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The Principles Of Good Web Design

The Principles Of Good Web Design

The Principles Of Good Web Design

Good web design can transform a company, draw in customers, and increase sales, but many people don’t realise how complex the process is. There are principles designers must follow to ensure the site flows, is visually appealing, and provides an exceptional user experience. In fact, studies show that users generally stay on a site for only ten to twenty seconds before deciding whether or not it is appealing and can meet their needs. That means your site must grab their attention, demonstrate value, and meet their needs in seconds! Now that’s a tall order. To accomplish this, designers incorporate proven principles into their sites that ensure a responsive and user-friendly experience that helps businesses succeed.

 

Define The Purpose

To ensure your site meets the user’s needs, designers begin by defining its purpose and building from there. To do this, they look at your products or services and determine how you meet your customer’s needs; from there, they follow four core deliverables:

  • Describe your businesses expertise
  • Build your reputation
  • Generate new leads
  • Encourage sales and follow-up business

Minimisation

If your site is cluttered and chaotic, customers will run the other way. Web designers understand the power of minimalism, incorporating it through different avenues, including:

 

Imagery – Imagery is a powerful tool on your site, pulling customers in and embodying your brand. Designers will use high-quality, professional images that evoke emotion and capture your company’s spirit.

 

Colour – Colour is an excellent way to grab users’ attention, invoke an emotional response, and influence their behaviour. Most designers limit the number of colours to no more than four complimentary shades to create a feeling of well-being, excitement, and happiness among customers.

 

Typography – Typography or font acts as a visual interpretation for your company and should be limited to three or fewer per site. Remember the cleaner and easier the font is a lot better for the end user.

The Principles Of Good Web Design

Site Navigation

Site navigation is vital as it can create a positive or negative experience for customers. If users can’t find their way around quickly and easily, they will leave your site and never return! After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than a site that makes no sense and makes it impossible to find what you’re looking for.

 

Visual Arrangements

Arranging elements through their order of importance guides users throughout the site and ensures a sensible and enjoyable experience. This process is accomplished through imagery, style, size, texture, colour, contrast, whitespace, and topography and, when done correctly, creates an incredible user experience.

Mobile-Friendly Browsing

The vast majority of users browse sites on their phones, so ensuring yours is mobile-friendly is vital to ensuring user satisfaction.

 

Responsiveness

If your site takes more than two seconds to load, you’re going to lose at least half of your potential customer base. By ensuring all image sizes are optimized, web designers ensure the site is responsive and lightning fast.

 

If you’re ready to discover the power of web design for your business, turn to Build Your Business Online. At BYBO, we build responsive, easy-to-navigate sites that provide an exceptional user experience and help you maximise your conversion rates. We work hand in hand with you to create the ideal website that promotes the heart of your business, helping ensure your success. Don’t trust your site design to just anyone; let us show you the difference a high-quality website can make for you!

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The Complete Guide to SEO for 2022

The Complete Guide to SEO for 2022

Guide to SEO

If your business has an online presence, you need to be on top of your SEO game – and that means keeping up with the algorithms and regularly adjusting your strategy with the ultimate goal of driving traffic to your website and providing value to your visitors.

As we all know, search engines are an ever-changing landscape, so if you are still using an SEO strategy you swear worked amazingly well in 2019… think again.

What is SEO and why is it important?

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of improving your website and its content so that it ranks higher in search engine results. A website with great SEO will attract more organic traffic because people who are searching for specific terms related to your products or services will find it more easily. Naturally, this means more potential customers and more business for your company. Good SEO is the online equivalent of opening an icecream stand next to a playground, or a clothing boutique on a busy shopping street – in other words, putting your business right where people can see it.

Where do I start?

Before you do anything else, think about what keywords people who are looking for a company like yours might use to search for your content, goods or services.

Once you have a list, your goal is to create content around those keywords and edit the content you already have to include them organically.

How can I improve my SEO ranking in 2022?

Let’s take a look at the most important factors that will determine how high you will rank in searches.

1: Relevance

Without a doubt, relevance is the single most important aspect of your SEO strategy. In order to be relevant, you need to pair each piece of content you publish to a search query (or several). In other words, you need to create content that answers people’s questions about a topic.

Of course, the quality of your content is also extremely important. It is highly unlikely that a search engine will recommend a poorly written article to its users by putting it on its first page.

