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5 Things Most Web Designers Won’t Tell You (But, I will!)

Designing a website for your business will most likely involve the assistance of a web designer. Whether you want a simple informational site, or an ecommerce website selling hundreds of products, you need to communicate effectively with the designer that you hire to make it happen.

However, there are some hard truths that your web designer just won’t tell you – so keep these in mind as you go through the collaborative process of creating your website.

1. You Need a Marketing Plan First

Your website is an inherent part of your business’s marketing strategy. So it goes without saying – you need to actually have a marketing strategy before you bring in a designer to create your website. If you don’t have a marketing plan in place, your design will end up as an ineffective and expensive waste of time. You should know what your site’s goal is and who you’re trying to reach, and then pass that information on to the designer so that they can make the most effective design decisions.

The more the designer knows about your business and your target audience, the better they can create an appealing design that will result in a greater ROI.

2. Your Content is Terrible

Web designer’s focus – naturally – is on the design of your website, namely its color scheme, graphics, and navigation. But design only goes so far without quality content to effectively communicate your message to your audience. If your content is poorly-written or nonexistent, your website will suffer.

You are responsible for supplying your designer with the content for your website. If you don’t have the time or the skills to produce solid content, hire a copywriter to create it for you.

Website creation is a collaborative process. If you don’t get the content to your designer on time, don’t expect them to be able to keep their own deadlines.

3. Design ISN’T Everything

As evidenced by the major role that content plays in your website’s success, design isn’t everything. Your web design’s main goal is to lead your customer through the site and encourage them to make a conversion. If your design is so unique and brilliant that your customer gets lost or distracted, then it isn’t good design.

Don’t mess with website conventions – like the placement of your logo and navigation buttons – in the name of making a unique design. If your customers are searching your site to find the most basic functions, then your site isn’t that functional. Choose one of our web design vendors to be sure you’re on the right track.

4. It Doesn’t Matter What You Like

Web designers normally take their cues from your marketing plan in order to create a website that is appealing to your target audience. Whether or not the design is appealing to your own personal tastes is immaterial – and mandating that the design is based on your likes will end up hurting you in the long run.

Colors can stimulate, excite, depress, tranquilize, increase appetite and create a feeling of warmth or coolness.” Thus, web designers are trained in the ways that color theory and psychology interconnect, and they will choose the colors and graphics that best communicate your message to your target audience.

5. It’s Not Your Fault If It Fails

Web design is a collaborative process that requires constant and effective input from your business in order to succeed. Providing your input, however, does not mean that you rule the show. Design professionals will listen to your ideas and recreate them into something usable. Some of your ideas they’ll reject, because they’re the design professional, not you.

If you don’t give your designer the information they need, the content your site needs, and the freedom to design effectively, you’ll end up with a terrible website.

How to Make your Website more Dynamic

It is not so difficult for an established organization to bit their competitors in the web arena. But the medium and small brands require the advanced tools for doing so. You must remember the fact that building a brand name is no different than building a house. In both the cases, a strong deep foundation is required which plays a vital role in handling the processes and the progress of the organization. Here you can put the foundation as a dynamic website, which is made to be accessed by millions of people all over the world. Therefore, the basic struggle of the start up ventures lies in developing their web presence the best possible way. You just can never ignore the importance of good website design and development.

If your own a start up company it is essential to have knowledge about the latest web trends so as to keep your dynamic website updated and trendy. Designing a dynamic website is the art of visualizing, systematizing, congregating and strategically presenting the information in such a manner that the users find it extremely simple to explore and easy to navigate from one page to the other. This is the matter where expertise work. You need the professional web designers to perform the task for you.

Determine your targeted audience first. A business website commonly is visited by the interested visitors who likely is searching for the similar product or service. So, the perception of content and other elements present on your web pages should be quite relevant and perfectly framed depending upon the exposure of the visitor. A good website designer make use of tools such as indexes, metadata, sitemap, structure, navigation and many more. In fact, they concentrate more on properly organizing and labeling the content present on your business website. Such expert endeavor helps your potential visitors find the required info easily and readily.

Apart from carefully structuring and maintaining, your dynamic website needs to be made search engine friendly as well. This helps your site to be visible on major search engines. Sometimes, due to poor optimization, search engines fail to index all the pages of a website and for that often some of the most vital pages remain unnoticed. So, it is always advisable to seek the help of professional website designers and developers top perform the task of developing your web presence to make it optimally dynamic and functional for your purpose.

