Key Web Design & Development Tips
Important Factors When Planning Or Redesigning A Website
Revised September 20, 2017
Originally Published June 17, 2010
Whether creating a brand new website or redesigning an existing web application (webapp), a different set of tactics must be used versus other traditional offline print mediums such as a newspapers, books, or magazines.
There are numerous factors to be taken into consideration to make a website or webapp as effective as possible.
For this reason it is important to note some general tips that should be adhered to when planning for a new website, or re-designing an existing website application.
General Design Tips
- Make sure the website design & layout is mobile-friendly and appears consistent and accurately on all devices (smartphone, tablet, desktop, etc.) for ease of use and consumer confidence.
- Use one responsive site to avoid requiring users to visit a different website or use different navigation depending upon the device they are using.
- Forget page counters as they look messy and amateur. The website's hosting account statistics or Google Analytics will be able to reveal a great deal more about website traffic and consumer behavior than a hit counter.
- Flashing, scrolling or blinking text is often too distracting and again looks amateur. If there is a need to draw attention, it can done with a professional graphic image or using bold or stylized text.
- Keep the website look and feel consistent throughout all the web pages. This is a main key to making a website look professional.
- Keep the website navigation in the same place. Visitors are often frustrated and leave websites where the navigation menu constantly moves and changes.
- Don't use irregular navigation. For the most part, people are used to (and expect) top, right or left hand navigation menus. Non-standard navigation setups can cause confusion and caue the visitor to leave the website when they can't easily find where to go next.
- Attempt to keep website pages around 100k maximum in size. This keeps the website loading fast regardless of browser (Safari, Firefox, IE, etc), connection speed (high-speed cable, WiFi, cellular), or computer platform (e.g. smart phone, laptop, tablet, etc).
- Don't use busy backgrounds. The goal is to focus the visitor's attention on the content ( business information, services, products, etc), not the background of the website.
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Existing Businesses Should Make Sure They're Already Listed
- Google My Business
GMB is important if you want your business to show up locally in Google search results and on Google Maps. Creating a GMB listing can help Google better understand your business, providing key information on search results.
- Bing Places For Business
While Google holds the majority of search queries today, Bing is still a popular search engine. Make sure you're signed up at bingplaces.com.
While existing businesses most likely already have a free business listing on Yelp, it's important to claim that listing. By claiming your free listing you can make sure the information is complete, accurate, and respond to consumer reviews and questions.
- Facebook Business Page
As the most prominent social media with billions of active users, every business should claim its Business Page. While you don't have to continuously post updates, you should at least fill out the profile in an effort to build brand awareness, allow users to share your services with others, and allow customers to contact you.
- Angie's List
Angie's List offers free business listings. Because this directory is so well-known, having a business profile on AL can not only improve SEO, but generate new leads via the platform.
- Merchant Circle
Merchant Circle is another well-known online directory. Such established directories are a great method of not only building incoming links to a new website, but to generate leads and interest in a company's services.
LinkedIn is a business-centric social media platform. Securing your business listing with LinkedIn is a great method of spreading awareness while also networking with other businesses and their associates that can result in new leads, referrals, and sales.
MapQuest/Yext is another well-known and readily utilized online directory and information source, that allows you to claim your business profile, and help direct how your business information appears on the internet.
For those businesses that are near popular vacation spots, or attractions, getting your business listed with TripAdvisor is an excellent way to make sure your business gets listed on location and attractions search results for TripAdvisor customers.
Local.com provides free business listings that are easy to signup for, and help generate interest and awareness in new and small businesses within different localities.
Are There Other's Specific To You?
Depending on your industry, there are many more directories and networks that may be industry or location specific. Searching and then signing up for free listings on RELEVANT directories can help generate leads and awareness.
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