Key things to consider before choosing a website designer
When you first enter the world of web design things can seem quite daunting at first.
When choosing a website designer you will have 101 questions about what you need to look for effective website design and how to set clear and concise goals around your digital marketing efforts.
What functionality should my website have?
To start things off let’s cover a few of the essential features that every good business website will need to have to succeed in the online realm.
By ticking the box for each of these features you will ensure that your business is being set up with the ultimate digital launch platform to propel your brand forward.
These features and functionalities all serve a vital role within today’s digital marketing efforts, so let’s dive in and take a look.
1# A website blog
Consumers in this day and age are becoming more and more demanding when it comes to online content.
They don’t only want to know the details of a product they want to know what motivates you to build that product as well as how that product impacts upon their lives.
Your blog is a way to humanize your brand and to connect one on one with your customers.
The core benefits of a blog for Canberra web design:
- You have the ability to increase your SEO rankings by creating fantastic engaging content for your readership. Popular articles that you can create could be “5 boutique beers you can order at a restaurant” or “Where to grab a good burger in Bendigo” to name a few.
- Provides shareable content for your social media platforms. This is important as the content that you are sharing is now driving traffic to your website and not elsewhere.
- Helps establish yourself as an authority within your industry by answering popular questions in the form of engaging and creative articles. This results in establishing a sense of trust and familiarity with your brand.
- Your blog will improve the traffic conversion rates for your website by showing your customers that your website has a heartbeat. Regular content results in a sense of loyalty being established for your brand.
- Will help your website build backlinks as your start to create amazing content. More backlinks increase your website’s authority thus ranking your site higher within the google search results.
- Help your website rank for long tail search queries such as “How to cook the perfect steak” if you are a local butcher.
- Lucky last but not least a great blog helps facilitate a healthy discussion amongst your customer base.
In conclusion, a regularly updated blog for your website will ensure that your website has that much-needed heartbeat to humanise your business and to gauge what your customers are really looking for when they arrive at your website.
This blog heartbeat will allow you to stand out from your competitors and to provide your own views and insights into your digital branding strategy.
If you are on the lookout for a local Canberra based company that does a fantastic job at blogging jump on over to the Her Canberra. They create amazing content.
2# Pages that match your business type
When you’re looking at website design it can be easy to get caught in the excitement of website functions that you often forget about a few of the basic features that a website needs.
Whenever I think about this statement my mind often races to that scene in Alice in Wonderland where the hatter’s father states that the design of a good hat is to follow the proper dictum of society.
Even though he couldn’t have been more wrong when it comes to hats it pretty much hits the nail on the head when it comes to good website design.
You need to have the core fundamentals of a website down pat if you want users to be able to easily navigate your website.
Let’s use a cafe as an example. Cafe businesses want to have this amazing photo gallery within their website as well as a lengthy about page that tells the story of how their restaurant started.
Unfortunately, they neglect to think about including a menu and a contact form showcasing their opening hours.
The pages that follow the proper dictum of website design so to speak. This may vary slightly from industry to industry.
Let’s jump in and cover a few web design examples below:
An E-commerce business: Will need to have high-resolution images for their products as they buyers confidence in the product will need to be established entirely online.
In these cases, it is often beneficial to have a demonstration video of the product to cover a few of the basics such as functionality and usability.
A service-based business: For service-based businesses, a lot of the strength for the business is within the testimonials. It may be beneficial to include two brief testimonials at the bottom of each service that you provide. An effective way of designing this feature is included below.
These customer review sections fit nice and neat at the bottom of your services pages and are a great way to enforce customers decision making when it comes to purchasing your product.
Make sure that you try and include photos of the person as well as it humanizes the reviews and really puts a face to the name.
A physical business: For a physical business a few case studies on customers using your products will be by far the best way to strike up a good rapport with your potential customers.
For example a short blog article on how Sally travels the extra 20 minutes each week to order to regular spice latte with a jam doughnut. These type of reviews help portray the atmosphere of your physical business and make users feel like they are part of the family.
In conclusion, when you are choosing a website designer it is important to keep in mind the importance of having those key pages that users would like to see.
I have included a list below of the pages that I always build by default when supplying small business website design packages.
- A home page providing an overview of your business.
- An about page detailing why you so what you do.
- A blog page to help you tell your story online.
- A contact us page detailing your open times, location and best point of contact.
- A services page outlining the core services that you provide. I would usually stick to one page per service.
3# Clear Navigation
Here is a key point that I can’t stress enough. It is essential that your website has a clear way for your potential customers to navigate the website. To cover this area lets cover two websites that we see quite often in this day and age.
Hamburger Nav Menus: hamburger menus I am seeing become more popular as website begin to shift towards a more image-focused design.
These menus can be quite difficult at times to effectively navigate or even find in general on a busy website.
