Website designs have evolved over the past 20 years to be more entertaining and engaging. From text based websites that focused solely on providing well organized lists and links to more resources, to websites that have embraced the future with Augmented Realities and Robot “maids” to provide information at the click of a button.
Early web designs used itemized lists with bullet points and were very basic in user appeal and design.
Did not use many images for design
Often pages were long
Difficult to navigate
Wikipedia describes web design as:
Web design encompasses many different skills and disciplines in the production and maintenance of websites. The different areas of web design include web graphic design; interface design; authoring, including standardised code and proprietary software; user experience design; and search engine optimization. Often many individuals will work in teams covering different aspects of the design process, although some designers will cover them all. The term web design is normally used to describe the design process relating to the front-end (client side) design of a website including writing mark up. Web design partially overlaps web engineering in the broader scope of web development. Web designers are expected to have an awareness of usability and if their role involves creating mark up then they are also expected to be up to date with web accessibility guidelines.
Over the past years, we have learned that an entertaining and helpful website that keeps users engaged on a website page, are usually better at selling more products and services as well as ranking higher in the search engines.
One of the most important features all websites need to do well in Google search as well as with your customers online, is making sure that your website is mobile friendly.
Page load times are an important part of good SEO and/or search engine optimization to help your business website rank high in Google search.
2018 Web Design Examples
Mobile usability and page load times are important not only for SEO, but for customer conversion rates. Most of your website visitors are most certainly using a mobile phone to view your company website. They are often in a hurry and need to find the information quickly. If your website takes too long to load, they will simply hit the browser back button.
Listed below are great examples of custom web designs that entertain, provide value and offer interesting content to their website users without making the site too large to load quickly or not load at all on a mobile phone.
Web designs created in 2018 are trending more towards the flat design elements seen on popular websites like Air Bnb and others are moving the design trends into some interesting and fun areas.
Web designs should load fast, and be mobile responsive, but they should also achieve the goal of the following:
Sign up newsletter subscribers
Buy a product or service
Share on social media networking websites.
Click phone number to call
Website visitors need to perform an action on your website in order for it to count as a conversion. If a website user visits a page on your website, then leaves, Google counts this like a bounce or if a website visitor hit the back button while viewing your website.
If your website has a high bounce rate, your website will not be able to hold your rankings in Google search for long.
According to Google, “a bounce is a single-page session.” Put more concretely, a bounce occurs whenever a user enters your page and does not further interact with the elements on said page or any other pages on your site. A bounce might be triggered by any number of events:
Returning to search results
Closing the browser
Entering a new URL in the address bar
Following an outbound link
Staying inactive and timing out the session
Reading the entirety of a page but not triggering any events, and then leaving
It makes sense that most of the devices with the highest bounce rates are on mobile phones.
“Slow sites have a negative impact on revenue, and the opposite is also true.
For Mobify, Every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed worked out to a 1.11% increase in session-based conversion, yielding an average annual revenue increase of nearly $380,000. Additionally, a 100ms decrease in checkout page load speed amounted to a 1.55% increase in session-based conversion, which in turn yielded an average annual revenue increase of nearly $530,000.”
Takeaway: Poor Performing Competition Can be Your Strength
Most websites owners are unaware that their websites are doing poorly in mobile and Google search. I always recommend doing a full technical SEO audit each year to make sure your web design is in compliance with the many changes and updates to the Google algorithms.
Most SEO audits cost less than a few thousand dollars, but their findings usually generate many thousands more in SEO rankings, customer acquisition and out ranking of competitor websites.
Who can do a technical SEO audit for a website design? Usually it is a person that has web design as well as web development skills and experience.
What style of web designs would your customers love to see?
Flat, modern, video, simple, highly creative or corporate in nature?
All of my custom web designs begin with that very question. What would my clients, clients want to see in their website?
Who are the highest paid website designers on the planet as of today? These website designers are some of the most sought after custom web designers in the industry. Although there are hundreds of world class web designers in the US alone, these are the top 3 that I follow and look up to as a website designer. These world famous web designers command tens of thousands of dollars per sign on bonus as well as over a hundred thousand dollars a year plus extras. Why do startups and large corporations shell out the big dough for these designers? It must be their ROI. Good design and programming married with excellent copy writers make for a winning combination for many business websites. Not to toot my own horn, but Check out my web design award honor with The Webby Awards, an international recognition for creative website designers around the world.
