What's your company's URL? If that's a question that fills you with dread, you probably need web design services.
A great website design is more than just looks. For a business, it is often the first impression you give a potential customer. It shows what you do and who you are. It gives a customer ideas about what makes you different. It can also show them whether you are current.
A bad website can happen to a good company, and it can hurt business. The internet has changed a lot in recent years, and customer expectations have grown dramatically since the launch of smartphones. A design that was considered good a few years ago might look dated, lack functionality, or otherwise let your company down.
You may be thinking that if a site can be out of date after only a few years, having a great looking website is something that will require revamping every few years. The reality is that not all site designs are created equally. When you work with an experienced web design agency, you can have a website that stands the test of time, giving your customers the experience they want for a much longer time.
Too many websites fall victim to design trends. Often, these trends are shortcuts to a result. Think about all the things that have come and gone over the past few decades of web design.
Pop ups were once seen as a valid way to grab attention. Now they are routinely blocked by our browsers before they even come up on our screens.
Similarly, many early websites used flashing text to make something stand out. This rudimentary animation looks as dated as a 1970s leisure suit.
However, good design lasts. Good design works from the ground up, ignoring the trends to find out what your business and its customers really need. Good design keeps things simple, keeps things functional, and remains timeless.
Above everything, one thing that makes good design stand out is that it's easy to use. Good website design takes the user experience into account. Remembering that your website is a graphical user interface - that is, it is how the user sees your company - is key to any good design. After all, this is a business tool, not a piece of art to go in a museum.
A website doesn't exist in a vacuum. It is only as good as its users think it is. This means that your website's design has to keep the user experience in mind.
Simply put, the user interface is what the user sees when they use a website or program. There is a lot of code hidden behind the display, but that should remain hidden, with clarity being paramount.
When you open a program on your computer, you see its graphical user interface. You see the graphic display that allows you to perform functions by using drop down menus, buttons, and text entry. Behind all of this, making it work, is code. A well designed program is one that never leaves you thinking about the code. It just works smoothly, as you expect it to.
Website design is exactly the same. When you open a website, you want to see what you came there for. This may be images, text, an ecommerce site, or a specific web application. In any case, you want to see the user interface, not the code that makes it happen.
User interfaces are what the user sees, and their experiences of it also matter when it comes to website design. Your user interface design should keep the experience of the users in mind.
Great website design gently guides the user through the experience. Through elements like navigation, a user can work their way from one part of a site to another. This guided user experience is something that should happen without the user even realizing.
This is because user guidance is best when it's subtle. Encouraging a visitor to go to the next page with a simple "next" button is far more effective than having a pop up flash on their screen when they scroll halfway down the page. Web design is psychological, and the user's reactions can often be predicted.
If you were planning a retail store, you would think about the layout of it. What products would be near the door? What would be near the cash register? Would the staff greet each new customer loudly or politely?
Web design is the same. You want to offer your customers everything they need in a logical order, never leaving them feeling like you are being overwhelming or like they have been abandoned in a giant warehouse of information. When you approach web design with the user's experience and your goals in mind, you can get the site that works for both of you.
Good design happens without you realizing it's happening. This is because it doesn't interfere with the content being presented.
The graphical user interface of a site is what a user sees, and it shouldn't get in the way of the functionality. This functionality may be an application, or it may just be giving a customer details about where your business is located and what time you open in the morning. In either case, the design should fit the use.
A good website design service also keeps your industry in mind. What is good design for a shoe designer will not be good design for a plumber. A good website designer understands that every site is different, and that each project has its own specific needs.
It also understands that your business' look and feel is important. If you have a sleek, modern style across your retail space, a vintage, flowery style of website design would simply be out of place. Yet for another business, it would be the other way around.
A great website designer will work with you to find out what your company is all about, what your customers expect from you, and what you want to present to the world. After all, your website is what you are presenting to the world. It is the calling card you give to everyone who visits your site. It is accessible to everyone and shows new and existing customers what you're all about.
Of course, having a great website design is more than just superficial. It also has an impact on your business and its ability to reach new customers. On the one hand, a user friendly website is more likely to be shared. On the other, there are SEO benefits to a user friendly website.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of making your website perform better in search engines. This is done, in part, through on page optimization. This includes using keywords within the text, so that a search engine's spider, which crawls the internet, can properly index your site and return it in relevant searches. These are some of the ways web design services do make a big impact.
Another part of on page optimization is making the page perform properly. Using the right code behind the interface is important, too. When a website is properly designed, it will use the HTML tags that can help a search engine understand the content of the page. Search engines don't "see" images the same way as an internet user. They only see the text of a page, so the code behind a good user interface is important for your search engine results.
