Websites 101: A Pro’s Best Practices to Make a Powerful Impression

Business owners wear a lot of hats, but unless you’re in the marketing or IT fields, “website designer” isn’t inscribed on one of your many caps. That’s probably why so many business websites become outdated, contain errors … or never come to fruition at all. These days, however, an out-of-date, issue-ridden, or nonexistent website just won’t cut it. We asked Ad4! Group’s resident website expert Lindsey Lovelett, for her advice on what today’s website visitors are expecting from your business — and how you can make your own stunning website a reality right away.

Ad4!: Lindsey, you’ve updated and created a lot of incredible websites for Ad4! clients. What would you say is the most important thing a website should achieve today?

LL: It’s all about communication. A great website gets your message across to potential customers in a clear and concise way.

Ad4!: Clear and concise communication —  that makes a lot of sense. So how should a business owner present information on their site? 

LL: You get about 15 seconds to capture your users’ attention, so you don’t want to overwhelm a visitor with a wall of words. If your website is difficult to decipher, you may lose their business before you even had it.

Ad4!: What if you have a lot of information to share about the business — why you do what you do, how your product or service works, why customers should choose you first — how do you present all the facts without overwhelming a visitor?

LL: We suggest breaking up content by topic to create multiple pages instead of long, scrolling pages where your visitors can get lost easily. The amount of content will vary depending on your message, but large blocks of text are better broken up into sections with a smart use of headings that help the user find the relevant information they’re looking for.

Ad4!: So no more one-page websites? What other trends are you seeing in today’s world of web design?

LL: Creative typography, the smart use of white space, and contrasting colors are all popular design trends we’re seeing this year.

Ad4!: Are you seeing any issues or mistakes popping up more often than others?

LL: I’m seeing a lot of confusing navigation, inconsistent branding, and too many calls to action. Remember that 15-second first impression? If a user has any trouble finding what they’re looking for, wondering if they’re on the right site, or wondering what you want them to do next, they’ll simply click off and find a competitor’s website that’s easier to use.

Ad4!: If a business owner is reading this and recognizes that they might be making some of these errors, what do you recommend they do next? Are these issues a business owner should tackle on their own?

LL: There are a lot of DIY website platforms out there, and they serve a great purpose, but they often come with a steep learning curve. It’s also common to have to pay extra fees for features that really should be included. I’ve seen a lot of DIYers get frustrated with the whole development process and just give up — and that’s never a good thing.

Ad4!: What do you recommend then?

LL: You definitely need to fix any issues or complete your website setup as soon as possible, because every minute you wait might cost you a customer. The value a professional designer can bring to the table isn’t just skill — coding a website or optimizing your site for search engines, for example. Our value is in our years of experience in creating websites that are proven to engage your potential customers, clearly communicate your message, and make them want to give you a try!

Ad4!: Thanks so much, Lindsey! So how can a business owner find a professional like you?LL:Designing and developing powerful websites is a service we offer here at Ad4! Group, along with our other digital and strategic marketing services. You can read more about our web design and development services on our website, and I encourage you to reach out to Felica Sparks at [email protected] or 256-426-2718.

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