Effective web design is the design and development of a website that meets the requirements of visitors and search engines, alike.
The main visitor requirements include:
- A template design, colour scheme and layout, that appeals to the main visitor age group, gender and socio-economic background
- It is instantly clear from the Home page what the website is about (visitors don’t want to waste time trying to work out what the website is about.)
- The website is easy to navigate, requires minimal clicks to find what they are looking for and the layout is intuitive
- Contact details including phone number are easy to get to (should be clearly positioned on every page!)
- Not having pop-ups that are distracting and full of marketing hype
- Skim readable text i.e. text or content that is easy to read quickly, doesn’t contain large blocks of text, and the font size and type are easy to read (not too small or zany!)
Search engines, when ranking websites within their search results/listing, give preference to websites:
- Where visitors stay longer than compared with other websites – videos, rotating flash headers, virtual spokes people, good quantities of highly informative content, a large number of pages, forms and subscription boxes to fill out – all assist in keeping visitors at the website for longer
- With integrated blogs; as blogs are generally a good source of fresh text
- That have a low visitor bounce rate i.e. have high visitor retention and high click through on the website
- That have text links rather than graphical links
- That have content above “the fold” on a page i.e. top half of the page
Websites that are not produced with the search engines in mind are effectively electronic brochures only. Given the massive demand and fast growth of online searching via the major search engines there is a great opportunity for obtaining leads and sales via a website that is properly tuned to the requirements of the search engines.