Branding Through Web Design
By now most business owners have realized the importance of developing a website for their company. These websites help new clients find the company, allow the company to communicate directly with their consumer base and are a great form of advertising. Creating a successful website is not as simple as throwing some words on a Web page, however. A well-developed website will attract more readers, engage people and encourage more business. Whether you build a site yourself or contract a Web design professional, here are some of the most relevant emerging trends in website design for 2013 for business owners to keep in mind as they start working on their own website.
The Importance of Responsive Design
Responsive design really became popular in 2012, and it’s likely to continue growing into 2013. This design makes it easier for websites to be displayed well regardless of the device. This means that whether a potential customer is using a laptop, tablet or smartphone, they’ll be able to see the site without difficulty. It’s easier for companies to get these designs as well. For example, many companies use WordPress to host their websites or manage their content. Many of the new themes put out by WordPress and independent developers are designed responsively. It’s a good idea for all companies to update their theme or website to a responsive Web design if they have not already. So many people are now using mobile devices to browse the web, and no one wants to miss potential customers.
In the past year, Google, the most popular search engine, has introduced two new updates to their search algorithm, known as the Penguin and Panda updates. While no one but Google is privy to exactly what the algorithm says, search engine optimization experts have noted that these updates have drastically cut into old ways to optimize a site to reach the first page of search results. Old methods, like questionable backlink building and the creation of stagnant content no longer have any positive effect on a page ranking — and may even negatively affect it. It’s clear that the only true way to build a high ranking website is to fill the site with good content. Content is also important for engaging potential clients, so there are a few things that all companies should include.
The content should clearly explain what the company does and who they serve. The company should also prominently display contact information and look for ways to keep the content fresh. Pages updated regularly attract return visitors and tell Google that the page is actively used, which helps ranking. Many businesses generate fresh content through occasional page updates and blogs.
Pay Attention to Design
Some companies are tempted to fill their entire home page with written content, but this really just overwhelms the visitor and makes the page appear unprofessional. Companies should plan out their websites to limit the information on the home page to essential pieces, such as contact information, company name, slogan and maybe a consumer review. They can then have separate pages to describe their services, clientele, pricing and other important information.
They should also make good use of graphics and white space. One or two well-placed images will capture visitors’ eyes and tell them about the business. White space will help divide everything up, make it easier to process and help the site function better on a variety of devices. White space and prominent graphics will be very popular in 2013.
The key to a good business website is designing one that is functional, easy to use and easy for search engines to find. Taking note of these trends for 2013 should help get any novice or professional company Web designer going in the right direction.