A website’s digital presence is exceptionally important, however, the vast majority of small and medium enterprise (SME) owners claimed that their existing websites need improving.
The research, undertaken by Zyro (as published in Global Banking and Finance Review) claimed that as many as 87 per cent of SMEs are not fully satisfied with their website overall.
This largely equally breaks down into the three main areas of web design for Kingston business owners. Of those surveyed, 45 per cent believe their website’s layout needs improving, 45 per cent want to work on the SEO and 43 per cent want to improve the quality of content.
These are the three core principles of what makes an online business successful and are exceptionally vital as lockdown restrictions continue in the UK. Here are ways to improve these specific areas.
Ultimately, your website should be easy and simple to navigate, with a clear path towards any information a prospective customer would want to see. Less is often more, and your focus must be on ensuring a customer can access what they need.
Understanding your customer profile helps here, as you can prioritise your customer base and what they would want as well as your new prospective customer.
SEO And Content
Both of these go hand in hand, as the latter is becoming increasingly important for developing the former. If your website is old and uses older SEO principles it may be actually harming its search ranking by being stuffed full of keywords.
High quality, readable, engaging copy designed with your human audience in mind is far more important and will endure longer than designing content with the search engine in mind first.
Prioritise the content first, and then it can be effectively used to move a prospective customer to the next step in the pipeline.
When you’re designing your website, it can be easy to focus on the main pages and let some other elements of the design fall by the wayside.
One area that it’s essential to design carefully is forms, but all too often these can be left to languish, and that can impact your conversion rates.
As an article for Business2Community recently explained, there are several relatively simple steps you can take to streamline the forms you’re using on your website. If you’re working with web designers in Surrey they can also help you with this side of the design.
Firstly, make sure that your form is easy to find, as consumers will leave and simply not contact you if it’s not easy for them to do so.
When you’re designing your form, make sure that it is optimised for mobile users. Over half (58 per cent) of web traffic now comes from smartphones so make sure that your form is compatible with this smaller screen size.
As PCT Online recently noted, larger buttons and calls to action are recommended for mobile sites, because this makes it easier for those navigating on a mobile to hit the right spot on the screen.
It’s also essential to keep your form as brief as possible. Only ask users to give you the information you actually need. If you make your form too long, you risk losing people halfway through the process of completing it.
As well as the design, make sure you don’t neglect the copy on your form either. Clearly explain what will happen once someone fills in your form and explore using more direct and exciting call-to-action buttons, rather than opting for the generic ‘submit’ option.
Web design has evolved in leaps and bounds since the creation of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989 and has seen a wide shift ever since, at it moved from being a way to distribute information to the way we live our lives.
Many aspects of the physical world have been shaped through the evolution of web design, from Kingston, Surrey, Greater London and throughout the country. As we have moved to a more digital world as a result of the present circumstances, a brand’s online and offline presence is increasingly intermingled.
By looking at how web design has evolved, we can see how it has had an increasing effect on our lives.
Web 1.0 is the creation of all the technical parts of the internet and its very early implementations. The first-ever web page, which has since been put back onto the internet in its original form, was a simple set of text and links.
Eventually, pictures and very basic tables were added as can be seen with the still-available Space Jam movie website, but the key focus was on delivering information to consumers rather than interaction.
Web 2.0 is web design based on interactivity and collaboration. Many websites we still use rely on the principles of feedback, user-generated content and services that communicate and collaborate with each other.
Many blog systems of websites are a prime example of this, as they present information that can be communicated on and shared on social networks.
The future of the internet will rely on how the vast array of websites and impossibly large amounts of information can be read and linked together, sometimes known as Web 3.0 or the Semantic Web, according to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
This is where the use of metadata becomes incredibly important, as it allows automated systems (like Google’s algorithms) to appropriately sort information to find the right results.
There’s no doubt that the online sector is booming in 2020 and that may mean your business is transitioning to provide an ecommerce store as well as physical outlets.
But what elements do you need to include in your web design to ensure that your ecommerce site performs well with both your existing and new customers? An article for Business2Community recently offered some advice about the areas to consider.
At the top of the list is a design that’s user friendly. This might sound obvious, but as soon as you spend just a little bit of time browsing online you’ll discover it’s an area where many businesses fall down.
Working with web designers in Surrey, or wherever you’re based, will help a lot here. Fundamentally, when you’re looking at the user experience focus on areas like navigation, search functionality and mobile responsiveness.
Another area you shouldn’t neglect is online reviews, what’s also known as social proof. This not only shows that other people have purchased your products, but what they thought of them too.
You can also explore how you could feature user-generated content on your site. Often this is likely to come via your social media channels, so think carefully about how they can be incorporated without detracting from what you’re trying to achieve.
Responsive design is another big box to tick nowadays and, as we recently explained, it’s more important than ever because we’re browsing on a wider range of devices than ever before. In fact, the latest figures show we carry out more searches on mobile devices than on desktops.
A lot of factors need to go into the design of your web page for it to truly flourish and help assist with your business, from ensuring alignment with brand identity to deeper technical boosts to help your website be picked up in search engines.
The key with web design in Kingston and across the UK is the ability to ensure that the objectives of the brand and the technical requirements to ensure that same brand appears high in search results do not conflict.
Google, makers of a search engine so ubiquitous that it is almost a genericised trademark, have an elaborate series of search criteria, sometimes known in SEO circles as the algorithm.
Here are some web design mistakes that you may not realise are costing you clicks.
Slow Web Pages
Page speed has become an increasing problem for a lot of pages, as web designs become more elaborate, and companies want an increasing number of features on their websites which if added inefficiently can make pages inaccessible to those with slow internet connections.
Google have a simple but effective tool called PageSpeed Insights which can analyse your website and see if there any obvious fixes that can be made.
Mobile Unfriendly Pages
Mobile-first and responsive design are terms that have become increasingly important as more of us use the internet in different ways.
Websites may rank differently on different devices, and may, in fact, rank worse overall if they do not run well on smartphones, tablets and other devices.
Modern website design can be relative. Some people may consider a website designed in 2010 to be modern, while others in the field of website design have to contend with so many changes and trends that anything pre-2019 or even pre-2020 is old hat and outdated.
But whether your website was updated as recently as yesterday, or it hasn’t changed and is serving the same function for several years, the one metric that is needed to measure how well a website is performing is the user experience (UX).
How your website visitors perceive and interact with your website can make or break a business. UX is the overall experience that a consumer has using a product, such as your website, particularly in terms of the ease of how they can use it, and how pleasurable the experience is.
Your website design can affect UX in a few ways:
It Guides the Reader’s Eye Down the Page.
One of the keys to a well-designed website is how well it guides the reader down the page. This can mean breaking content into smaller chunks, and the use of visual hierarchy such as banner images, appealing fonts, and good use of white space.
It Captures Their Attention
First impressions count, and it can take a visitor only 0.05 seconds to decide if they want to stick around and explore your website or to move on. It’s essential to include high-quality images and graphics, easily readable and eye-catching typography, and cohesive design. A clean and minimalist website will draw attention more than a cluttered one.
It Promotes Professionalism and Can Build Trust
94 per cent of people won’t trust an outdated website, which means keeping your site up to date and constantly refined with new content is pleasing to visitors.
Good website design will present your organisation as professional and seem more reliable, and that you care about how your business presents itself.
If you’re looking for web designers in Kingston, then talk to us today.