Web Design Basics
Professional web design is of immense importance in today’s world. Previously it was calculated that an individual goes through a particular web page for about 8 seconds before clicks on the back button. Now, your website can retain the attention of users for only 4 seconds to create an impression. In today’s busy world, we need instant results. A handful of people actually go through the entire page before coming to any conclusion. If there is nothing beneficial in the content then they will not bookmark the page. Thus, their chances of revisiting your site will become lower.
Now let us discuss some means of grabbing the attention of the visitors. We spend a bulk of our time in internet studying like reading news items, search results, forums and articles. This is an important concern for a web design company. We are from a very dynamic society and are accustomed to immediate results like losing 5 pounds in 5 days, preparing meals in microwave in 5 minutes, fitness equipments in 20 minutes a day, etc.
The internet is not an exception as we expect quick results from web sites. A viewer must get enticed in a limited span of 4 seconds. This will help in retaining the viewer’s attention to the website and ensure they go through the content. The role of keywords is very important here. The selection of the right kind of keywords and highlighting them will enhance SEO results as well. So, to test your site you can ask yourself:
* How much time has gone before I saw anything?
* What is it that captured my attention on the page?
* How long does it take before I could go through any text?
* How much time will a viewer take before determining the quality of the web site content?
The site should show top to bottom and from left to right. The website design should cater to the demands of viewers. Knowing your audience is very necessary. Catchy elements should be placed first. These will snare the attention of your viewers.
The graphics for the site are the most overlooked part of website design. If there is any problem in loading a picture or if it is very slow, few people will take the pain of going through that page or wait for it to load. You have to offer your viewers good reasons to stay on your website.
The impact of web design
The websites should be beguiling and thought-provoking enough to attract the attention of the traffic. This will help them establish a solid base. Just as an abstract painting requires off beat thinking, thought and message, websites too need this in order to be successful. If users are stimulated, the company will get devoted endorsers. The content should never be complicated and flat as this will bore the readers. So a balance is necessary.
Research shows that informative and relevant content in websites help to give the company a higher reputation. If a website can prove that the company is up to date and knowledgeable, then the customers become convinced and confident about the company. A website is multi-functional and thus plays a vital role in developing the image and impact of a particular band. Web design can impart a dramatic effect on the web content.
There are a few areas of a website that are influenced by web design. Thus the design of the web has immense contributions to the success of a website. The design of the web can affect many things:
If a user punches keywords on the keyboard accurate and instant information is expected. Today’s society is a busy one and most of the users have a very low concentration span, especially in searching for information that they require. For this reason, usability is essential. The easier it is for buyers to get what they are searching for, the more they will purchase the items the company is offering.
Another factor apart from the design is the time span that a website needs for its site to load. A website that loads fast will naturally attract more traffic. As a rule, every page should take less than 8 seconds to load. Flash is another important factor which is related to the usability of a website. Nowadays, Flash has turned out to be an important tool in internet marketing. The benefit of Flash lies in the visual appeal of it. Apart from this, color adds to the charm of a web page. It makes the website alive and fresh. On the other hand, poor selection of color schemes may make a site unfriendly and dull.
The impact of the design of the web on the SEO or search engine optimization cannot be ignored. A page which has only graphic images and flash without any text is likely to be ignored by users. So the design of the website has to be planned carefully in order to be among the top results of any search engine.
SEO or Search engine optimization is a marketing instrument that enables the user to get clicks in web copywriting efforts for the website by improving search engine results in the website. Search engine optimization will help an individual to draw the traffic to his website and his website will be among the first few results. SEO helps the website to be among the top results of a search engine aspecified search terms, which will enhance the success rate of the website and drive traffic to it.
Now let us concentrate on search engines. Search engines search for Web pages for indexing them in the internet, positioning them as they go on accessing pages of Web content. The ranking of websites depend on many factors such as the web content, use of keywords, Web design, network links and many other factors. All of these play a vital role in search engine optimization. Ranking high in the results of the search engine will determine the success of the competition.
SEO Basic concepts
The most vital aspect of search engine optimization is the usage of phrases and keywords in developing your search engine optimization results. The phrases and keywords indicate the tags, which are used for the categorization of your site along with the website’s content. The ability to use the phrases and keywords correctly will improve the website’s results for search engines, especially when certain keywords are used in the content. However, repetition of keywords does not help much in the quality of the website content. The keywords along with phrases should be used strategically in the content. The best keywords should be chosen in order to attract the traffic to the website.
Web content is very important as we use search engines, which helps us to look for particular topics on the net. If the keywords are inserted strategically, this may help to divert constant search engine crowds over time. The content should offer relevant information which will help the search engine determine what the website’s content is talking about. This will enable the search engines to indicate what the site is offering.
