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Web design is best kept simple
The world’s most effective websites are easy to look at and easy to navigate. Take Google.com for instance, or the Twitter homepage. Successful websites achieve an appropriate balance between style and function.
Take notice of the web designs you like
No doubt you can think of one or two websites you find visually pleasing. Next time you visit one of those sites take a moment to identify what you really like about it. Is the site design ‘clean’? Does the colour scheme make sense? What do you notice about how the colours make you feel? What type of fonts are used for the headings? Is the paragraph font clear and easy to read? Which part of the screen are your eyes drawn to first, or most often?
Now, make a list of your direct competitors. Have a look at their websites and take note of what you like, and what you don’t. This exercise can produce some very useful data.
There is a lot to consider.
Maybe you’re a designer too!
What about building your own website? Realistically that may be a good option when you start a small business. Services like Weebly, Squarespace, and Wix make it easy to get a simple website up and running. You will usually pay a monthly subscription fee and you can avoid the upfront costs of having a site designed and hosted.
Keep in mind that websites don’t just need to look good, they also need to satisfy a bunch of technical and regulatory requirements. So, building your own website will get you online but as your business grows it may be wise to enlist the services of a professional web development business… like us!
What about SEO?
Sometimes it’s necessary to choose between aesthetics and performance and your friendly neighbourhood web designer should know that. An awesome website will not only look great but will perform well too.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is right at the top of the list of important website performance factors. The four key pillars of SEO are:
- Technical SEO
Search engines like Google need to be able to find, crawl, and index your website. You need to have the right files and code snippets to instruct search ‘bots’ on how you would like them to do that. Other considerations for technical SEO relate to website structure, speed performance metrics, page load speed, and general responsiveness across multiple device types. Generally speaking, this aspect of web development is best left to a professional.
- Content SEO
Content is always, always king. It is the core consideration when it comes to SEO. Your content needs to be high-quality, relevant, recent, and structured appropriately. You need to get this right. If you need help consider booking a consult with a local expert so you can pick their brains.
- On-page SEO
This is all about crossing ‘t’s’ and dotting ‘i’s’ – the little things that make a big difference. Make sure all images have ‘alt’ tags. Get your heading tags in order from h1 to h6, and ensure every page has at least an h1 tag. Give each page a meta title and description that includes your focus keyword.
- Off-page SEO
When other websites link to your site that is another positive indicator to search engines that your site is a trusted authority and this can boost your search ranking. This is called ‘backlinking’ and it’s worth looking into. Be careful though, because if the wrong website contains links to your site it can actually have a negative effect.
Before you hire a professional for website design and web development, make sure you understand these four essential elements of SEO. That way you will be in a position to assess whether or not potential designers adequately understand them.
Honestly, this stuff is so, so important.
It boils down to this
There’s no point spending time and money attracting visitors to a website that is slow to load or doesn’t work properly. Nothing says ‘unprofessional’ quite like a website with links that don’t work, or pages that load an error message. That’s no way to deliver a positive user experience.
It’s important to select the best web design option for you and your business. Your business is unique and your online presence should present your brand in the best possible light. Effective websites are attractive, easy to navigate, and search-friendly. They are easy to use and everything works. We have a history of delivering exactly that.
Our flexible range of services can help you improve the way you present yourself and your business online. In addition to website design and web development, our services include: