7 Website Re-Design Guidelines
Today we check out some expert web design guidelines for refreshing your site, focusing on creating something that's both attractive...
and profitable! 1.
Get it right to begin with When you are in the planning stage of your website design, it is very tempting to just try something out, get it up and see how people respond to it.
After all, it can always be changed...
can't it? It is true that you can change your web design whenever you like, but you'll most likely be alienating customers in the meantime.
They have to struggle through with an un-polished design, and then re-learn how to use your site after you've made the changes - which could be fairly major.
Changes to strangers? Don't make your users feel like strangers when they visit your new site.
Changes should be incremental, and if possible, focused on the design itself, rather than the navigation or functions of the site.
To some extent, the web design is superfluous to your visitors - they mostly want to 'do' something on the site, rather than just stare at the pretty background.
Keep the navigation and functionality constant; focus on visual rather than 'mechanical' changes.
Hit the analytics reports One of the wonderful things about having an existing site is that you already have an idea of what works for your company and industry.
You know which pages users like, which have a high bounce rate, and which they spend the most time on.
Let your web designer professional in on what the analytics say as well, and you'll have a site that's not only pretty, but gives your customers what they need and want.
Always have old pages redirected There's nothing more frustrating for a user than going to an old bookmark, or finding an old link and getting a 404 message...
but not being able to find what they are looking for! Your design team can ensure that all old pages are redirected to their new equivalents.
Include a search box It is fairly easy to include a custom search box - and even cheaper to go with the Google version - and it adds immensely to your site's usability.
If any old pages slip through the cracks, a search bar ensures they can be found again.
Be individual Web design trends move in waves - try not to push your team in a stylistic direction that everyone else is taking.
Not only will your site look like a 'face in the crowd', it will also look dated as soon as the trends shift.
Go for a look that is true to your own brand/business.
Integrate your SEO from the start It is far easier (and more sensible) to implement your SEO-based changes from the get-go.
Any good web design team will make sure you have the clear and logical site structure needed for SEO-friendliness.
Your site should also have: - Fairly short URLs without unnecessary gobbledygook on the ends - Keywords integrated into page names and URLs - Relevant and unique meta descriptions and titles - Alt tags on your images - HTML and XML sitemaps Keep these guidelines in mind when planning and executing your new web design, and you'll be on your way to a site that's not only pretty, but user-friendly and therefore profitable.