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Checklist For Effective Web Design

Your organisation’s website is often the first point of contact for future clients. Does your site clearly communicate your company’s products or services? Is it easy to navigate? Do you know how many people are looking or sharing it every day/week/month/year? If the answer to these questions is no, your visitors will probably loose interest in your site and abandon it altogether.

Take a look at these 6 web site designing best practices to see if your website is working for you.

(If it’s not, why not Contact Us to see how we can help get your website back on track.)

 

1] Make It Clear to Visitors What Your Business Actually Does

This may sound blindingly obvious but there are a vast number of corporate websites on the internet that don’t. When someone finds your site on Google and clicks, you will usually only have a few seconds to engage the visitor and persuaded them to stay on your website. In that time it is vital to communicate your organisation’s function, value proposition and visual credibility.

Once your visitor has decided to stay on your site and explore a little deeper you need to guide their journey. An easy way of considering this further is to answer a simple question: What action(s) do you want visitors to your site to make? This could be anything from selling something, registering with you, or delivering them information. If you don’t take this into account you are failing to address your users’ real needs.

Effective visual design, nice pictures and animations can make great improvements to a website, but you need to consider your organisations message as well. Design is nothing without functionality.


2] Make Your Website Usable

People don’t read websites, they scan them. We naturally absorb information in small pieces and assume to be guided to the next step in the chain.

Before starting a website’s design, it is important to get the right people from your organisation around you – there will be many considerations to make. In this way your team can not only to contribute ideas relating to the concept, look or feel but also to help you to consider how you want your visitors to use the site.

If you ensure your site user-friendly, you’ll start to attract potential clients and build lasting relationships with your current followers. We suggest that your website focuses on usable site navigation whilst delivering pages that load quickly. Clear and convincing text throughout, and Social Media functionality (allowing users to share something from your site on Facebook or Twitter) will also add much more value.

Lastly, try to avoid, where possible, use of excessive Abobe Flash animations, Welcome Screens and Blink Tags on your website. These are fast becoming relics of the internet.


3] Make It Easy For Search Engines To Find You

If your current website has not been search engine optimised, you are effectively closing off your chances of new, organic traffic to your company’s websites and that means losing out on potential visitors and sales.

It’s getting much harder these days to get to the valuable first page of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, so ensure your current site has been search engine optimised with features such as a site maps, a blog, and your title tags, heading titles, and site description. If you’re not using social media, stop being anti-social as doing so will have positive effects for your website’s ranking.


4] Think Outside The Box

Most business web sites today lack personality. Most tend to make generous use of stock photography, corporate jargon and generic website design - all of which weakens the user experience.

This is a big problem as your website is an important piece of your organisation’s branding, and functions as a digital crossing point between your company, its services and products, and your clients. The most effective way to provide a good brand experience for your clients is to simply be yourself.


5] Don’t Forget Mobile Users

Until recently, we still thought of websites optimised for mobile phones as a bonus add-on. This however, is no longer the case. At the time of writing, almost 5% of traffic to our site, www.openmind.om is generated from mobile phones and tablets. Into the future, smartphone users will continue to grow which means your company needs to cater for mobile visitors who use their thumbs/fingers to click your page links. So you had better make sure your font size is optimised for this. Similarly, many smartphone users have relatively small data packages due to their current expense which mobile optimised websites resolve by reducing the amount of data the needs to be transmitted to their device. The last thing someone wants is your 15mb beast of a page being transmitted to their 100mb per month smartphone subscription.

Mobile optimised web design best practices centre around designing websites for three different screen sizes: PC, Tablet and Smartphone. Check your organisation’s website on your mobile device to see how easy/difficult it is to perform basic functions such as navigation or entering text.


6] Use Analytics Tracking To Your Advantage

A website is never really “finished”. It’s important that, once a new site goes live, you can identify clear and achievable goals for it so that you have a set point track the measurable improvements to your site such as increases in visitors or search engine ranking.

A free solution to the problem of tracking visitor traffic to your website is Google Analytics. This powerful package will allow you confirm that your SEO is functioning correctly as well as to be updated with weekly reports on where from and why people are visiting your site. It will not take you long to observe trends in your site’s traffic that you can use to your advantage.

 

 

 

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