We’ve all heard the reports and ads telling us how getting in better shape can help us look and feel better – even include our performance at work and the way others view us. Turns out that’s true for your website too. Keeping your website in good shape by regularly reviewing it, tweaking it and upgrading it ensures your company stays on top of trends – even slightly ahead of them – to create a more professional and engaging experience for your site visitors – one that looks better, “feels” better to customers and even performs better.
Today more than ever, there are lots of visual and design elements that can make your site more attractive to visitors. Each year seems to bring in another fad – animations, videos that start playing the moment someone comes to your site, flat design and lots more. Here’s some of the Top 10 Web Design Trends for 2014. Some approaches enhance a site, it’s true, but it’s also true that not every approach is right for every site, and trying to do too much can wind up making your site looking cluttered and unapproachable.
A great-looking webpage combines graphics, print and white space to achieve a look that reflects your brand while being pleasing to look at. Striking the right balance among all the visual elements can be tricky, but being successful means site visitors are more likely to stick around and learn about your product, and it can also help you compete effectively against companies offering similar products or services.
By feeling better, we mean how your site feels to visitors – the overall user experience or UX as they call it for short. Some of that has to do with the visual elements mentioned above, but a lot of it has to do with your site’s navigation: Does your site do what it’s supposed to do and do it easily and intuitively? Are buttons easily visible? Is your contact information prominently displayed? Are your calls to action prominent and clear? Do you have buttons leading to your social sites and blog? Are all the links working? Is it responsive and does it work well on multiple platforms, including desktops, laptops and mobile devices? Making sure your UX stays sharp with regular reviews and updates to enhance and even improve navigation when possible is a critical part of your site’s success, so don’t fall behind here.
When it comes down to it, all the changes you make to your website are aimed at one goal: Improving your search engine rankings and then making sure they remain strong so your website is found by your target audience.
One of the ways to do that is through search engine optimization (SEO). Making sure keywords and phrases on your site are continually updated to react to shifts in both the marketplace and evolving search engine rules and regulations is an important part of that, but there’s much more to good SEO than finding the best keywords and then stuffing them in. How and where they’re used is also important. Having a consistent flow of regular, good content on your website is super important. And there are dozens of other factors that can have an impact on where you rank on a search engine results page (SERP). In fact, there are so many variables that keep your site in its best shape possible, both for customers and search engines, can wind up taking most of your time. That’s why many businesses decide to hire a company that specializes in website design and optimization to do all these tasks for them. Think of it as a personal trainer for your website. It requires consistency, effort and staying on top of current search engine optimization best practices to ensure that your site can be found in the highest possible positions when people are looking for your business online.
Getting your website in the best shape possible is a vital part of making sure your website is ready for business all year round. Develop a plan to help your site look, feel and perform its best, and then get to work implementing your own website workout.