Eye-catching photos and clean, simple menus. Impactful copy that doesn’t make me snooze. Search-engine optimized and CTA pings. These are a few of my favorite things!
Sorry! Good website design (or front-end web development) is enough to make me frolic through the Swiss Alps singing to the high heavens.
Front-end web development includes all the elements users can see and interact with on your website. Often, this process is focused on how the website looks, the colors used, and the animations that make you “ooh” and “ahh.” But don’t mistake it for web design alone; it’s also the elements you include to ensure discoverability and conversions.
When diving into front-end web development, focus on three key areas: design, discoverability, and sales enablement.
Design with Your End User in Mind
Of course, website design is a key element of your front-end web development. How your site looks is one of the most important factors in its success with audiences. But design goes beyond just colors, photos, and fonts. Consider these questions when approving wireframes and design comps:
Does it make sense from an outside perspective?
User experience and flow should be top priority in your front-end web-development process. When building out your wireframes, ensure that you only have the pages that are needed and that navigation flows logically. Don’t forgo logic and simplicity for bells and whistles — overanimation just slows your audience down. Give the people what they want, where they want it, in language they can understand.
Is it cohesive with other brand assets?
As the center of your digital ecosystem, your website should look and sound like it goes with all your other branded collateral — social media profiles, printed materials, etc. — from voice and tone to design aesthetic. When someone lands on your homepage, a blog post, or a case study, they should be able to easily identify who they are engaging with.
These two questions can help you practice restraint and focus on what matters most: giving your audience what they need in an appealing format that they want.
Say the Right (Key)Words
What your website literally says can say a lot about your brand too. Choose your words wisely and lay them out strategically to be rewarded by search engines and discovered by target audiences. Remember to use language that your customers and potential customers can understand. In other words, focus on your audiences, not on your internal jargon.
Whether you’re designing a site from scratch or rebuilding, developing SEO-rich content should be among the first steps you take in the front-end web-development process. Comb through your master keywords list (this is different than your content keywords) to inform the copy you put on each page. Search engines aim to help users find the best content for their query; your job is to provide that high-quality, optimized content. Ensure your keywords are aligned throughout the site in headers, meta descriptions, and copy.
Don’t have a master keyword list? Build one for each page based on the words and phrases you want to show up in the search results.
Pro tip: Design landing pages with target keywords in mind. When running paid search placements, your keywords should appear on your landing page and in your ad copy to ensure high-quality scores and low CPC (cost per click).
Keep Your Goals in Site
Use the front-end web-development process as an opportunity to enhance sales enablement. From CTAs to dynamic and conditional content, designing with these things in mind will allow you to capture and delight audiences at every stage of the sales funnel.
Make lead generation a priority.
How you attract and lead audiences through the sales funnel on your site is its own art form. Make lead generation a priority through well-thought-out and varied CTAs across your site, from pop-up forms and exit-intent messaging to contact forms and subscription callouts.
Be personal and strategic.
Give your audiences what they may not even know they want! In an era of hyperpersonalization, baking in conditional content and personalization options into your front-end website development helps you prepare to engage and delight audiences throughout their customer journey. Consider how you’d like to personalize content to them — geolocation, log-in information, etc. — to know what elements to develop.
Front-end web development goes beyond just beautiful web design; it includes all the elements that make your site one audiences want to engage with.
Contact us to design your website with front-end web development best practices at its core.