Difference Between Website Design and Development

Website design and website development are completely two different aspects of creating a web presence. But something that can confuse those who are not conversant with how to go about it in the right manner. In most cases, people think web designing and web development are synonymous and refers to the similar job. But the fact is, even though the web designers and website developers work together, their domains can clearly be distinguished. Website designers take care of the visual presentation whereas the developers work on its functional usability.

In simpler words the a website designer works on the elements you see on a website whereas the website developer gives user experience on the website. However these two factors are equally important in deciding the success of your website to the digital marketing platform. You can say that the web design and development contributes a great deal towards enhancing long term customer relationship with the business. So, you must find the best website designer and developer to get the best result out of your expense.

But where and how to find them?

Visual presentation creates the an overall impression about the brand on viewer’s mind. First impression is the last impression. The visual appeal of the website includes the graphics, color scheme, font, content placement, images and banner design. The elements collectively decide the aesthetic appeal of the website. This part is done by a web designer and a graphic designer. Some large web designing companies hold a team of specialized logo designers, banners designers, graphic designers and other professionals who work together to decide on the color scheme and the use of graphics on the website. Maintaining client business relevancy is the key focus to be maintained. Experienced website designers strive to grasp the attention of the visitor, and make them repeatedly come back to the website and explore the pages.

Apart from graphic design, the site content should also be simple, interesting and crisp enough so that the visitors never feel like click away but get glued to the pages. This part of the website should be estimated before the web design is laid out. You must look at the piracy factor as well. Content should be original and work as a marketing tool by persuading the customer to buy the products and services offered by the website. Website designers also take care of the navigation buttons and the overall site functionality striving to make it simple and user friendly.

Usually the websites contain more that one pages and therefore the navigation has to be user friendly and not too complicated. This falls under functionality features of the website, that is the web development team takes care of this. It includes Java script programming, Flash animation and others. So, to get the best deal possible just understand the whole task properly before hiring the professionals.

Get To The Top Of Google! Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Love Your Search Engine

Search engines are the very best marketing tool around. They are:

Completely free of charge! The first place that the vast majority of users will look for your site. Trusted by users more than any kind of paid advertising.

Capable of targeting very specific groups.

But there are over 25 billion websites competing for around 3 billion users so how your content is presented to the search engines is crucial to how well your website is found.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of creating a website so that it can be properly read and indexed by search engines. Search Engines like Google and Yahoo! send computer programs known as “spiders” or “robots” to scan your website. Good Search Engine Optimisation is to understand how to present these spiders with the information they are looking for in order for the search engines to determine the value of your web site and how highly it will rank.

SEO should not be an expensive extra

The best place to implement SEO is right from the start. That’s why we plan and build websites around good Search Engine Optimisation techniques which include making the website code as search engine friendly as possible using XHTML, CSS and Web Standards (ignore that bit if you’re not a techie!) with our knowledge & experience of the best ways to include key words in your content. With our search engine optimisation techniques we ensure that your site is found via search engines naturally by not only a high number of visitors but more importantly the right kind of visitors. Unlike many web design agencies, we consider SEO to be a part of good web design and it comes as standard with all our websites and not an expensive extra.

Ongoing Optimisation

Although we implement Search Engine Optimisation from the start, search engines such as Google & Yahoo! are very slow to index and process sites, even when your site is listed it takes time for the search engines to decide how relevant your content is and your ranking to improve. Generally it takes between 3 and 6 months to see the effects of SEO and even then it is an ongoing battle to stay at the top. It is a long process but we have proven systems in place to monitor and manage results making minor changes where necessary.

There are several faster website marketing solutions available whilst you wait for the SEO to become profitable, including pay per click advertising campaigns which bring almost instant results.

How Will A Blog Benefit My Business

Blogs are proving to be an amazingly powerful tool for almost all businesses, large and small. Blogs benefit businesses in a variety of ways including search engine optimisation and branding. Perhaps the most important things a blog brings is a change to build a unique relationship with your customers, allowing them to interact with your business and products/services.

Here are some of the benefits blogging can bring to your business.

Relationship building

A blog is an excellent communication tool between you and your customers. A blog allows you to directly interact with your customers in a modern, personal and approachable way.

Product development

The relationship a blog builds between you and your customers is the better than any customer research money could buy. Your readers will leave you comments and feedback which you can use to develop your product or service.

