Web Design Success Guide


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Effective Web Design

Effective web design is vital for business today. In fact, data suggests that 88 percent of consumers research purchases online before buying – that means your website better be compelling, easy to navigate, and offer the information consumers need so you’ll be at the top of their list!

The Importance of a Well-Built Website

In today’s online landscape, a website does much more than reinforce your company’s credibility. It serves as an educational guide for your potential customers, helping to answer their questions and clearly steer them towards what they came to learn. A well-designed website makes customer interaction simple and effective.

Your website must present your products and services to the world in an attractive way and draw your customer base in to purchase from you, not your competitors. Plus, it has to successfully offer this information to your potential customers across a wide range of devices.

Good web design and development can even impact the SEO of your website – a poorly designed website might not even be found by customers in the first place. If they do happen to stumble upon a messy website and can’t quickly find the information they need, conversions are unlikely to occur.

The Professional Touch

People form an opinion on your website’s design in only 0.05 seconds. You don’t have time to waste on bad design!  

There's a lot to consider when building a website, but don’t panic! It can be done! A professionally designed and developed website ensures that your site does everything you need it to do – and does it well.

It may be tempting to find a quick fix instead of a professionally designed and developed website. But when you hire a professional website designer to work on your site from the beginning, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble. If there are any mistakes, you have someone on your side to fix them quickly and squash any bugs that come along.

Professionally designed and developed websites offer a unique, custom site that showcases the best aspects of your brand – with no distracting glitches or unattractive design elements. Every website we create is designed around the client's unique business goals, using inbound marketing strategies and specialized tools like the psychology of color and influence.

Web Design & SEO

When you’re investing the time and money in a new website for your company, you want to make sure that your potential customers can see that beautiful new website – that's where great content and Search Engine Optimization come in!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital part of your website content strategy. Good SEO means better search engine rankings, more website traffic, more phone calls, and more leads – all things you want for your business.

There are multiple factors to consider when designing or redesigning a website that will impact the website’s future SEO potential including:

  • Technical implementation – or how it’s created
  • Website content – or what you put on your website and how you organize it
  • UI/UX - or how well your design supports and enhances the user experience

Technical Implementation

First things first – it's important to make sure that your new website is hosted on an SEO-focused platform. There are several such platforms that professional web designers prefer – such as WordPress or HubSpot. They have features that make implementation of technical SEO elements easier for everyone who needs to get into the website and edit them.

SEO-friendly platforms like WordPress simplify elements like your permalink structure, creating meta descriptions, and optimizing your images in ways that will help search engines find what they’re looking for with ease.

If you’re not sure what to look for in a web platform, start with what you don't want. We recommend you avoid any platform with the following red flags:

  • An "old school" HTML site that has to be built with a desktop publisher (think Dreamweaver)
  • Anything that isn't a CMS (Content Management System)
  • An unknown proprietary CMS custom built by a local company (what happens if their business collapses?)
  • A brand-new platform you saw on TV or a Facebook ad recently and just had to try. It's one thing to test out new technology for yourself, but it's quite another to trust it with your company's next website.

 

The Structure

It’s just as important that you maintain a strong structure within your web page. Heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) help show search engines the hierarchy in a document – which content belongs under which hat and in what order. Remember that these headings should follow a visual hierarchy as well, making your most important header, your H1, the biggest text element on the page. This design helps your content and design work together in a way that helps your readers.

The text found in these heading tags does correlate with rankings, but where good website structure really makes a difference in SEO is when those headings help users find what they’re hunting on your website. In other words, if your content, page titles, and meta description are neatly organized, they help users – and helping users is the main interest of search engines.

In addition, your link structure across your site is going to make an impact on your SEO. Make sure you set up an SEO-friendly URL structure for your site. A structure that search engines and users are going to find helpful will make it easy to understand what the page is about by reading the URL, includes keywords, and has a consistent, logical structure from page to page.

What exactly that means to your site will vary – make sure you have data to back up your keyword choices and the structure for your URLs that you’ll use throughout the site.

Website Content

Your first step to great content is knowing your most valuable content. When you’re optimizing your content for SEO, you need to know which of your existing pages get the most traffic. The history of a page is important in search rankings, so it’s good to have a plan for getting more traffic to those higher-performing pages.

But don’t expect those top pages to carry your whole website – you need an SEO plan for every page on your website! And your homepage is a good place to start.

Writing SEO-friendly home page content is vital because it’s indexed the most often by search engines. On most websites, the home page content welcomes visitors and offers an “orienting” message of some kind. It needs to inform visitors about where they are or affirm that they’ve come to the right place. It also needs to guide them to take the next action – for example, visit another page, read blog posts, or view your products or services.

That’s a lot of pressure to put on one page! But there are some important aspects where you should direct your energy first. These rules apply to all the other pages of your website too, once you’re feeling comfortable with the SEO work you’ve done on your home page.

Quality Matters

The headline is much more likely to be read than the rest of your copy – and it carries a lot of the SEO weight for your page. Focusing your time on crafting a great H1 will help your users and boost your standing in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

When you move on to the rest of the copy on your site, make sure your copy sounds natural and authentic. As you probably know, emotions drive most consumer decisions, so it’s important to really connect with your consumers if you want to make sales.

Finally, link to the pages you want people to visit in your homepage copy. This both helps people figure out where to go next and helps boost your link score for both the home page and the pages you’re linking to. Like all good SEO copy strategy, it benefits the humans who are visiting your site and tells search engines that you’re a valuable resource on the topics you’re covering.

User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)

Visitors take as little as 1/10th of a second to form an opinion of your website.

That can be pretty intimidating, but if you have an awesome website, they’ll be sticking around a lot longer than that. So, here’s how to make sure your website is clean, functional, and cool as hell.

UI – User Interface Design

UI, at the most basic level, is what users interact with on your website. Screens, pages, buttons, icons, etc. are all a part of UI.

Form is an important part of IU Design - the way your website looks can make a very powerful first impression of your business, so make sure you use that impression to your advantage.

What are some important aspects of good UI Design?

  • Easy navigation
  • Smooth transitions
  • Convenience 

UX – User Experience Design

UX refers to the internal processes that happen after someone has interacted with a UI element. For example, once someone has clicked a button on your site (interacted with UI), the button will take the user where they want to go.

The button going to the correct place and the site being structured in such a way that the button was easy to find and click fall under UX.

First, good UX is findable. If no one can find your website, no one is going to use it at all. Once someone finds your website, it needs to be useable – broken links and other issues will keep people from visiting again. Finally, good UX takes users to credible information. If users can't trust the information you're giving them, they're unlikely to return to your site.  

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