We all know that websites come in all shapes and sizes. No matter the industry, or the product/service, you will need at least three things to build your online throne.
Responsiveness, search engine optimisation, and brand-strengthening design. Let me explain just why and how these are the three most important characteristics of professional web design in Wagga Wagga.
First of all, what is responsiveness? Well, it is the ability to navigate clearly and cohesively between pages, links, and other interactive components of a site. It is also a clear design and sensible navigation path. For a site to be fully responsive, this must happen masterfully on all devices, including a desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet.
Why does a website need to be responsive? Perhaps you believe all of your potential users will come from a computer, so doesn’t it only need to be responsive for desktop? Short answer, no. Although you may think you know where your audience is coming from, you could be surprised. The best way to know for sure is by observing your Google Analytics. Even if a larger percentage of your audience is coming from a specific device, you will still want to ensure you aren’t cutting off a whole group of users. Chances are, as soon as someone clicks on an unresponsive site, finds it hard to navigate their way through and struggles to find the information they need, they will leave and never look back.
Either way, the responsiveness isn’t only for you and your audience, it is also for Google. It is common knowledge that Google is the largest platform for an online search. This means that you want to get in the good books with Google, and actively avoid the dog house. If your site is deemed unresponsive, you will be penalised and your rank will suffer accordingly.
So how do we avoid this? There is a simple solution. When designing your website, you must critically think about user navigation. This means carefully creating a path for your user to follow. Ensure your call to actions are easily accessible, including call icons and buttons, build a practical navigation menu, and design each element of the build, in multiple device viewports to ensure all images and content is accessible in every format. The key is to check your site on an array of devices before you make it live.
Something to also note is screen size for desktops and laptops. Have you ever viewed a website on a computer, and later on a laptop and noticed the header is slightly out of place now? You need to ensure that you are catering to most screen sizes as well. You can do this by setting your own rules around the best practice viewport dimensions when building your site, and ensuring you stick to these guidelines throughout.
Search Engine Optimisation (known as SEO)
If you are looking for a service or product in your area, where would you find it? On the great entity that presents itself as Google, most likely. From data released in January 2021, Google retains 94.45% of search engine use in Australia. When you search on the platform, you will get filtered results. Have you ever looked at the first few recommended sites and wondered why they were placed at the top? Of course, relevancy will always prevail, because there is no use searching for ‘Hairdresser near me’, and having an electrician come up. But what else tells Google to rank these sites? That’s where SEO comes in.
SEO is the act of Search Engine Optimization. You see, Google has an algorithm defined, allowing them to crawl across websites and pick out key elements, content, and actions determining where it should place in each search. How often will you click on the second page of Google? Probably not too often, unless you’re desperate. So it is important to build your website in tune with Google’s algorithm. There is one catch, though. The algorithm is a secret and it is forever playing telephone. Don’t worry though, with research and experience, we can figure out what is going on and act accordingly.
If you want to rank efficiently and appear to new audiences as well as allow for existing ones to find you easily, you will want to build your site with SEO at the forefront of your mind. There are a number of ways to do this, and a number of things you must consider during the process.
A website should reflect your business’ present status, through curated content and your strategic design. You want visitors that are arriving on your site to recognise your brand right away, and connect you to the physical world easily. Your branding should be consistent in style across your site.
Brand design is more than physical imagery. It is also the themes and intent behind your content alongside the overall flow of your site. Sometimes it is easy to find an array of inspiration, and want to use bits and pieces from here and there, but this can very quickly become confusing to audiences, making it difficult for clients to connect with you. It is best to work out your overarching themes before delving too far into your design.
You should consider what tone your business wants to put forth, will your content be a little bit more colloquial, or formal? This may impact the way you want your site to look, as it should compliment your content seamlessly.
You should also consider the content you will be providing and offering across your site. This will effect the design and will change the way you may want to present your site.
It is clear to see that there is more than what meets the eye when it comes to websites. Without a responsive and well thought out design, one that is built to rank and strengthen your brand, your site will be limited and won’t have the potential to bring you the best results.
Consider the reason behind creating a site. Is it to gain new customers? To raise awareness for your services? A site that isn’t easily accessible, quick to find, and reflective of your brand, is a site not worth investing in.