Building a Youth Sports Website: All Things Design and Layout
By Melissa Wickes
February 24, 2022
Once you’ve determined the audience for your youth sports website and what you’re trying to accomplish, (and if you haven’t done that yet, go back and read this!), you can think about what you want your website to look like.
Finally, the fun begins!
Design and layout are crucial to your youth sports website—they help your customers navigate through programs and registration seamlessly and allow your brand to be recognizable. Give your website the unique look and feel that truly captures your brand while keeping your customers on task by using this guide.
With virtually (pun intended) everything going online, you surely have a collection of websites that you love to use, and a fair share of those you don’t. (Not pointing any fingers, but have you ever tried using a government-run online portal?)
Whether you’re signing your kid up for a youth sports program, checking out at an online store, or trying to pay a bill online, the seamlessness of the online experience is important—and it can mean the difference between a customer returning—or not.
Using a clean layout—one that is simple to navigate and easy on the eyes—is always your best bet. Reference this checklist when designing the layout of your website:
- Keep the layout clean. Research shows simpler designs are better. They’re easier to scan, more accessible, less salesy, load faster, and so much more. Clean up your layout by removing chunky, unnecessary features and focus on simple shapes and white space.
- Use complementary colors. The colors on your website should be consistent with your logos and other branding materials, but be sure you also pay attention to colors that complement one another for things such as backgrounds, fonts, and headers.
- The value of white space. White space is just that—space that is white that allows a visitor’s eyes to be drawn to the important information on your website, increasing the likelihood that they’ll interact with something. It declutters your information and improves the overall flow of your youth sports website. A crowded website does no organization any favors.
If someone is new to your website and learning about your organization for the first time, they’re going to want to know a little bit more about what you do. They may want to read an About page, get to know the staff, and see what programs you have to offer.
A website with strong, seamless navigation affects how highly Google will rank you, which affects how much traffic you get from search. Additionally, the easier your website is to use, the more likely your visitors will convert into leads and then customers.
Keep these tips in mind when creating navigation on your youth sports website:
- Be descriptive. “What we do” doesn’t actually tell visitors what you do. Descriptive navigation that uses keyphrases, such as “volleyball camps in [city],” is better for SEO and conversions. Read more about SEO for your youth sports program’s website.
- Avoid format-based navigation. Navigation labels such as “resources” and “programs” won’t tell your visitors the exact kind of resources and programs they’ll find on your website. Get specific and provide answers to the kinds of questions your customers would ask—like “lodging recommendations” or “baseball coaches.”
- Limit the number of menu items. Don’t overwhelm your visitors (or Google!). Limiting the number of links in your main navigation bar is better for search engines and better for your potential customers.
- The order of your website navigation is important. Just like with any other list, items at the beginning and end are most effective because this is where attention is highest. It’s called the serial position effect. Put the links you want to get the most clicks (ehhhem, your programs?!) at the beginning or end of your list.
- Mobile optimization reigns supreme. Two words: Hamburger Icon. In other words, the menu icon made up of three horizontal lines. It’s called a hamburger. Put that baby in the top right of your mobile website for revealing your navigation menu. It works well on mobile devices, too.
- Add a search bar. Having the ability to search for exactly what you’re looking for is crucial on a website, especially one you’re new too. Hint: keep this search bar functionality in mind when you’re choosing navigation labels.
Read more about creating your youth sports website’s navigation here.
Other Things Your Youth Sports Website Should Have
Visuals keep your visitors engaged, hence moving them through the buying process. However, that doesn’t mean just any visuals will do. Keep your visual content simple, seasonal, and consistently updated.
Here are some examples of youth sports websites from our partners that have done this particularly well:
Read also: Tips for creating video content to promote your youth sports organization.
Logos that Click Back to Your Home Page
It may seem like a trivial detail, but having your logo click back to your home page serves as a way to get your visitors back in an instant—no matter what page they’re on.
Social proof are things such as star reviews, upvotes, and share metrics. These will all help your visitors believe that your organization is popular, and therefore credible.
See below for two pages from Orbit Media that show one with supportive evidence and one without.
It’s no secret that social media is important when it comes to growing your brand. While social media icons may not be best in your navigation (remember: keep it clean), including a footer with social media connections can be a better option.
Learn more about building your social strategy here.
Are you ready to start designing an amazing youth sports website? Connect with the LeagueApps Design Shop today to get started on designing a youth sports website that will get you conversions.
In 2021,125 LeagueApps partners revamped their brands with new custom websites. Our professional designers can help you bring your program’s brand vision to life by way of a stunning online experience.