Your website layout impacts the results you see from your content marketing, and a better WordPress template can help you get more from your website.

Your web marketing will suffer if you don’t have good user experience. It doesn’t matter how pretty a website is if its not functional. Both beauty and logic are necessary to get the results you expect.

Working with clients on their graphics and UX, I find that only about 10 percent of sites are up to date with the latest trends that users expect. The web is always pushing forward and current web design trends include elements that generally keep the user interested: Large images, interactivity and attractive visuals.

When you have an outdated website and WordPress layout, you run into challenges that can compromise the user experience. Some of the most common issues I see are:

  • Layout problems
  • Bad color choices
  • Overwhelming content

When we come across sites that have any of these design flaws, we can either build on top of existing WordPress themes or help you find a new one that’s modern and provides users with the best experience. If you’ve already purchased a theme, are comfortable with it and aren’t ready to push forward, we can update to make it as current to the trends as possible while sticking with that you already have.

A good WP theme has:

 

A simple design. Keep it as basic as possible, while still meeting users’ expectations. Think: fewer columns

A clean layout. You don’t want to overwhelm the audience with too much information or visuals.

White space. This is essential in any kind of web design because it allows to user to read without feeling inundated.

Here are some of the ways you could be getting more from your website with a good WP theme (or any UX-friendly web design).

Attract more visitors with a better experience

When you have an attractive website that functions well, there’s a better chance that people are going to be interested in going there in the first place.

I find that only about 10 percent of sites are up to date with the latest trends that users expect

Without it, you’re probably losing opportunities. If your competitor has a really nice new site and yours is still circa the early 2000s, visitors might go to your competitors first. And if that company presents the information in a better way, you may lose clientele to them.

Build brand awareness

A new theme and design upgrades give you the chance to make sure everything is branded. Use the same fonts across your site and choose images that capture the look and feel of your company so people will recognize it immediately.

Just don’t overdo it. In an attempt to brand themselves, some companies stick their logos in five different places across the home page and it looks spammy and scammy.

Increase engagement by giving visitors room to breathe

People will leave your site if they find there’s too much on the page. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a page crowded with copy that has too many calls to action and rich media. Your mind needs room to breathe to take in the message.

In my opinion, a home page should be limited copy with plenty of white space and a few attractive elements – things that will keep the visitors’ attention. Visitors aren’t coming to your homepage to read that much copy.

People will stay on the page longer if they can easily find the information they want and is presented in a logical way.

Generate more conversions with a clear sense of purpose

When you’re browsing WordPress themes* or planning for a redesign, the most important thing is that you chose a layout that speaks to your business’ intent and goals. Themes are built for specific purposes.

*If you’re in the market for a new theme, I suggest looking at Themeforest. It breaks the themes down by category – blog, corporate, creative, etc.

If you’re an ecommerce site, you want a layout with more images that makes it easy for visitors to see your products. The more time people spend on your site, interacting with products, the more likely they are to buy. I tell marketers to look through other ecommerce sites and see what they’re doing – 80 percent of the time, that’s what is trending. It’s what is popular and it’s going to help you get the most traction with your audience.

eCommerce example #1 eCommerce example #2

If you’re a B2B company and your website exists to explain what you do and generates leads, you’re going to want clean layout that makes it easy for viewers to find information fast. Any layout or feature that could reduce the time people spend on the website, while still getting across the same information, the better. You want it to be intuitive to visitors what they should read first, what action they should take next and how to contact you. I recommend that you search for blogs and see what other companies are doing and see how those features could improve the experience on your site.

b2b example #1 b2b example #2

No matter who your audience is or what industry you’re in, you want to do anything that will make it easier for the user. Sometimes that means breaking the rules. When reading English, eyes read left to right, but 80 percent of people look for a search bar in the right hand corner of a site – so that’s where it should be. There are intuitive things that have become customary to users, and those are really important to get right no matter what layout you choose.

Keep an open mind when updating your user experience

If you’re open to creative ideas, you’re going to get something custom that will make your brand stand out. But it can be hard to come to the table with an open mind, when you’re attached to the existing aesthetic and branding for your business.

Rest assured, moving forward will benefit any business in the long run. It’s all about getting the right product that’s best for your customers.  

Elements_LtBlue_Arrow7Want to learn more about user experience? Check out our Marketers’ guide to UX:

UX eBook email explains design principles to marketers.

James Weagle is Brafton's UX/Graphic Designer. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Graphic Design, with a concentration in Print Design, at Johnson & Wales University. He has a strong background in branding and web design and is a total sucker for beautiful packaging. Outside of the realm of design, he enjoys writing music, drinking craft beer and taking long walks (with the hope of finding dogs on passersby).