The digital world has shifted quite heavily in recent years. More people are online than ever before, but more importantly, they are accessing websites across a wider range of devices than ever before.
According to data calculated by StatCounter, there were more searches in the UK using mobile devices than desktop ones (47.64 per cent against 45.61 per cent), and if tablet devices are also included, most than half of all UK web searches use smart devices rather than a traditional computer.
Gone are the days of designing for a range of 4:3 or even 16:9 resolutions for desktop computers. Instead, web design in Kingston and across the United Kingdom must put responsive design at the front and centre of their websites.
What Is Responsive Design?
Responsive design is less a specific design and more of an approach to web page development. The philosophy of responsive design is to make a website that will look as good on any size device at any orientation.
In practice, this means not only designing it for high-resolution widescreen desktops but also tablets and mobile phone, ideally with both portrait and landscape in mind.
As mobile devices, in particular, have quite a wide range of screen sizes, from rather tall and narrow devices to screens large enough to almost serve as a half-way point in-between a phone and a tablet, your layout needs to be adjustable to ensure that any phone can access a presentable form of the website.
The use of progressive enhancement, automated detection of a device and web browser, is helpful for designing the best website for the most people.
A related concept, although not exactly the same as responsive design is ‘mobile-first’. Mobile-first design is a little more specific in scope and generally involve a different design process. For mobile-first, the basic website skeleton is designed first with the most basic of devices in mind, before being gradually built on for smart devices and desktops.
Why Use Responsive Design?
The short answer is that it is important to SEO. Google factors in mobile usability in search results, so websites that are easier to access and navigate on websites will usually rank higher in search results.
As well as this, designing a website with mobile in mind usually has positive consequences in other areas.
Mobile websites need to be efficient with their use of data, which by consequence makes them load faster. Page speed is another major criteria for SEO.
Efficient web design is effective web design, and making the site as easy as possible for any device to access helps as many users to reach your site as possible.
Keeping your website up-to-date is not only essential for its functions and aesthetics, but also for generating leads, attracting customers and visitors, and keeping your business going.
Outdated websites can look out of place and may not display correctly on some browsers or devices, and broken links and poorly written copy can drive potential customers to your competition.
We have a look at three signs that your website needs attention.
1. Outdated Design
It is fairly straight forward to figure out if your design is outdated or not. First, you need to consider the niche in which your website or business occupies, and your intended audience.
Then, compile a list of the most successful websites for your niche and audience, and take a look at the design techniques, the fonts, colour schemes, and the tone of voice. This could all also vary depending on your sector, country, and language, as each may have different standards and styles.
Compare the information you have gathered to the design of your website, and you can objectively find out if it appears out of date, or stands proudly with the competition. It may be a generalised method of finding out but can give you a fairly accurate means of assessing your design.
2. Outdated, Factually Incorrect Content
The purpose of your website is to present information about your product or services to potential and existing clients. If the information you share is incorrect and outdated, then you may end up losing revenue, or with frustrated clients asking why you can’t provide the promised services.
Also, keep in mind that search engines demote websites that have not been updated in a long time.
3. Not Displaying Correctly on Mobile or the Newest Browsers
Technology, mobile devices, and internet browsers are forever changing and evolving, and quicker than ever. If your website doesn’t change and evolve with them, it will start displaying incorrectly, a clear sign that your website is out of date and needs an overhaul.
If you need expert web designers in Kingston, get in touch!
Conversion is what all good web design aims for. Attracting people to your site is all well and good, but you also want them to take some action while they’re there, whether that’s signing up to receive your newsletter, making a purchase, or contacting you for a quote.
There are certain elements that you have to bear in mind when you’re looking at how you can drive conversions, as an article for PR Web by Digital Silk recently explained.
The organisation noted that good web design should always begin by working out your broader digital strategy. This means considering not only you want to achieve with your online presence, but also who your target audience is, what your competitors are doing and how your current site is performing.
Before you get round to designing anything, the next step is in the planning. This involves mapping out all the potential customer journeys on your site and creating a conversion funnel for each. With this information, your web designers in Kingston will be able to get to work.
It’s actually a good idea to work closely with your web designers to hash out your plan, including exploring the customer journeys and conversion funnels together.
Once you get to this point, you can get started on the design and development of your site. Make sure that you also create visual guidelines to ensure consistency across the whole site, as well as any other digital assets or sites, like social media profiles, you may use.
It’s also essential that you don’t neglect security on your site as you’re building it. We explored this, as well as other ways of making your business come across as trustworthy online in a previous blog post.