There is a lot to speak about search engine optimization. Any search engine will try to return whatever result is relevant to the query based on ranking criteria determined by the search service. This is the main objective of search engine optimization. Everything the search engine does have a pattern. It follows definite rules.
Launching a website is both exciting and potentially rewarding. A well planned site can have a positive effect on your business, with online sales bucking the trend in an otherwise downbeat economy. Creating a website can also be a daunting task, with so many options to choose from and jargon to sift through. This article aims to help you plan your new website quickly and easily.
1. Set your goals
The first stage in planning your website is so simple it is often overlooked: set clear goals of what you want your website to achieve.
This could be to generate sales leads, sell products, or anything else you can imagine. Whatever it is, boil it down to a single mission statement. Try to quantify your goals, too. How many enquiries will you receive? What will the turnover be in each of the first three years?
2. Establishing a budget
You can build a simple website or blog for free these days, meanwhile large companies pump millions into their online presence. So how much should you spend?
Let’s say you have a turnover of 100,000 and you want to invest 8% to give an annual marketing budget of 8000. If you’re an online business you may choose to invest all of this on the web, if not then choose a suitable proportion.
In the movie “Field of Dreams” you may have heard the quote “If you build it, he will come”. This may be true for baseball, but not for new websites which require significant effort and investment in marketing after launch to be successful. Consider allocating up to 50% of your web budget not on the website itself, but on marketing it once it’s live.
3. Requesting a quotation
Assuming that you want to hire a professionals to create your website, the next step is to obtain some quotes. Write a document setting out what you want the website to achieve, what it will do, who the target audience will be, and a time scale for completion. You may also include what you expect in terms of training, support, and hosting. This document is known as a ‘request for proposal’ or RFP.
Send the RFP document to web development companies and they should send you back a detailed proposal together with full costings. Remember, the more information you can give in the RFP, the more likely it is you will get an accurate quote for exactly what you want.
4. Creating Content
There’s an old saying on the web that “content is king”. No matter how pretty the design, the quality and usefulness of the copy, images and other media are critical to the success of your website.
If you struggle with writing, consider using a professional copywriter. Choosing photos is trickier than it sounds, and is best left to a professional designer.
It’s worth getting started on the website content as soon as possible so it’s ready to populate the website and make the whole project go as smoothly and as quickly as possible.
5. Going live
Once your website is live and has been submitted to search engines, don’t expect overnight success as it can take months to appear in results pages.
Your web developer can install Google Analytics or a similar statistics package so you can track information about your visitors and how they are finding your website. You can use ‘goals’ within Google Analytics to track exactly where purchases or sales leads are being generated from.
You will also need to market your new website, perhaps using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click adverts, or email marketing.
Have you heard yourself saying, “I don’t understand? I have a gorgeous site, a really cutting-edge splash page with a flash introduction, up-to-date technology, I paid a small fortune for this site, and I’m getting plenty of hits but no one is buying or staying in the site.”
Well, you may be one of a growing number of businesses, both large and small, who believed all the hype about the latest in new technology. Many business owners want their website to have that cutting-edge look, and so will ask for things such as animation, music, flash, and other “bells and whistles” that would be detrimental to their site. These extras are probably driving potential customers away because they increase download time and are not search engine optimized.
In the rush to join everyone else on the Internet, businesses have ignored vital steps in the process of getting their business on-line. They assumed that because everyone else had gimmicks such as a splash/intro page, this was the right way to go. The result: businesses chose design companies who readily took their money and who designed exactly what the client wanted without clearly focusing on marketing goals. To be fair, oftentimes the graphic design company has no idea that a site designed with all the latest technology doesn’t necessary translate into a site that has the functionality that an on-line business needs. This is because the graphic design firms specialize in graphic design, not in marketing. Many graphic design sites are full of splash pages, scrolling text, animation, etc. They use these tools because it allows the graphic designers to display their creativity and their knowledge of these “bells and whistles.” Creativity is good but all the latest cutting-edge technology translates into a lack of functionality to effectively market any on-line business including their on-line presence.
When having your site designed, remember that first and foremost, you are building your site to increase prospects and sales. Don’t look for a graphic design firm that believes all you need to do is get in the search engines and place banners to be successful. Don’t hire a designer that is new to the Internet–meaning they have years of print design experience but have just decided to expand their horizons to the Internet. Don’t hire a graphic designer that doesn’t have a professional copywriter or marketing person on staff and don’t hire a graphic designer just because they are the cheapest. Remember, cheap can cost you money–you get what you pay for. Hire a marketing/design firm that understands the difference between form and function and can apply it in a marketing perspective. Remember, many of these latest bells and whistles are very expensive and your site may not need them to be effective.
