Now that business is becoming more digitized, it's becoming more and more necessary to have a good website to bring in business. In fact, 71% of small businesses have websites.

If you don't have one, or you do and it's out-of-date, it can actually be harming your business. The majority of consumers research and find brands through the internet, and if you don't make it easy for them, they'll go somewhere else.

Read on to find out 7 web design essentials to help refresh your website.

1. Get Rid of 404s

There's nothing more frustrating than finding an interesting company, clicking on their webpages, and finding broken links everywhere. Not only does it look unprofessional, but it can also cause your prospects to look elsewhere for a website that's easier to navigate.

Also, you may have broken links for pages that used to perform well. This means as soon as it's gone dark, you may have potentially turned away a significant amount of interested customers.

Get on finding broken links and 404s so you can fix them pronto. As soon as you do, you may see an increase in traffic already.

2. Add Videos

When someone is looking for a product or service, they like to investigate the brands they're interested in first. While most company websites just have plain text about themselves, why not use some videos to spice things up?

Videos are a great way to communicate a large amount of information in a short span of time, which is perfect for customers who don't want to spend hours doing research. Short videos can give them a good idea of what your company's like and if your values align with theirs.

If you have a hard-to-understand product, such as a data management platform, you can also create a short video to make it interesting and easier to digest. When people understand your products and services better, it's more likely they'll convert.

3. Don't Use Stock Images

It may seem more professional to use stock images men in business suits, sitting around in a swanky meeting room. But the average person can tell when they're looking at a stock photo, and it doesn't add any value to your website.

Instead, you should consider using photos of your office and employees. Hire a professional photographer to come for a day to not only get headshots of everyone, but to also take some action shots of people working at their desks, having meetings, eating lunch, and having a chat with coffee. If you have tangible products and services, you can also photograph your employees using those things.

When you use these types of images on your site, it helps you connect with your customers better by showing your company's personality. In addition to connecting better with your customers, you'll also connect with the right customers; you'll get much better ROI for your marketing with hotter leads.

4. Use Calls to Action

They may not seem like much, but calls to action pack a punch. Think about it: when your visitors read a page and get to the end, what do they do? They ponder what to do next, which may include clicking off your site.

If you have a clear call to action (CTA) on each page, especially the bottoms, you can direct visitors to more helpful pages and keep them on your website for longer. Make sure you vary your CTAs so you not only encourage them to get in touch with you, but also check out your other resources that may be beneficial to them.

5. Utilize SEO

You can have a well-designed website, but it's not going to mean a thing if no one visits it. One of the most important things you need to utilize is SEO, or search engine optimization.

SEO specialists can help to do heavy research on what your potential customers are searching for on the internet. You can center your content around those keywords so your website will rank higher on search engines.

There was a time where the more frequently you used keywords, the better your website ranked. But those times are now gone, and you can actually be penalized for using this practice, also known as "keyword stuffing." Since there are so many nuances to SEO, it's best to work with a specialist to get the best results possible.

6. Use Only Relevant Content

Get rid of out of date stuff

If you work with a website development partner, they'll help to ensure your content stays fresh at all times. For example, we at Optuno will update your content monthly, and we have a 24-hour response time so you get things taken care of promptly.

7. Add Social Share Buttons

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get your brand known, and today, word of mouth is done through social media. Make things easier for your fans by including social share buttons on your pages.

It may not take much effort for users to copy the link and paste it on their platform of choice, but any steps eliminated is a win for them. When you enable sharing with literally one click of a button, you'll see your conversion rates skyrocket.

Use These Design Essentials to Upgrade Your Website

By using our 7 tips for design essentials, you'll be able to give your website a facelift and get more traffic in. It may not seem like much, but even a small tweak can make all the difference.

Because minor changes can either help or hurt your traffic, Make sure you work with a good web designer. That way, they can help you achieve what you want and give sound advice on what they've seen work and fail.

If you need help building your website, then take a look at our plans and prices now.