Great web design is essential for connecting with your clients and expanding your brand. Leave it to the NFL to show the rest of us how it’s done. The league’s teams depend on community involvement and drumming up excitement for their games, and their websites all reflect that. Businesses that are trying to build their customer base and promote brand loyalty (which should be all businesses) can really learn a thing or two from the NFL.
Here are a few ways that the NFL and its teams are using great web design to improve the user experience:
Exciting, Vibrant Design
When you look at the page of just about any NFL team, there is as much excitement leaping off the screen as you would find at any game. The sites instantly pull you in not only with their huge, colorful photographs of the players in action but also with their vibrant design, including large graphics, eye-catching colors, and appropriate fonts. Everything works together — just like the team in action.
Before visitors ever have a chance to read your content, they will see your design. They will make a decision to stay on your site or leave in a split second, and that decision is entirely influenced by design. Make your design eye-catching and appropriate for your brand, and you’ll grab your visitors every time.
Featured Items are Front and Center
Taking up a huge part of the screen when you visit any NFL site is a featured item, such as information about the current game, a reminder about a current Fantasy Football contest, or videos from the latest game recaps. Visitors don’t have to search for the latest or most exciting information when they open the site. It is the very first thing they see.
Placing featured items like this on your site not only makes it easy for visitors to find the most interesting information, but it also keeps your website fresh and exciting. Visitors won’t see the same thing every time they open your site. They will know that they have reason to visit again and again.
Community Involvement is Emphasized
Football is all about the fandom, and NFL sites are designed to encourage that community involvement. The site doesn’t just sell the games or the team to visitors, but encourages them to get involved. There are featured popups inviting people to join the community forums, invites to participate in fantasy football leagues, and more.
By encouraging community, you encourage brand loyalty and return visits to your site. That’s something that can benefit every business.
Ads are Minimized
Many businesses need to sell ads to raise revenue, but these ads can be intrusive and undermine the user experience if they are not placed properly. NFL sites have plenty of advertising on them, but they are minimized so they do not detract from the featured information. Small “Sponsored by xxx” notes are located next to content, or sponsor logos are placed discreetly next to menu items. Sponsors still get the exposure they want, but users are not inundated with ads that take away from their enjoyment of the site.
Site Navigation is Easy
Besides putting all the important information right on the front page in a featured position, NFL websites also excel at making information easy to find by creating user-friendly navigation. The extensive menus help users find whatever they want. Sidebars are used to supplement menus, such as to showcase the latest news or game schedule. The sites may be filled with information, but it is organized in such a way that users can always find what they need quickly.
By improving site navigation, you can reduce bounce rates and lengthen the time that visitors stay on your site. That will not only improve your page rank, but will also encourage customer loyalty.
You don’t have to be a sports pro to create a great website, but you can certainly learn a lot from them.
Of course, if you’re a football fanatic, you can also visit these sites to enhance your game experience and enjoy your love for the team even more. Click here for more info on the Sunday Ticket and get your game schedule set.