Going Digital Part 3: Web Design is the Architecture for your Digital Success
As more and more small businesses and retailers develop their online presence through search engine optimization (SEO) and beautifully constructed websites, the competition to be seen, noticed and visited in this massive abyss of information overload can seem rather daunting and almost impossible. Truth is, it really isn’t that bad, not if you have a focused and well thought out web design and SEO plan. To focus on one, without the other, is negligent and will not get you ROI you want for your business. Let’s begin with why you not only need a visually compelling site that artfully integrates user experience strategies, but you also need the tools to help clients get to your site in the first place.
Web design and the user experience must be one in the same
You can have a visually stunning site that has all of the latest design trends, but if you do not integrate user mapping, you may see a lot of visits on your site, but little or no conversion rates.
Why? If your visitor cannot quickly a) Identify the purpose of the site in 30 seconds or less or b) easily locate call to action buttons, they will lose interest and move on to another website.
Here are a few facts about the average user:
It takes 26 seconds for a person’s eye to focus on your page and make a judgement
You have 26 seconds to hook your potential client. Do you know what you need to do in order to pique the interest of your visitor?
• Fast loading speed
• Clean, uncluttered information
• White space is good-important content will stand out
• Storytelling through visuals
1% delay in a page’s response time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions!
40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load…
The speed of your website is just as important as the design and user experience. Think about it: we are so consumed with speed, efficiency and data overload, we simply do not have the patience nor do we accept “slow” loading times. All you need to do is think back to your search experience: How many times did you abandon a page that did not load quickly? Your visitors will do the same.
Mobility has impacted the way in which websites are designed
With the mobile revolution will underway, and the mass prevalence of social media, the average user now has the expectation that a site should scroll rather than be click-responsive. How often do you visit sites on your mobile phone? Whether you’re reading news feeds, checking Facebook or Twitter, you are scrolling down each time.
Benefits of a scrolling website:
• Longer time on site – visitors are more likely to scroll for information than to click for it
• Shorter load times – Users do not have to click between articles, reducing the risk of slow load times
• Excellent platform for storytelling
If you do move towards a scrolling web design, it does take a lot of creative content design work as well as knowing a few tricks such as, keeping images and testimonials at the fold so people will continue to scroll down your webpage.
Your website is amazing, now what?
Even if you have the best, most innovative and creative website, if people cannot see you on Google, you will not get visitors. SEO is key. We’ve all heard it, it’s the buzz word of our time, but nonetheless, it is crucial for your business’ success in obtaining online leads.
Google is constantly changing their SEO algorithms which can seem a bit complicated and convoluted. It’s not simply about key terms anymore. It’s a fine balance between key words and quality content, and so much more.
As you can see, the world of design has become increasingly psychological while still maintaining its artful force. Good websites require architects: designers who understand the importance of marrying functionality and design. You wouldn’t design a building that had doors that were hidden within its design would you? Imagine if it took a person 5 minutes to figure out how to use a door. It doesn’t make sense. Be clear, have prevalent call to actions, but also maintain a level of artistic thoughtfulness that will leave your visitors impressed.
Are you managing your web design and SEO in house? You may want to consider bringing in industry experts for both design and SEO as the two work so closely together. In our time of digital dominance, it may be time to seriously rethink your marketing efforts, and re-route your budget to your online presence.
For more information on Web design and SEO visit www.emethod.ca
Tanya Hage Coburn