These days, you can launch a website in a few hours. That said, there’s a big difference between creating a website and creating an optimized website design. It takes less than a second for visitors to decide to stay on your website or bounce off. Design impacts credibility, conversions, and ultimately is the determining factor that makes your site a success — or not. Here are several main areas to pay attention to as you’re optimizing your website.

1. Align Your Color Scheme and Branding Strategy

When considering web design best practices for your site, color scheme and branding strategy are crucial. Think of iconic brands like Starbucks and Apple. Immediately, their colors come to mind — and you find those colors on every page of their sites. If you have a great logo, make sure your website follows suit. Consistency in your color scheme and branding minimizes confusion and reinforces a strong image.

2. Focus on Showing Instead of Telling

You can get your message out in few words if you focus on showing instead of only telling. High-quality, high-resolution images of your products (and services) are a striking and eloquent way to get your point across. Visuals also effectively break up written content, providing space and “breathing room.” They also bolster your brand identity. Create and choose your images with care.

3. Keep Text Spare

Refrain from filling your pages with huge blocks of text. While it’s a good idea for blog posts to be on the longer side, keep other pages spare text-wise. Certainly, it’s important that you tell your visitors about you, your brand, your company, and your products/services. Learn how to tell your story in a few well-crafted sentences. Sentences are easier to read if they’re short. Bring in some variety by mixing up longer and shorter sentences and paragraph breaks.

4. Keep Navigation Simple

Web design best practices require that navigation be simple. It should be easy for potential customers to find what they’re looking for. Imagine yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer, and go through your site. If you hit some bumps, it’s time to re-work. Ask others to do it, too. Regarding menu options, the fewer, the better. The less time elapses between when a visitor reaches your site and a decision point, the more likelihood of conversion.

Designing a high-converting website requires attention to several key elements. Keep these ideas in mind as you develop your online presence.