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By: Port Technology  09-12-2011

The first stage is to design a site that the chief executive officer, venture

capitalists, and ad agencies like to see. There are all types of “bells and whistles” in

this design. An entire site might be a Flash animated site. Or there might be some

beautiful JavaScript mouse over effects or drop-down menus in the design. It’s always a

pretty design, but the message is clear – style over substance.

Stage 2 – Designing for online visibility

In Stage 2, the reality of an ineffective web design begins to hit, usually around 3-6

months after the initial launch. A site will typically get rejected by many of the major

directories, not be indexed by the major search engines, or not get the traffic or sales

that were projected based on the various types of marketing strategies used. Typically,

that’s when companies decide that they will try to hire a professional online marketer

to promote the site. Doorway page companies, in some way, shape or form, rear their ugly

heads. Unfortunately, many web site owners fall for a doorway page company’s pitch

because the beautifully designed site couldn’t possibly be the problem with low site

traffic. Yahoo might have rejected a site, or the site might have been listed in Yahoo

and the company cannot understand why they have no description next to their company

name. But in no way would many ad agencies or doorway page companies want to tell

potential clients the truth — they simply did not design and write an effective web

site — because it would mean losing thousands of pounds in business

Stage 3 – Designing for your audience

By Stage 3, after spending an exorbitant amount of money on pretty web site designs and

various marketing strategies, web site owners generally figure out that they did not

design or write an effective Web site for their target audience. Typically, web site

owners will bring in a usability expert to analyze potential problems and present

various solutions. Bringing in a search engine marketing expert to help with

search-engine friendly web designs &templates early in the design phase can save a

company thousands of pounds in online marketing costs.

Stage 4 – Site redesign

After careful usability and search engine visibility analyses, web site owners finally

have an effective web site. A site that is written, coded and designed for user

friendliness and search engine visibility generally gets the most traffic and resulting

sales because it was written, programmed, and designed for end users.


Web sites should always be designed with your target audience in mind, not your own

psychology of colour and the use of white space to best project the image your audience

wishes to see. (For example, try not to use the colour red on a financial site.)

Understanding the products/services/information your target audience is searching for is

paramount to designing and maintaining an effective web site. When you launch a site,

you might have to make an educated guess as to what your target audience wants. After

that, tools such as site statistics software and reporting from site searches tell you

exactly what your visitors are looking for. Then content and marketing strategies can be

adjusted accordingly. Unless the advanced technology clearly benefits end users, do not

use it on your site. If your venture capitalists or CEO’s or lawyers like the site, ask

if they are going to spend the thousands or millions of pounds to keep you in business.