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Tips for Creating a Website You and Your Customers Will Love

Creating a Website OmahaEvery 30 seconds, more than $1.2 million dollars are made online. Impressive, right? But if you want a chance of pocketing some of that dough yourself, you need to create a website that your customers will love. It should be easy to navigate, pleasant to look at, and designed to drive conversions. You don't need loads of web design experience to make an awesome site. You just need the right knowledge--and that's what we're here to share. Keep reading for everything you need to know about good website design Omaha NE.

1. Make It Easy to Navigate

How long would you spend on a website if you couldn't get to the page you were looking for? Not long. And your customers are no different. A good website should include a clear navigation bar at the top of the page. It should also have an image of your company name or logo that links back to your homepage. Instead of vague text saying things like "click here," your links should tell customers exactly what they do. For example: "Shop T-Shirts." Not only does this make your site more user-friendly, it also boosts your SEO. If you're not sure how easy your site is to navigate, invest in user testing. You'll be able to view a regular person browsing your site and make changes to any areas they find confusing. If you focus on only one major aspect of web design, make it navigation.

2. Use Action Colors for Important Links

How do your customers know which areas of your site are the most important? You might be tempted to make links bright red, crank the font size to 100, and add flashing effects for good measure. However, that's not a smart move. It's easy to keep your site looking professional while also highlighting important links like special offers or sales. Create a color hierarchy for your site. Use neutral colors for regular links and elements. Then choose a bold "action" color for important elements you're encouraging users to click on. This could be something as simple as light green for standard links and dark green for important links. Hiring a company that specializes in website design Omaha NE is a great step towards creating an effective color scheme. Another important note: Use your action color sparingly or it won't have as much impact.

3. Include Plenty of Whitespace

It doesn't matter what kind of site you're creating or how you want it to look. Make sure your design includes plenty of whitespace. Sites that are too cluttered immediately look unprofessional. Most customers won't stick around long. The main elements of your site should be evenly spaced. There should be plenty of empty space to stop readers from getting distracted. They also shouldn't have to struggle to read properly. You can use whitespace to:

  • Separate distinct elements
  • Draw attention to your call-to-action
  • Encourage interaction

Adding whitespace between paragraphs and in margins increases comprehension by 20%. It's one of the best ways to make your site as clear and easy to use as possible. Whitespace isn't dead space. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

4. Add a Search Function

What do you do when you want to find something online? You search, of course. Nobody wants to spend hours navigating a site with a complex link hierarchy. This is especially true when they already know what they're looking for. Imagine having to click through five different links just to find a specific type of shoe. Now imagine if you could simply type "military boots" into a search bar and get to the right page immediately. Customers won't be impressed with a site that doesn't have a search function, so make sure you include one. Include your search bar at the top of the page where it's easy to access. Ensure that it works as expected, giving sensible, relevant results. If you don't have a search bar, you could lose a significant number of sales.

5. Include Reviews and Testimonials

Social proof is huge when it comes to buying online. Most customers won't buy from an unknown site that has zero reviews. Adding testimonials to your site is one of the best ways to build trust and increase sales. If you're selling physical products, you could add a function that allows customers to rate and review anything they've purchased. Emailing customers to ask for reviews is a great way to get this part of your site up and running quickly. If you're selling a service, ask customers to give you testimonials and display these on a dedicated page. To build instant trust, include a few reviews or testimonials in a prominent spot on your homepage. Adding a name and image to each review further increases credibility. For bonus points, you could even ask customers for video reviews and testimonials. If building trust online has been a major barrier for your business, this is definitely a worthwhile investment.

6. Optimize Your Site for Mobile

Is there anything worse than finding the perfect site and realizing it's almost unusable on mobile? With so many online sales taking place on mobile devices, having a site that isn't mobile-optimized is business suicide. Make sure that the site theme you're using is compatible with mobile. Most modern themes automatically resize images, alter navigation, and make other changes to ensure your site is mobile-ready. Enabling accelerated mobile pages is another good move which increases your site speed on mobile phones.

Reasons to Invest in Website Design Omaha NE

If you're not experienced in web design or don't have the time to dedicate to your website, it makes sense to call in the experts. Investing in website design Omaha NE is a great way to create a site that's easy to use. It will also be optimized for mobile and desktop and designed to encourage customers to buy from you. You'll quickly make back your investment in website design Omaha NE via increased conversions and more sales. Want more handy web design tips and tricks? Check out our blog.

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How Web Design Can Make Your Business Successful

Website Design Omaha

Having a well-designed website is about more than just physical aesthetics. Web design can impact the success of your SEO strategy, your branding initiatives and more. You want a website that will be user-friendly, and that accurately represents your business. Content is important, but if potential consumers don't find the site easy to look at or simple to navigate, they'll never make it as far as reading your content anyway. Becuase so many consumers go online to shop and find information, your website could be the first impression you get to make. You want to represent your business in a professional manner, but also communicate your unique business personality and brand. Below, we're reviewing tips for website design Omaha businesses can benefit from. Read on to learn more about what to do, what not to do, and how great website design can make a significant difference in your company's success.

