Let’s take a quick look at the basics you’ll need for good web design. Eye-grabbing front page? Check. Clear sitemap and clickable links? Check. Secure shopping cart? Check. Optimised killer content, great subject lines, meta-tags, key word inclusion, link juice?…um…hang on, where did that lot come from?
Creating a website that gives you maximum profile exposure, brings in new and sustainable business and pushes you up the page rankings isn’t just a matter of creating a home page that looks pretty. Web design is the sum of many parts, many of which you may never have come across before. Don’t underestimate the importance of your web profile – it is now mission critical for any business that wants to succeed to have a website that will beat the competition hands down. And to do that you need much more than just good aesthetics.
Web design that works
Your web design has to work, and work hard. It has a job to do, and that job is drawing in business as well as pushing you up the search engine and in particular the Google rankings. Optimisation is now a key element of web design, and without it you may just have a very attractive website that’s doing zero business.
So before you start, take a look at your rivals, the ones who are pulling in the customers, who are on page one of Google and who have a site filled with great content, plenty of juice through strong, inbound links and a strong web profile. What are they doing right? They’re optimising, of course. They’re making every element of their website design work as hard as it possibly can, from the visual content right through to the blog links, the link to their Twitter account and all the other social media elements that go into making a successful website. The content is engaging, fresh and regularly updated to keep visitors interested. It’s clearly laid out, gently guiding every visitor to the desired end result – the shopping cart. There are strong calls to action on every page, the pictures are relevant to the content and there’s probably very little of that annoying Flash that takes forever to download and encourages visitors to bounce.
What is your web design saying about you?
Your website is the world’s window on your business. And those who take a look in are tough to impress. So what is your website design saying about your business? Is it telling visitors that you’re serious about business, that you can be trusted and that you take a professional approach to everything you do, including your website design? Or is it giving them the impression that you’re a ‘newbie’, trying things out to see if they work? A poorly designed website faces some stiff competition. As of November 2009 there were two TRILLION websites and unique URLs registered on the Internet. Even in niche markets, that equates to a lot of competition. If your web design isn’t optimised to go up against all this competition, then you’re going to get buried under an avalanche of sites that are working. So if that frightening statistic has scared you off creating your own website, talk to a professional web design agency that can help you optimise every available opportunity. It’s a tough virtual world out there. Make sure you’re ready for it and make sure your website is too.