The Basics of Website Design: 5 tips to get you started.

Image of talking heads in a computer screenIf you’re like me, you have spent a lot of time on the internet searching for everything under the sun. Maybe you search for topics related to your line of work. Or, maybe you are in the market for a new pair of shoes…Perhaps, you want to know if the Giants have a chance of repeating as Super Bowl champs next year. Until recently, I thought internet searching was almost magic. I would log into Google or Yahoo, type in my topic and get some on-point results. Then, I would just look over the results, and pick the most relevant hit. My information just appeared. How easy!

Wow, it turns out this isn’t magic…Building a good website is a craft. And, it is a craft worth learning- a good website will drive your business. Just think about how much time we all spend searching and searching for topics and companies on Google. Why not make your organization the one that people come across as they “magically” search the internet? 

I have learned a few, important things about Website Design…and, as you get started, try to keep these in mind:

1. The importance of good content. It sounds silly, but remember everyone is reading what you write. And, by everyone, I mean just that…Your audience is diverse. Write for it. Sure, experts in your field will be visiting your site. So will the general public. You are the subject matter expert- don’t be afraid to demonstrate it. But, don’t get bogged down in industry jargon. Show your knowledge. But, it is also important to be friendly, engaging and human. We all want to learn from you.

2.  Be current. How frustrating is it to search the web and come out with out of date content? No one wants last year’s shoes…trust me. Keep your website up to date. To be an industry leader, you must be current. Your audience expects it.

3.  It is all about keywords. Think about it. People go to Google and type in specific words. Remember, the results don’t magically appear. Try to formulate keywords as you build your content. And, use one keyword per page. You want to use strong, relevant words that will pull your website up when people are searching Google. Let them buy your shoes!

4. Blog. You’re the industry expert. Write about it and share it. In today’s world social media is vital. Everyone is on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. And, everyone is sharing information. Blogs get your organization’s name out there. When you write about up-to-date topics, people will recognize you as a leading force in your industry. And, it is important to remember, blogs are suppose to be interactive. Communicating with your audience builds loyalty and confidence. And, a loyal and confident audience will spread the word.

5. Yes, page design is important. Write short paragraphs. Don’t be afraid to use white space. Have strong titles. Bold key points. And, use digital art. In sum, make your page scannable. You have a lot of knowledge to pass along; it is important for your audience to read it. People spend a short time on a website.  You must lay out your information in a way that is appealing to the eye.

Building a good website takes time and skill. Understanding the basics is a great place to start. You are the “magic” behind a highly visited site.

Do you have an expert tip to add to the list? Please leave a comment!

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3 Responses to “The Basics of Website Design: 5 tips to get you started.”

  1. John Cox | July 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    This is a good list – I would add “navigation” to the list of important things to consider. Users need to be able to find things quickly. If your site contains lots of content you should put some thought into making it easy for users to find it.
    Thanks!

    • Mickey | July 22, 2012 at 3:27 am #

      Howdy John.

      You’re 100% correct. We should do a post on Navigation and Information Architecture :)

  2. BJ@Best Flight Simulator | September 1, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    “Building a good website is a craft…” – Thank godness someone was prepared to say it! :P

    There are a host of new set ups that hosts like GoDaddy offer which allow instant website pages which is great, but it has also open the doors for a lot of subpar websites to hit the Internet. Add that to the fact that every man and his dog feel that ‘spinning’ content is the way to make money online and there has been a noticeable dip in overall quality.

    These 5 tips should act as the foundation for a sensational site. Hopefully sites like this, in addition to the latest Google Panda update will see a rise in quality again.

    Cheers for the quality content and the top write up, Mickey!

    Best to you, pal!

    BJ

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