The "Reality" of Web Design & Site Usability

2/22/2012

Danielle Leitch, EVP

I just returned from Orlando, FL as a featured speaker of the Internet Retailer Web Design Conference.  My session offered on-the-spot website critiques for attendees willing to have their sites analyzed in front of the large audience in attendance.  During this event, I reviewed websites from a few different perspectives, all of which are important to a site's success.

Many websites seemed to face similar obstacles or fell short in the same areas.  Therefore, I am providing some items below that ought to be considered during a website redesign or new site build out.

Aesthetics/Design

Let's face it; your site needs to look good!  A balance should occur between useful graphical elements or images, along with the flashy/jazzy stuff. 

"Hero" images were the talk of the show this year - a larger sized graphic (often times rotating multiple images), prominently placed in the upper half of the homepage, underneath navigation or the header bar.

Spend time constructing a well organized taxonomy, which will be reflected in your navigation.  This will help organize your content properly for users, while also helping to decide on a top or side navigation bar.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

There always seems to be room for improvement with SEO. Creating a good keyword and content strategy for your site should be the first step.  Each page of the site should target 1-2 core key terms, with each page targeting different terms or phrases.  Choose your terms carefully, with a blend of both broad terms and longer tail phrases.

TEXT TEXT TEXT!  If you do not have crawlable text on your site, it is not optimized.  Each page you are optimizing should have at least 250 (preferably more) words of text.  The content should be focused and clearly support the term you are optimizing that web page for.

Analytics

Don't take my word for it (or anyone else's) - look to the data for answers.
Within your analytics account is a wealth of information tied to what your site visitors like or don't like.  Follow their lead to determine what content stays or goes, along with which areas of your site are barriers to convert.

Interested to have MoreVisibility provide some feedback on your website for the areas above?  Lets talk!

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