You can also increase your relevance by covering topics from different angles. For example, if you are a personal trainer, you can write about home workouts, meal plans, toning products, or training schedules – all topics aimed at people who are interested in becoming fitter and healthier.

2: Authority

Search engines will rank you higher if they consider you an authority on a keyword. This is mostly measured by backlinks, or inbound links, which direct users from other websites to yours. The number and quality of these links tells search engines how trustworthy of a source you are.

So, link building is great, but pay close attention to which sites you collaborate with: if they are spammy or otherwise untrustworthy, their backlinks will do more harm than good.

3: Mobile-responsive

In 2022 everyone is always on the go, and more and more users are visiting websites from their mobile devices. Make sure your website is mobile responsive, and all functional features and design elements are working correctly on smartphones.

4: Outbound links

Including outbound links (links that point to other websites from yours) in your content will not only improve your SEO but enhance user experience by allowing your visitors to easily access more information about a topic or provide context for what you published.

SEO in 2022

5: Images

Using images to illustrate your written content is a great way to make your website reader-friendly but that’s not all it can do for your company. With these simple tweaks, your images can become an invaluable SEO tool:

Make sure the format is right: use JPEGs rather than PNGs.

Resize your images so they don’t slow down your website as that could also negatively affect your search engine ranking.

Use alt tags (to describe the image) and meta descriptions (to describe the website) to help search engine crawlers find and index your site.

Rename the image files on your computer: make sure the new file names contain the keywords you want to rank for.

6: Keywords in headings

Not only will headings with keywords in them make it easier for your visitors to skim the content and find exactly what they are looking for, they will also let search engines know that your website has the answers to people’s questions – also known as the search terms they use when they look for content like yours.

7: Engaging content

Making your content relevant and easy to find is just half of the job. You also want to make people stay and actually read what you published. Search engines know much more about us than we think; for example, they know exactly how users behave on a website: how long they stay, what they click on, how far down they scroll, where they go when they leave. And based on these statistics, the algorithms determine which websites to move up or down their rankings in order to provide their users with the best quality search results.

Now that you know all this, you might feel excited to start implementing these tips and improving your search engine ranking. But if you are ready to take your SEO seriously, you need to be aware of one thing: good SEO takes time. You may not see results for the first 6-12 months, and if that happens we only have one piece of advice for you: resist the temptation to speed up the process, and never use black hat SEO techniques designed to manipulate search engines into thinking your website provides more value to users than it really does. These include unrelated keywords, hidden text and keyword stuffing, among others.

White hat SEO techniques, such as the ones we listed above, are the most reliable and cost-effective way to improve your search engine ranking and drive traffic to your website and customers to your business.

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If I use social media, do I still need a website

If I use social media, do I still need a website

If I use social media, do I still need a website

 

The answer to this question is definitely YES. Social media pages are essential – may be as important as having a website. However, that doesn’t mean that they can take the place of a website entirely. Why? Here are the main reasons.

 

You own your website.

You own your website’s content, the layout, the pictures, the URL, how things look, what your website visitors see first, and what the flow is.

Social media platforms own how things look on your brand’s page. These platforms hold what your page visitors are going to see first. They are in charge of who sees your posts and when they see them. That’s why it is a flawed strategy to rely on social media pages only for your online presence.

 

People use Google to search.

Having a site gives you the ability to write your content with the keywords that people are most likely to use when searching online for your products or services. For instance, if you own a gift shop in London, you can use the words “gift shop” and “London” multiple times throughout your site. Search engines like Google will then crawl your website, see those keywords and put your website on the first page of search results that appear when someone in London searches “Gift shops near me.”

 

This kind of website traffic is precious. Think about it. These people are already looking for the product or services you provide. When your site shows up in those search results, you put yourself in front of the people already interested who are therefore more likely to convert into a paying customer.

 

It expands marketing opportunities.

Ranking on the first page of search results is highly beneficial for your marketing, but it can take some time. Fortunately, this is not the only reason why you should have a website. Search engines offer “pay-per-click” (PPC) advertising for companies. That increases search engine visibility and drives website traffic. With PPC ads, you can purchase keywords you want your business to show on the first page of search results.

