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Five Things Web Designers Should Avoid

Web designers have a lot to balance when they create a website, and it can be frustrating to design a website when you don’t have much by way of creative guidance from the client. There are, however, five things that no project deserves — and here they are:

Designing First, Then Optimizing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be the foundation of your website as it is constructed. Invest in a search specialist who will make certain keywords are incorporated at the core of your site. Allowing a search specialist to imbed breadcrumb links, headings and cross links into your navigational scheme can save thousands in marketing dollars. Having a search specialist assist with development will allow your visitors to find you and navigate easily to the information required.

Splash Pages
Landing pages with graphic advertisements that allow you to “enter” the website using flash animation you can skip are a waste of design and end users time. Keep the home page a simple navigational tool with clearly defined links to the contents of the site. There’s no amount of ‘cool’ that’s worth the hassle.

Unfocused Content
If the user cannot find relevant content they will frustrate quickly. You should keep focus on a few keywords and phrases to have your page rank high in searches. User-testing keywords, which every site deserves, gives a group sample pages and asks the following questions:

  • Where are you?
  • Is the focal point clear? Are there multiple focal points? What are they?
  • Is the information for making a purchase easy to find? What do you feel is missing?
  • Is there anything on the page that looks like a link? What is it and why do you think it is a link?
  • Are there enough choices? Should there be more or are they overwhelming?

The use of keywords in the HTML title, headline, and breadcrumb link as well as the name of the product’s name and description are the hallmarks of successful websites. Keyword density analyzers can help you stay focused on including keywords with the correct frequency but must be used with the caveat that each has widely varying calculation methods.

Too Much Text or Too Many Graphics
Again a search specialist will be of value to you to get the best balance of graphic images and HTML text as well as the positioning of keywords within the page to pleasing to the eye of visitors. Flash sites may look like a number of pages but are a single page making it difficult to have all of the keywords there in a frequency to be picked up by a search engine.

The other side is a site that is HTML heavy and graphic light. Users might be drawn to the site by the extensive use of keywords but the lack of graphics throws doubt on the site’s credibility and will probably lose sales.

Lack of Customer Focus
If you want to catch and keep clients imagine yourself as someone who needs your product and create a site that speaks to that. A search engine marketer will help you understand your end use
Conclusion
Keep your brand clear and memorable, navigation simple and communication open. Building search-ability into these key factors will go a long way toward ensuring success.

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