Not all websites are designed equally. All you have to do is go out and search the internet for a few websites and you’ll see the quality difference between competing websites. How do businesses generate a lot of leads and sales from their websites? How do the highest ranked websites get there? What happened to the ones that end up on page 20 for their keyword phrases? Well, besides the obvious answers of content and keywords, there is also design. Website design can have a huge impact on how your website is ranked, how it is found on the search engines and most importantly whether it converts your website visitors into leads or paying customers. Every web site needs to consider certain design aspects in order to reach its full potential. Here are some things to consider:
1. Web Sites that are Graphics Heavy
Have you seen those websites with all the pretty graphics, pictures and busy flash? These sites are definitely attractive, but they are not keeping your visitors tuned in nor are they being found very easily in the search engines. Why? Pictures and Images are large files to begin with and the pages take a long time to load. People are impatient, and they don’t have the time to sit and wait for it to load, websites with such characteristics are also extremely difficult to optimize. The problem is that search engines cannot read text within graphics or animation. If you feel that you must have a lot of images and flash on your website, be sure to use alt-text and then create an html-based side of your site that is also available to visitors, if you don’t know what this is and you’re working with a professional designer, it’s something to be discussed before proceeding. This will reduce your bounce rate (fewer site abandonment after the first page), also this version of the site will have the potential of being found on the search engines and your prospects will also have the option to go to the other version, with the pretty pictures. Of course, we are available for a free web design consultation on this entire process.
2. Dealing with Dynamic Web Pages
Are you a large online retailer with hundreds or thousands of products available? These types of web sites have data that is generated by a large database and create what are called “dynamic” web pages. The problem for these sites is that some pages may not get indexed by the search engines. So what can be done about this? The first thing is using a site map. This lets Google know that you do in fact have permanent content on your site. You’ll also want to have a good internal linking system set up. These two tactics can go a long way in helping your dynamic pages get found.
3. Proper Use of HTML
One thing that is pervasive on the web is bad HTML code. Worse yet, much of this code, generated by pretty bad web design software, is not search engine friendly. You don’t want the search engines seeing line after line of font and position formatting. This is not relevant content and doesn’t employ the best HTML design. The best website design firms out there make use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), which significantly reduces the amount of text formatting in HTML code. You want to be sure your designer uses the very latest coding techniques to ensure your site is ranked high.
4.Content is King
Typically, you want to design for a large site. In other words, plan on growing the number of pages you have over time. Why? Google loves it. They reward you for updating your content frequently, hence the reason a lot of businesses are now adding a business blog onto their website. You want to ensure that the design you use on your site lends itself to being built out over the next year, and for as long as you own the business. If you have only a few pages on your site and your competitors have many, you’ll have a tough time competing with them for that top search engine spot. You also want to keep visitors on your site as long as possible, as well as keep them coming back, and they will do this if there is a lot to see on your site.