The average yearly salary for a web designer is around $49k. Small business owners would be hard pressed to afford an in house web designer to design, develop and market their companies website for less than $60k if you include taxes, benefits and retirement.
Young web designer with a dream salary…
James Somers, a Web developer in his mid-twenties, planned to quit the field and become a freelance writer.
He had a sweet first assignment lined-up too. He was going to write a profile about Douglas Hofstadter, and magazines were already lining up to pay him $10,000 to $20,000 to publish it.
But then he got a job offer to go back into Web development.
These were the terms:
“$150,000 in salary, a $10,000 signing bonus, stock options, a free gym membership, excellent health and dental benefits, a new cellphone, and free lunch and dinner every weekday. My working day would start at about 11am. It would end whenever I liked, sometime in the early evening. The work would rarely strain me. I’d have a lot of autonomy and responsibility. My co-workers would be about my age, smart, and fun.”
If there’s one man in the web industry who probably doesn’t need an introduction, it’s Ethan Marcotte. One of the web’s best-known designers Ethan is a regular and popular speaker on the conference circuit and, in his own words, the one who “started that whole ‘responsive web design‘ thing”.
A world-known CSS expert and HTML guru, Chris Coyier writes one of the most popular CSS blogs on the web, CSS-Tricks. Throughout his career, Chris has published many tutorials, websites, and scripts to help designers improve their skills. A designer at CodePen, Chris can also be found at web design and development podcast ShopTalk.
UX expert Karen McGrane motto is simple – ‘On a good day, I make the web more awesome. On a bad day, I make it suck less’. A content strategist and user experience designer, Karen has over 15 years experience of making big, complicated websites. Currently managing partner of Bond Art + Science, she is also the author of Content Strategy for Mobile.
Andy is a well-known speaker on the conference circuit, and is the founder of a Welsh-based design studio, Stuff and Nonsense, that boasts clients including the likes of The Home Office, STV and the International Organization for Standardization. Andy is perhaps best known for his book, Hardboiled Web Design, which combined the idea of progressive enhancement with responsive web design.
Dan is the author of five web design books covering everything from standards-based code approaches to Sass. As well as writing, Dan is a practicing web designer, and a popular speaker. Alongside Rich Thornett, Dan is a co-founder of the popular dribbble.com show-and-tell website that allows designers to upload micro-shots of their work in progress.
User interface designer Sarah Parmenter specialises in design for the web, iPhone and iPad. Owner of design studio You Know Who and co-host of the Happy Monday podcast, Sarah can often be found travelling the world to speak at the world’s leading web design conferences. Her client list includes Blackberry, News International, STV and The National Breast Cancer Foundation of America.
Dave Shea is most famous for his CSS Zen Garden project, which helped spearhead the move from table-based web design layout to CSS-based layouts. The website became very popular, both helping to push the boundaries of what designs could be achieved with CSS alone, and also encouraging web designers the world over to adopt the approach.
Jeffrey is perhaps the best known of all the people featured in our list. He’s the author of a must-have book, Designing with Web Standards, publisher of books via A Book Apart, Speaker and is the driving force behind the immensely popular industry-leading online journal, A List Apart. Jeffrey is also the founder of Happy Cog studios, a US-based consultancy with clients including MTV, Ben & Jerry’s and Stanford University.
Vitaly is well-known in the web design world for his web design blog, Smashing Magazine. The original blog has grown over the past few years to incorporate a huge set of web design resources, and has branched out into both publishing (with Smashing Books), and workshops/conferences which attract some of the web’s best experts.
Internet marketing is the single most important strategy a business should focus on. Most small business treat their website as if it were an online brochure, which is a huge mistake. I have put together 40 Top Marketing Tactics that -will increase the success of your website.
# 1 Sandy Rowley – Reno SEO Expert @ RenoWebDesigner.com
“Place a strong call to action on every page of your website. The ideal place to put this call to action is either top center or top right side of your website. AmericanExpress.com has a good example of a strong call to action on their site. Another good idea is to have your photo, name, phone number, address in these areas making it easy for your website viewers to get in touch with you.”
