7 Best Practices When Creating a Website Outline

11/08/2023

website outline

Your company’s website is likely the first point of interaction users have with your brand. Making a poor first impression could cause you to fall short of your intended metrics. A great website also focuses on more than aesthetic appeal.

Research shows that approximately 94% of consumers say a website should be easy to navigate. If they can’t easily find the information they’re looking for, they’ll likely choose a competitor’s website instead.

We’ve created a brief guide on what to consider when creating a website outline for your business. Let’s explore the key web design best practices you should know.

1. Choose a Relevant Design

Many businesses make the mistake of choosing a website layout that isn’t on-brand. Your site’s design should properly represent your company and also be relevant to your target audience.

In most cases, you should focus on a simple and modern design. This will keep your site accessible and easy to look at.

Busy designs can be distracting and make navigation more difficult. Ensure that your design is consistent across your entire website.

Users may find it jarring if they notice a shift in aesthetics as they navigate your pages. Aim for a balance of visual appeal and readability. Supplementing web copy with captivating visuals is a great way to do so.

2. Make Navigation Intuitive

This is an attribute you can’t overlook. Users should be able to find the information where they expect it to be. For instance, someone looking for a search bar won’t scroll to the bottom of a page.

Instead, they’ll look in the page’s center or top corners. Nuances like these can substantially improve how enjoyable your site is to use. You should also use drop-down menus to separate product and service categories.

It’s customary to include helpful links in your page’s footer. These often redirect to contact pages, FAQ pages, and “about us” pages.

Thoroughly test your website’s intuitiveness before making it live. This will ensure it’s as easy to use as possible. You can use a website map to help visualize your site’s navigation.

3. Utilize Responsive Design

No matter your target demographic, your users will access your site through a mix of computers and mobile devices. If your content doesn’t display appropriately across different devices, it can ruin the user’s experience.

Responsive design allows your site to adapt to the screen sizes of your users’ devices. Without this strategy, images could take up the entire screen. The text could also be difficult to read.

It’s unlikely people will spend more than a few seconds on a site that isn’t properly formatted. Leveraging this design method will help you avoid issues you may have otherwise encountered.

4. Use Visual Elements

You can say a lot with the images you use. Incorporating visuals can be a useful way to direct attention towards certain content. They can also improve the overall user experience.

However, you should take great care when choosing photos for your site. They should always be high-quality and relevant. This will ensure they’re effective at capturing your audience’s attention.

If possible, consider using photos of your staff, products, and workplace. Doing so offers insight into your company and helps your audience connect with your brand.

You might need to outsource to a graphic designer if you need custom visuals. Many companies don’t have in-house employees who can handle this responsibility.

Companies that have the resources should consider creating video content. Video is highly engaging and can increase the amount of time users spend on your website. When people stay longer, it will increase your search ranking and make it easier for other users to find your company on Google.

5. Assess Readability

No matter how useful the information on your site is, it won’t mean much if it’s not readable. There should be enough contrast between your background and your text colors.

Otherwise, people may find reading your content to be unpleasant. Proper font selection is also important.

While there’s no universal answer to what font you should choose, use one that’s easy to read and aligns with your brand. Make your font big enough, as well.

6. Use Social Media Buttons

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools companies can use. There’s no reason you shouldn’t direct your website traffic to your social media accounts.

Adding social media buttons makes this process seamless. With a single click, users will be redirected to your social media accounts where they can view your content and follow your brand.

You can place these virtually anywhere on your site. Common areas include headers, footers, and sidebars.

Social media buttons also help users share your content. Include these in your website content so you can drastically increase your content’s reach.

7. Use Powerful Calls to Action

Writing strong calls to action (CTAs) is crucial for hitting your target metrics. These help compel your audience to take the desired action. Without a CTA in place, they’re liable to leave a page once they reach the end.

Common CTAs urge users to sign up for an email newsletter, reach out to a company, or make a purchase. There’s plenty of room for creativity with CTAs.

However, you should always keep them brief and use them to instill urgency. Using active language is recommended, as well. To determine which CTA’s work best, you can use split testing.

This involves creating multiple versions of the same page but using different calls to action. You can then check your analytics to determine which was most effective. Over time, this will help you optimize your conversion rate.

Never Neglect Your Website Outline

Your website plays a large role in your company’s longevity. The information on this list will ensure you create an amazing website outline that keeps you on track during the design phase.

Our team at Key Element Media has proudly served our clients since 2003. We aim to deliver top-tier results for each project while remaining transparent and accessible.

We also serve our local community through volunteering and donating to organizations. Book a consultation today to learn more about how we can help.

Jared Schweers

About the Author

Jared Schweers

With a rich career spanning over eighteen years in digital marketing, Jared’s expertise is grounded with a degree in Communications Technology. Jared is the owner and driving force behind Key Element Media, a premier web and digital marketing firm headquartered in Rockwall, Texas serving the Dallas area and beyond. With a specialization in web design, organic search, Google Profile Rankings, Paid Search, and apparel, the company boasts an impressive portfolio, catering to businesses of all scales—ranging from national giants to hyper-local enterprises. Key Element Media continues to grow year after year, serving more clients and completing larger projects.

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