a mobile screen isn’t always comfortable, so choose your fonts carefully. Your typography should be easy on the eyes and sized appropriately.
4. Vector Images
Images are just as important as typography. Images generally come in the form of bitmap files like JPGs, PNGs or GIFs. Unfortunately, these files come with limitations. Bitmap files are of a fixed size, so they can’t be easily adjusted to different layouts or resolutions. Plus, each time an image like this is used, it adds an HTTP request to the loading process of your site.
As images become more popular, this can slow your loading time, big time. Additionally, it adds to the amount of data that needs to be loaded when using your site. Knowing that speed is crucial for getting visitors to stay on your site, it’s best to avoid bitmap files where possible. So what’s the alternative? Vector images.
Vector images have all the features that bitmap files lack. For instance, they can be scaled to any size and resolution with no effort. Vector images are being used in more web designs because of their ability to deliver beautiful, seamless experiences. They are lightweight and rendered directly by the browser, so there is no additional loading of assets. As you improve your site design, keep vector images in mind.
It’s a mouthful. Gamification refers to a technique that implements game-like elements into a website design. These techniques help visitors navigate a site while getting rewards along the way. This makes your site fun, informational and interactive all at the same time. Again, these are all good reasons to stay on your site.
The most common type of gamification comes in the form of badges. Maybe you’ve seen them on some of the websites you’ve visited. Users can earn badges when they unlock or complete certain tasks. I’ve even earned badges just for visiting certain sites, and it definitely piques my interest. Badges also tell me that the website recognizes, on some level, that I’m visiting. Feeling important is a good thing.
Badges aren’t practical for all websites, though. But you can apply the same principles regardless of the type of website you have. For example, offer visitors coupons or discounts for completing certain actions like sharing content. The whole idea is to promote interaction on your site and encourage people to come back.
6. Image Compression
Remember when we talked about boosting the speed of your site with vector images? The same can be said for image compression. If you don’t compress your images, it can really do a number on your load times. And people don’t like to wait for pages to load. They’ll bounce right out of there like nobody’s business.
Reducing the size of your site’s image assets without compromising quality is becoming easier thanks to new tools and algorithms. So far, the most common techniques include minifying content, optimizing images and serving sites through a Content Delivery Network. These techniques make images load faster and more efficiently, drastically speeding up a website’s speed.
7. Push Notifications
This concept is similar to asking users for an email address to sign up for email newsletters, but it’s a more refreshing approach. In fact, browser push notifications have been known to have 30x better opt-in rates than email. How it works is when a user returns to your site, a push notification appears and welcomes them back. Push notifications can even be used when users are not on your site to alert them of new content.
When starting any new web design, these seven techniques should be considered as part of your site design. They may not all be the right fit, but applying just a few can make a huge difference in the way your site speaks to visitors. In the end, maintaining a beautiful, fast and enjoyable web experience is what you should always be after.