How Web Design Impacts Your Business: Design Best Practices

The truth of the matter is that web design is a very broad topic. What makes for a great designed website?

Should your website be cutting edge, innovative, with the latest graphics? Or should you focus on the basics and stick to a more text based, easy to read website?

Most web visitors decide what the think of the business, the trustworthiness of the business, based on the look and feel of the website.

So the main takeaway here is that design is important.

An interesting point about the visitors, or consumer to your site, is that they can not tell you what a good website is or what it feels like. But your customer can tell you what a bad website experience is like because it leaves them frustrated and confused. We have all been to sites that made us feel like this or worse, made us feel agitated or angry.

In this article we are going to give you some good pointers about internet standards, where to put your contact info, and how to use social media icons, as well as basic principles that can often be overlooked.

1. The Importance of Branding

Just like in the real world branding matters. It gives folks an unconscious image of your business in their mind. You need to be consistent with your branding. And this consistency need to be across the internet, not just on your website. Actually your branding needs to be consistent across all forms of media.

The guys that run Web Design Pearl White Media told us that this basically means that you need to use the same logo across the website and social media, the same slogans, and even the same imagery. What do we mean by imagery?

Basically, if you are a doctor and there is a picture of you wearing a doctor white coat and a stethoscope on the homepage of your website, then you also need to have “doctors clothes” on in the rest of the images on your site, as well as these similar images on social media.

Also, now this is a bit harder, you want to use the same typography if you can. The same font, saying your same slogans, with the same imagery, helps to get your story planted in your customers mind. It builds trust as well.

2. Mobile Friendly Is A Must!

We doubt this will come as a surprise to you, you are probably reading this article on a mobile device right now, but it is absolutely critical that your website is mobile friendly. It has to not only look good on a mobile device, it has to be easy to use. This is often easier said than done due to the limitations of the small screen size on mobile devices like phones and iPads.

If you site is not mobile friendly, any visits you get will immediately leave your site. This is known as “bouncing”. And search engines keep track of your bounce rate. You do not want a high bounce rate.

You have to be mobile friendly, it is not optional. You can go to Google’s website here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly and test your site to see if you pass the mobile friendly test.

The good thing is that most websites are responsive. This means that the website will slightly alter it’s composition to fit the size of the screen it is being displayed on. This is a great option that works, but you still need to test your site to make sure.

Here’s a good article if you want to learn more about this.

3. Intuitive Navigation

Intuitive is another way of saying simple, and easy to use. You want your visitors to be able to quickly find the information they are looking for.

How can you do this? Start with making the most important pages on your site, the easiest to find, or navigate to from the homepage.

Place the navigation bar to your site at the top of the page. This is the most popular way to do it. A horizontal top level navigation bar is basic, standard even, and everyone is familiar with this layout.

Give your most important pages links on the main navigation. An example of this would be a “Services” page.

Make sure that your contact info is in the top right corner of your homepage. English readers read left to right, they expect for important contact information to be on the top right, so make sure that you do this.

Search bars can be helpful if you have a larger website. You don’t really need one if you are a small local business like a roofer or a chiropractor, unless you have a blog that has a lot of resourceful information in the posts.

Breadcrumb navigators can also be useful. This one is up to you. You might want to test how breadcrumbs to see if you like them, and to see if your visitors use them. Breadcrumbs are a simple way of showing you where you are in the website, or how many clicks you are from the homepage.

Breadcrumbs are not a “must have”, they are a “up to you” decision.
These are some of the basics of design. You probably didn’t learn anything earth shattering. But the thing is, so many people and business skip the basics. They don’t worry about the basics because they are too basic! Lol.

Then they wonder why they have a high bounce rate and it’s because their website is too fancy and no one can understand it.

Start with a simple site, follow the basics, then you can add on more complicated features as you see fit.