Another part of website design that counts for your search engine results ranking is the usability of your site. This is determined in a few ways.
First, a search engine will gather data from its users. If users regularly click the link for a site, then quickly return to the search results, the search engine will see this as meaning that the site isn't providing the users with what they needed from that search. One cause of these clickbacks is bad design.
Think about your own use of the internet. If you go to a website and find that it's hopelessly cluttered with pop ups, overlapping images, and huge files, you will probably get fed up pretty quickly. Even the promise of having all the information you need won't be enough to keep you there for long.
Search engines want to give their users the best possible match to their search query. A site that is difficult to use won't be the best possible match.
Website design and usability is also important when you consider mobile browsing. With more internet users accessing websites from their smartphones and tablets, it's important that your website design service prepares for all users. Using responsive website design, you can have a website that looks great whether the user is viewing it on the large screen of their desktop computer, the small screen of their phone, or anything in between.
By making your website accessible to all, and having the proper code behind the interface, you can get a better ranking in search engine results. This can mean you are reaching more potential customers on every search.
There are a lot of ways to see how your website is performing. You might have an idea that you just don't seem to be getting a lot of new customers or sales through your website. You might have seen some of your website's statistics and thought they were a bit low. You might have been told by customers that they just don't like how your website looks or functions.
While there are a lot of website statistics that will give you important information about how your site is performing, you shouldn't underestimate the importance of your own perception. Chances are, you know if your website needs improving. You know if your site is looking dated. You know if you aren't getting the search engine ranking you want.
Having the feeling that your site needs to be improved is usually an accurate gauge of performance. After all, you have invested in your website as a tool to promote your business. If it isn't doing enough to justify its costs, it needs to be improved.
Of course, you will want to consider the statistics that explain your website's performance. Looking at what your site is doing in real numbers can give you a way to set goals for improving your website, too.
Your website's host, the company that puts the site on the internet, will provide you with a variety of information. Even more details can be gathered by using tools such as Google's Webmaster Tools. If you don't understand what these numbers all mean, a website design and development agency can help make sense of them.
There are some basic statistics that you've probably heard of before. Many site owners will talk about how many hits and unique views their site has had. For most businesses, it is the latter than counts. Unique views are, as the name implies, different individuals who have viewed the site.
This number can be compared to the number of page views, which will show the times that a single user has come back to the site. If your unique viewers and total page views are the same number, you have a site that doesn't get people to come back.
Another statistic that can give you an indication of whether your site is performing as it should be is the time spent on your site. Are people coming to your site and then leaving seconds later? Or are they staying on your site, reading through all the information you have available? Your goal should be a site that keeps the attention of each viewer, and that encourages them to come back multiple times.
If you are running an ecommerce site, you can also look at the statistics for abandoned carts. This is the times that somebody adds an item to their cart, but does not finalize the purchase. Each of these website users is somebody who has shown interest in what you have to offer, but has not followed through and given you their money. Each of these is a lost opportunity.
In all of these situations, it is important to understand what they mean, as well as how you can use them to create a better website. You might find that users all get to a certain page and then leave. You might find that they don't spend much time on your site.
For any website problem, there is a solution. When you work with a website design agency, you can find a holistic approach that turns your website into the valuable business tool you need it to be.
A great website design is one that understands the needs of the website owner. After all, you don't want a site that looks great but doesn't function well for your particular needs. An agency can offer you more than just design.
Web design services will work with you to find out what you need from your website. Whether this is online sales directly to customers, contacts for your newsletter, or local customers coming through your front door, your website design can be developed with these goals in mind.
This is because a web design company with an understanding of conversion rates offers more than just looks. You will get the user interface that gives your customers the experience they need to reach the goal you want. For example, if you want people to sign up for your newsletter, your site's design will need to gently lead visitors to this. It will need to look great, function perfectly every time, and have the goal in mind.
Conversion rates are the statistic that matter for your business. After all, millions of views don't mean anything if none of them take the next step to become customers.
Whatever your end goal, a website design agency will keep this in mind as they create your website. They will work with you to understand what your customers need and what they will expect from your site. They will use their experience and knowledge to create a website for your business that helps you reach these goals.
Great website design is something that might be difficult for you to describe. You know what you want your website to do, and you know if it isn't doing that.
When you work with an experienced digital agency, your website design and your website's user interface can be developed with your particular goals in mind. It can be developed with a knowledge that a great site is one that functions well, is highly ranked in search engines, and that looks right for your audience.
If you're ready to get started on creating your new website design, get in touch today.