Website design has changed significantly over the years and is constantly evolving as our use of the web via different devices increases.

Web-design-and-user-interfaceA web designer will consider a number of factors that will determine the navigation, layout and placement of content on a website to get the desired action from the user.

You may have noticed that modern web designs generally follow a similar theme these days. There is a good reason for this. From studies on user interface and the use of eye tracking software, we now understand what attracts a viewer’s eyes and where they tend to look first. We can then make sure the important information such as menu and calls to action are placed within these areas.

There are other factors to consider, such as how search engines will rank your web pages from the content and keywords on the page. The headings and where they are placed will influence which keywords search engines will prioritise and rank your page for.

These are the stages a designer will go through when developing your new website:

Research
  • Competitors.
  • Keywords (software is available to help with this).
  • What makes your business unique in your market?
  • Visitor analysis if you have an existing website (use Google Analytics, if installed).
Site map, navigation and wireframe
  • What do you want to communicate?
  • Plan the navigation and pages needed.
  • Consider content for each page, text and images.
  • It is more efficient to design around your content than fit your content into a design.
  • Create a wireframe for your website.
Copywriting and keywords
  • Identify best performing keywords.
  • Include keywords in your headers and your content.
  • Break down information into bite sized chunks with sub headings.
  • Write a new page for each subject and set of keywords.
  • Select suitable images to complement and break up large areas of text.
Engage and convert
  • What are your main messages?
  • What do you do, how do you do it?
  • Required call to action: sign up, telephone call, gather information or email?
  • Testimonials, reviews or case studies to back up your content.
Search Engine Optimisation
  • Build your site to the latest web standards.
  • Develop the site to ensure search engines can crawl all of your pages.
  • Check for errors and site issues before going live.
  • Continuous research and improvements to pages and content.
  • Measure and monitor keywords and site rankings.
Your input is valuable at every stage to of the design process. Whether you decide to write the content yourself and supply images or hire a copywriter and photographer, you should always have the final approval on how your business is presented on the World Wide Web.

Mark Langston
Whether you are a business needing a new website or an established company in need of a website revamp, taking time at the beginning of your project to plan and determine what you want to achieve will be time well spent. Writing a brief covering your goals and objectives along with an overview of your technical and functional requirements will provide a starting point for further discussions with your web developer.

Your website is your shop window and can have a direct effect on sales. Visitors will make up their mind in seconds whether to stay on your site or jump off to one of your competitors. You need to capture their attention, establish your credentials and prove your credibility at a glance.

Design, colours and the wording you use will communicate the reasons why visitors should delve further into your website pages to find out more information. By using the AIDA formula you can provide information to drive them to your preferred call to action.

Writing clear, concise information that will grab their attention is vital and you may want to consider using a professional copywriter to achieve this. Other sales drivers include testimonials from existing customers, blog articles and an enquiry form, all of which can be strategically positioned on the home page.

The next step is to consider how the user will navigate around your website and list the most important aspects of your service or products. Producing a simple site map will help you to scope out your offering and provide a menu for your website. Always consider that, ideally, you want to get your visitor to the relevant information with minimal clicks; three should be the maximum number of clicks to get them to a call to action.

A typical simple site map with two levels of navigation could look something like this:
 
Home page
Web design
- Brochure style websites
- eCommerce websites
- Hosting services
Marketing Services
- Copywriting
- Google advertising
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimisation
- Marketing planning and strategy
Blog
Testimonials
About us
Contact

 
Website-design

Site revamp
Compared to a new website, an existing site has a history and we would recommend looking at your website statistics software to find out how your site is currently performing. If you have Google Analytics installed on your website all sorts of statistics are available, such as; device used, bounce rates and visitor flows. All of the websites we build for our clients have Google Analytics installed as standard which provides us with the information needed to make a complete diagnostic check of the site.

Measure of success
The success of your website is determined by its ability to convert visitors into new customers or sales. Any revamp should include functional, design and content improvements that will increase your conversion rates.

By following the advice above and working with our team of experts who understand internet marketing, we will be able to improve the performance of your website.
Mark Langston

 

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