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Website Design Basics

If this is your first website and you want it to be a success, there is a lot for you to think about before you spend any money. This article will discuss the steps you need to consider and a rough idea of it will all cost in order for your website to stand a chance at success. Simplified, your goal is to get online and start generating income, but unless you budget for these required steps your website's future may be jeopardy. In this article we will discuss the following steps to a successful website.

  • Research Your Competitors
  • What's The Best Domain Name
  • Picking Designers & Hosting
  • Branding: Logo, Fonts and Colors
  • Writing Good Content
  • Search Optimize

     

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Research Your Competition
Mimicking the look and feel of your competition gives your clients a choice

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Knowing your competition will help you determine the design and functionality of your website. Research their pricing, customer service, how pleasing their website looks, how easy it is to navigate, who are they targeting and how many pages they have will help you in determining the approach you will need to consider.

Ever notice how most websites in a niche category such as, sports, cosmetics or medical all follow a common theme ? When browsing tomato sauces in your favorite grocery store you had to notice how every label looked identical. The confusion you feel is on purpose. Mimicking your competitor tricks their customers into thinking you are them.

The reason why this confusion will never change is because product marketing has trained the public into expecting that items in a category should all look the same. Just like boxes of breakfast cereal, if you are the odd man out you are likely to go unnoticed.  

Bottom line, design a site that looks and feels like your competition and you will have gained an equal chance of getting their customers to do business with you and in giving new customers to both of you a choice.

What's the Best Domain Name There are domain names and then there are better domain names

web tag cloudDomain names are cheap. You should always consider buying at least 2 domain names. First, if you can get a domain name that is an exact match for your company name get it. Such as abcconstructionandremodeling.com. This prevents a competitor from getting it, but your company name is often not the best name you should market your company as.

Most of us have had to repeat names, addresses and phone numbers because someone didn't hear it right the first time. The longer and more complicated the domain name is, the more chance of a mistake. Telling people that your website is at abccar.com is much easier to type, it fits well on business cards and is far less characters someone has to type to send you an email. Imagine how pleased IBM customers are that they can just type ibm.com instead of internationalbusinessmachines.com.

Also, no matter how many domain names you buy you can have all of them point to the same web address. So whether they type in abcconstructionandremodeling.com or abccar.com the browser will direct them them to abccar.com where they can see your logo says ABC Construction & Remodeling. You have shortened the domain name from 32 characters to 10.

 

Picking Your  Designer & Hosting
Host your website and email with Digital Vision and you get FREE web page edits to existing pages.

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There are two standards in web hosting: Microsoft and Linux. What's the difference? Outwardly, all websites look similar but how they were designed is where the differences lay. Basic HTML designs run perfectly on both platforms but HTML is not the only code used.

If you need a custom database driven application or want to implement a shopping cart a designer that codes in .NET will require a Microsoft platform and a PHP designer will require a Linux platform. Database driven sites using PHP and .NET look the same externally but are completely different at the code level.

All designers have a preference as to how they would code your website. Web Design Agencies will typically have several designers that are skilled in the most popular coding technologies.  If you feel comfortable with your designer how your site is coded wont matter as long as it generates income.

There are differences to look for. Some designers, while very good at visual designs, could care less about the effectiveness of your message. A web design agency however wants an ongoing partnership and will take the time to understand your business so that the content is maximized to attract your target audience.

Make Your Best Impression Establishing your logo, colors, fonts and themes becomes your brand

web tag cloudA well designed logo makes a lasting impression. A logo is the start of your corporate identity branding campaign.  Corporate identity logos don't have be flashy and multi-colored in order to achieve a lasting impression for the viewer. Just consider, IBM, AT&T, Nike and Coca-Cola  to see the effectiveness of brand identity.

Building a corporate brand consist of several design techniques that morph together to become a consistent look-and-feel of who you are and should be applied as a standard in every piece of marketing material you design. The colors, fonts, styles and theme used in your website should be used in brochures and print related marketing material.

However your logo is designed it should be unique, it show tell the reader who you are and what you do. Likewise, a well-designed product logo helps enhance the popularity of your products which increases sales.

Digital Vision's logo designers can create a logo that will catch the attention of the reader and get your corporate branding off to a good start.

 

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Creating  Good Content Content is king and the more the better. While your readers may not read every word, Google will!

While content is required to fill white space on a webpage it will have little effectiveness to the reader if its just fluff. Its OK to make the same general statements found on most web pages about exceptional customers service and lowest prices but the content also needs to be laced with highlighted headings and keyword" rich verbiage in order to be effective as far as Google is concerned. Good content includes:

  • Keyword Headings

    Keyword Rich headings and titles tell Google the importance of the page
  • Bullet Points

    Visitors tend to focus on bullet points, be detailed, specific and brief.
  • Details & Specifics

    Paragraphs need to be readable, web savvy and interesting. Try to educate the reader.
  • Competitor Research

    If your competitor has 10 pages of good content you should do the same.
  • Matched Content

    Match the verbiage of your competitors but don't plagiarize.
  • Black on White

    Black text on a white background provides the best retention.

Search Optimize your website will be a waste of money if new customers cant find you.

internet marketgingIf your budget did not include some basic Search Optimization then we'd like to tell you about some beach-front property we have in Arizona. You have heard the phrase "You get what you pay for". If no SEO was conducted on your website then what you paid for wont get you the results you expected.

For your website to compete and generate income, some basic search optimization needs to be conducted in order to have a chance at a page-one ranking. Basic SEO necessities will include:

  • Unique, keyword rich page titles
  • Keyword page headings
  • Keyword rich paragraphs with bullet points
  • Social media links
  • Google and Bing Web Master tools applied
  • Google Analytics Applied

     

Want a Professional Yet Affordable Web Design? You can have the website you want for as little as $495. Contact us and we'll contact you same day.