#2 Blogging Marketing Expert @ AllyssaBarnes.com
” Adding a SEARCH BAR to your website. Even the most organized sites can benefit from a search bar. While a well thought out category and tag system is essential, sometimes it’s just quicker to find what you want via a search bar. If you’re making your site visitors scan through tons of pages just to find what they want, then you’re doing it wrong. As I said earlier, people are lazy. Placing a search bar somewhere at the top of your site will allow people to quickly and easily search your site content.”
“A Great Theme is key to a successful website. The first step to a successful website is in having a great theme. Now, with this, you can either choose to use a ‘stock’ theme and tweak it to the way you want it to look or use a professional developer to develop a theme for you.
In the past, I tended to go for option one since it was a lot cheaper as stock themes tended to be free. However, I wasted a huge amount of time trying to tweak themes and trying to learn coding in order to tweak the themes the way I wanted them to look. Long story short is that it really did not work out. Therefore, although it is going to initially cost you more to begin with, hiring a professional or buying a professional theme is the best way to go and it is the way successful websites will tend to go down too.”
# 5 Highwaymanfecitmmx D Bnonn Tennant Te Awamutu 3800, New Zealand
“If a site omits these, it’s going to struggle:
a compelling headline,
and a clear call to action.
And if you’re considering hiring a web designer whose own site omits these, look elsewhere. You can have the most stunning visual style in the world; the slickest effects; the most user-friendly forms and who knows what else—but with the hammer falling empty on those first three chambers, your site isn’t going to be hitting anything.”
The Internet is cluttered with information overload. Online users are bombarded daily with too much information, sometimes, in a very messy way. Offering a company website that is well laid out, simple to navigate, and easy to read can go a long way in creating a positive experience for online visitors.
Jakob Nielsen, a guru on website usability, explains, “The average page visit lasts a little less than a minute. As users rush through Web pages, they have time to read only a quarter of the text on the pages they actually visit (let alone all those they don’t). So, unless your writing is extraordinarily clear and focused, little of what you say on your website will get through to customers.”
“Do you have a good giveaway? Are you building your email list? It is pointless for you to get more traffic and to be marketing a blog that doesn’t have a good giveaway. That speaks to your target market and offers them something that they actually want. The number one source of our traffic, this is a little secret, the number one source of our traffic is traffic that we own which is our email list. Now a lot of people don’t understand that because they’re constantly looking for new traffic from different places. Our number one source of traffic is our own traffic, it is the email list that we’ve built and when we do a new blog post we send it to that email list to let them know that we have a new blog post and they click it and they check it out.
In the video on my website above, I share several tips around marketing your blog and creating that profitable lead-generating website you have always wanted!”
Hi! I’m Jim Connolly and I help small business owners to make more sales, boost their profits and build amazing businesses. You can find out more here.
Offer flexible payment options
“I’m often amazed at the limited payment options offered by small businesses. A lack of flexible payment alternatives, means those businesses are leaving money on the table. Worst of all, it’s totally avoidable.
Thanks to services like PayPal, it has never been easier for small business owners to accept payment via credit card, debit card and charge cards. If you factor the payment fees into your prices correctly, all those additional transactions needn’t cost you a penny.”
Social media giveaways are great social media campaign ideas if you are looking to increase engagement and get more followers. Just make sure that what is being given away is related to your business. You want entrants to be interested in your business, so that any followers or engagers you get from the campaign can also be potential leads.
There are different ways to get entrants for giveaways. For example, on Instagram, users can enter by following your account and liking your post, or reposting it with a custom hashtag. Another way users can enter an Instagram giveaway is by tagging another user in the comment section of the contest photo.
On Facebook, you could create a post for contest to your business page, and have users enter by liking and commenting on that post. Or, you could ask a question in your post, and users could enter by answering the question in the comments.
If you are asking a question, it’s a good idea to ask a question that has something to do with your services or your audience’s preferences. This way, entries can provide you with feedback about your services or insights about your target audience.
Our job as consultants is actually simple. I use a very simple hack to better understand my job, whenever I start working on a new campaign. I just ask myself these 2 questions:
What’s the goal? – having goals make it easier to have effective and aligned action plans
What’s the problem? – knowing the problem allows you to come up with appropriate solutions
Essentially, what we do is we constantly find problems to solve. And you won’t be able to come up with the right solutions when you don’t have the knowledge. Our service heavily relies on knowledge. And that’s what’s in between the goal and the action, and the problem and the solution.