1. What Makes Great Website Design?

Website design and marketing success are intertwined. Website design Omaha businesses will benefit from is that which allows them to reach their target audience. But what does that look like? Let us explain a few principles of effective design.

Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy refers to the order in which a consumer will register something on a web page. For example, we all tend to notice the largest item on a page first because our eye is naturally drawn there. This can be used in web design to direct your consumer's attention to the message or image you most want them to see. If you give it a stand-out spot on the page by making it larger or placing it near the top, the consumer will notice it.

Eliminate Choices

You've heard it said that "less is more," and that is definitely true when it comes to website design. It might be tempting to present consumers with all their choice right from your homepage, and that's understandable. You want them to know about all the services or products you can provide. In terms of design, however, that can lead to a page looking cluttered. Make use of sidebars or navigation dropdowns instead. It will give your consumer a clean first view of your website, but they'll still be able to click through the site to learn all the information about your business.

Group Similar Items Together

You want your web design to create an intuitive experience for anyone who visits your site. Grouping similar items together -- such as products, services, location information, etc. -- will help the consumer. The easier it is for them to find the specific information they're looking for, the more likely they are to stay on your site and complete a transaction.

2. What Mistakes Should You Avoid?

Website design is not "one size fits all." The website design Omaha companies will want to adopt will vary from one business to the next. There are certain mistakes that all companies should look out for, though, no matter what your business goals are.

Don't Rush It

If you're creating a new website or undertaking a major redesign, you may feel pressure to get it done as quickly as possible. But web design is not meant to be a quick process. Take time to think about who your target audience is and what design aesthetic will appeal to them. Work with a design professional to create the best version of your website possible. When you do launch your site, you want it to be as complete as possible. It's better to take your time in the beginning than to constantly be interrupting the site with updates later.

Don't Miss Opportunities

If you don't include a clear call to action on your website, you're missing an opportunity to engage with your consumer. Your website design should always point the visitor towards what they can do, such as buy a product or subscribe to a newsletter or contact your company. Those moments of engagement are crucial to company success, so build them directly into your website design.

Don't DIY Your Design

The website design Omaha companies should share with their target audience needs to be professional in nature. If you don't have design experience, don't try to do it yourself. There's a difference between a customized website that was built using professional tools and one that was put together haphazardly.

3. What Can You Get out of Web Design?

If you're going to spend the time and resources creating good web design, it's important to understand how it will help you.

Get More Consumers to Your Page

Website design is a factor in SEO and the more user-friendly your web design is, the higher your SEO ranking has the potential to be. The majority of users never scroll beyond the first several returned search results, so if your ranking is lower than that, you're missing an opportunity to reach consumers.

Create More Customer Interactions

Once potential customers are on your page, good web design will keep them there. An intuitive experience will encourage consumers to explore more pages and spend more time on those pages. That can lead to the customer interactions that your business needs to survive. They'll easily be able to shop and complete purchases, explore published content or reach out to customer service for more information.

Generate Positive Word of Mouth

The better the experience a customer has on your website, the more likely they'll be to tell others about it. Creating a website that customers will want to talk about could potentially expand your consumer base even further.

Want to Know More about the Website Design Omaha Companies Need?

When you have a great product or service to sell, the last thing you want is for poor website design to get in your way. Creating a professional, well-designed, and easy to navigate website is the best way to take your business to the next level. For more information on how to create a custom website for your company, please feel free to contact us at any time.

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9 Trends in Graphic Design You Need to be Aware Of

trends in graphic designTrends in graphic design are constantly changing, especially as companies struggle to differentiate themselves. With such rapid revolution of design elements, some even becoming outdated in as little as a year, marketers often wonder, is staying on trend even worth it? Truthfully, it is. A good design can go a long way in boosting brand recognition. It keeps pace with your audience's expectations. In the end, your success is about connecting to your target market. Mirroring current visual trends can help bridge the gap. Take a look at these nine current trends in graphic design and decide which ones you can put to work for your business website:

Greenery
Pantone started the year's design expectations with its Color of the Year, Greenery. This new hue represents environmentalism, freshness, and reinvigoration. Pantone's annual color palette typically leads the charge every year in fashion, home decor, and trends in graphic design. Expect to see plenty of "green" themes on websites and collateral. These might include elements like natural images and earthy textures

Bold Transitional Color Trends in Graphic Design
It's a big year for color, and not just green tones. Ombre and color gradients continue their popularity points. Colors that transition from flat to blended hues will likely be found in logos, picture overlays, and buttons, such as the Instagram logo. Many of these color transitions will rely on bold and bright hues. Design is moving away from neutrals like blacks, whites, and grays. Instead, expect louder and prouder color schemes. Other formats may include the highly visual duotone technique. This technique combines two bright colors into a heavily contrasted image. The final effect is hard to ignore. However, be prepared to inject a little extra design work into doing this one right.

