When you’re launching a startup, you have a million things on your mind: how do you connect with customers, who will you use as suppliers, and how many employees do you need? Don’t let all those other necessities distract from your most powerful marketing tool: your website.

Check out these four website development tips that you can use to create an effective, engaging web presence for your potential customers.

1. Follow the Five-Second Rule

Man checking smart watch

According to landing page expert Oli Gardner, you only have five seconds to hook your visitors. In other words, if your prospect can’t understand who you are and what you do within five seconds of loading your website, he or she will skip off into the Internet void — and probably never come back.

How do you avoid falling victim to the five-second rule? You create a website that immediately engages and educates your audience. The design should communicate what you do and how you do it.  When your team is working on website development, focus the brainstorming around immediate engagement. Using graphics, text, and other elements, craft each page to clearly articulate its purpose so visitors don’t experience confusion or frustration.

2. Use Clean and Orderly Design

Over the last few years, businesses have slowly transitioned from creative and colorful websites to more minimalistic designs. Visitors are busy and easily distracted, so you don’t want too much visual clutter on the page to overwhelm them.

Leaving plenty of white space between elements and using a muted color palette can help you achieve this goal. Decide on a goal or purpose for each page of your website and avoid straying from that core concept. That way, visitors understand exactly what you’re trying to communicate — and they feel comfortable browsing your pages.

Colors palette

3. Guide Your Visitor

One of the easiest ways to boost your conversion rates and generate leads is to include a call to action on every page of your site. A call to action tells your visitor what action you want him or her to take next, whether it’s getting in touch with your firm via the contact page or purchasing a particular product.

Think of a call to action as a gentle nudge in the right direction. The user doesn’t have to click on the link, but you’re giving him or her the option. Try different phrases and designs to determine what combination works best for your CTA links.

4. Mix Up the Media

A text-based website might work well for your business or niche, but most websites are more effective when they include mixed media. Adding images, videos, infographics, and other visual elements can boost engagement levels and create more interest among your visitors. You don’t have to overdo it at first, but leave room in your design for other types of media as you create it.

If you’re not sure where to start with your web development project, we understand. It’s not easy getting a business up and running, especially if you have to worry about web design, too.  We break down for you the steps we use to create effective, future-proof designs.