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Designing Your Website: Essential Steps for Success

So, you're gearing up to build a shiny new website for your business? Amazing choice! After all, a new website isn't just a digital storefront, it's your pathway to success online.


Before you dive in headfirst, it’s important to do some planning and gathering. Trust us, having a game plan and all your ducks in a row can make this whole process a breeze and guarantee an “ooh” and “ahh” worthy end result.


From snagging those must-have photos to nailing down your content strategy, we've got all the tips and tricks to help you out. So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfy, and let's get into it!


A woman sitting at her laptop with a cup of coffee

Gathering Photos

Great photos are like the secret sauce of web design! Proper photos can increase user experience and increase your site speed. Both are super important in the competitive online market. When your visuals are on point, it's like a trust signal to your audience, showing them you're legit. Plus, Google loves them too, so they can actually boost your site's SEO.


Here are some tips for sending us photos and files...


Types of Images:

When you’re collecting images for your website, you want to include things that represent your brand, your products and services and you (and your team if applicable). The more real photos you can use the better as people connect with real people.


Having a professional branding photoshoot or a product photoshoot, will take your images to the next level. If that isn’t in the budget right now, don’t worry, you can still do a lot with a personal camera or smartphone!



And when in need, high quality stock will also get the job done. Our professional designers can help you find quality stock photos to fill in the gaps.

 

Naming the Images:

Choosing the right names for your website photos is super important! It helps with stuff like making your site easier to find on Google, making sure everyone, including people who use screen readers, can understand your images, and keeping all your pictures organized.

Here are some naming best practices:

  • Use descriptive filenames that accurately describe the content of the image. This will help our team add alt tags and appropriate keywords for search engine optimization.

  • Avoid using generic filenames like "image.jpg" or "photo.jpg," as these provide little useful information to search engines and users.

  • Keep filenames concise and focused on the most important aspects of the image content by using relevant details such as product names, locations, or other identifying information.

  • Use hyphens or underscores to separate words in the filename (e.g., "product-name.jpg" or "product_name.jpg").

 

File types:

An SVG or PNG is preferable for your logo. If you have both, please send us both.

For photos and images for your website, jpeg is typically preferred. However, a PNG is great for anything with a transparent background.

 

Image size:

Typically, images around 500 Kilobytes (KB) are good. Anything lower than that can be grainy or pixelated on a large screen. On the other end, anything larger than 20 Megabytes (MB) will be too big and will slow down a website.


That all being said, sending the highest quality photo you have, is almost always the best option. Our team of professional designers will optimize the content you send. Plus, platforms like WIX will automatically optimize your images for best online quality and fast download. So, send us your high-quality photos and we will compress them if needed.


Conducting Keyword Research


Keyword research is all about figuring out the words and phrases people type into search engines to find your services. Doing this stage first will ensure the content on your website aligns with what your audience wants.

 

Why does keyword research matter?


The short answer is yes. But here’s why:

  • Better Visibility: Choosing the right keywords boosts your chances of showing up in search results, bringing in more organic traffic.

  • Tailored Content: Knowing what people search for helps you create content that really speaks to their interests and needs.

  • Stand Out: Looking into keywords helps you spot opportunities in the market and stand out from the competition.

  • Optimized Content: Using keywords strategically in your content makes it more relevant and trustworthy to both users and search engines.

  • Boosted Conversions: When your content matches what users are looking for, it's more likely to turn visitors into customers or clients.


In a nutshell, keyword research is key for boosting website visibility, attracting the right crowd, and turning visitors into loyal customers and fans.

 

How to do Keyword Research


Start by brainstorming topics relevant to your website or business. Then, use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to identify popular search terms related to those topics.


When hunting for keywords, aim for ones that get a lot of searches but aren't crazy competitive. Also, keep an eye out for those longer, more specific keywords that really hone in on your niche. Take a peek at what your competitors are up to too – see which keywords they're using. And don't forget to think about what your audience actually wants when they type into that search bar. It's all about finding that sweet spot that'll bring the right folks to your site.

