With recent research finding that more than 85 per cent of people find local businesses with the use of the internet, having a web presence has become more crucial than ever before. Without a website or a website that cannot be found easily by customers, a business is losing valuable sales opportunities to the hands of their more web-savvy competitors.
However with that said, it’s important to note that simply having a website is not enough. For a business’s website to generate conversions it needs to:
- Be able to be found by people, and by people we also mean search engines; AND
- Implement principles of effective web design and give customers the information they are looking for.
While this may sound obvious enough, for this to be achieved effectively, the two disciplines of web design and SEO (search engine optimisation) need to work together. This will create a site that is designed in a way, which helps it to rank highly in search engine result pages (SERP’s) but will also have a great visual impact and at the same time provide a fantastic user experience. To understand how these two different fields work together to generate business conversions, first it needs to be understood how they work in isolation.
How SEO Works to generate business conversions
There’s not much point having a stunningly designed site if no one is going to see it. Like real estate’s mantra is location, location, location, this is also true for businesses locations on the web – and their position in search engine listings. Research has shown that customers rarely look past the second page of results given by search engines, so if your site is buried on the fifth page, chances are you’ll be practically invisible to potential customers searching for your products and services – no matter how good they are.
This is where the need for SEO comes in, which is as much of an art as it is a science and uses a number of techniques to help websites perform in search engine listings. These include:
- Copy including relevant keywords to the business on every page on the site
- Relevant headings for each page, and Meta descriptions about the content of each page.
- Image titles and descriptions
- XML Sitemaps which help search engines index information into relevant categories.
- Generating links between websites which endorses a site and builds authority.
(Notice the key term here is relevant – these keywords, headings and categories need to reflect exactly what it is your business provides or sells so that customers are getting information that is relevant to what they have searched for. Give people what they want and you’re well on the way to making a conversion)
Using these combined approaches a business can get noticed on the web, and by getting noticed get new customers. For small to medium business with limited marketing budgets, SEO is one of, if not the most effective areas for getting results when focusing marketing efforts. Forget the yellow pages – get your site performing on the web — the business directory of the future.
How web design works to generate business conversions
Congratulations! With the help of your SEO consultant now your site is getting noticed. But it’s not just enough to be noticed, you need to be noticed for the right reasons and have your website make an impact. This is where the skills of a web designer come in. Customers on average only spend 3 seconds on a website before hitting the back button, so it’s important that your site makes a visual impact and fast. This can be achieved with a suite of design techniques including layout, colour schemes, branding, and other visuals to draw in and capture the attention and imagination of visitors.
Now that you’ve got their attention, and the interest of the visitor has been sparked, the site needs to be concise, clear and easy to navigate. This will tell the prospective customer what it is you want them to do – and by that we mean to make a call, buy, sign up or take some other form of action. If you don’t pave the path and lead the way for a conversion, customers aren’t going to spend time searching for a way, since website visitors are fickle and quickly go elsewhere. This is where elements of web design work wonders in generating conversions.
Things to think about include:
- Most valuable information before the scroll down section
- Numerous sliding image and banners that feature movement
- Type effects drop shadows and colour contrast
- Text that appears when a mouse is rolled over an image, also lets the information be read by web crawlers taking advantage of every opportunity for onsite SEO
- Expandable content and drop down menus – Movement on the page is essential
How they work together and make your business money!
By this stage you’ve done pretty much all the hard work (okay so maybe you got a professional SEO consultant and web designer to do it for you) and this means you’re site is well and truly on the way to making conversions and generating income for your business. Congratulations as you’ve taken a holistic approach to making a fantastic website that doesn’t favour one discipline over the other.
As outlined in this post, both SEO and Web Design are equally important in a successful website and work equally as hard to get your site noticed and generate business leads. The balance should be split 50 per cent each way, since a SEO heavy website that is design poor is limited in its effectiveness and vice versa. To a real edge for your business don’t just settle for any company on the first page of Google for searches like, ‘SEO Brisbane‘ or ‘Web Design Brisbane‘. Talk to the best in the business and a company that combines the best of both words, talk to Media Heroes.
The internet and the World Wide Web really is a tangled web both literally and figuratively. Understanding some of the basic principles of web design and SEO can help spin this web in your business’s favour and generate customers. Now that’s one web definitely worth weaving.