Relativity (1953)

Committing to a smart web site design is all about how you process feedback.  The worst mistake you can make for your business is to prioritize an idealized first draft of a website that may make sense to you the creative force behind your beautiful corner of the web.

Don't base your design off of this

 

Unfortunately for your potential customers they don’t particularly want to be spending much more of their life in front of a screen desperately trying to find the products catalog or services index that your company offers.  Your first priority should be to funnel internet traffic through the simplest click through steps.

A whole lot can be derived from your internal site metrics, like which pages are getting a lot of hits and which pages are covered in cobwebs.

If you find that a particular function of your site is being used a whole lot- like your “quote” or “contact” page consider integrating it into your design as a side bar.  If you know it is your most popularly used feature: promote it!  Its clearly working for you, so don’t fight the current.

 

By focusing on pleasing the end user rather than the “designer” some may decry the death of creativity or artistic expression in web design, and there is certainly a time and a place to be creative in the visual aspect of web design, you have to design with your specific intention in mind.  If your company trying to project competence at at delivering business critical materials or services, your website might not be the best place to tap into your inner  M C Escher.

Your clients will appreciate the fact that dealing with your company is painless and doesn’t require them to be sitting at their computer trying to figure which stairs lead up and which stairs lead down.  So it is important to listen to every comment you could possibly get on your website, not only from clients but colleagues, friends and family.

Getting a large sample for your survey will be key to being able to identify which cross sections of your demographic you should be targeting with your product, and which ones you need to work on.  Your market research should extend into the net, especially considering how systematically your web server logs such a treasure trove of metrics.

A lot of people shy away from free form comment boxes on their sites because they fear the negativity that lives online, and while this is a realistic concern, it harms your potential to grow as a site if you exclude the vibrant user-driven community that is the Internet. You’ll find the more you reach out to the online community for feedback the more good will you will bring- and that feeling of loyalty is something that no sponsored Ad Words, or quasi-spam paid links can ever help you improve.

Although white hat SEO seems like a slow and limited way to reach out genuinely to others online, you’ll find that people are looking for that genuine interaction.  The internet is a dubious place, and providing a visible human presence like the willingness to personally commit to improving your online service can set the positive tone you need to start building your successful brand

…stay tuned to our ongoing weekly SEO segment with an announcement on our first video release coming up this summer!

-Stefan Avlijas @ XiiTec Vancouver