With the right knowledge, it’ll be a lot easier to determine the areas of your campaign that will yield more results (prioritization).
While “if you build it they will come” is a great line from a movie, it’s a terrible marketing plan. To succeed on the Internet today, you have to create content that ignites and engages an audience. However, if you are a new blogger, you should probably spend more time developing an audience than creating your content.
Here are three easy but overlooked tactics you can use to build an audience on Twitter, which is arguably the best platform for this.
Once you’ve been on Twitter for a while, you’ll notice people will place you on public Twitter lists. Lists are generally categorized by a special interest or geographic location. For example, I might be on lists for “marketing experts,” “bloggers” or “business educators.” Find a relevant person to follow, and then dig into his or her lists. You’ll likely find a goldmine of interesting people to follow who will hopefully follow you back.
Jodie King is the Head of Operations at SEO Traffic Lab – a digital marketing agency with the full spectrum of services from web development through to SEO, PPC, content marketing, social media management and email marketing.
Jodie received her Bachelor’s degree in English and Heritage Studies. She currently blogs for clients and also has her own fitness blog on Vertical Fitness, Gainsborough which she struggles to find enough time for.
Jodie enjoys doing boxing, pole dancing, and scuba diving whenever she gets the chance. In this interview, you’ll learn more about her, how she works, as well as some some practical content marketing advice.
Identify Business Goals
# 12 By Houssem Daoud
Every piece of your social media strategy serves the goals you set. You simply can’t move forward without knowing what you’re working toward.1
Look closely at your company’s overall needs and decide how you want to use social media to contribute to reaching them.
You’ll undoubtedly come up with several personalized goals, but there are a few that all companies should include in their strategy—increasing brand awareness, retaining customers and reducing marketing costs are relevant to everyone.
# 13 Choose Channels and Tactics
By Houssem Daoud
Many businesses create accounts on every popular social network without researching which platform will bring the most return. You can avoid wasting your time in the wrong place by using the information from your buyer personas to determine which platform is best for you.
If your prospects or customers tell you they spend 40% of their online time on Facebookand 20% on Twitter, you know which primary and secondary social networks you should focus on.
When your customers are using a specific network, that’s where you need to be—not everywhere else.
Your tactics for each social channel rely on your goals and objectives, as well as the best practices of each platform.
We’ve experimented with lots of different content marketing methods at Buffer, so I wanted to share with you 9 of the best ways we’ve found to increase engagement and improve your content strategy.
Especially after launching Buffer for Business recently, a lot of business approached us, asking which practical tips we had for them to improve their social media and content marketing.
So here are our best and most practical ways to see a big impact from your actions on social media
People have enough stuff, but they don’t have enough meaning. – Seth Godin
Once you’ve got a groundwork in place, set some goals. Why you do what you do, combined with what goals you want to achieve, will help you flesh out your strategy.
So let’s say you’re a photographer. Your goals are to hit 2,000 Instagram followers and sell 100 prints by the end of the year. If that’s the case, it probably makes sense to spend a lot more time on Instagram, rather than posting up flyers around town. You should spend your time writing blog posts (and great product descriptions) that tell the stories behind the images you’re selling, not buying ads on Facebook. Just being specific about what you’re trying to do will help you avoid wasting your time.
Print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market.
People read postcards when the message is brief. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website and generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.
No single marketing effort works all the time for every business, so rotate several marketing tactics and vary your approach. Your customers tune out after awhile if you toot only one note. Not only that, YOU get bored. Marketing can be fun, so take advantage of the thousands of opportunities available for communicating your value to customers. But don’t be arbitrary about your selection of a variety of marketing ploys. Plan carefully. Get feedback from customers and adapt your efforts accordingly.
# 16 Nelson Dias
Define Your Social Presence
There was a time when having a social presence meant signing up on all available platforms and sharing a bunch of content. Today, social media is a powerful marketing tool and customer service channel. Prospects expect you to engage with them more actively and personally, and search engines like Google tend to take notice. For best results, focus on two or three platforms and be very active.