Mixed Fonts
Mixing font combinations isn't a new trend for 2017, but it's one you can count on seeing more of. Combining bold typography with feminine italics will be a mainstay for a while. Google fonts will rise in popularity, given their universality across all platforms. Designers emphasizing a consistent UX should note the 800+ Google fonts available. Many of these come with a zero-dollar price tag.

Original, Real-Life Photos
Stock photos and illustrations may be on hiatus as users are leaning more toward genuine images. Companies are beginning to invest more in photography. Their goal is to capture one-of-a-kind photos that document their authenticity. It may take more creativity and potentially cost more than a $5 stock photo. However, this move gives brands a way to truly capture their essence. Plus, it's a surefire way to guarantee your competitors won't be showcasing the same tired images on their own website.

Minimalism
Unless you're still living in the 80s and 90s, less is going to be much more for quite a while. Everything from simple web design to product packaging demonstrates this theme. This is to ensure that messages don't become lost since there's only one message to look for. Websites are making better use of white space, thus reducing viewer fatigue by creating fewer focal points. Though not entirely new for this year, the look and feel still gives a fresh, elegant vibe that simply can't lose.

GIFs & Cinemagraphs
GIFs are those quirky little video clips that play in short loops, usually with accompanying text to support an idea. Similar to the meme phenomenon of the past couple years, GIFs often stem from pop culture icons, movies, or other recognizable sources. As video continues to dominate digital communications, GIFs will ramp up their popularity. People crave their short, sporadic content and ability to capture immediate attention. Cinemagraphs are similar to GIFs, but are typically higher quality and don't carry the same familiarity. Rather, a cinemagraph represents a still image with only one small animated portion. For instance, you might see an image of a woman pouring milk into cereal, with the milk actually moving in the image. The emergence of cinemagraphs solves an age-old marketing problem of grabbing attention quickly in a short amount of time. By bringing ordinary photos to life, you stand a higher chance of highlighting the most important part of that image.

Polygons and Geometry
Low-poly designs are becoming a graphic design mainstay, thanks to video games. It adds dimension to otherwise flat images, along with additional color shades to further its allure. Low-poly design can be combined with other trends in graphic design, such as duotones or bold colors, to create an entire look of 2017 centricity. Aside from polygons, geometric figures as a whole remain rooted in 2017. Clean edges add classiness, plus they pair easily with just about any modern typeface and color palette.

Custom Illustrations & Graphics
Stock photos seem to be going the way of the buffalo in favor of original images, including the hand-drawn kind. Tacking on to the Snapchat fever, handmade doodles are ever popular. In addition, more sophisticated illustrations and graphics are pushing creative limitations. As a result, marketers and designers can bask in having one-of-a-kind images, much like the original photo trend. Even if you don't have any artistic abilities yourself, you can hire a freelance artist to create an original, copyrighted image for you.

Modular Layout Design
Boxing texts and images into bite-sized ideas can help manage your content like never before. Again, this trend in graphic design isn't new by any means, but it's not going away this year. The better you can separate ideas in your design, the better the user can interact with them. It helps eliminate long, boring blocks of text, opting instead to pair it with relevant images to create a cohesive story. In doing so, you get clean, crisp lines that look both professional and effortless.

Wrap Up
Learning about trends in graphic design is just the beginning. It takes practice to master these trends and put them to good use. By that time, there's probably plenty of new trends for you to explore. If you need help perfecting your design, give us a shout today and together we'll create a website worth visiting again and again.

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The Importance of Simple Web Design

simple web designWhen you are in the process of designing your website, it is easy to put too much information on the home or other pages of the site. Simple web design is important so your visitors do not get overwhelmed or distracted from the main goal of your site.  Here are a few points to consider when building or redesigning a website:

  • Simple web design makes for a better User Experience (UX)
  • Clutter is not attractive to the human eye - use white space
  • Give visitors enough information to entice them to “click” / to “buy” / to “act” / to “read more” - keeping the user on task.
  • Content is important for visitors and search engines, BUT you don't have to clutter the home page of your site with too much text.  Create links to more information about a topic.
  • Visitors will dig in (click) to read more about products and services if your site is appealing.
  • The Power of 3 - come up with 3 value propositions such as a service, feature or innovation that will be attractive to customers and important to your organization or business.  Highlight these 3 value props throughout your site.
  • Well designed navigation allow visitors to rapidly access products, services and information about your company  - making it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.

Need help working these simple design concepts into your next website build or redesign?  Give us a call to discuss how WebHornet can help!

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