10 Lessons from Relationships to Help You Make a Stunning One-Page Website
- Tracy Vides
- April 1, 2016
We have seen our share of one-page WordPress themes and award-winning one-page websites on the internet.
Almost every small business, startup or budding agency these days wants a one-page website as opposed to the traditional, hierarchically structured site that describes who you are, your team members, your solutions or services and your contact details – the About Us | Services | Contact Us troika, as it were.
Not too long ago, web developers had their reservations with single-page or landing-page focused websites, because of a host of reasons including
- slower load times due to large number of web elements on the same page
- inability to refer to or share a specific snippet of content
- no intuitive way to have a blog
- hard to measure visitor interaction with specific elements or page sections
- distraction along the purchase path due to multiple touchpoints
- a lot of scrolling (duh)
- bad for SEO due to limitations in keyword-URL association
The last one used to make a big difference, business-wise. However, of late, Google’s algorithms have become smarter, and one-page websites are also getting their due attention on search engines. And then, the following is also true:
Over the past two years, most problems with one-page websites have been overcome, and so, I believe 2016 will be the year of one-page websites.
If you are contemplating creating a one-page website in 2016, have a look at some do’s and don’ts and simple ways to make it more stunning, beautiful, functional and compelling. And since your website is much like a life partner – changing, demanding and pleasing at different times – I’ll attempt to relate and contrast my suggestions to with a deepening and growing relationship.
The First Impression
Picture this: you see two girls, a redhead and a blonde, both smart and good looking… but in a split second something inside you decides that the redhead is meant for you. That’s the power of first impression.
Your website is also the first impression of your brand or product, and your visitors will decide in a jiffy if it is a right fit for them or not. Needless to repeat, it is very important for you to make that great first impression.
Lesson 1: Theme consistency
Settle upon a set of colors and theme for your brand. Make sure everything on your website, from banners to product display, is consistent with the brand theme.
It is a make or break situation, whether you realize it or not. You can mess it up in ways you’ll never realize yourself, but is painfully obvious to others. Look at this theme template:
This is the exact opposite of consistency. Their green grass banner is in no way connected to the professional group of images in the following section.
Lesson 2: Images
Your banner image is the first thing your visitor sees and it is extremely vital that you pour your heart, soul and bucket loads of creativity into creating it.
You need to get your images “speak” for you. Images don’t always have the flexibility to include text in the right places, so you’ve to bring in your creativity if you want to highlight key features of your product, while making sure your “hero shot” is still alluring. Here’s a good example:
Here’s the rest of the layout. Notice see how successive images match up with text about the product’s USP, benefits, features, specifications, packaging and delivery – the hallmark of a single-page website:
The Second Date
Lesson 3: Focus
The White Pike website is a work of art, with striking images, cool effects and a clean interface. I especially love the Recipe section:
Look how that section stands out against the others, all of which have a single point of focus.
This website should be an ideal standard for anyone who wishes to stick out amidst clutter.
50 First Dates
Lesson 4: Engagement
Keep your visitor engaged with your website until they reach the footer. Most single-page websites I see are like inverted pyramids with tons of creativity on the top only to taper off towards the end.
Since visitors need to scroll down to get information (or click back and forth on various menu items), the chances of them bouncing off are high. Every consequent interaction with your target will either endear you to them or alienate them, be it dating or shopping. Think of every section of your site as your first date and make it as striking as your home or welcome page.
Meet The Parents
Lesson 5: Social media integration
Embedding links to your social media pages is like taking the next step, much like meeting the parents (it’s unavoidable and everyone has advice on how to do it). That’s why it’s very important to
- rock social media
- make sure your social buttons (and pages) match your website theme, and are prominently visible
Look at this example below. Luxcey has maintained a floral, “Instagrammy” look right from their banner images to footer. The clean white social buttons look striking and make their footer near perfect!
When the mouse moves over a social button, there’s a sea-change in the display:
Those 3 Words
Lesson 6: Web copy
Ok may be not 3. A little longer than that, I’ll give that to you, but your headline is one of the first things people read. So, it has to have the same level of impact as saying “I love you.”
It is not only what you write but also how you write that makes a difference. From handwritten fonts to retro, from futuristic to elegant, there are so many options available today!
Make sure your copy suits your brand personality and voice, and your fonts go best with your brand theme.
Lesson 7: Design process
Remember how long it took you to find that perfect centerpiece, wedding favors and cake? Making your website take (or needs to) the same amount of painstaking consideration and deliberation.
Make sure you see thousands of images before choosing one and take at least a hundred shots of your products in different lights and backgrounds before putting it up on your landing page. In the end, it all has to look good together.
This website is a perfect example of superb photography, functionality and special effects:
Lesson 8: Launch
Once you are ready to say “I do” – in this case, “go live” – don’t fuss over small things. Unless of course if it really bothers you. Just like the big day, you have to let go of small things; if you’re stuck on perfection, you will just delay actual work and horribly mess up everything else.
I have had clients who have been trying to build a website for over a year without success; in their pursuit of perfection, they have changed everything from their logo to their business name – at least twice!
Lesson 9: Broken bits
As you would expect and accept flaws in another person, accept flaws in your website. Remember it is not going to be perfect in one go. Ask friends, family, experts and everyone on your social media circuit to review your website before and after you make it live. Be ready to change certain small things at any time; however, don’t take unspecific critical reviews to heart.
Lesson 10: Testing
A lot of people (okay, most) create websites and then forget about it. Remember, websites are like marriages. You need to constantly work on it to find out what works best.
This is where A/B testing comes in. With ever changing online consumer behavior and evolving trends, you need to keep up to so that your single-page website always look striking and continues to offer the optimal user experience. A tool like Optimizely will help you move around web elements and see what happens.
The Last Kiss
Here’s a quick recap of all the lessons from this article:
- Establish a central theme (for a set period of time) and make sure your brand colors, fonts and images are all consistent with the theme.
- Everything including your headline, banner, product images and footer is important and needs equal attention.
- Don’t forget to be social.
- Track and test on a regular basis.
- Don’t be one of those businesses whose website is always “under construction.”
About the Author
Tracy Vides is a digital marketing strategist who works with small businesses and startups to help improve their content marketing and social presence. Tracy is also a prolific writer – her posts on ecommerce, social media, and conversion are regularly featured on tech blogs across the web. Follow her on Twitter @tracyvides
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