If you follow CMI at all, you should already know that documenting your content marketing strategy is essential for success. Since SEO is a key part of that strategy, you should start your efforts by documenting your plans for using this technique, i.e., what your priorities are, what methods you work with, how you measure your performance, and what goals you want SEO to ultimately help you achieve. Depending on how far along your company is, you may need to write a basic strategy first, and then revisit it once you’ve audited and analyzed your current SEO efforts and data (more on that later!).
# 18 By Adam Heitzman
Know your target audience and their online patterns. Set objectives.
Obviously the purpose of SEO is about ranking well in the search engines to drive traffic to your website, but even that won’t mean much if your website is showing up in front of an audience that doesn’t care. The first thing you should always do is identify your target audience and learn all you can about them–demographics, search patters and preferences, geographic location, etc. A good way to do this is by diving into your Google Analytics account.
Keywords are at the heart of SEO, and selecting the right ones can make or break your SEO strategy. Compile a list of about 10 keywords associated with your product or services. Plug these keywords into Google’s Keyword Tool , and find variations that make sense for your business.
First and foremost, if you’re not already monitoring for upcoming updates, you should be.
Rumors of an impending Google Algorithm update are enough to give any SEO nightmares but tools designed to pre-empt this are plentiful.
Some even do the hard work for you. With AccuRanker’s Google Grump, you can subscribe to free alerts – filtered by country and device – that monitor ranking fluctuations that might signify an update, and send you a notification if anything unusual is happening.
SEO is a very volatile industry because of the many changes that take place in the Google algorithm within a period. The algorithm set in place this month may not be the same the next. It is an always evolving algorithm that encourages SEO specialists to stay on their toes and keep abreast with updates.
As we pass the years half way point and start to look towards 2017, it has become more important for specialists to look out for trends that can affect search rankings for their keywords in this new year.
Links are a critical component of any SEO strategy, but not everyone understands how they work or how to leverage them correctly.
Here’s how they work: Part of Google’s search algorithm determines your site’s value by counting the number of incoming links. And each link has its own value based on how many links are going to that site, too, and so on. What this means, for example, is that a link to your site from Harvard.edu is weighted much more heavily than a link from Dr. Spink at spinkdentistry.com. (Although, maybe you’re a dentist, and if you are, then a link from the Spink is just fine). But the point remains the same: There is a complex system of determining factors that make one link more valuable than another.
But don’t be fooled, if you search for “SEO link building,” you’ll see tons of companies offering seemingly easy solutions, things like:
Business profile creation
These services are supposed to build you links, but unfortunately many of these solicitations are merely well-disguised hack techniques or outdated strategies that will damage your site, not help it… and they come from a combination of both known scumbag overseas companies and reputable companies alike, so stay on your toes.
Case in point: Matt Cutts (head of Google’s web spam team) flat out says press release links from syndication sites are now discounted. And to be fair, as a digital marketing agency, we used to practice this, and it was even considered a best practice at the time, but now it’s a complete waste of money to do any press releases for the sake of getting an inbound link; directories and business profiles have been devalued so long ago that I can’t even dig up a good blog post or link about it; and blog commenting is considered a link scheme in most cases and will actually get your site penalized! Since, we’ve become enlightened and have adapted and responded to the evolution of link building to help you move up in the rankings the right way instead of going backwards.
Don’t get the wool pulled over your eyes by agencies still using antiquated tactics—implement a link building strategy that is current, effective, and gets the nod from Google every time.
– See more at: http://vtldesign.com/digital-marketing/seo/seo-strategy-what-marketing-agency-should-already-know/#sthash.8nWPP3m5.dpuf
Scan your competitor’s site to locate their most shared pages; a tool like Social Crawlytics can help with this. By finding your competitors’ best-performing pieces of content, you can determine which topics and content types might work well for you, too.
Ensure you include content at every level, including large scale “hero” pieces, “hub” content (like guides), as well as “hygiene” pieces, including blog posts.
Despite rumors to the contrary, SEO isn’t dead. Furthermore, even the best content needs some help getting found.
That’s where these 34 SEO tips will come in handy. Whether you’re a beginner just getting started, or an expert looking for a quick refresher, this post provides a basic understanding of the most essential elements necessary for SEO success. Plus, we’ve also included an on-page SEO checklist to help you nail every blog post you write.