Steps like having an SSL certificate for your website aren’t difficult to complete, so make sure you don’t overlook them because they will certainly add to your site’s credibility, making it look more trustworthy to visitors, not to mention improving security and protecting everyone’s data.
As Digital Silk noted, the design of your website accounts for 75 per cent of its credibility, and other factors like the security you have in place will bolster trust further.
Having this credibility is essential if you are to convince consumers to purchase or do business with you.
As an article for Your Story recently pointed out, 94 per cent of a person’s first impression of your business comes from your website’s design, so if you need further convincing of the importance of having a thorough process to get this right, this could be it.
2020 has certainly been a year where the digital and online environments have come to the fore. If you’ve previously resisted going digital with your business, but you’re starting to understand why it’s so crucial to have an online presence, now is the time to make the shift.
As an article for Business 2 Community recently pointed out, there are a number of elements you should bear in mind when you’re transitioning to a digital business model.
It’s essential to begin with your online business fundamentals. If this is your first foray into the digital realm, it’s particularly important to explore what has changed and how this will impact your business and its customers.
As part of this process, you should clearly define your business goals and explore how these may need to change as you shift to a more digital, or wholly digital, business model. This is also an excellent time to revisit your branding.
Remember that branding is about having a consistent message and being able to share that with your customers and potential customers across multiple channels. It should showcase your brand mission and core values.
To do that, elements such as the tone of voice, visual aspects of your brand (like the logo) and your brand’s personality all need to work together to create a whole picture that people can easily understand.
Working with specialists in web design in Surrey can help you start to explore how your brand might need to change for the digital world.
As we noted earlier this year, an important part of building your customer base online is being able to demonstrate that your brand is trustworthy. Your web design is very important for trust building with prospective customers.
The coronavirus pandemic and UK lockdown has resulted in lots of industries being put on pause or slowing down, so you could think that entrepreneurship has not been at the forefront of the nation’s mind… but new businesses are actually on the rise, and people are now needing website designers for start-ups more than ever.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Wales recently reported that it’s seen a huge increase in enquiries from people wanting to find out how to become self-employed and looking at ways that they can become their own boss.
Perhaps it’s because people have realised how much they enjoy the freedom of working from home, and have been given a taste of the ‘freelancer lifestyle’, where they’re no longer being micro-managed and have the sense of working for themselves.
Maybe being away from the office has left people with the desire to step away from ‘workplace drama’ and office politics and create a business with a work culture that has a better fit.
It could be that the economy has taken a hit and the job market is looking less stable, or that the enormity of the pandemic has highlighted our own mortality and given people that “come on, you’ve got to follow your dreams right now” push.
In Wales the number of new businesses registered hit 1,781 in June and 1,933 in July—increases of 18.9% and 16.7% compared to the figures for the same time in 2019.
Ben Francis of the FSB said that while we don’t yet know the impact of coronavirus on the economic landscape, there must be “significant support from government to help those who might choose to move from employment to working for themselves.”
If you’re starting your own business, you need professional web design to make it a success. For expert web designers in Kingston and Surrey, get in touch today.
Many things can separate a good website from a great website, such as web design. Finding a balance between striking aesthetics and the aspects of a site that affect search engine optimisation (SEO), such as page loading speeds, can be reached by adapting the website design of your choice to maximise the clicks to your website.
Whether your site is intended to be a creative portfolio or an online store for your wares, it is important to include keywords in the design itself, because keywords in articles help the SEO of the article, but keywords in the web design elevate the website’s ranking on different search engines.
Here are some tips to help with your SEO in your web design.
Use Keywords in web design
Keywords that are relevant to your niche in your website help boost the SEO of the entire site. But ensure that the keywords are thoroughly researched and their feasibility checked. Trending and popular keywords can provide a quick and easy boost to SEO rankings.
Choose the domain name carefully
Including a relevant keyword in your domain name can work wonders. For example, searching Google for the keyword ‘bike’ is more likely to bring up websites that have ‘bike’ in their domain name.
Find your balance of specificity
Using keywords that are only relevant in your particular niche will certainly help you in your particular area, but your site might rank lower than some websites of a slightly wider niche. Restricting yourself to only keyword-orientated content can be detrimental.
Do not obsess over images
Images on websites can pose a problem when it comes to page loading speeds, which is one of the factors that is used by Google to compile their website rankings. Images are certainly necessary for a website, but ensure they are optimised for the web. Avoid cluttering your site with flash plugins, large high-resolution photos, and animations that will slow down your site.
For any site to be a commercial success, the web design has to be carefully considered, so contact web designers in Surrey for the professional touch.