Top 7 Tips for a More Effective Website Design
By Matthew Simmons
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New year, new year's resolutions for the business and a fresh start. You may be thinking that it's time for a refresh of that old site you had developed by those agency boys with the ponytails and black jeans ten years ago. So given that you don't change your website design very often, a bit like changing your living room TV, things will have changed over the years since you last looked at your site and the options available.
- The Marketing Brief - Firstly decide what the purpose of the site and for this you need to produce a proper brief. You want to get want YOU want from your website design agency - Many clients expect us marketing experts to come up with the creative solution, but the reality is that often the client does not have a clear idea of what it is they are trying to achieve before they start. The poor old marketing agency is left to fill in the gaps and make certain assumptions and as they say the word assume is made from ass u and me figure it out. What you (and your agency) need is a documented Marketing Brief.
- Professional Website design - Your website is the foundation of all your outbound marketing and your brand and image building campaigns. Your great website design enables potential customers to find, understand and remember your business. However, this will only happen only if your website is designed professional from the ground up or it will just another bad site that, (if you are lucky no one will find, or take notice of even when they do get there!) will put off more of those hard-earned prospects than it converts.
- Website Design; Content Managed or Bespoke - The website design world has moved on from Dreamweaver and there are many ways a website can be developed and the plethora of new website technologies can be confusing - asp, php, html - Joomla, Drupal, WordPress - bespoke, content managed. But great news is that gone are the days of needing the agency to make a change for you at £200 a pop - now you know why those boys were all driving around in 911s! You want to be able to edit your site and our favourite system for most sites with the possible exception of e-commerce, is WordPress simply for the friendly interface and the array of plugins available that make it incredibly search engine and social media friendly.
- Measure; set up targeted website metrics - If you are going to invest in new website design, then you must put in place some key measurement tools so that you can track how your prospects interact with with it.
- Great Images - They say a picture is worth a thousand words but in the ultra competitive world of marketing, where you have an instant to create an impression, your images need to be spot on in terms of resolution. Good images cost money whether you buy them in from a library or if you get them shot yourself. So you will need to use them as much as you can to maximise your investment.
- Avoid killing your search engine rankings - Some clients are aware that there might be SEO issues, but some are blissfully ignorant. Going live with a fresh website design without considering the SEO implications first is like building a beautiful new house with no drive, no front gate and no front door. In other words no one will find it or be able to get in when they do!
- Get Social - Presence on social media is now really important and its impact on inbound marketing, SEO (search engine optimisation), even website design and the overall business is significant. To gain good position in the search engines, they are looking for 'social signals', and also getting involved in social media (but to a plan) will bring your more traffic anyway.
Matthew Simmons is a principal marketing consultant at Snap-Marketing and blogs on Marketing Strategy, Website Design and SEO. Why now visit the Snap Marketing Blog to view some more marketing articles.
Article Submitted On: December 24, 2012