Offer support

A blog could be used to provide technical support for customers. As they are fully searchable users can find and view help to similar problems in the past, meaning they may never need to contact you. Often other users will help out in the comments as well.

Branding A blog is perceived as a more genuine, authentic voice for your business and not just ‘marketing speak’. Blogs are ideal for demonstrating yourself as an expert in your industry and giving your business transparency. Viral Marketing Blogs are perfect for word-of-mouth marketing. Posts generate responses from readers comments and also other bloggers who will often link to your site. There are many large news sites which exist purely displaying and promoting other peoples blog posts.

Search Engine Optimisation Blogs are excellent for SEO and always achieve high rankings in Google and other search engines. This is mainly because of the constantly updated fresh content that regular posting and an active community brings. The amount of inbound links you could receive and listings in blog directories and social media sites are all great SEO tools.

We specialise in creating custom designed blogs or integrating a blog into the design of your current website. If you are interested or would like further information please click here for more details or contact us now!

How much does a website cost?

The most asked question in web design without any exception is how much does a website cost? Unfortunately we can’t answer that question as it varies so much between different web design agencies. In fact, we can’t even answer how much it would cost for a website from us as it again varies greatly depending on things like the size of the project and features required.

Despite not giving you a definitive answer this post should give you a better understanding of the different factors involved in determining the cost of a website.

The costs involved

First lets look at the different costs involved with a website. There are the initial costs, the design and development of the site and possibly things such as search engine optimisation and usability if the web design agency doesn’t include them as standard. Then there are the ongoing costs, hosting is a necessity with optional maintenance and then marketing the website.

Price difference

There aren’t many industries or sectors where you will find such a massive difference in price for seemingly similar products. You could get a website online yourself for free with some knowledge and the space from your ISP or you could pay a large design firm with a big office in the centre of London hundreds or thousands of pounds. Of course there is a huge range of prices in-between as well. There are three main reasons for these differences in price:

Features

Quality standard

The web design agency

Features

The first reason is perhaps the most obvious. It’s common sense that the more features you want your website to have the more it is going to cost. Basic features such as contact forms, photo galleries and contact management systems etc.. will cost extra but these costs should be both reasonable and fairly standard as they are popular features that the web design agency will have used before and will only need to adapt them for your site.

However if you require any special feature specific to your site they may need to be custom built from scratch in which case you can soon run up very large bills as you will be charged the whole development costs.

Quality standard

Anybody can design a website these days but not everybody can design good websites. Programs such Word and Publisher are capable of exporting HTML code and creating a web page from a document. It’s fair to say that these types of websites never look good and actually do your business more harm than good due to how unprofessional they look.

There are many web design agencies out there using programs like this or simply editing pre designed templates rather than designing from scratch which is how they manage to keep their prices down. Compare this to agencies that take time to start with a blank canvas and design the site to fit the clients content rather than try to squeeze the content into an existing recycled design and it’s easy to understand how this can effect the cost so drastically.

Other factors such as the qualifications or more importantly the experience of the designer will also effect the quality of the website and therefore the cost.

The web design agency

Whilst the first two reasons are fairly obvious and easy to see where your money is being spent the final reason is a little more difficult. It is probably the biggest influence on the cost of a website as well. As we said earlier you could do it all yourself for free or you could chose a web design agency. Of which there are a wide range with different levels of skill, experience and perhaps more directly linked to the cost of your website, overheads. Obviously there is going to be a huge price difference between a website designed by a 17 year old in his bedroom or an internationally renowned design firm which has offices, staff and large marketing campaigns to pay for.

There are people claiming that they can build a website for £100 whilst those world-renowned firms mentioned above may start at £100,000. In this extreme example it’s probably clear which is going to be the better site but what if you don’t have that sort of budget? It’s possible that a 17 year old working out of his bedroom could be just as good at producing a small brochure site but he would definitely struggle with larger projects which required more development and experience.

Balancing act

It then becomes necessary to balance quality, experience and features against cost and select the agency that can deliver the most within your budget.

Hosting

So once you’ve paid for a website to be designed you will need some form of hosting to get it online. Hosting is cheap these days and unless you are going to receive extremely high volume of traffic or are transferring a large amount of data you can expect to pay between £100 – £300 a year.

Website maintenance

Maintenance is an interesting area in web design where there is no standard procedure. Some agencies simply won’t make any changes after the site is completed, others will make a limited number and many offer maintenance contracts. There is no right or wrong solution as long as the client is aware of the procedure and cost from the start and is in agreement. At Jigsaw we offer a range of solutions, including free minor changes for the first month, contact management systems to enable clients to make their own changes or various maintenance contracts. We always discuss a clients maintenance requirements at the start and help them chose the best solutions for their situation which will then be written into the contract.

