Having a website is an excellent opportunity to connect with existing customers, as well as communicate with new ones. But simply having a website is not enough on it’s own: great web design Eastbourne is imperative to success online.
But how do you design a website that attracts new customers? What makes a website design successful or not, and how do you decide what style or direction to choose?
As specialists in web design, we understand how to create an effective website: excellent user experience, functionality and responsiveness are all key components to great website design.
But how do you do this? Check out our easy-to-follow guide on the things to consider when designing or optimising your website.
When designing your website, the most important aspect you need to think about is your customer, and how your site will effectively address their needs. Your main priority should be making the experience of browsing your site as seamless as possible: it should be easy for visitors to access the most important information about your company with very few clicks.
Let’s think about what effective web design in Eastbourne would look like. For example, if you are a hairdressers in Eastbourne town centre, then you need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes – what information do they want to find out? This could be:
- The services you provide
- The cost of services
- Your contact details
- Whether you need to book an appointment – and can you book online
Once defined, make sure this information is clearly displayed on the first section of your page (if possible), using call-to-action buttons when appropriate to encourage visitors’ interaction with your business.
If you do decide to display key information across web pages, remember visibility is important – can the user still easily find important details about your company? Using a logical page hierarchy, and easy navigation is key to website design success.
Don’t forget that now more than ever, users have low-attention spans, and if they can’t find your business details quickly, they’ll simply click away to another site, and you’ll lose potential business.
When it comes to website design in Eastbourne, prioritise in terms of the different stages your customers are at in the ‘buying cycle’, rather than fussing over the small things.
For example, when in design mode, it’s easy to fall into the trap of sweating over every minute detail, such as colour schemes, the appropriate picture to use or whether a button is located on the left of the screen or centre.
Whilst important to good web design, these aren’t the key to website success alone.
But what do we mean when it comes to a ‘buying cycle’?
Let’s continue with the hairdressers example from earlier. In terms of potential hairdressing clients, you typically have people who are at two opposite ends of the buying cycle spectrum.
Hairdresser customer one – purchase intent
Client one needs a cut immediately, which means they are at the ‘purchase intent’ stage of the buying cycle, and ready to buy a service.
This means they will be looking for a reputable barber or hairdresser that is nearby, within price range and with whom they can arrange an appointment today or within the week.
A customer with purchase intent will be looking on a hairdressers website for:
- Accuracy of information (are the opening times stated correctly, are the prices up-to-date, etc.)
- Website speed: can they access the key information quickly? If they can’t, they’ll look at another hairdressers website instead.
Hairdresser customer two: informational intent
Client two isn’t at the purchase intent stage yet of the buying cycle. They are considering their options and looking for hairstyle ideas – they are at the ‘informational’ intent stage.
A customer with informational intent will be looking on a hairdressers website for:
- Ideas – blog posts on the most popular hairstyle trends, information on the best haircuts depending on hair type, etc.
Don’t forget that whilst they may be days, weeks or even months away from booking an appointment, you still want to attract these prospects.
They could easily turn into customers for your business at a later stage when they are ready to book. With this in mind, create blog posts or pages that capture their attention, help to build trust, and ultimately encourage customer conversions.
Another important aspect of web design for any Eastbourne business is making sure your website is mobile-friendly. Why? Google switched to a mobile-first index in 2019, which has huge implications for SEO. It means that Google now uses the mobile version (not desktop) of sites for indexing and ranking websites.
That means it is essential to make your website easy to view on mobile devices to have a chance of appearing on the first page of Google search results.
With mobile users accounting for over half of all web traffic worldwide and 75% of mobile users making a purchase on their phones in the last six months (source: Outerboxdesign), it’s a costly web design mistake to miss out on!
Another important web design component to consider for Eastbourne businesses is search engine optimisation (SEO).
Why? Monitoring and adhering to Google’s latest SEO guidelines (based on their ever-changing algorithms) is essential if you want your site to appear on the first page of the search results on Google.
When it comes to SEO, Google is passionate about relevancy, and you should factor this in when it comes to SEO. Google prioritises websites and pages that provide the most relevant answers according to a user’s search term – promoting a good user experience is their top priority.
This means precise, accurate, engaging content is key.
Google determines relevance through crawling your website for the following information (which you should take into account for website design):
- Loading speed
- Can it be read on a mobile device?
- Keywords used
- Readability: how (and what) information is presented on your website
- Are other users reading the whole article and reading follow-up articles?
- Average length of time users spend on your website/web pages.
- If people are clicking the ‘back’ button as soon as they arrive on your site
- Accessibility for users with disabilities
If your site is slow to load, and fails to meet any of the criteria listed above, it’s likely providing a poor user experience. If that is the case, Google will reduce the number of times it refers to your website, if at all.
For Eastbourne businesses, we recommend following these SEO tips below for effective web design Eastbourne:
- Reduce image sizes: large file size images reduce website load speeds and cause a poor user experience. Use image optimisation tools such as TinyPNG to prevent this.
- Avoid keyword stuffing: keywords are important for ranking on Google, but you must use them naturally within your content, or Google will penalise your site.
- Produce high-quality content: the longer users spend on your website, the more it suggests to Google you are providing valuable, relevant content, which will improve your Google rankings.
- Structure is important: use headings, sub-headings and consistent button styles for excellent readability, improving user experience. This is also important for Google crawling.
- Ensure background and foreground colours have a sufficient contrast ratio so information can be easily viewed
- Make sure labels to links, images, icons are correctly written and explicitly explain what they are in a readable language
- Design web pages that are responsive not only to mobile devices but to large screens that have been adapted to screen readers
- Make sure your meta tags are inserted and written correctly in each webpage you have
- Ensure buttons have accessible names
- Form elements have associated labels (i.e name, address, telephone number etc)
Want to find out more about the latest SEO best practices? Check out our SEO in Eastbourne guide for tips and tricks to help your website rank. Short on time? We also provide free SEO audits for Eastbourne businesses too.
Let’s look at how Google and Apple do web design. They both follow their philosophy of information first, then ‘look and feel’ second.
Google is a prime example of this:
The main user requirement is simply to type in a search query and for Google to list the most relevant web pages back to us.
There is no need to overthink it or try to second guess what else the user might want.
All there is, is a logo, search box and two buttons (the latter two both redundant as most people just press the return key).
Google sticks to a simple and effective design that focuses on what the user wants, regardless of how advanced their business has grown.
Compare that to Yahoo! (remember those guys?!) and you can see the difference in design between the two:
Simple yet purposeful web design also applies to Apple. For example, for their current online iPad Pro promotion (correct as of 1st April 2020) all we see is:
- Product name
- Captivating tagline
- Call-to action ‘buy’ button
- Learn more link
Again, Apple has more than enough resources to make this page incredibly beautiful and flashy, but they don’t.
Effective design is often simple and clean.
Have this mindset when you are adapting your business website design in Eastbourne.
We have vast experience and expertise in web design in Eastbourne. From small local businesses to global start-ups, we help companies maximise their web design investments and successfully improve their online presence.
With all of our clients, we fully get to grips with understanding their customer base, target audience and their competitors (on both a local and national scale).
RJM Digital is passionate about creating web pages that follow the philosophy of ‘information first’ and will happily work with any customer who follows our vision.
We try to provide as much content and resources as possible, to help you create successful websites that showcase your business, are relevant to users and accessible to all.
For Eastbourne businesses who want to invest more time working with a business partner to maximise their investment, build the best possible website they can for their business or are simply time poor, then we would be delighted to work with you!