Web design is a very important factor in the success of your online business. In fact, the importance of website design can not be overemphasized, even though most people who run their own web-base business do not understand the term.
What is Web Design
Designing a website is not limited to the appearance of the site, just as a designing a building involves more than just its external appearance. Inexperienced web designers focus too much on the graphics and not enough on the functionality and the likelihood of the website to be listed on search engine results for specific search terms (aka 'keywords'.)
Here are some of the web design features that should be include in a good, functional website. These are just a few of the elements of a website on which you should focus to provide a good balance between visitor satisfaction and optimization for high rankings on Google and other search engines. These are the two fundamentals of good website design.
Website Design and Visitor Satisfaction
People visit your website for a reason. They have an objective, and the easier you enable them to achieve that objective the more likely they are to return to your site. Too many websites are over-complicated, with long pages that need a lot of scrolling to reach important information. You can avoid this in two ways:
Anchors: Anchors enable visitors to rapidly reach a position on a particular page relating to the information most important to them. Short clickable links relating to important aspects of the content of a page can be used to enable people to avoid unnecessary scrolling. By clicking on anchored links, the page will scroll automatically to the area of text associate with that link.
Silo Structure: With a silo structured website, the Home Page introduces the topic in general, with a sidebar offering links relating to specific aspects of that topic. For example, with a golf site, such links could lead to individual pages introducing sub-topics such as Golf Equipment, Apparel and Instruction. Each of these pages will have similar links relating to pages on that specific sub-topic, such as swing mechanics, curing a slice, and the grip.
By using a combination of simple, clear navigation links, your visitors can quickly access the pages relating to the information they are seeking. You can also provide them with a means of interacting with the site and with you. A contact form, comments section and even an opt-in form for a newsletter can help visitors feel more than just a potential customer.
Visitor satisfaction is a very important aspect of web design, because in too many cases people visit a website and never return. In fact, most visitors will come to your home page and then leave it within 30 seconds or less. To help avoid that, you must make them feel welcome, and make it easy for them to find what they are looking for.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a broad term referring to the way your web design conforms to the requirements of search engine indexing and ranking algorithms, Google in particular. Google is the largest search engine by far, taking around 80% of all web searches. SEO is a very important aspect of website design, and without pandering to Google's needs you may as well have no website at all.
A search engine scans the source code of your entire site, following links where they exist and examining the authority of incoming links from other web pages a websites. Your ranking, or listing position in web search results pages, will depend upon how relevant your individual pages are to the search term used and on the authority given to your page by others.
SEO in Web design is too complex a topic to discuss in just a few paragraphs. However, you must optimize your website to figure in the search engine rankings for the main keyword for your page. A component of good web design is to optimize each individual page for one keyword. That word, or short phrase, should be established after carrying out intensive keyword research.
This research should identify keywords with a good combination of frequent use by those seeking information on your topic, and the minimum of other web pages catering for them. If there are several good keywords, then you should publish a page for each one.
There are many more factors involved in SEO than just this, and your web design efforts should focus on the most important of these. This will in turn enable your pages to be indexed and listed by Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines in high ranking positions. Without exposure in search results, your website will fail.