Steve Jobs: Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.
How is web design done right?
A site that is designed right, is user-friendly and high converting. Condensing web design requirements to these two aspects of user experience and high conversion, isn’t that so limited? Well, we’ll concede a third aspect and that is SEO-friendly.
And believe us all web site design criteria stem from these three bases.
How? You will soon find out.
Let’s see what makes a website user friendly
Easy to find, relevant content is key
A crucial element of corporate marketing, web design cannot but focus on its core function of representing the business. All content needs to be relevant and organized in a manner that visitors can find easily what they are looking for; whether for information, education, online research about the business’ activities or looking to contact or even purchase from the company.
On the flip side, if your content is either not relevant or poorly organized, you are bound to disenchant visitors and lose potential customers. Given the time, money and thought involved in the making of your website, driving the traffic in the opposite direction of your work, because of poor content, is the least lucrative outcome that can easily be dodged.
Fresh and up to date content
Why would more and more visitors come to your site, unless they know they will find fresh and valuable content that is current and relevant? That gives you an opportunity to re-engage with old visitors and attract new visitors too. So, what are we waiting for, just do it.
Speed and reliability of the website
These aspects are paramount for great user experience. If anyone tries to visit your website and it is either not accessible or opens rather slow, frustrating the visitor, what does it say about user experience? Likewise, if a website visitor tries to access your website using a mobile phone and your website either does not render with user friendly controls for the phone interface, what happens? All these mean poor user experience and spell the doom for your website’s popularity and reach. Therefore responsive web design and a reliable hosting provider with the right server power is crucial. No, compromise there.
Security of the Website
Security goes a long way in establishing trust. What if someone is trying to access your website and encounters this?
Not only you lose trust, poor user experience does not let the customer revisit your site. Do not allow this on your website. Building trust is paramount for your business. Well, this is just one of the several issues that could affect your website. And if it is a business website, security needs to become a priority than a nice to have.
Make sure your web design company is capable of taking care of security in a comprehensive manner –
- Keeping software up to date to minimize vulnerabilities, implementing strong passwords / password policies and careful permissions to files read/ write / execute is just the beginning
- Regular backups and protection against malware is a must
- Security certificates establish the authenticity and identity of the website besides encrypting the data that is transferred in the transaction.
- Secure commercial transactions with an address verification and credit card verification system are a must have for Ecommerce enabled websites
- Reducing SQL injection gives data protection while cross site scripting vulnerabilities protects visitors from potential infections
- Protection against distributed denial of service attacks can be addressed with the web hosting service provider.
Let’s get the traffic and then worry about conversion, should we?
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a one the most effective tools in the arsenal of internet marketing. Yes, it is a kind of digital advertising. And it starts with optimizing the web site for searches. In order to do this, you need to make friends with the search engines; help them find your website, like your website, understand you and recognize you for your knowledge and your mettle.
How do you do this?
When a website is built, make sure it has all the wherewithal for on-page optimization. SEO friendly content organizing, markup and meta-data. Search engine optimization starts with keyword research for optimum traffic vis-à-vis competition. Here are the key points to check and to implement on-page SEO.
- Use the right key words in your title and meta-description
- Make content, both text or graphics understood by search engines for relevancy
- Check content for grammar and duplicate copy
- Ensure URLs are clean and SEO friendly
- Implement schema to structure data for representation in SERPs
- Do not stuff keywords; maintain 1-3% keyword density on the web page
- Organize content for readability with headings, styling, bullets and numbering
- Optimize images, use the keywords in alt_text and file names and geo tag images; likewise for videos used on your site.
- Optimize code and graphics for speed
- Implement robots.txt to instruct search engines to crawl and index webpages or block any you do not want crawled.
- Implement site map for search engine efficiency in indexing the website
- URL redirection and rewrite ensure your website does not lose opportunities that may be reaching retired or moved URLs
- Implement internal and outbound, follow and no follow links and strengthen authority and trust
- Implement SSL certificate to build trust with both; visitors and search engines
- Use social sharing buttons as well as social profile links
With SEO features in place, your website secures a solid foundation for success on the web. As search engines understand your site, recognize its authority and trust worthiness, with the traffic it gets and note visitors engaging with your content, they confer a higher and higher rank to your website.
Higher rank translates to more traffic and the mutually rewarding cycle continues. At this stage the website is poised to perform very well with off-page optimization and achieve outstanding success with traffic and the rank. If required you may also decide to secure some paid traffic depending on the speed with which you want to move and expand. You are in control. What more could a business want?
Now that we have traffic, let’s focus on conversion
Traffic is the stepping stone but not the ultimate step to success. What spells success is conversion. You want visitors converting to leads, followers, subscribers, customers and referrals depending on where in the sales funnel you are.
Implementing engaging content is key.
What to do?
This is not a definitive list. But here are some ideas.
- Tell a story! Would you want to tell a story about the hero, your customer or would you engage with a funny anecdote like the fish out of water? https://youtu.be/wVQHbneGk6U. You will find some amazing content and direction to dip into at Kathy Klotz-Guest’s YouTube Channel.
- A case study can establish what success you can replicate for your potential clients.
- Appreciations and awards can position you rather high on the affinity scale which is so fundamental to build relationships and trust. Who wouldn’t want to work with award winners and create the same success for themselves?
- You’ve launched a new product or service? Bring them up-to-date with how it would solve your customers’ problems.
- Demonstrate how you can address your customers’ pain point.
- Help them with answers to their questions. Checklists, Guides, e-Book and other content.
And, what not to do?
As Ronald Lee Ermey aka drill instructor from Full Metal Jacket says…’’Nobody cares about how great you think you are… you JACKWAGON’’
What your prospects care about is their problem and how you are going to solve it. They care about themselves.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million!
Make sure your web design company has the creative flair for graphic design in advertising and marketing. That they can create and implement great branded videos to tell your story and make your mark.
Conversion does not stop at just great copy. Capturing leads and making it easy for website visitors to contact you or leave their contact information for you is key. Strong lead gen capture features make for one of the most effective components on your website.
Good luck with your search for the right web development company.
ReignSearch offers consulting and marketing services in the digital space. With focus on inbound marketing with a combination of tools and tactics. ReignSearch offers high converting, functional and attractive web design services in Toronto at an extremely reasonable price. We say reasonable, as the potential for profitability that is packed in its web design is far greater than the price it may charge as a Web Development Toronto Company.
Want to speak with ReignSearch? Contact us here.