How does Web Design affect your ability to do business?
Competition for business online is getting more intense every day. Your choice of web design and content can have a dramatic effect on your customer’s ability to find your business.
1. It All Starts with Choosing a Domain Name.
The most important rule in web development of any kind is to keep your end users (customers, employees, donors, clients) in mind above all else – even search engine optimization. When choosing a domain name, one should pick either the business name or a creatively brief description of your product or service. Domain names can always help with search engine optimization, as it is another area of your web site that important keywords can appear. Forget about long-winded domain names like www.supercalifragilisticexpealidotius-forever-my-favorite-movie.com as no one will ever remember it and it will be hard to print on business cards or in ads.
If you need to change your domain name for any reason you obviously don’t want to lose existing rankings. An easy way to do this, and one that is currently supported by most search engines, is the 301 redirect. It allows you to keep your existing rankings for your old domain name, while forwarding visitors to your new web site instantly.
2. Fresh and Well-Crafted Content Matters.
Craft written content for your target audience. It must move them to action while speaking their language. There are also a number of important content tips to improve your search rankings while addressing the needs of your audience. Keep content fresh. Both your customers and the search engines appreciate new material. It keeps them coming back for more and provides a reason to communicate via the social networks. Include links and bold headings, but don’t over-do it. Be aware of your important keywords while writing content (See #4). Use a variety of media: videos, photos, and text. Embedding relevant video can be a big boost to searches in addition to explaining important concepts to your customers. The amount of relevant content on your website will also boost rankings.
3. Easy and Clear Navigation.
Clear website organization and easy navigation is another important design factor. We have seen a huge difference in website traffic when the design is easy to navigate vs. difficult. Website visitors always look at more pages on a site where the navigation links are easy to find. Your visitor needs to get the information they want fast, within just a few clicks of the homepage. The harsh truth is that most visitors do not click past the homepage, they judge the quality of your site based on its design within seconds.
4. Avoid Graphics-Based Web Sites.
While web sites that offer the visitor an exciting graphics experience may seem like the best choice for someone searching for your product, they are also the most difficult to optimize. Since search engine robots can now read some text within graphics or animation, but it may be just a small amount of the text. Small amounts of content will not result in top rankings. If you really must offer the visitor a graphics-heavy or Flash web site, consider creating a text-based side of your site that is also available to visitors. This site will be much easier to promote on the search engines and your new found visitors will also have the option to jump over to the nicer looking part of your site.
5. Do Your Homework.
It’s important for you or your web designer to do some research on where your website will appear in a Google search. Start by brainstorming with your team a list of all the possible keywords your audience could use to search for your business, services, or products. Include common misspellings. The Google Search Tool can help you determine which of your keywords are really the most important. Wisely using these keywords in your websites can significantly improve your website traffic, but don’t abuse them. Using keywords that are not relevant to your audience doesn’t make much sense in the long run, but targeting your audience and writing for them does.
6. Make it Easy and Attractive to Share.
If you have followed the previous steps, you now have a beautiful, well-organized website with dozens of interesting articles about your relevant topics. Your visitors will not only read your website, they will want to share it with their friends. By prominently displaying share buttons to all the most popular social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. you will be tactfully inviting your viewers to share your content with their friends. After you’ve made a new post, you should test the share buttons to see what the article looks like on the social networks. Sometimes an improperly designed website will not post well, or it won’t pull the relevant picture to display. This will lead to lower interest in visiting the site.
For a free analysis of your media needs, contact Robert Butler today 512-758-9134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.