Every single design element affects your web sites functionality and marketability–from the decision about how the navigation will work to choosing the right colors, fonts, graphics, content, HTML code, and more. These will not only influence potential customers but search engine indexing as well.
If and when you’re ready to begin your on-line presence, start with a business plan and strategy. It is essential if you really want your business to succeed. Don’t be afraid to research marketing trends and investigate a marketing/design firm that will fit your needs.
If you are currently on-line but your business is not progressing as you think it should, don’t be afraid to request a web site analysis. There are firms that will analyze and help pinpoint areas of your on-line presence that need improvement for a successful Internet presence.
Last, but not least, keep an open mind to what the firm offers as suggestions for making your Internet experience a profitable one. Remember, this is their livelihood, this is what they do and they have the experience to back it up.
Are you ready to be successful?
Are You Driving Away Potential Customers?
When a prospect lands on your website will he or she understand what you are presenting? Do your ordering/sign up instructions make sense? Can prospects easily find the information they are searching for? If you don’t know the answers to these questions you may be driving away potential customers.
As a writer I put a lot of effort into making ideas clear. Therefore, I sometimes find it annoying when I can’t figure out what a webmaster is trying to say. I admit I sometimes don’t grasp a concept because I’m in a hurry. However, I’ve run across poor formatting, grammar and spelling as well as poor continuity that make web content difficult to understand. This is a big turn off for visitors.
If you are not good at writing consider hiring someone to do it for you. Or, perhaps a friend or relative can tackle this job for you. By doing so, you are assured your web content is proficient and easy to understand. You can then use the time savings (the time you would have spent writing) to focus on other facets of your business.
If you plan to handle writing responsibilities yourself keep a grammar book handy for reference. Ask someone to proof your work.
Not sure of the spelling of a word? Look it up or ask someone for the correct spelling. Even if you believe you know the spelling of a word, it’s still a good idea to look it up. Maybe the person who wrote “of coarse” rather than “of course” was in a big hurry or maybe they didn’t know the difference.
Regarding explanations, it’s sometimes appropriate to SHOW instead of TELL. For instance, if someone signing up for a program must choose a password that is a combination of letters and numbers, include an example of how the password should look.
Employing the use of charts is another good technique. Many MLM companies use charts to explain their compensation plan.
List the benefits of your offer using bullet points:
- A list is easier to read than one long paragraph.
- The visitor is more likely to keep reading.
- And that’s your goal, isn’t it?
I recently visited a website that promised a free ad in an e-zine. I was directed to a link that promised more information. When I landed on the website I could not find what I was looking for. I studied the navigation bar. Which button would give me access to the information I was looking for? I decided to guess. I clicked on three buttons before I finally found the right one.
The purpose of the free ad was to draw me to the website. Once there the website owner wanted me to look at other offers and possibly buy. Perhaps the owner felt if the free ad information was too accessible, I would not take time to look at other offers. However, the reverse could have also been true. If I found the free information easily accessible I might have been more inclined to purchase something because I viewed the site as customer friendly.
If you make it too hard for potential customers to get to the information they are looking for, some will turn away and find another source.
Not sure if your website is customer friendly? Ask customers/visitors to evaluate your website. Keep the survey short and simple. You could ask, “How would you rate the flow of our website? The choices: extremely easy, easy, extremely difficult, somewhat difficult. Ask your customers to add their personal comments. To keep your survey response rate high give participants a free gift (e-book, ad in your e-zine, etc.).
When potential customers land on your website it’s because they are drawn to your offer. Once they click through, make sure they remain interested by providing well-written content, easy-to-read formatting and by ensuring the information they are searching for is easy to find.
Google have put up a web site for top 1000 highest traffic web site in the world. Although you can see some of the top 10 web site are from China, we do have a good mix of blog who made it to this list.
- #246 – The Huffington Post – 12 million Uniques
- #434 – Engadget – 8,1 Million Uniques
- #540 – Gizmodo – 6.7 Million Uniques
- #696 – Mashable – 5.6 Million Uniques
- #850 – TechCrunch – 4.7 Million Uniques
According to Google, this is how the statistic are based on:
Traffic statistics are estimated by combining sample user data from various Google products and services and opt-in direct-measured site-centric data. In addition, site owners may opt-in direct measured Google Analytics traffic statistics to provide a more accurate measure of their site traffic. Sites that have opted-in direct measured Google Analytics data are indicated through the footnote “Google Analytics data shared by publisher”.
- Web Design Basics
- The impact of web design
- Basic Concept of SEO
- Tip for Successful Web Design
- Flash Web Design Bad For Business