Website Marketing

Marketing of a website is hugely important yet often overlooked. With the level of competition on the web these days it’s a dangerous thing to assume that people will just come and visit your site. It’s vital that you spend time and money promoting your site both off line and online. There are a range of marketing solutions to suit any budget. PayPerClick advertising campaigns are becoming more and more popular as they can be cheap and provide instant results whereas gaining listings via search engines naturally is a long process.

So how much does a website cost then?

Hopefully you now understand that it really isn’t possible to give a definitive answer but at least you now know some of the factors involved in determining the cost. We will be looking at ‘

How to choose a web design agency’ in a future post but until then perhaps the best way is to decide how much you are wiling to spend on your website first. Then ask the agencies what you can get from them within your budget rather than approaching them for a price.

Your Business Will Be Found With a Good Website Design

There are more than 400 million websites on the Internet. The good news is that if you own a small business, especially one with predominately local clientele, your site can rank well with the search engines.  The search engines want your customers to find you, but the fact is the majority of small business owners have no idea what Google, Yahoo, and Bing want to see. The engines want to know what your site is about, and this is accomplished with optimization (SEO), including social signals from sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

I have been building websites since 2007, and have critiqued literally thousands of websites. I even freelanced for a short while for Leapforce, a company that analyzes websites for a major search engine (I signed a nondisclosure so I can’t say which one).  The effort that the search engines put into bringing us the most relevant results from queries is truly astounding. Search engines like the small business websites that I design.

The next hurdle is the appearance. The days when one could have a cluttered website with poor navigation are over. Your website only has seconds to convince someone who has found it to stick around long enough to see the service or products that you ar selling. You don’t want anything on the webpage competing for attention. Images should be attractive and complementary to what you are selling, and you certainly do not need music or flash. Your menus and navigation bars should be easy to understand at a glance and links should lead to pages that are just as attractive as the your perspective buyer just left.

You also need to own your own website. If your domain name doesn’t consist of JUST your business name followed by .com, .net or another three-letter extension, you don’t own your website. The things that you can do get traffic are limited. You basically just have pages on another company’s website. That company could change the rules or even go out of business, leaving you stranded without a web presence. You need your own domain name. It is a valuable asset to your business and only grows more valuable over time.

The search engines also like to see updated and new content. This can be accomplished by blogging. The core of your website will be its evergreen pages, which remain static, but my website designs also include a blog. Blogging is the best way to feed new content to the web, and its a way for you to stay in touch with your customers.  Post as often, or as little as you like, or even not all.

I like to give control as soon as possible to the website owner. This saves you a lot of money over time. Many web design companies, especially the ones that do a lot of TV advertising, are after the monthly management fees. Over a period of years this can add up to some serious money. Of course, I can manage your website for you for a fee, but in most cases it is better for a website owner to eventually take control of his or her website.

Why Local Search Is Important to Small Business

Small local business websites should be well optimized for local search. That requires certain actions that aren’t necessary for a website with a global reach. If your website has a universal reach and also a local presence, you still need to be optimized for local search.

What is local search? It is any search query with the intent of finding something in a specific geographic area.  Both Google and Bing say that more than 20% of desktop search queries are local. That number rises to 50% for mobile and tablets. An example of a local search would be someone who types into a search box ”plumbing company birmingham” or “plumber birmingham.” Do you see how someone making the effort to type that and actually read the search engine results pages (SERPS) isn’t searching for the fun of it? He needs a plumber and if you have a company near the top of the first page, you might get the call.  Another example: someone is told that there is 30-minute wait time at her favorite restaurant. She is pushed for time, so she types the name of the street that she is on and “restaurant” into a search  box. That’s not the future – that’s today.

The smaller the city and the less competition, the better– but regardless, every company should be optimized for local search.  It’s the new yellow pages, just a lot cheaper. You can have a website designed and optimized for local search cheaper than  the annual cost of a yellow page ad, and in some cases cheaper than what a yellow page ad would cost for ONE MONTH. That considered, it’s really surprising (to me anyway), why any local business (that actually wants more customers) would not want a well-optimized website.

