February 5, 2021

Web Design Services That Are Critical to Success

Your website is your most important communication tool, especially in NYC. Web design services are critical in ensuring your desired message gets through.

In our post on Business2Community “Learn the Secret to Great Marketing. Simple Psychology”, we went into great detail on how to develop a marketing message. In our post on “Learn the Secret to Great Web Design.”, we covered the key design element.

In this post, we cover how web design marketing services can take both the intended message and merge them with best design practices to yield superior user experiences (UX), digital marketing, and web traffic metrics.

Share of Mobile Traffic WW
Source: https://www.broadbandsearch.net/blog/mobile-desktop-internet-usage-statistics

Page Speed

As the chart above suggests, the majority of web traffic is driven by mobile devices. As mobile becomes more dominant, more attention must be paid to site speed. 

Page speed is a key ranking factor in the Google algorithm. Google has stated that mobile-first indexing is a best practice.

“Starting July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing is enabled by default for all new websites”

Site speed is a key ranking factor for Google search ranking. Therefore, it  has become crucial when you build a website. While designers disagree on which tools to use to measure speed, we believe Google Pagespeed Insights is the best.

Google makes the rules in search, so it is important to understand how they grade speed. Mobile sites that do not achieve at least an 80 on Google Pagespeed Insights will not perform as well.

Impact of Page Speed on Bounce Rate
Source: https://www.pingdom.com/blog/page-load-time-really-affect-bounce-rate/


Data show page speed is a key indicator bounce rate. If your page takes over three seconds to load, bounce rates balloon. Any bounce is a lost communication opportunity, if not a sale.

When looking for website design services in NYC or elsewhere, run a Google Pagespeed Insights test on your development company’s site. Their mobile score is likely to be the best you will get. If they are in the 60s or lower, go somewhere else. 

If they try to sell you on why Google Pagespeed Insights doesn’t matter, that is a red flag. This shows an over reliance on content management systems (CMS) themes in their web design development. While themes and CMS systems can be useful, you need to deal with their code bloat

It is wise to ask them about theme customization, not just in design, but also in code. If they do not have the coding skills to remove the excess code in your theme, then expect site performance to be in the 60s or lower.

User Experience (UX) 

Web Design Services NYC UX

The reason digital agencies or web development agencies often rely so heavily on the themes is responsiveness. Responsiveness means the site responds and adapts depending on the device on which it is being viewed. Responsiveness is key to a great user experience.

A theme is not the only way to create responsive websites. It’s just the easiest, and truthfully, the cheapest. But, a slow responsive site is almost as bad as a non-responsive site. 

According to several studies, good UX includes at least these three elements.

  1. It is easy for the user to find what they want. The page has a clear hierarchy of design.
  2. It is easy to navigate both by users and bots. The site map is intuitive and communicated clearly both to the user and to search engines.
  3. It performs as well on mobile as it does on desktop. It’s a seamless experience across all devices.

Remember, users have millions of sites to choose from. Fail at any of these UX principles and that user will probably be lost to a better designed site.

Website is First & Foremost a Communication Tool

In the excitement of developing a new site, it's easy to get captivated by visuals and anything eye catching. This, in of itself, isn’t bad as long as they design it to support and enhance your key message and do not sacrifice UX.

Communication is tricky. As humans, we are imperfect senders and receivers of messages. Our environment affects, internal need, state of mind, color, font, sounds, etc. all impact how we receive messages.

All good marketing agencies know this. A discussion of these points should be part of the onboarding and design process.

Web Design Services NYC - Communication Model

As web designers in New York, we need to have a clear communication aim in mind. If we do not, we need to create one before we start designing or developing.

SEO and web design and intrinsically linked. Search engines look at three things when the index a page. 

  1. Content theme: What is the page about
  2. Scoring: How relevant is the content and how reliable is the source
  3. Indexing: Under which keyword(s) should this page be listed 

Thus, each page and keyword on that page should make the intent, relevance, and reliability of the page clear.. Each page needs to have a clear communication goal and a set of keywords to support that goal.

This is why it is important to complete your keyword research and to develop your keyword strategy before you start building your site. Your sitemap provides Google with a clear picture of how you value your content - the most important pages are upfront, the least in the back.

Not only does navigation and site structure affect communication goals, but also the visual and environmental cues can also highlight importance. This is where URL structure and tagging are important. Title is more important than H1. H1 is more important than H2.

While not a ranking factor, the meta description is a key signal to the user of the content on the page. The searcher will use this signal to determine if the page matches his or her intent.

In addition, a successful page and site must choose the right environmental cues so that they support the message in a tone and manner that is consistent with your brand. 

If you have a fun site or location, images of people having fun, use of bright colors, a more whimsical font, etc, are examples of environmental cues that support your goal. 

Lastly, high quality content that communicates a relevant topic well and  that searchers find valuable will generate organic links and social shares. Organic links are the backbone of any white hat link building strategy.

While social shares are reported not to be a ranking factor, the number of shares increases the likelihood that more links will be generated. This helps both to extend the reach of your and to increase the likelihood of additional links.

eCommerce Enabled

More businesses have adopted some form of ecommerce. The pandemic only sped up a growing trend. This trend is likely to abate anytime soon.

A key website design service in NYC or elsewhere needs to provide a site that is ecommerce enabled or could be enabled simply. Failing to provide this functionality is a major disservice and puts the company at a competitive disadvantage.

If you are going to invest time and dollars, make sure that your web design service provider can integrate an ecommerce platform easily and seamlessly to your design.

Web Design Services NYC - Value of Platform Partners

Platform Partners - Does It Add Value?

You may see that several website design service partners advertise they are Google Certified partners, Facebook partners, WordPress, and the list goes on. 

While this may be helpful, it is more indicative that they spend a lot of money on these sites for the clients or they have generated a lot of referral activity. It is important to keep in mind that these partnerships with web design companies and web design agencies are commercial. 

It is far more important that the design services can deliver on the first four elements. If they fail there, all the partners in the world will not improve your results.

Summary

When looking for website design services in NYC or elsewhere. There are four things to keep in mind.

  1. Page speed is key: It is a key indicator of bounce rate, and any bounced user is lost opportunity to get your message across.
  2. UX: While pretty is nice, finding the right information faster is better.
  3. Communications: Your website is likely your most important communication tool. As such, it is an important element of your marketing strategies.
  4. ECommerce Enabled: This is the cost of entry today. Not having it will put you at a competitive disadvantage.

About the Author

Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkenIn profile

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