 

That’s not all. Facebook ads offer the “Facebook Pixel.” The pixel is a code received from Facebook that you can place into your website’s header section. This pixel acts like a “cookie.” When you put the code in your website, anyone who visits it is noted by Facebook and stored in your Business audience as someone potentially interested in your product/service.

 

Website costs have decreased significantly.

For the most part, gone are the days when websites cost £10,000 each. If you are a small business, there are several great ways to build a website yourself.

We offer out Hybrid Website Coaching Programme contact us for details here

If you’re thinking, “I don’t have the time to build a website,” “I don’t know how/don’t want to learn,” or “I’d rather have someone else do it,” contact me! No more excuses. Get your business a website.

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How to do keyword research effectively

How to do keyword research effectively

How to do keyword research

If you’re a business owner who’s serious about online growth, then you’ve most likely dipped your toe into keyword research.

But perhaps you feel out of your depth, or as though you’re wading through treacle trying to make headway.

We’ve put together a guide on how to do keyword research effectively, so you can begin to make progress and see success with your website’s growth.

Remember, guidance is constantly changing, as is Google’s closely guarded algorithm, but there are some basic principles that all websites should adopt if they want to gain traction.

 

What are keywords?

Keywords are the cornerstone of search engine optimisation (SEO).

Put simply, they are the words people put into a search engine when they want to find something.

Therefore, logic dictates that if your website doesn’t contain keywords people are searching for, you won’t be getting any traffic from search engines.

This means you need to spend some time hunting out the keywords related to your industry that are getting the most searches per month, then include them across your website.

Each page should have a primary keyword, but there’s no reason you can’t pepper each page with various keywords related to your industry.

So, how do you do keyword research effectively?

 

How to do keyword research

Keyword research step by step

It can be hard to know where to start – how on earth can you get inside people’s heads and know what they’re searching for?

We haven’t quite developed that kind of technology yet, but you can use your common sense, to begin with, to start generating keywords related to your business.

After that, there are some great keyword research tools to back up your findings.

 

Step one

First of all, come up with some keyword ‘buckets’ related to your business.

These should be quite broad and, for this reason, these aren’t the keywords you’ll be trying to rank for.

After this, we’ll begin breaking the buckets down so don’t spend a huge amount of time thinking about these.

Aim to come up with between 5 and 10 buckets. For example, if you were a gardener your buckets may include:

  • Plants
  • Flowers
  • Gardening
  • Trees
  • Shrubs
  • Landscaping

Step two

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and try to imagine what they’d be searching for if they wanted to find your product/service.

If we continue with the gardening theme, underneath your plant’s bucket, people may be searching for ‘plants for summer’ or ‘best evergreen plants’.

If you have a physical location that customers need to visit to buy your product, then you’ll also want to consider adding this to your keyword.

For example, ‘buy plants Barnstaple’ or ‘buy plants Newquay’, depending on where your business is based.

Try to come up with 3-5 suggestions for each bucket.

 

Step three

If you’ve struggled with the above, try looking at your competitors to see what keywords they’re ranking for.

Do a simple Google search for one of your keywords and see if your competitor(s) pop up – if they do, you’re on the right track.

And if they don’t? Well, that could be good too! So long as the keyword you’ve chosen is something your potential customers are searching for (we’ll come on to that next) then you could be on to a winner if you rank for it and your competitors don’t.

It goes without saying here that if Amazon or eBay come up in your search results, it’s not really worth trying to compete with them – unless of course, you’re aiming for world domination (and have a huge budget), in which case go for it!

 

Step four

Next, you’ll want to use a keyword research tool to establish the search volume of all the keywords you’ve brainstormed.

Search volume is the most basic tool in keyword research and simply refers to the number of times a keyword is being searched for each month.

In addition, keyword research tools will help you find some keywords related to your industry which you might not have thought of, but which are getting good search results.

Google Keyword Planner is one of the best-known research tools, and it’s free, but it does require you to have a Google Ad account.

Another good free tool is the HOTH’s keyword research function. Simply plug in the keyword you want to find stats for, and it will give you a breakdown of how that keyword is performing.

For example, having looked at ‘plants for summer’ the results are as follows:

Search volume: 1,900 searches per month

Keyword difficulty index: 84

Results: more than two billion!

If you’re just starting out, trying to rank for a keyword with almost 2,000 searches per month may be a bit of a stretch.

By all means, optimise your homepage for your primary keyword, even if it has a high search volume – your primary keyword is your primary keyword, so don’t try to be too clever here.

