In Understanding how Visitors See Your Website Part I it was discussed that web design isn’t just about killer graphics and custom layouts. It’s about how real human visitors and search engine bots see your site – and in the end your site will be ranked according to the experiences that you create for these two unique types of visitors. In the first part of this series we detailed what search bots see when they arrive at your page. Now we'll examine what actual human visitors see.
Web Design Must Deliver on Content first, Imagery Second
Internet users have short attention spans and limited tolerance for bad search results. Therefore, one of the first things that a human visitor is looking for when they arrive at your page is: "Is this what I was searching for?" They'll quickly scan the page title, captions image descriptions, and if it doesn't line up with their search query they'll likely bounce away to another page. This is important to consider because your site's bounce rate will also factor significantly in your overall rankings.
If your page content delivers, the next thing that most consumers will notice is the layout, design and appeal of the site. Ideally these items will naturally funnel the visitor to an action-able item such as a contact field, a sign-up form, a download link or to buy a product or service. This is where seemingly benign items like color and font can suddenly have a significant impact on your conversion rates.
Web design must also take user experience into account, and this includes many of the same items that search engine bots will examine and measure, including the site's navigation, page and post structure, graphics and images and much more. Each page must be highly focused in order to immediate grab and retain the reader's attention, and this requires a proper balance of technical and aesthetic design skills.
But more than anything else, real human visitors to your site are looking for high quality content. If you can present exactly the right content to the reader in an easy to use and appealing format, you'll stand a much better chance of staying ahead of your competition based on your website design alone. However, if your site's content is thin, nonexistent or irrelevant to the people that come to your site, you'll quickly be left far behind your competitors.
A professional web design company knows that ultimately, the best strategy is to simply produce high quality content. This is not only true for your site's On-Page optimization; it's also true for your Off-Page optimization. Think about it: if your website is beautifully designed and navigates flawlessly, you'll still not develop any relevant business or search rankings if you don't have valuable and relevant content.
In summary, web design must integrate a number of elements in order to be successful. This includes integrating SEO, social media, and all of your other Internet marketing efforts into a comprehensive and all-inclusive yet well-balanced and carefully orchestrated plan. In order to effect these integrations for your website right now, simply pick up the phone and call the number at the top of your screen. The call is free and places you under no obligation, so you have nothing to lose.