Web designers planning a websiteDesign trends come and go.  Today we will be discussing a few landing page tips and design elements.  Some of these design elements stand the test of time.  Others should be avoided since they could harm your SEO efforts.  Our information superhighway has been created by many engineers and programmers to make our web experience what it is today.  Since coming on the scene in 1990, our internet has now become anything you can want or even imagine.

A professional website is a must for business today:

Most companies depend upon their websites daily to attract business.  In many cases, the company website has replaced the old brick and mortar businesses.  Today, the internet is now the “go to” place for consumers to shop. Over eighty (80) percent of the country is now using their smartphones to shop.  It is more convenient and shopping can occur now in the comfort of home or even on the go.  With the 200 plus million sites online today, staying competitive is an ongoing effort.

The website must be kept up to date using the latest innovative ideas and development trends.  This is the reason we re-design websites over time and add new functionality to the website.  Having a mobile-friendly website is a trend which is here to stay.  If your site is not mobile then you are missing out on your most important audience.  Contact our team of website professionals today and we will offer a few design packages that might work for you.

Today’s new cutting edge choices:

Some are saying that the traditional approach of having pages for every topic is out.  The new single page application is gaining in popularity in 2019.  It is continuing to be one of the top choices for developers around the country.  This is holding especially true for mobile design.  With the single page site, all content is displayed in a single page which cuts down the waiting time to reload individual pages. The downside to single page sites is that the single page may have an exorbitant amount of content with several search engine criteria. Separating key content categories will assist the search engine in segregating the content for easy access.

re-design done wrong could hurt SEORe-Design could sabotage SEO rank if done wrong:

It is a well-known fact that re-design is needed for many older sites. Those sites that are not mobile-friendly and are years old can definitely use an overhaul.   But beware site owners because if not done correctly you can sabotage all SEO (search engine optimization) efforts done to date.  If at all possible stay with the design and update the functionality.  If the site has to be re-designed make sure your design team is aware that they are to save all important links and content.  Freshen up the content and keep the necessary links which have helped you gain steam with search engines.   Backlinks still are highly valued so the developer should keep those at all costs.  Also, retain all external links to maintain your position in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

Save the blog entries and upload the information just as it was on the old site.  If your design team cannot do this then consider hiring someone else. As your site architecture changes, you will lose links.  These links should be added back into the new design.  When we publish a new site we always find links which are already in search engines and do what we call a “redirect” which picks up all pages already scanned and available in search engines.  Keeping these links is a very important move as we publish a re-designed site.  These links provide another vote toward higher search engine listings.

Static website generators:

Some popularity has come back to static websites (those that do not depend on a database for content). One advantage is the pages are generally faster loading because there is no wait time for a database to supply the content to the webpage prior to loading. These websites generally come with a higher cost for the design phase since a programmer needs to write the page HTML code for each page. A secondary downside to static websites is that a programmer is needed to make any changes in the site and its content. Changes need to be made to root webpage files and then installed on the server usually through an FTP connection. If very few changes are expected in the future, you might contact a website developer for a cost comparison to content managed and database driven designs.

Mobile-Friendly web designThe importance of good landing page design:

The landing page must be clutter-free.  Adding too much content or too many graphics and images causes unneeded confusion. Unless the landing page of the website is cutting edge design, a client may leave the site and bounce to a competitor site.  The truth is that we all prefer to look at an updated site with current graphics and design elements.  There are plenty of great companies out there who have older sites not able to compete with a better-looking website.  This is a sad commentary but it is true.  We urge all companies to keep their sites up to date.  Otherwise, a great looking website with lower quality products may have an advantage.

Optimizing the landing page:

The goal of any great landing page is to capture leads, convert visitors into buyers and to generate company income.  Because of this, optimizing the landing page is paramount in the success of the site.  Pay close attention to the theme choice and make sure the theme allows full optimization, is interactive and provides scripts allowing you to monitor traffic.  Having his additional functionality at your fingertips will be important as you build the site in the future.

Add the right images for a first impression:

Adding great images goes a long way when developing a dramatic landing page. This is the page that gives that important first impression to visitors and potential customers.  Remember this quote:  A picture is worth ten thousand words’ as stated by Fred R. Barnard When adding images avoid adding too many.  Keep it simple and make sure the images selected, will speak to the audience, blending effectively with the content.

CTAs & securing your website:

Choose good CTAs (Call To Action Verbs) to help the visitor take an action such as buy now, join now, get started, order here and others. Last but not least is to have a fast loading website.  Rather than signing up for a “shared server” consider a virtual private server package.  We recommend Blue Host for WordPress sites since they offer a free SSL certificate.  Having a secure site is now needed for all sites (not just e-commerce sites).  No one wants to browse the web and take the chance of picking up a virus from a site which is insecure.

Optimizing the headline and the content:

As the home page develops, add unique and interesting headlines for greater explanation.  Many of us never read further than a headline.  If we see a compelling title we will most likely go further and read the entire page content.   All content on the home page should be brief (no more than 300 words) and should be educational and interesting enough to attract and hold the interest of your target audience. Bulleted lists are best to display your services quickly and efficiently.  Many current sites are full of distractions.  Too many graphics, too many images, etc., can cause the visitor to miss the more important CTSs which could encourage the consumer to make a purchase.

Your site is judged on the good, the bad and the ugly:

We are all judged on how efficient and how well our current site looks and performs:  Our site is not only judged by the visitors to our site, but also by the search engines.  Search engine scanning your site can quickly determine how well it functions and how information is offered to the viewer?  They will not add sites to databases that are not up to par.  Here are a few questions to ask as you consider upgrading your current site:

  • Are you finding errors in spelling?  If so please correct this immediately.
  • Is your site secure (does it have an SSL certificate)?
  • Is your site mobile-friendly?
  • Is your site easy on the eyes and well-designed?
  • Does your site contain interesting content?
  • Would you recognize your site as one of “authority?”
  • Is the content written by experts in their field?

User Experience is judged onlineVisitors to your site are expecting a pleasing web experience.  If they receive this then you can count on them returning. They may even convert to buyers. However, if their experience is less than expected they are less likely to return. If your landing page is full of graphics, confusing ideas and clutter don’t expect high rankings.  Broken links, bloated content, and sites that are hard to navigate are quickly overlooked by search engines and by visitors as well.

Stay current with the new design trends and continue to read about new smart technology available.  Change is always around the corner.  Stay connected for all things design and programming and hurry back for more next time from our design wizards at “Inside Design Orlando.”

Staff Writer.