The internet is huge. Google alone list over 3 billion pages, looking at one each second of the day would take you over 99 years to view them all!
Many people can do website design, but how many can actually design a website. The design element is so important and so often overlooked.
If you intended to send out brochures to your customers, or potential customers, and the brochure was poor quality what type of image will this reflect on your business.......a poor website will do exactly the same.
When designing a website the most important task to remember is colour co-ordination. Ideally you should strive for a maximum of three main colours, with variations and tints of these. By using more you run the risk of non-matching colours and ultimately less easy on the eye for visitors.
Next comes navigation. Colour co-ordination and Navigation are the top main priorities. If your site isn't easy to navigate, people will not stay around to delve deeper. Once you site is designed ask some friends or family to test it out. The easier your website is to navigate, the longer people will stay.
Accessibility is a key issue that has been highlighted recently with a AUD$20,000 fine imposed on an Australian website for not ensuring people with disabilities and sight impairments could use the website. These rulings are few and far between (for now) but to help always use ALT tags on images (helping to describe your image), plus use text based links where possible. You have your site ready, it's full of content, great design and ready to hit the super highway - now how will people find you. This is where SEO comes in to play (Search Engine Optimisation). Optimising your site for the main search engines can help bring free targeted traffic to your website. The main and basic rules of SEO are:
1. A good Title tag, e.g for C2 Web Design being a website design company based in Essex, UK and covering Colchester our Title tag is 'Website Design Essex | Website Design Colchester'. Using your main keywords for your title tag can instantly bring good results.
2. Make sure your keywords appear within your website. The % of times it appears has started to have less an impact, but the general rule is your keywords should make up around 5% of your copy.
3. Request Linkbacks. Make requests for other sites to link to you from the day you website is activated. Search Engines, particuarly Google, base a large porpotion of their listings based on the number of websites linking to you - plus their popularity and themed relationship to the content of your site.
4. Be patient. It can quiet easily take a year or so to achieve a good placement in Google for a popular phrase - but considerably less time in other search engines e.g. MSN and Ask Jeeves.
By sticking to these basic principles and ensuring your site is pleasent on the eye, easy to navigate, and optimised for search engine visits you should be able to claim your stake in the World Wide Web.
Dean Cosson is website design manager at C2 Web Design (http://www.c2webdesign.co.uk)
By: Brad Miles