The web is in a constant state of evolution, and businesses of all types are taking advantage of a global marketplace online that continues to offer exciting opportunities for growing a brand. In the past, websites were simple digital brochures that served as marketing components attached to brick and mortar businesses. Now, businesses can exist solely online, and can achieve astounding levels of success with minimal resources. It’s no secret that the Internet offers us access to products and services we might not be able to find or afford otherwise, but how can your brand best take full advantage of the digital landscape that is present in our lives today? Read on….
Know Your Audience
If you are in the beginning stages of developing a presence for your brand online, there are a few key factors that you should begin to consider. Competition is prevalent, and it is very likely that you’ll need to work hard to establish yourself within whatever niche you are approaching. Doing research before you begin building a website is a must.
There are many tools available to business owners and web developers that allow access to very important statistics and other data useful in understanding your potential demographic. Before you build your site, you should consider not only your competition, but also what unique opportunities you may have to differentiate yourself from them.
Content is king in the world of search engines, social media platforms, and other digital assets. When building your content, you’ll want to find ways to provide your visitors with valuable and robust information relevant to your business. Google, for example, offers free tools such as a keyword planner that allows you to research terms related to your brand’s offering; tools like this allow you to see how competitors’ websites are performing, as well as how many people are searching for your products and services during any given frame of time. You should view this type of data and find unique ways to create keyword rich content that can capture prospects online.
You should be considering your audience and unique ways to carve out a spot online in different niches relevant to your brand before you approach the visual and other aspects of your web design.
Good Looks Aren’t Everything, But They Help
Back in the day, websites were a lot of glitz and glamour. People’s minds were blown away by slick animations, sounds, and other flashy visual candy that was used heavily throughout a website. Now, we seem more concerned with having fast access to well organized data presented to us in a clean and simple format.
Organizing your website’s content in a logical and presentable manner is a key factor in determining how people and search engines view and judge your site. Take the time to think about the best way to create a logical navigational structure that allows for easy access to the most important pages within your website. Breadcrumb navigation and consistent placement of links allows for users to know where they are within your site, and how to get back to where they came from. Navigation within a website is something that has always, and will always, be important.
Once you have your content created and organized you’ll be ready to consider other visual aspects of your site’s design. Presenting your logo and other graphics in a clean attractive way can be a breeze when you use content management systems like WordPress, as they offer pre-designed templates that have been tested and proven with users and search engines alike. Remember, we are looking for clean and simple in 2018.
On The Move
Mobile devices like phones and tablets have completely changed the way that we do business online and in the “real world”. We have access to products and services from around the globe whenever and wherever we are. Expect that your site should at the very least be accessible from mobile devices, and at the best be fully functional. It is ok to eliminate some of the more resource intensive aspects of your site when designing a mobile ready version, but often your entire site can translate into a slick mobile experience.
Responsive web design is a tactic that web developers use to create websites that automatically respond to the device they are being visited from. Again, many developers and designers use pre-designed web templates when creating products for clients, and these templates are often responsive ready. Be prepared to plan for mobile accessibility when creating your website.
Social media continues to play an important part in our daily lives as users of the World Wide Web. Businesses and individuals are using social media to stay connected and accessible to peers. Your customers will at some point expect you to have a solid presence within social platforms.
Not all social platforms are created equal, and it is possible that you do not need to incorporate all of them into your web strategy. You will, at the very least, need to select the social media platform that is most relevant to your business and begin to create content within it. Website visitors are looking for links to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram because these services allow for transparency and connectedness with your brand.
You can create the most robust, visually attractive, mobile ready site in the world, but if search engines aren’t paying attention, you aren’t going to see a return on your investment. All of the factors we’ve discussed play a role in attracting and keeping the attention of search engines.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of creating, monitoring, and testing the effectiveness of your web design and content strategy. Digital marketing companies provide SEO services that can help you achieve better ranking within engines like Google, and you’ll need to educate yourself on the topic.
Using keywords across your site that are relevant to your products and services is only part of a good SEO strategy. Your site needs to be technically sound to gain traction within search engines, and it is best to consult with a trusted digital marketing professional when approaching this piece of web design.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the sphere that is good quality web design, but we hope to have sparked your imagination and curiosity. Planning and dedication are really the most important tenets for achieving a successful web design. We’d love to talk more about your current projects, contact us anytime!