SEO: SEO Company Describes Basics of Search Engines

Search Engine Optmisation, also known as SEO comes in many forms. The basics of it is someone that knows how to apply a specific set of techniques to a website in order for a search engine, the most important one is Google, to better understand the website, and therefor rank it higher in searches.

What Exactly Is A Search Engine?

I reached out to some experts that provide SEO services and this is what they told me.

A search engine such as Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo is simply a database that indexes many different pages of many different websites all across the internet.  The the search engine has an algorithm, which is basically just an equation, or many different equations, that try to match up the search that is entered with all the different webpages that are indexed in it’s database, to bring back the ones that are most relevant and useful to the searcher.

It is not as easy as it sounds.  Google is the dominant search engine that has the most web users.  Although many say that Bing and DuckDuckGo provide better search results, Google is entrenched in the mind of the user.  It has a dominant business moat.

Importance of First Page Ranking

Search Engine Optimisation is all about getting on the first page of the search results.  So what is a search result.  Well, if you search for “dog collars”, there may be 1,200 different dog collars available for purchase, but there is only room on the first page of the search results for ten listings.

The ideas is that you get a page on your website to show up in the first ten results, so it appears on the first page of the search results.  This is important because nine out of ten people that search for “dog collar” are not going to click to the results on the second page.

The want a quick and easy result, so they will pick something on the first page.  And all the other 1,190 dog collars never get seen.  What is more is that the higher your website appears on the first page, the more visitors you get.

It is for the same reason that no one goes to the second page, it is because everyone wants the quick easy answer.  Instead of scrolling down to the bottom of the results, the search will usually pick one of the first results they see.

The number one results usually gets about 40 percent of the clicks, the number two result gets about 15 percent and the numbers just drop off from there.

That is the most basic value of the search engine optimization.  If you show up higher for “dog collars” you will sell more.  The higher search results are more valuable.

What You Can Do: DIY SEO

Now that you know what SEO is and why it is so important, you can go an implement the basics on your website.

For the average website owner, you will want to focus on the basics of On-page Optmisation.

The first thing you want to fix is your website title.  If you are an attorney and your practice name is Bob Parson Law and you specialize in family law, you need to get that on your homepage website title.

An example might be: Family Lawyer | Bob Parson Law.  It is important to try to fit your keyword into your website title.

Next up is to have clean or pretty URL’s.  To understand a pretty or clean URL, let’s start with a bad one.  Here is an example of a bad URL yourwebsite.com/p4{?=456.  That doesn’t give you any useful info.

Here is a good or clean URL yourwebsite.com/family-law-services/.

Easy to see the difference right? We can get some info about the inner page from the pretty URL.  The inner page is almost guaranteed to have information about “family law services”.

This is one of the instances where what’s good for a human is also good for a machine.  Even a machine, a search engine, will better understand a clean URL.  It just give more information.

Something very similar to clean URL’s are image file names.  By default an image file name may look something like this IMG_20190311_093704135.jpg.

What the heck is that?  That file name tells us nothing about the image.  You see how it is the same problem with the bad URL’s?

You want to rename the image file to something that describes the picture and that should match the overall theme of your web page in general.  It this case a better name for the image would be small-dark-wood-coffee-table.jpg.

Much better right?  Now a search engine would know a lot more useful information about the .Jpg image.

H Tags For SEO

H tags, also known as Heading tags, are also important to make it easier for a machine like Google to understand your webpage.  The H tag above for the heading “H Tags For SEO” is an H4.

A good general rule of thumb for H tags is to only use one H1 per page, then you can use multiple H2’s, H3’s, etc.  To learn more about H tags, as well as a bunch of other useful “how to build a website” type of stuff, definitely go and check out W3 Schools https://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_hn.asp , they have a ton of useful info on that site.

Those are the basics of search engine optimisation.  Sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo can bring a lot of traffic and customers to your website and it’s good to understand how they work.

And as a website owner, it will benefit you greatly to learn the basics of On-page optimization.  But you really don’t need to learn any more than that because then it gets very obscure and confusing.

 

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