Thursday, April 10, 2008

Web Design / Seo - Keep it Simple

by Dev sagar - Syscure Systems Inc. (www.thewebclick.com)

A Web site typically consists of text and images. The first page of a website is known as the Home page or Index. Some websites use what is commonly called a Splash Page. Splash pages might include a welcome message, language/region selection, or disclaimer. Each web page within a Web site is an HTML file which has its own URL. After each Web page is created, they are typically linked together using a navigation menu composed of hyperlinks. Faster browsing speeds have led to shorter attention spans and more demanding online visitors and this has resulted in less use of Splash Pages, particularly where commercial websites are concerned.

Once a Web site is completed, it must be published or uploaded in order to be viewable to the public over the internet. This may be done using an FTP client. Once published, the Web master may use a variety of techniques to increase the traffic, or hits, that the website receives. This may include submitting the Web site to a search engine such as Google or Yahoo, exchanging links with other Web sites, creating affiliations with similar Web sites, etc.

In the early stages of the web, there wasn't as much collaboration between web designs and larger advertising campaigns, customer transactions, social networking, intranets and extranets as there is now. Web pages were mainly static online brochures disconnected from the larger projects.

Many web pages are still disconnected from larger projects. Special design considerations are necessary for use within these larger projects. These design considerations are often overlooked, especially in cases where there is a lack of leadership, understanding or concern for the larger project to facilitate collaboration. This often results in unhealthy competition or compromise between departments, and less than optimal use of web pages.

A Web site is a collection of information about a particular topic or subject. Designing a website is defined as the arrangement and creation of Web pages that in turn make up a website. A Web page consists of information for which the Web site is developed. A website might be compared to a book, where each page of the book is a web page.

There are many aspects (design concerns) in this process, and due to the rapid development of the Internet, new aspects may emerge. For typical commercial Web sites, the basic aspects of design are:

* The content: The substance, and information on the site should be relevant to the site and should target the area of the public that the website is concerned with.

* The usability: The site should be user-friendly, with the interface and navigation simple and reliable.

* The appearance: The graphics and text should include a single style that flows throughout, to show consistency. The style should be professional, appealing and relevant.

* The visibility: The site must also be easy to find via most, if not all, major search engines and advertisement media.

Some web developers have a graphic arts background and may pay more attention to how a page looks than considering other issues such as how visitors are going to find the page via a search engine. Some might rely more on advertising than search engines to attract visitors to the site. On the other side of the issue, search engine optimization consultants (SEOs) obsess about how well a web site works technically and textually: how much traffic it generates via search engines, and how many sales it makes, assuming looks don't contribute to the sales. As a result, the designers and SEOs often end up in disputes where the designer wants more 'pretty' graphics, and the SEO wants lots of 'ugly' keyword-rich text, bullet lists, and text links. One could argue that this is a false dichotomy due to the possibility that a web design may integrate the two disciplines for a collaborative and synergistic solution. Because some graphics serve communication purposes in addition to aesthetics, how well a site works may depend on the graphic designer's visual communication ideas as well as the SEO considerations.

In recent studies, top e-commerce and information web sites were discovered to receive up to 85 percent of all of their visitors (and customers) from search referrals. Without doubt, for the vast majority of on-line companies, SEO provides the highest possible ROI of all marketing and promotional activities. A web site having a high ranking means more people see the name of the company and become familiar with the company and its products, even if they haven't made a purchase. A surveys show that consumers are twice as likely to recognize businesses ranked in the top three in search engine results than those appearing in banner ads.

Search engines drive extremely targeted traffic. The visitor who finds your site through a search engine is already actively looking for exactly what you provide. You can't find a more targeted form of marketing than that.

So on that note ... good luck building your web site and remember to keep it simple.

About the author

Dev Sagar Syscure Systems Inc. Web design Consultant www.thewebclick.com