How Visitors See Your Web Design Part I

Web design isn’t just about the style of your website. It isn’t just about cool graphics and special effects. In fact, for most businesses these are inconsequential matters only designed to attract certain demographics in very specific markets. True web design must focus on the user experience, which includes a number of factors that most people don’t think about when they think of web design. These factors include the loading time of the page, the page navigation, contextual relevance, SEO, and most importantly – conversion points. Without all of these items integrated as a seamless application across one website, even award-winning styles and custom layouts won’t bring any traffic or conversions to your site. The following explains what the visitors to your website are looking for and why each is so important.

It’s not just people that surf the web. Specialized software programs called spiders and bots also surf the internet, looking for and indexing pieces of information. The most important of these bots are those that are sent out by search engines – especially that major ones like Google, Yahoo and Bing. The job of these bots is to catalogue the web, and when they visit your site that are looking at – and measuring – specific items that must be addressed as an integral part of any web design strategy:

Loading time of your site’s pages

The moment a search bot arrives at your web page it begins recording calculations, and the first of these is the loading time of your page. The faster your page loads, the better. Unfortunately, this is one of the most overlooked parts of web design. Page loading time tells the search bots what the user experience will be like on your site and this is factored into your rankings for the key terms related to your business.

On-page optimization

The keywords, meta data, titles, page descriptions, post descriptions, tags, categories, image and video descriptions and everything else that can have text entered into it is viewed and categorized by search bots. All of these items are run through an algorithm that basically seeks to establish what the website is about, and if it is representing itself appropriately.

Page and site navigation features and function

Search bots are like real human users in that they will scan your navigation links and follow them, spidering off deeper into your site. Your web design must create a navigation system that is simple, self-explanatory, easy to find and fast.

Links

The links on your site are important and will be reviewed and possibly indexed by bots. Therefore, it’s critical that you only link to relevant sites when necessary, and that your own site’s pages and posts are both heavily interlinked. Site interlinking tells search bots a lot about your site.

In How Visitors See Your Web Design Part II, we’ll discuss the other side of this issue: human visitors. In many cases the information looked at by humans and search bots when they visit a website are nearly identical. But if you need help integrating these features into your web design now, simply use the links below to get started.