Website Promotion And Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Page Design Guidelines
As well as your requirements, it is necessary to agree on the features of the Website and your expectations before any coding is started.
This note sets out the basic principles and guidelines that determine the design of my Websites.
Once you have agreement on the basics, it is then time to think about Search Engine Optimisation.
The Elements of good Website Design
The key aim of Website design should be simplicity and consistency.
- The colour scheme should be simple and pleasing with matching and complementary colours.
- Lots of white space should be used – the page should not be overcrowded.
- The navigation to any page should be simple, direct and intuitive.
- Each page should have a consistent theme.
- There should be minimal Fonts and Font sizes, and they should be consistently applied.
- Contact information should be easily viewable.
- The visitor should be able to grasp the message of a page at a glance.
- The Target Audience must always be kept in mind. Are they computer literate or technical? What jargon will they understand?
- To establish creditability, there must be well worded pages on About, Contact and Testimonials.
- The most important messages must be shown “above the fold” – that is the first visible part of the Web page.
- Colourful backgrounds, white text on a black background, and low contrast text that is difficult to read – all should be avoided.
Website page Response Time
The time to download a Website page is a factor in determining Rankings. The optimal time is 2 seconds. Any more than 5 seconds – and your Website risks being downgraded by the Search Engines.
And you risk potential customers being bored, distracted and finally lost.
Web Page Content
Your marketing message must include and be based around researched Keywords. Content is more important than page design.
The content should sound natural despite the included Keywords – and of course be attractive to your target audience.
See the article on Writing Effective Website Content
Images have a negative bearing on good Rankings – however pretty they look. Images, by nature being large in size, will slow down Website downloads.
Your Website will not be found if the text is embedded in an Image – it is the text on its own that can be searched by Visitors.
The art of Website design is to make the Web page as attractive as possible using the smallest sized images possible. Where a picture is required for marketing, show a thumb-nail image that links to the full size picture. Or a Slide Show.
See the article on Optimising Website Images
Your Company may already have a Logo designed. But it may be too big, it may have a dark background or be otherwise unsuitable for your Website.
If not available, a professional graphic designer will create the perfect logo for your Website.
And the Gimmicks
Music, the spoken word, Pop-up messages, flashing lights, moving objects, etc may all seem like attractive ideas, but besides making your Website inefficient and slow, they are most likely to cause the visitor to immediately look elsewhere.
If you want traffic, you cannot afford to drive visitors away. It is the content of the Web Pages that will draw and convert Visitors to Customers – not gimmicks.
Visual Basic and ASP.Net
It is possible to have a huge array of features due to the power of Visual Basic, and all with completely acceptable response times.
For example, Nev's Blog is displayed within seconds, extracting visitor messages located in an SQL Server database. Or a Slide-show can show pictures. Or Web pages can display different marketing messages.