We live in a world of constant connection; we’re checking our social media accounts and emails every hour, Googling something that came up in conversation and snapping selfies any time we’re somewhere cool. We have become so accustomed to being connected that the thought of a world without the internet is panic-inducing. With such a reliance on the internet, businesses can no longer afford to have sub-par web design. More and more businesses are hiring website design firms, but, oftentimes, they hold such misconceptions about web design that it can be difficult to progress. We’ve looked into a few of the most common ones.
I’m Going to Go Viral!
Ever since going viral was a thing, businesses have wanted to do just that. And because quite a few websites have gone viral over the years, it’s not uncommon for your client to think that they will, too. This is one of the biggest errors in thought out there. Why? Because the designer designs your website, you promote it.
A good website designer will create a site that is both beautiful and functional with a heavy focus on the user experience (UX). However, it’s not their job to share your website with potential clients. This is your responsibility. Spekcyboy.com suggests several tactics you can utilize for improved website traffic:
- Content Creation: publish blogs, whitepapers and case studies to drive traffic back to your site. Once visitors get to your site, the beautiful design certainly won’t hurt you
- Social Media Marketing: promote your new site and content on the site across social media to encourage site traffic. You can also do a little bit (remember the 80/20 rule) of self-promotion to boost traffic
- SEO: optimize your site for keywords to help drive site traffic from search engines
The most important thing to remember is that whether or not your site goes viral is more so in your hands than in the hands of your designer. Create amazing content that makes your audience want to visit your site and work with your designer to make the site beautiful, functional and brand appropriate.
Using your website as an opportunity to stuff as many keywords as you can into every sentence is not only annoying to read, it can ruin a stunning website design. Many businesses (wrongly) think that the content on their website is meant only for bombarding your audience with keywords so you can force more SEO traffic. This is the worst misconception as it will completely ruin even the best of website designs.
Fan & Fuel suggests an alternative to keyword heavy copy: use high-quality copy. Create copy that is engaging and relevant and offers your audience what they’re looking for. After all, your prospects are likely going to your site to get more information, not to decipher copy that is stuffed with SEO keywords. They suggest writing copy as if you were writing an ad—would you have eight keywords in a sentence or would you try to get your point across in an eloquent call to action? We’re guessing the latter.
Never Say Never
One of the more logical misconceptions around website design is that once the website has launched, it’s done. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Much like fashion, web design trends are constantly changing and to be among the best requires constant maintenance. For example, there was a time when clip art was an acceptable image to use on websites. If you were to see clip art on a professional site now, you’d probably wonder why this business isn’t with the times using stock or original photos. You don’t want people visiting your site wondering if you’re behind.
Another aspect of maintenance falls in the SEO arena. While we still don’t recommend stuffing content with keywords, effective use of SEO can help drive site traffic. But to get that site traffic requires monitoring keywords to see where you rank. If your site is optimized for the keyword phrase “Atlanta web design company” but you rank poorly for that, why stay optimized for that? You’ll need to update the content somewhat regularly.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about visiting a website is when it takes forever to load or isn’t formatted properly, which is precisely why the design and development process never ends. Your developer will be checking for you broken links, how your site is functioning (and UX) and what needs work. Speckyboy.com sums it up perfectly: “[Your developer] will create a living entity that needs to be managed and nurtured.”
Give Me Some Space
For those of us that have navigated websites crammed with information, images and buttons galore, we’ll be the first to tell you that empty space is better than no space. While many businesses want their websites to be content heavy, incorporate all the newest fancy design trends and be packed with beautiful images, the truth is that users prefer sites that are simplistic and minimal.
Fan & Fuel explains that instead of using flashy elements, we should focus on designing sites that are intuitive (again with UX) and simple. If your users can figure out how to navigate your site, you can guarantee they won’t be staying long. Not only does this give the readers’ eyes room to breathe, it can help with load time. Because 40 percent of visitors leave a site that’s not loading within three seconds, having a quick load time can be the difference between customer and prospect. Don’t be afraid to leave some space, it’s what your users want.
Any Old Fool Can Do it
In the DIY world that we live in, it can be tempting to save a few bucks and design your own site. We promise, you’ll regret it. Businesses have an idea that creating a website is really just clicking a few buttons and adding content. This simply isn’t the case and it can be insulting to designers that have spent years learning to design A+ websites.
As any woman who looks flawless at an event will tell you, perfection takes hours of work. First there’s hair, then makeup and finding the perfect dress to wear. Then she needs to find the proper accessories and pull everything together. This can take hours! The same goes for website design. While it may seem like your stunning website just came together that way, the truth is that it took a lot of time to create the masterpiece you’re now viewing.
Take a look at Black Bear’s website. Every graphic took time to research and create from scratch, the content took hours to write, and the buttons and features took hours and hours to code. And this is only the technical aspects of the website. A designer needs to be creative and have the ability to reflect your brand’s persona in the site. Juggling both the technical and creative aspects of designing a website is tough and designing a website is certainly not an easy feat to tackle.
Now that you know all the work it takes to design a website, you might be feeling overwhelmed. That’s okay! Designing a website is a monstrous undertaking, which is why design professionals are in high demand. If you’re thinking about upgrading your website, head on over to Black Bear’s office to brainstorm ideas. They’ve built hundreds of websites and have a good idea on what makes a site successful.
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