Author: Katie Bruhl Zraik
Consider this before you decide to implement a new website design:
Keeping your website fresh, relevant and trendy can prove highly beneficial for your business; however, there are certain considerations to discuss before you implement a new web design or add a new feature to your existing website. How will this affect your bottom line? Will this new design or feature be useful to my visitors? Will this help or hurt my rank in search engines? Every action has a resulting consequence. Here are three important questions to ask yourself before implementing a new website design or feature:
Does the new design or feature enhance the user experience?
Creating a new website feature or re-designing your site can appear to be fantastic on the surface, but does it actually improve the end-user’s experience in any way? When considering new website trends, it is important to consider how a change will affect your users. How will their experience on your website be improved? Will they be able to effectively do what they want? Is the website flow or purchasing process made easier or more intuitive? If the change has no positive impact on your user base, then you should ask yourself – is this change worth the investment?
Does the feature fit with your targeted demographic?
Consider your target audience. What type of clientele are you trying to attract? Once you fully understand your target audience, you should then consider if your proposed website changes are suitable for that demographic. For example, what if your user base is generally elderly people and you aim to make use of social media plugins and video? Will this trend suit their needs? Will an elderly audience benefit from social media plugins? The aging population is adopting new technology at a very fast rate so it is very possible that an elderly audience will benefit from these extra features. Either way you look at it, it’s best to at least consider these things before deciding to invest in new trends.
Will search engines like your new design or new feature?
Search engines update their algorithms regularly. These search engines take into account many factors before displaying results – some of these factors are made public and others are kept secret. We do know that Google wants to make sure that users have a good experience when they click search results (your website link). Search engines have specific suggestions to ensure users have a good experience. Google specifically wants to see important content “above the fold.” This means that your most important messages should be visible before the user has to scroll down.
Many graphic designers conjure up fancy designs that look “modern” and pretty. Unfortunately, many of these designs leave little room for substance when it comes to communicating a practical message to users and to search engines. The best advice I can give on this subject is to make sure that your most important message(s) is easy to find – for both users and search engines.
Side Note: Make sure that you have a highly visible “call-to-action” feature on all of your pages. To make your website as effective as possible, you must lead your users/visitors to convert into customers. You cannot rely on users to “just figure it out”. If they cannot figure it out in a few seconds, they will likely leave your site.
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