But what you can do instead is use other pages on your website, plus blog posts, to generate traffic from other keywords with a slightly lower search volume.

Try low-hanging fruit by looking for keywords that have 500 searches or less per month – these should be niches related to your industry, and tools like the HOTH will suggest some other keywords related to the one you’ve searched for.

By having a catalogue of pages and blog posts optimised for these kinds of keywords, you’re covering a lot more bases and generating traffic from lots of different people interested in topics broadly concerned with your industry.

 

Step five

Next you want to consider search intent.

For example, you might think ‘plants for summer’ means people are looking for an article all about the best types of plants to opt for during the summer season.

However, a quick Google search for that keyword suggests that’s not all people are after – there are lots of results from websites that are actually selling summer plants.

Therefore, you may want to consider both a blog post listing the best types of plants to use in summer, but also optimising your shop page with the keyword ‘plants for summer’ too (if of course, you’re selling plants).

The easiest way to find out a web user’s search intent is to simply put your keyword into Google and look at the kinds of results that come up.

It’s not enough just to know that people are searching for a certain keyword – you need to be providing the kind of information they want too.

Google is clever enough to only give a high ranking to pages that are serving up what their users want, so always bear this in mind.

 

How to do keyword research

That’s a whistle-stop tour of keyword research, and we hope you’ve found it useful.

If you’re still feeling a bit overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to turn next, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Simply contact us here.

 

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Stunning web design trends for 2021

Stunning web design trends for 2021

Stunning web design trends for 2021

Each year web design trends promise to beam us into the sci-fi future of our dreams, given that they are based on technology. But this year trends are nowhere near that. They appear to share a common theme: rather than aspiring to hi-tech fantasy, web designers seek new heights of realism. Designers are blending the digital and the aspects of everyday life like never before. In this way, the following web design trends for 2021 are breathing life into the digital world.

 

Parallax animation

From micro-interactions to particle backgrounds, we have witnessed the rising popularity of web-based animation trends year after year. 2021’s web animations are getting even more forward by separating page elements into the foreground and background extremes. And this creates a parallax effect.

Parallax is the optical illusion that occurs when objects near to the viewer appear to move faster than things farther away. Although we see this in everyday life, for instance, when viewing passing scenery while driving, web pages’ effect comes across as equal parts authentic and surreal.

The depth created through foreground and background also has the added benefit of immersion, transforming the computer screen into something closer to a theatre stage. As users navigate the website, they are drawn into its convincing performance as if by magic. And at the end of the day, isn’t magic what the internet is supposed to feel like?

Retro fonts

We have seen many old things become cool again and then, in turn, become even more uncool. Think handlebar moustaches and mom jeans. Irony has a short shelf life.

Retro fonts have encountered this same decline and flow in their popularity, and many designs featuring vintage typography have not aged well.

Still, throwback typography has gone through a bit of a resurgence. We do not see the same tired fonts. Instead, stylisation and a bit of artistry are reimagining what retro fonts can be.

Instead of feeling old and cliche, they breathe new life into traditional bold fonts with a bit of experimentation. That is an excellent example of taking traditional fonts and giving them a bit of a cool and modern spin while maintaining legibility.

Retro Font

Horizontal scrolling

Horizontal scroll is having a comeback, even though it was previously regarded as a web design faux-pas. Nowadays, more web designers are experimenting with horizontal scroll. And those who do it best break the pattern not for the sake of being distinctive but as a way to disclose secondary information progressively, like in an image gallery.

 

Dark mode

Cue up AC DC’s “Back in Black” because the dark mode is hitting more screens this year. More designers embrace the dark mode aesthetic, with black providing the perfect dark backdrop to make design elements pop from the screen.

 

Prominent brands like Apple, Hublot, and even individual portfolios like Clock Strikes Twelve use it. The dark mode is a great way to add a modern, elegant touch to any website and allowing designers to play with more creative elements, such as pastels and neon. There seems to be a shift towards more products that offer a dark mode setting or are only dark driven, based on studies that reveal the impacts of glare and blue light exposure on our precious battery life.

Web design dark mode

Ready for the biggest web design trends this year?

It’s always exciting to see how web design continues to change and the no-code movement’s continuing momentum. I also can’t wait to hear what you want your website to look like this year.

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