One of the hottest key phrases for people who do searches in Texas is “website design Dallas.” What this tells us is that people are either looking for talented web designers, or they are trying to learn how to build websites on their own. Either way, one of the most important factors of great web design is getting the website that you build to become visible in the search engines.
Epic website designs consist of:
- Search engine visibility
- Visitor engagement
- High conversion rates
Beyond search engine visibility the dynamics of the website must be in line with the demands and needs of the website visitors. Balancing the two factors of search engine optimization and conversion rate maximization is essential in the formation of a successful website.
When it comes to creating powerful websites that not only show up in the search engines but inspire people to move forward with buying a product, signing up for a service, downloading a document…or whatever…it takes skill, knowledge, and planning to carry out the perfect platform that looks good on both the front end and the back end.
Here are 7 key elements that contribute to phenomenal web design:
The first and the most important element for building optimal websites is to plan ahead as far as you possibly can. Many businesses lose out on an incredible opportunity to boost search results because they fail to choose a domain name with keywords in it. If the planning begins before any decisions are made the site has a better chance of becoming successful.
Planning before even starting the site can help to determine:
- Domain name pillar keywords
- The best hosting solution for the needs of the site
- Landing pages for keywords
- Geographic search results
- What colors
- What logo
During the planning stage of the website, all parties involved with the development should talk and get on the same page about what exactly the goal is, and what the website will be used for.
Things like the target audience and what the people who visit it might be interested in when they land on pages are crucial for engagement.
The way that a website is structured will have an impact on how it is found in the search engines, and how it will appear to the visitors when they land on the pages. The last thing a person wants to do when they land on a page is wait for it to load. Elements such as page load time and website structure are crucial for correct site load times, and visitor engagement.
There are two main sides of the website, and they both make all of the difference in the world:
- Frontside – what the people see
- Backend – what the people don’t see
The back end of a website is probably more important than the front end because it is the nuts and bolts of how the website operates and appears to users.
Elements such as compelling meta descriptions, schema markup, page titles, and non-duplicate content are essential for search engine visibility and functionality of the website.
In addition to the proper backend structure of the site, it is also important to build the site so that it is user-friendly and easy to navigate. Obvious elements that lead the user from the home page to where they want to go are imperative for a great user experience and optimal conversion potential.
3. Eye Level
In addition to the backend of the site and having the proper structure it is important to keep in mind that visitors will tend to focus on the first things that come into their line of sight on the page.
Impressive images, engaging text, tempting calls to action, and important headings should all be within the first glimpse of the user. Most times if a new visitor has to look for something for more than a couple of seconds, they will bounce to the next website.
One example of this is that if you look around on various websites you will notice that most of them will have a navigation bar, or menu, right at the top of the page where it is almost impossible to miss.
Eyeline vision gives users the ease of navigation and discovery when they land on the pages. They do not have to waste time trying to figure out where to go and what they are supposed to do.
In addition to the structure of the site, and the placement of key elements in the site of the visitor, the headings that they see will make a huge difference in the way that they perceive the site.
The headings are important for a number of reasons:
- Search engine optimization
- Structure and hierarchy of the page
- Sending bold messages to the user
- Describing what a block of text is talking about
When using headings it is also important to understand that, as a rule, there should only be one main header, H1, on the page and the rest should be subheadings such as H2, H3, H4…and so on.
The title of the page in combination with the main header of the page helps dramatically with search engine optimization because on the back end of the site the code within the text specifies what the page is about, what the page talks about, and gives a prelude to content on the page that could be beneficial for people that search the web using keywords that the website is trying to rank for.
Images can be a double-edged sword. On one side, they have to be brilliant and command attention. On the other, if they are too big they will cause too much of a pull on resources to load which slows down page speed.
Everything from the logo of the company to the background image of the footer counts. However, the most important images to keep in mind are the ones that the visitors will see when they first visit the site.
Combine the creative edge with the developer’s eye and make sure that all images are not only nice-looking, but allow the flow of the website to go without flaw, and the speed of the website to remain fast and strong.
6. Calls to Action
Calls to action, also known as CTAs, are key to guiding and directing visitors towards the end goal of the purpose of the visit to the website. If they are too loud and bold, they will dissuade customers, and if they are not easy enough to find, they will not be effective.
The key factor in CTA placement is to use obvious text and images or link boxes with colored backgrounds directly after a little bit of introductory text that is designed to persuade the visitor towards taking an action that will result in a conversion.
A great example is to use a small image with the words “Learn more…” as a link to a page that requests information from the user in order to move forward in the process of buying, downloading, or ordering something.
Although this is the last element that we discuss in this article, it is surely not the least. It is important to have a robust and healthy link structure within the website that has both inbound and outbound links.
Although it is easy to see the main menu at the top of most website pages, the footer menu often goes unnoticed by people unless they are specifically looking for it.
Easy-to-read labels with good, active links are a must-have in order to allow users to easily navigate the site and to allow the search engines to crawl the site quickly and efficiently.
Although it may seem like an easy task, anybody that creates great websites knows that it takes a lot more than sheer luck to get results. Some sites just sit there and look pretty, while others demand attention and initiate conversions. A website is only what you make it, so if you make it epic, it will be epic.