When designing a website, it can be incredibly challenging, not only do you need to have sound technical knowledge, you also need creative skills.
If you want to be successful in website design then you require much more than just having the right tools.
Before we get into SEO, there are a few basic elements that you must consider. It is extremely important to be able to communicate demands to a creator, therefore it is just as important to listen to the requirements of a client. As a web designer we need to be able to communicate effectively in front of a client and express our ideas and concerns about the project we are about to go forward with. A successful website requires team work and a lot of communication, and as a designer it is important for us to translate the demands into a functioning website.
An essential aspect to consider is SEO. At a fundamental level an SEO-friendly site is one that allows a search engine to explore and read pages across the site. Ensuring a search engine can easily crawl and understand your content is the first step to ensuring your visibility in the search engine result page. Google can’t tell if a website looks great or looks terrible, to judge this Google uses feedback. If too many users visit a site then click the ‘back’ button and alternatively go to a competing site in the search results, the site will drop in the rankings. This is why it is extremely important to make a website engaging with inspirational design to hold your visitor’s attention. A good way to achieve this is with a colour scheme that keeps in with the overall topic of a site. It is also proven that websites with at least one image, or with videos tend to rank better than those without due to visual elements. If a site is slow, then Google is likely to penalise it. The faster a site is, the better user-experience will be, and the better SEO will be. You can improve the speed of a site in various ways, such as:
- Ensuring you resize images to the correct size before putting them online
- Compressing images and CSS files
- Not using too many adverts
- Removing unnecessary code
- Upgrading to a faster host
Building an SEO-friendly site requires careful planning and a structured approach to representing your business and the services you provide. For many this can be complicated, when specialising in website development you should create a bespoke website that suits your business.
It may seem obvious, but there is a lot to know and consider when designing a website. Design, navigation and content is driven by a purpose that aligns with an audience and their goals.
With around 80% of internet users owning a smartphone, and more than 50% of web traffic coming from mobile users, it is essential to make a website mobile friendly. Mobile devices continue to grow popular year-over-year suggesting more people are searching on the go, plus with Google’s latest algorithm a site must be mobile friendly, or it will be pushed through lower search results.
The number one challenge businesses face in re-building a website is not devoting enough time to it to make it successful. Be sure to understand the importance of utilising time with copy and research in order to produce top-quality sites, making both you and your clients happy. Your site also needs to be responsive. This can make a huge difference compared to slower websites and is likely to draw in more traffic.
Your website needs to be about you and reflect your business and what you do clearly and simply. Make sure all of your sites are ‘MobileFirst’ in order to increase user engagement, company image and customer experience. Trends come and go but you should be able to create and develop anything on-trend. With thousands of websites going live every day, make sure your website is the one to watch.
Originally published here.
Rachel, I appreciated your thoughts about trends and how we should be careful to not stray from the tried and true principles of SEO ans website design. For website projects I build, SEO is not an option — otherwise, it begs the question, “Why build the website?”