The internet is vast. Google alone lists over 3 billion pages; looking at one each second of the day would take you over 99 years to view them all! Many people can do website design, but how many can design a website. The design element is so important and so often overlooked.
If you intended to send out brochures to your customers or potential customers, and the brochure was low quality, what type of image will this reflect on your business…….a poor website will do the same.
When designing a website, the most important task to remember is color coordination. Ideally, it would help if you strive for a maximum of three primary colors, with variations and tints of these. Using more, you run the risk of non-matching colors and ultimately less easy on the eye for visitors.
Next comes Navigation. Colour coordination and Navigation are the top main priorities. If your site isn’t easy to navigate, people will not stay around to delve deeper. Once your site is designed, ask some friends or family to test it out. The easier your website is to navigate, the longer people will stay.
Accessibility is a key issue highlighted recently, with a $20,000 fine imposed on a website for not ensuring people with disabilities and sight impairments could use the website. These rulings are few and far between (for now), but to help, always use ALT tags on images (helping to describe your image), plus use text-based links where possible. For further information, you can check out http://www.w3.org.
You have your site ready, and it’s full of content, great design, and prepared to hit the superhighway – now how will people find you. This is where SEO comes into play (Search Engine Optimization). Optimizing your site for the main search engines can help bring free targeted traffic to your website. The primary and basic rules of SEO are:
1. A good Title tag, e.g., for Webbit Media as a website design company based in Hartford, Connecticut and covering New England, our Title tag is ‘Website Design Hartford, Connecticut Website Design New England.’ Using your main keywords for your title tag can instantly bring good results.
2. Make sure your keywords appear on your website. The percentage of times it appears has started to have less impact, but the general rule is your keywords should make up around 5% of your copy.
3. Request Linkbacks. Make requests for other sites to link to you from the day your website is activated. Search Engines, notably Google, base a large portion of their listings based on the number of websites linking to you – plus their popularity and themed relationship to the content of your site.
4. Be patient. It can quite easily take a year to achieve a good placement in Google for a popular phrase – but considerably less time in other search engines, e.g., MSN and Ask Jeeves.
By sticking to these basic principles and ensuring your site is pleasant on the eye, easy to navigate, and optimized for search engine visits, you should be able to claim your stake in the World Wide Web.