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Best Practice and effective web design

Design and its Elements

The very first thing that an online visitor notices is the website design and its overall layout. A website design thus plays a significant role in building the site character and purpose. Besides from a Google optimisation perspective, there are well researched ways to make the website design SEO friendly. A targeted consumer behaviour tested design with such elements like layout, image size & types, colours, characters displayed, and the tones used with the inter-linking of images and content are key to building the website’s overall brand positioning and search engine rankings. It is important to have a well defined design strategy which follows the prescribed branding principles, is sensitive to the target audiences’ preferences and is optimum for better SEO results.

Site Purpose and design

Similar to an organisation’s pre-defined mission, a website needs to have a well defined mission statement so as to give the right direction to its developers. A website’s mission is aligned to the overall brand promotion goals, and takes into account the specific preferences of the targeted web visitors. For example for a luxury car manufacturer, the overall mission would be to sustain its premium quality brand positioning, while its web visitors may be primarily young people. Hence the website design mission would be to uphold the overall quality by using up market visuals (expensive / celebrity models) yet the overall design look and feel would be youthful to align it with a young web visitor profile. A well defined design roadmap helps the designer select the right images and such design elements as colours and animations etc.

Image Essentials

Do remember to use smaller image files and use only those that are absolutely necessary. This is an important design best practice as large and multiple images make web-pages unduly heavy and slow to download – bad for SEO and painful for visitors. It is also a good idea to use only gifs for logo-images and jpgs for your picture-images. This enhances the overall clarity of the website and also minimises its size. Last but not least, it is a great SEO tactic to use flash sparingly as it is not understood by search engine crawlers.

Website Layout

The search engine spiders scan webpage content from left to right and then top to bottom. Therefore the most important space on any webpage is towards the top left hand corner. An effective optimised website design layout incorporates the most highly searched key phrases near the top of each web page along with a striking, eye-catching design. It is important not to cram the page with key phrases without giving any consideration to design aesthetics. Try to strike a pragmatic balance between both effective design and optimisation.

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