I do support these for mobile use but I often think twice when I consider using them on a full web page design.
Standard Nav Menu: Standard navigation menus are easy to navigate and often provide a clear and time efficient way for users to move through the website.
When your designing your website’s navigation make sure that you always put the user’s experience first on both web and mobile devices.
Every website in this day and age will need to have an effective navigation method for both of these platforms.
4# Website Security
Security can be a difficult area so let’s distil down to what you really need in relation to website security by arming you with a few questions to fire at your web designer.
- If you selling products on site ask your web designer if the website is served over SSL as this is an essential security check for all online transactions. You know if a website in on SSL by the little green padlock in your browser.
- Ask if your website is being backed up regularly as well as how often your site is being backed up.
- If it is a WordPress website ask if Wordfence security is currently installed.
Image sourced from ProPhoto
All in all one of the most important things is that you have a backup for your website that can be reverted back to if anything ever happens to your website.
SSL encryption is also a nice touch as it allows you to process payments online as well as to receive a boost in your search engine rankings for delivering secure content.
5# Social media integration
There are so many social media platforms out there and it is essential to set clear and concise social media goals for your business.
By including your social media profiles on your website you will not only receive a boost in SEO but you will see an increase in the level of customer engagement on your website.
To achieve social media success I usually follow a four-step process:
- Plan our a clear set of goals for my social media strategy. This could be that I would like to increase the level of engagement for my website content.
- Create accounts on the social media platforms that I believe that will help me best achieve those goals based on my content and business type.
- Setup sharing buttons on my website to link to my various social media platforms.
- Create fantastic engaging blog content that I can then share onto my social platforms on a regular basis.
Steps to go from good to great website design
Now that we have the functionality under control we need to start to look into the design elements of your website. Lets five into a few design tips for website success.
Firstly we need to ensure that we are building with a purpose in mind before choosing a website designer.
Good web design will always put your users first. I order to achieve this you will need to grab a pen and paper and possibly a hot cup of coffee as well and draw out how you would like your users to engage with your website.
In most cases, you will aim to serve first before being served.
This means that your education and informative content will be displayed first in order to instil a level of trust with the customer prior to displaying your products.
This will minimise your websites bounce rate whilst also increasing the conversion rate for your products and services.
When you are designing a website I know it can be tempting to use a large colour pallet and a variety of different font types.
At the end of the day what looks best is a website that conforms to a consistent font and colour scheme across the entire site.
When you sit down with your web designer make sure that you pick a set of colours that contrast well together and utilise those colours throughout the entire website.
Stock images at times can look fantastic although it is often a good idea to fix in a few personal images as well to add to the humanization of your business.
A few well-selected photos can change your view from a large corporate company to a local business in the eyes of your consumers.
Make sure that these images are clear and effectively optimised to be served over the web as there is nothing worse than a slow website.
Mobile search requests are becoming more and more popular especially as voice search requests are on the rise.
This means that the sleek and sexy website that you have just designed now needs to look just as sleek and sexy on a mobile device.
Mobile can be a challenge at times if your website is coded from scratch. If your website is built on the website then you have no need to fear as the vast majority of WordPress sites are designed to be mobile responsive.
The above image comes from the mobile view of my own WordPress based website. As you can see the elements are condensed to the screen neatly and there is a clear call to action within the navigation bar.
Mobile devices are the one exception when it comes to using the hamburger navigation menu as it fits neatly within the bounds of the mobile device.
Web design goal setting
When we think about setting business goals we often go into a great deal of detail in a targeted strategic plan.
Unfortunately, businesses don’t apply the same vigorous attitude to their website’s goals.
When looking at a small business website design package or even a complete website rebuild it is crucial that you are clear about the goals that you wish to achieve with your website.
Below is a series of popular business goals that you may consider implementing with your businesses web design strategy.
Generate more business leads
One of the most popular website goals is to generate more potential leads for your business.
The most effective way to increase a long-term consistent source of leads is search engine optimisation.
By implementing an effective SEO strategy for your business you will be able to rank for high traffic keywords within your area of business. Examples may include “divorce lawyers Bendigo” or “car servicing near me”.
If you need a hand with SEO feel free to reach out to our organic SEO studio for help.
Increase brand awareness
Businesses that like to focus on brand awareness are brands that usually have educational resources for their consumer base.
This can be anything from informative eBooks to educational blog posts. Not for profit organisations are focused on creating brand awareness for their projects and their initiatives.
To gauge public views
A website can be utilised to gauge the views of the public on specific products such as a new product release or a product that is looking to undergo redevelopment.
A great method of achieving this is to provide a product demo or an informative article on your product then sharing that article or review through your social media platforms.
That just about wraps things up for the information that you will need to know before choosing a website designer.
If you have a few questions or would be interested in a web design quote for your business make sure you reach out.