Sometimes it takes just a few basic things to get a website to operate and bring results that make a difference. Whether it is website design in your own town or web design in Dallas there are some basic elements that help to ensure a great experience for the people that visit the site, and even the potential to be dominant in the search engines.
The Flow of the Content
It might not seem like a big deal, but the way that the content flows on a website makes a huge difference. In order for visitors that reach the site to be engaged when they land on the pages, they have to be attracted to something. Understanding where they first look on a page and how to take advantage of that is a big deal and makes all of the difference in the world.
Many digital marketers refer to the area that people first look at on a website as the area above the fold. We all know that websites do not fold, but scroll…however…that first glimpse that people get when they land on a page is enough to either keep them there or send them bouncing away.
The first things that people typically notice when landing on a web page are:
- Calls to action
If you browse around the internet and pay attention to the sites that you land on you might notice that many of them have a large heading section with an array of images that slide across the screen.
These are nice and do have great images, however, this kind of setup can actually slow down the time that it takes for the web pages to load. Of course, if the developer knows what they are doing they can work with the size of the images and the structure of the site to help quicker loading times.
In any event, the first thing that people see when they land on these pages are the large images that are right there on top of the screen. However, what if the visitors are on a mobile device? People want to see clear and concise information when they land on sites, sometimes big images just throw them off.
The way that most developers handle the difference between getting the attention of users on desktops and users on mobile devices is that they create styles that show up for different screen sizes.
Yes, this is old news and has been happening for quite some time, but it is effective. In any event, whether it is desktop or mobile, that first view of the website is crucial for attraction and engagement.
Don’t Make It Too Busy
There was a point in time when some people believed that in order for a website to be of any value is if it had moving images on it. Animated GIF files were a big thing at one point in web development history as well as over-the-top flash animations. However, it has proven to be bad practice when you present your visitors with a “busy” screen that is full of moving objects and fancy animations.
It helps to present your visitors with an environment that helps to get them focused on what you have to offer them, instead of distracting sideshows.
Website banners that have revolving images are nice if they are not so distracting that it takes people away from what they are doing at the site in the first place.
Too many businesses focus on making their site look sophisticated and tech-savvy, but the real way to get results is to bring natural attention to the things that you are offering your visitors. Anything more than that, you are just wasting your time and energy.
Keywords Can Be Subtle
Whenever you are creating a website for the purpose of search engine visibility it can be tempting to stuff all of the keywords that you want to rank for into all of the pages and create one big blob of keyword goo.
This is not the way to do things. In order to properly optimize your web pages for search engine visibility, they all have to be built with a specific keyword focus on each page. Anything more than strategically placed keywords, you will be making a mess of your site that will have to be cleaned up at some point, or it will continue to not show up in searches.
Back on the topic of the way that content has to flow, if you keep in mind that each page should focus on its own keyword or phrase, it is important to remember that every time that you create a page specifically for a keyword that you want to target to keep that keyword in flow with the structure of the page. For example:
- Page URL
- Title of the page
- Main heading of the page
- The first sentence of the page
- Subheading content
- Image alt text content
For each landing page that you make that includes a specific keyword, you can create a URL for that page with the keyword in it. URL, title, meta description, headings, content, and inbound links can help to keep the keywords in a natural flow on the page.
Appropriate Calls to Action
If you are building a website that is geared to accomplish set goals it is imperative that you include strategically placed calls to action so that when people visit the site they know exactly how to get answers or directions.
Whether it is to sign up for an email campaign, download an eBook, get more information, make a call, send an email…or whatever the case might be, make it easy for all visitors to get right to the chase and have access to what they are looking for.
Yes, it is important to have these call-to-action options right in the faces of the people that browse the site, but it is a mistake to put too many of them out there. One of the main things to remember when it comes to effective web design is balance. The more balanced a website appears to be, the more calm visitors will remain when they are on the pages.
Let’s face it, people are not completely stupid. Many of them can see a scam from a mile away. Although there are plenty of people that will fall for whatever tricks that happen to befall them it is unethical to take advantage of people.
Whatever it is that the website is offering present it all in a manner that is honest and classy at the same time. Don’t try to make your products or services look as if they are something beyond what you can offer, be perfectly transparent in your efforts and steer clear from misleading marketing schemes.
Although web design is a complex sort of thing, it is best to keep the basics in mind when you are developing a website. Of course, never drop the quality of your work because you want to stay in line with “basic” ideas, but do keep in mind that there are simple basic elements that come into view when creating a website. Looks, speed, visibility, and engagement. When you build according to these basic elements you can’t go wrong.