3 Massively Important Elements of Web Site Design

When we talk about web design, many people mistake it for something else. They think web site design is the same as web development. It’s not. Development is the process of writing and refining the code that makes a web site function in the way that it does.

In the context of creating and producing a web site, design carries a far broader meaning. It can mean layout, colour, typography, the content area, images, social media integration and so on. This can be confusing to many people, so a good way to remember is a web designer is like a decorator and a developer is like a house builder. One person has to design and decorate the house and a different person has to builds it. Thinking about it in this way is far easier to remember.

In this article we’ll discuss three major web design elements and explain why making them work together helps create a strong, coherent website that appeals to its visitors and offers them a positive browsing experience.

Central to any truly high-quality site are strong writing and editorial skills. The visual elements of a web site are important, but even the most professionally designed, beautiful site can be undone by bad writing and ineffective, poorly edited copy.

Good web site design must include professional copy writing and editing. Content that informs, persuades and calls a visitor to action is invaluable for online success.

Given that visual presentation forms such a huge part of the web browsing experience, graphic design is obviously another significant part of a strong website. Good-quality graphic design revolves around a deep understanding of spacing, grouping, proportion, balance, imagery, contrast and colour.

When paired with creative, dynamic copy, striking and original graphic design can really add style and substance to a site’s appearance, lifting it from being just another page a visitor skims past to one they find engaging and appealing.

A good web site design should also inherently lend itself to quick, effective search engine optimisation. From code to copy, call-to-action to “contact us”, a site must demonstrate to search engine spiders that it is genuine, fresh and relevant to what users are looking for.

Well-written, carefully chosen words, creative, intelligent graphic design and images and search engine-friendly code and content. These are just a few factors in good web site design. But done right, they can do good things for traffic, bounce rates and overall user experience.

How Marketing Consultants Can Make the Difference In Your Web Design Project

Web design is an integral part of a modern marketing campaign. The quality of the design and coding work done on your website is incredibly important, as a DIY website simply cannot compete with a professionally created online presence. Even if the aesthetics were equal, which is unlikely, a professionally designed and well built website will always outperform a homegrown page because of the tremendous amount of coding and back-end work that goes into doing it right.

Often, small business owners turn to web designers for help getting started, only to find that they don’t “speak the language” of web design, and this leaves them unsure of what to ask for, how to answer the web designer’s questions, and whether they’re truly getting a good deal. This is where a reliable marketing consultant comes in. By hiring a marketing consultant, business owners benefit from having an advisor and liaison who can translate the web design lingo, leverage their standing professional relationships for better pricing, and handle the day-to-day issues that arise during web development work so that you as the business owner can focus on your business, not your website.

Marketing consultants are sometimes freelancers, but they are just as often team members working for advertising agencies. If you’re working with an independent web designer and have hired an advertising agency, they will fill this role for you and handle the minutiae, bringing you in periodically for the bigger decisions. Even then, a knowledgeable marketing consultant will narrow down two or four dozen options to an easily navigable top five, for example, explain the choices at hand, and make recommendations as to a path forward.

Alternatively, small business owners sometimes hire advertising agencies or marketing consultants first, letting these companies bring in their own team members or freelancers for web design. Regardless of how the situation comes about, in addition to helping you navigate the waters of a web design project, an advertising agency and/or web consultant will bring one other major component to the table: cohesiveness.

When building a website, it’s important to understand that while web development often seems to occur in a vacuum, it truly should not. Websites are key parts in a comprehensive marketing campaign that should typically integrate Internet and traditional marketing elements. Therefore, a great website is of even more value when it is the main piece in a large puzzle rather than a separate entity that does not align with the remaining pieces. That is, if a customer has been to your brick-and-mortar shop or has seen your TV, print, Internet, or direct mail advertisements and then visits your website, the branding should be consistent across all of those platforms. The site should immediately be identifiable as part of the whole, and that only happens when your web consultant and/or your advertising agency is intimately involved in your entire website design project.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that web design projects are often bid without regard to content, which you’ll be expected to provide as the business owner. The right advertising agency or marketing consultant will have staff or freelancers who can provide solid, clean, engaging content that also addresses your needs for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) while ensuring that your branding and messaging remains cohesive across all platforms.

Why You Should Update Your Web Design Before You Even Think About SEO

There’s lots of talk these days about ensuring your website is optimized for search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting online traffic directed toward your website through web searches and it involves a series of individual pieces of content and settings that catch the attention of search engines like Google and Bing.

The more people who find your website through online searches for words and phrases related to your industry, the more opportunities you will have to connect with clients and grow your client base.

But there’s one critical point to remember before you even consider implementing updated SEO tactics: if you optimize an outdated or confusing website, your potential clients will simply take one quick look at your shabby site and then move onto the next-your competitor.

Today’s web user is savvier than ever. Though web design standards are constantly evolving, the sheer amount of online data and other user interfaces (like our cable or satellite TV navigation menus, our smartphone interaction, and our desktop computer use) has set a standard for look, feel and usability that is now common for today’s consumer.

To invest in SEO without an attractive updated site is like investing in a new driveway for a house that is sagging under the decay of termites. Neighbors might see it from the sidewalk, but will not want to go near it.

Here are five reasons you should consider combining your SEO objectives with a web design update.

Web Design is Critical

A website can rank for every important targeted keyword phrase but if web visitors are being directed to an outdated, unintuitive website, all SEO tactics will be implemented in vain.

Conversion is Lead Generation

Once a visitor finds your website through a search engine and lands on the website, conversion tools (guides and white papers that require form completion to access) will help your website become a client gateway. If there is nothing on your website to capture contact information from potential clients, you are wasting an opportunity for continued engagement.

Web Coding Matters

The back-end website programming code needs to be clean and easily crawlable by search engines before you spend any resources on SEO upgrades. Your website should adhere to the most current web standards by the Worldwide Web Consortium to ensure that your site’s code is SEO-friendly.

Economies of Scale

Employing a larger team of specialists all at once will be less costly than hiring a team of individual freelancers (SEO consultant, copywriter, web developer, web designer, etc.) and managing them on your own.

Holistic Approach

With one team working on a web marketing strategy “under one roof,” the team can work on your website using a proven, cohesive and coordinated strategy. Reputable web design companies consider every aspect of your business’ online needs while building, refreshing, or optimizing a website. Having a clear set of goals before the project begins will help save time on your web development and can make it easier to stay in budget.

If you’re unsure whether or not you should focus on immediate search engine optimization for your website, there are many quality web design companies who can review your site, check your current SEO settings, and determine whether search engine optimization alone is right for you at this time, or if you should consider a fully-integrated complete website design update.