 

Utilize Our Expert Keyword Research Services


Take the guesswork out of keyword research with our professional services. We’ll dive deep into your industry and target audience to uncover the most relevant and effective keywords for your website.


We use advanced tools and techniques to provide you with a detailed list of high-performing keywords, including those with high search volume, low competition, and long-tail variations tailored to your niche. With our expertise, you can ensure that your website is optimized to attract the right audience and maximize your online visibility.


A team working on website design layout using drawings

Crafting Compelling Content


Great website content is like a magnet for your audience—it informs, engages, and builds trust. From product descriptions to blog posts, every word shapes your brand's story and connects with your audience.


Here are some tips for writing effective website copy:


  • Know Your Audience: Understand what makes your audience tick and tailor your content to their needs and interests.

  • Keep it Clear and Engaging: Say what you need to say without getting too far into the weeds. Clear, concise copy keeps readers hooked.

  • Use Catchy Headlines: Grab attention with headlines that promise value and pique curiosity.

  • Persuasive Language: Convince readers to take action with compelling language and irresistible calls-to-action.

  • SEO-Friendly: Sprinkle in relevant keywords naturally to improve search engine visibility, but remember, user experience comes first.

  • Tell Stories: Connect with your audience on a personal level by sharing stories that resonate with them.

 

Stand Out with Professional Copywriting


While anyone can write content, professional copywriting takes it to the next level. Expertly crafted copy not only informs and engages but also evokes emotion and drives action. With the right words, your website can truly stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression on your audience. Trust our professionals to elevate your brand's message and make it shine.


Drawing Inspiration from Industry Peers


Looking at what others are doing can be a great way to kickstart your own website design journey. Drawing inspiration from industry peers allows you to see what works, what doesn't, and what you can do differently to stand out.

 

Importance of studying competitors' websites


  • Identifying Market Gaps: Analyzing competitors' websites can help you identify gaps in the market where your business can offer unique value propositions or solutions.

  • Learning from Others: Studying competitors allows you to see what others are doing in your industry and learn from their successes and failures.

  • Understanding Market Trends: By observing competitors' strategies and approaches, you can gain insights into emerging trends and changes in consumer preferences within your industry.

 

Ways to identify what you like and dislike:


  • Assess Flow and Navigation: Explore competitors' websites to understand how they organize and present information. Pay attention to the flow of the website and ease of navigation to identify aspects you like or dislike.

  • Evaluate Design Elements: Take note of the overall design aesthetic, colour schemes, typography, and imagery used on competitors' websites. Consider what resonates with you and aligns with your brand identity, as well as what you find unappealing.

  • Pay Attention to User Experience: Put yourself in the shoes of a customer and assess the user experience of your competitors' websites. Note any friction points, such as slow loading times or confusing layouts, as well as any features or functionalities that enhance the user experience.

 

Tools and techniques for finding website design inspiration:

  • Go Straight to The Source: Take a deep dive into competitors' websites to see what they're doing well and what you admire. Pay attention to their navigation, layout, content organization, and visual elements. Note any features or functionalities that you believe would enhance your own website.

  • Industry-specific Websites: Look at websites within your industry or niche to see how others are presenting their products or services online. Take note of any trends or common design elements that you can incorporate into your own website while adding your unique spin.

  • Visual Inspiration Tools: Explore websites like Pinterest or Dribble to discover design inspiration from a wide range of industries. Save examples of website layouts, colour schemes, and typography that resonate with you to use as inspiration for your own website.


By exploring these tools and techniques, you can gather valuable inspiration and ideas for your website design. Taking cues from what others are doing well can help you plan and visualize your own website more effectively, ensuring that it meets your goals and resonates with your target audience.


As you embark on the exciting journey of building your new website, remember that careful planning and preparation are key to success. From gathering high-quality photos to conducting thorough keyword research and crafting compelling content, each step plays an important role in creating a website that stands out in the digital landscape.


With your vision in mind, let's dive in and design a website that captivates your audience and propels your brand forward in the online world.

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The STGP team is here to help with all things social media, website design, graphic design, and online marketing! If you need more eyes on your business, reach out. We love helping business owners take advertising off their TO DO lists.

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