Designing and maintaining websites require a multilevel understanding of different disciplines including some degree of graphic design and website coding (i.e. HTML and CSS). Web designers traverse and carry out their duties in the place where these two fields intersect. However, the continuously evolving tech industry demands that they continue to update their portfolio and learn other skills besides what they already know.
Nowadays, what with search engines becoming a major source of traffic for websites, blogs, and online stores among others, web design and SEO are now so deeply intertwined that it is almost impossible for digital marketers to focus on one without paying attention to the other. SEO plays a huge role in how a website should be designed particularly in the aspects of content placement, loading time and device responsiveness. Web design, one hand, makes or breaks a website's SEO performance.
What sets a high-quality designer apart from a regular web designer is their ability to generate interest through their designs and by incorporating SEO principles into a website's infrastructure. Below are tell-tale signs your web designer is what your business needs:
1. Knowledgeable in Web Design Principles
Neophyte web designers tend to create websites and pages oblivious to key design principles. A highly experienced designer is more discerning when it comes to designing effective websites. They know what design styles work better with what type of audience. They also know which elements to focus on and which ones to discard or add, where necessary.
For instance, some designers just throw in everything and end up with a bland or overly basic website. In contrast, a quality designer knows what colors and elements go well together. Layout, functionality, and proportions are important to him. Because he follows web design principles, his designs look professional if not visually pleasing. He is able to filter content or adopt a layout that piques the interest of target markets.
Most experienced designers use the F-Layout to facilitate ease of navigation and easy browsing.
2. Designs Websites for Maximum User Experience
Good web designers can put themselves in the shoes of the users for whom they produced their designs. When you understand what users want and look for in a website, you can create an interactive design that provides easy navigation and allows users to send their feedback or directly contact the site owner for inquiries. Building a site with users' preferences and browsing behavior in mind works to the advantage of any designer.
If a website's target demographics are between 18 and 29 for example, perceptive designers would use colors and install web elements that appeal better to individuals under this age group. Since most young people are active on social media, installing social media plugins on key pages may be helpful. This allows users to share information from a website on different social networking sites, thereby increasing that site's online presence.
As a web designer, it is also your job to design a website that can be accessed on any device. These days’ users browse the web using multiple devices. As of 2018, mobile search traffic has exceeded desktop searches, accounting for almost 60 percent of all Internet traffic. Some web owners do not know the difference between a responsive design and a non-responsive one. They usually just leave it to their web designer and approve and disapprove as they see fit. Quality designers have the initiative to develop a responsive site in accordance with current trends without waiting for clients to instruct them about installing a mobile or tablet-friendly design.
3. Optimizes Websites for SEO
SEO specialists need not be web designers to launch a successful SEO campaign. In the same way, web designers need not be SEO specialists to create a responsive and SEO-friendly website. Intensive online marketing often requires the cooperation of both SEO practitioners and web designers. An established SEO company usually has an in-house web designer, who receives SEO instructions or is guided by an expert while building websites.
Though it is not imperative for designers to master the nitty-gritty of SEO, the basic understanding of SEO principles can boost your profile as a designer. The current trend is putting out a website and optimizing it for SEO. There is no knowing when this trend might go out of fashion but this is what works at the moment. Incorporating SEO principles into your web design makes you a well-rounded designer capable of supporting digital marketing campaigns with little to no supervision.
4. Keeps Up with the Latest Google Tools and Recommendations
Codes can be a big problem. If not adjusted to match algorithm requirements, they can cause a site's ranking to go down and negatively affect its performance in search engine results. A designer's job is not just to plot out a responsive and user-friendly website, but also to weed out old codes that are no longer applicable in today's digital society. Inline CSS used to be the norm. Now inline styles can get your site sanctioned in more ways than one.
Google regularly releases new tools and tips for web designers. Quality designers are able to update themselves on the latest coding styles – styles most compatible with or recommended by Google and major search engines.
Getting a Quality Designer
A quality designer has more laudable traits than the ones mentioned above. Today's digital society needs a web designer who can adapt to constantly evolving Internet technology and highly ambivalent search engine algorithms. Designers with knowledge of new technology help businesses grow and stay ahead of the pack.