A site well-optimized for local results also has an advantage over other sites in universal search. Do some search queries for local business, both that draw from an  immediate area (for example pizza delivery, dry cleaner,  pet sitters) and local business that have a wider reach (for example construction company, financial institution, alarm company). Pay attention to who comes up on top and how it is displayed. You could run that same search next year and results could look different, but the important thing is for you to be as well optimized as possible.

These are the local  results that Google displayed  for the querie ”pet sitter mccalla.” The only relevant result was the third – which is a site I designed and optimized only three weeks ago. A business with more competition in the immediate area might take longer to rank well.

Find The Best Website Designing Services For You

The businesses, could possibly be small as well as large, will be deciding on their particular websites. The internet sites have become necessary to apply for features of the newest changing technology and also internet. The website gives one day store in your business through internet. The demand from customers with regard to internet sites flourished the business of website coming up with services. You can buy quantity of providers providing internet site creating services.

The webpage need to be effective in addition to attracting traffic near it. Especially with the businesses, it is usually more effective to rent specialized web site building services in order to complete so. These companies have group regarding IT professionals, skilled with applying newest technological know-how along with helping everyone very best product. The small expenditure while in the website layout presents great results inside returning time. Therefore, price isn’t the important issue nevertheless the company plus high quality you get is definitely more necessary with the businesses.

From that herd regarding organizations offering website designing services, you will need to choose the top trustworthy in addition to inexpensive company. It just isn’t a difficult undertaking nonetheless requirements many analysis and also study previous to coping with the job. There are selected points to be checked for earning very good products. Let all of us find these Company historical past /profile The site provides everyone details info in relation to company, it is report along with history. This may perhaps assure you with regards to company plus it’s experience.

Designs in addition to reviews – From the web pages featuring webpage planning services, you may proceed through distinct products/websites formulated because of the firm earlier. You can certainly check out the client listing and also critiques about the level of quality and providers from the clients. This presents idea regarding the company.

Services offered – The corporation will need to be capable of provide solution implementing hottest systems so that you can have benefit for it. They can suggest anyone the best towers and methods to get a person’s website.

Maintenance and various services You will need to look for the assistance and repair offered with the company. It is quite important if the website requires frequent updating. The layout program will need to present user-friendly solutions in addition to search website welcoming coding so that you can bring in maximum site visitors towards your site.

Cost – Cost can be important factor while getting every product in addition to services. After confirming top quality and services, it is best to check for the actual reliable costs for the solution.

Using most of these checks, you can potentially find perfect webpage designing service for you. The future occupation is handled by the provider that will offer using excellent web page and companies linked to it.

How to improve your websites SEO

Search Engine Optimization or as it is more commonly known, SEO, is vital to the success of any online business. The need to improve SEO should always be a priority to your company and be taken seriously when making any decisions about your website or its content. In a time where business owners compete for online traffic, proper SEO techniques are one of the most powerful methods of ensuring traffic is generated.

Effective Keyword Usage

Keyword research is crucial when trying to improve SEO. Improper use of keywords will result in content that is simply lost in a virtual haystack of digital information. When page rank means everything, effective use of keywords can ensure business owners know their company or service will be seen by millions. Proper keyword density will guarantee search engines understand that content is not electronically generated. Keyword density between 1-3% is all it takes to achieve a good page rank while still having great content that flows organically.

Headlines Should Never Be Ignored

It baffles me that I see so many web designers ignore such a simple, important element. The use of headline tags is a great way to improve SEO. Placing keywords inside those tags will make it clear to search engines that selected words have relevance to the content in question. The H1, H2, and H3 headline tags should be used selectively in website articles and blog posts. Just as a newspaper uses headings and subheadings to organize content, headline tags will offer the same effect. Also, don’t forget headline tags can be styled with CSS like any other text element, so if you’re weary about adding them because of the visual element, slap on a bit of CSS and enjoy a page that not only looks good but performs well in the SERPS as well.

Keyword Formatting Is Important

Formatting keywords, and keyword phrases, by incorporating attributes such as bold, italic, and underline are another effective way to improve SEO. Using this formatting technique is simply another way to tell search engines that particular words or phrases are related to the website content. If a business is selling widgets, and that is the keyword, widgets should be formatted differently throughout the content in question.

Search Engine Optimization is a fundamental part of any successful website but it doesn’t have to be a difficult process. By incorporating these on-page tips, as well as ensuring effective meta information is used you will give your site a great base to start building back links on. Good luck. If you need a hand with your SEO, just let me know… Hey, that rhymes!