Web design: striking the balance

As marketers and business owners, we’re constantly demanding more from our websites. Not only do we want them to rank highly in the search results, they also have to deliver a superior user experience, drive sales, enquiries and conversions, and be visually beautiful.

With so many boxes to tick, designing a website that succeeds across all of these areas is difficult — but not impossible. Here, we discuss the web design factors that you need to consider to strike the balance between appearance and functionality:

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Even the most beautifully designed website is useless if users can’t find it! As digital preferences grow, it’s more important than ever to have a search-friendly website in place. However, some preferred web designs with sparing sections of copy directly conflict with an essential aspect of SEO: keyword-optimised copy.

Before you start designing, you need to fully consider the purpose of your page — what is it there to achieve? If you’re struggling to answer this question, there’s a high probability that the page may not be necessary. Pages that are jumbled, confusing and with no clear aim are detrimental to the overall user experience — cut them before you create them.

Once you know what your page needs to achieve, you can start making considered design choices. It’s not just how it looks, but how it works. Make sure you have included all of the essential elements that are intrinsic to the user journey — including optimised content.

User Experience (UX)

79% of uses who don’t like the design of and information on a particular site will return to the search results to find another. This underlines just how crucially important web design is—make the wrong choices and bounce rates could skyrocket.

Often, the reason behind rising bounce rates is not always obvious; that’s where conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and the importance of data comes into play. If traffic is arriving at a particular page, but conversions are low, it’s clear an issue needs to be addressed. Why are users not converting? What is the roadblock between them and the action you want them to take?

Where you are redesigning an existing site, CRO testing is important, as it helps you identify where these issues are. Scroll map testing, for example, will reveal where users are dropping off a page, while heat map testing shows the areas of a page that users are most interested in. The findings from this research can be used to inform the overall design of the page.

In addition, split testing can be used to test the impact of web design pages on the site’s overall performance.

By thoroughly considering your site’s purpose and the available testing techniques, you can strike the difficult balance between SEO functionality and usability, without compromising on its overall appearance.

With over a decade’s search experience, Mediaworks designs and builds SEO-optimised websites from the ground up. We’ll create the visually beautiful site you need to improve the user journey. For more information, contact us using the form below:

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