Web design – your company’s digital image


You may have noticed, First Page has a functional, interactive new look. We’ve just rolled out our latest web design incorporating the very latest trends.

As a digital agency that offers cutting-edge web design as a product, it’s important the face of our company mirrors our ability. We make a point of updating the design on individual pages regularly. To incorporate new features. But every year or so, we will make-over the entire website.

In this, the first blog since our new look was unveiled, we will take you inside our designer’s mind, asking what is needed for an updated but purposeful website.

What are the advantages of a well-designed website?

The aim is to engage, connect and convert.

No matter the product you sell or service you offer – even if it simply information. You will always need to engage, connect and convert for the following three reasons.

1) Greater brand image: Often, your website will be the first interaction you have with potential customer. Think of it this way. If you are meeting with a new client for the first time, would you turn up in a pair of shorts, a ripped t-shirt and sandals? Not likely.

You are a representation of your company. How much more impressed would those clients be if you came in an immaculate three-piece suit or a powerful skirt suit? Much more.

The same goes for your website, it is the digital representation of your company. Don’t miss the opportunity to make a great first impression

2) Increase brand awareness: Not just a pretty face, your website also has expression, it can interact and connect with those using it. Think about lead capture forms, contact us pages, links to social media and live chat. All these are designed to have an impact and encourage an ongoing relationship with browsers.

3) Increase conversion rate: Up to 50% of customers will leave a website within the first minute. This is called a bounce. There is actually a lot of science and psychology behind what is needed to lower bounce rates. Colour schemes, design, button placement and content all count. Which is why you need websites designed by a company with expertise in conversion rates.

Six must-dos, prior to re-designing a website:

  1. Consider the purpose for doing so and have this at the forefront of you thinking when directing the re-design.
  2. Analyze the current website – Maximize the good and remove the bad. For example the visual hierarchy and proven client preferences.
  3. What are competitors doing? Spend some time looking around similar websites. Be a customer, think about what you like and what you don’t.
  4. Think. What is the current website coding language and can the server support the change?
  5. How the change will impact on your search engine optimisation. You don’t want to lose any rankings, then the whole endeavour will be counterproductive.
  6. Here’s a tip to avoid disaster. Back up everything first!

What should you be optimising if you sell products or provide services?

This is a very situational question. It depends entirely on what your core business is. This is why it is important to take advice, not only from designers, but from search engine and conversion optimisation specialists. A company like First Page is can provide proven advice on all three.

Having said that, here are three quick examples:

1) Textual description is a must for product page. First Page has a lot of e-commerce clients whose product pages have only the product image without any textual description.

2) You should also be adding alternative text for product images, to avoid duplication. Copy and paste is the enemy of search engine bots.

3) Tell search engines your product details by inserting microdata into the webpages. For more technical details you can review Google’s advice on Rich Snippets.

What are some of the new trend in web design for 2015?

Finally we have a list of the top three trends to develop in web design in 2015.

  • Your website must be mobile responsive: Many sites are now being designed for mobile first.
  • Looking towards the future: Great design companies like First Page are designing their site with revolutionary devices too such as Google Glass and Apple Watch in mind. Your company may well need a web version for those devices in very nearly future.

Speed is king: No one waits long for pages load, there are just so many alternatives out there today. If your site goes blank on an iPhone for more than 5 seconds, users will hit the back button and go to the next option in search results.