Many new online business owners have misconceptions about custom web design. It's not only about getting your website up and running. It's about designing every aspect of your website - every "nook and cranny" - to lead your visitors to the ultimate end, a sale. Whether you plan to build a service-oriented website or offer many products, your site's design must have all the ingredients for success from the very start. Be sure the web designer you choose has an understanding of promotion as well as custom web design. Here are some features your site must have to survive among the Internet masses.
An Easily Recognized USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
When a visitor arrives at any of your web pages (not only the homepage), he/she should understand what your site is all about immediately. You only have a split second to grab their attention. Make sure each web page has a powerful keyword-rich headline that will keep the visitor reading.
Graphics that Complement without Dominating the Web Pages
Every website needs a few graphics here and there to make the web design pleasing to the eye, but be sure your graphic design and logo design do not dominate your pages. You want visitors to read your page, not look at your graphics. So, keep graphics to a minimum, and use them only when they help to create an even reading flow on the page. Many sites use a pleasant "newsletter" style when there is much to read on a page, sprinkling graphics or photos throughout the text in a wrap-around sense. For logo design, keep it small and simple. There's nothing more annoying than waiting on a page to load because its logo is too big!
Keyword Rich Content for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Be sure your designer understands about SEO and keywords. Every page of your site should be designed with search engine promotion in mind. This means gearing your meta tags, link text for pages or in menus, headlines, image "alt text" contents, etc. to attract search engine traffic for the long haul.
Be sure the navigation on your web pages is easy to use. Many visitors will not take the time to "search" for hidden links or to browse through a confusing menu. If ordering custom web design from a professional, write out on paper how you would like your link system to flow from page to page. If you have content, place visible, colored links within the text to give visitors a chance to click while reading. Have menu bars or links in the usual places - sidebars and top/bottom of the web page.
Promote your Website
Some design firms will offer promotion bonuses with a custom web design package. This benefits you because it helps you to get a head start on building traffic. You can take advantage of the design firm's skills and knowledge about Web promotion and search engine optimization. Don't forget to promote your website in every way possible. Print your site address on business cards, newspaper ads, letterhead, etc. Also, promote your site online using only targeted advertising.
Custom web design techniques and promotion are so tightly knit together that it's impossible to separate the two. Be sure to include both in your custom web design plans so you can see positive results from the start!