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9 Reasons to Hire a Professional Web Designer

Hire a Professional Web DesignerFor any small to medium-sized business today, your web presence is essential in maintaining your current client base and reaching new customers. This means a website with a modern design and great functionality. People have much higher standards when browsing the internet than they did fifteen years ago. There are now a number of reasons why internet users decide to leave a website. You can't afford to have this happen. An easy solution is to hire a web designer who has the experience and is knowledgeable with regard to current web trends. Yet many business owners still try to build a website themselves or rely on an employee to do it. If you're still on the fence about it, let's look at nine reasons you should hire a professional to do the job.

1. Knowledge and Experience

When you hire a web designer, you're working with someone who does that for a living. You're paying for their knowledge and experience in the design business. Web trends come and go rapidly and a professional's job is to keep up with those trends. If you try to do it yourself, you'll be playing a guessing game the entire time. Instead, leave the job up to a professional designer and you'll wash your hands of a lot of stress. Like you, a web developer is doing what they do best. Hiring them will allow you to do the same with your own business.

2. The Right Tools

A quality website has many moving parts. A web designer works with all the right tools and has access to additional resources in order to make all these parts work together. If you were to try to get all these resources, it would cost a fortune. Plus, these aren't programs that you just open and start working on. They require know-how. When a web designer needs help with other aspects of the site like SEO or content, they work with experts in those fields. Whether in-house or outsourced, a professional has the connections to get everything done right.

3. Saves Time and Money

Time and money - two critically important recourses for a small business. You may think that by trying to build a website yourself, you're saving money. Unfortunately, you'll be making a costly mistake and wasting tons of time. When you hire a web designer, they have a refined process in place that allows them to get the job done quickly and correctly. You'll also be surprised at how much you end up saving in the long run. Spending a little up-front to get it done means you'll benefit from higher conversion rates down the road.

4. Better User Experience

An experienced web designer knows what needs to be done to make your site as functional as possible for the user. This means fast load times, logical navigation and intuitive design, amongst many other things. All these elements help keep visitors on your site and provide them with a quality user experience. This is a reflection of your business. If a user has a good experience once, they're likely to come back again and again.

5. Optimized for Search

Search engine optimization is one of the most important elements of a successful web presence. It's also a very complicated and mysterious process. The way your website ranks in search engines has a lot to do with how well it's built. As a business owner, you already know how important this is. Aside from content and keyword optimization, there are a number of SEO guidelines a developer has to follow to ensure a site performs well in search engines. A professional knows the importance of this and ensures that every site gets optimized for search effectively.

6. A More Attractive Website

If you try to build a site yourself, you'll be very limited as far as how good the end result looks. Even when using a DIY development service, you have limited design options. On the other hand, if you hire a designer, you have the ability to achieve the exact design your business needs. This is important when trying to stand out from the competition. Having a professionally designed site also shows potential customers that you're a stable and credible business that understands the necessity of a good site.

7. You Need Responsive Design

As a business, you can't afford for your website to lack mobile functionality. Mobile search is now more prominent than desktop. This means your site must be functional on all smartphones and tablets. Mobile optimization is referred to as responsive design. If you decide to try to build a website on your own, you likely won't be able to achieve this. You'll end up spending money to have it fixed for mobile use. Professional web designers are well aware of the importance of responsive design and will create your site with quality mobile functionality in mind.

8. Credibility

As we mentioned earlier, people now have high web standards. When someone is searching the web and comes to a site that's outdated or has poor functionality, the business loses credibility. When you hire a web designer to give your site a professional look, you're able to compete with larger companies. A great web design can actually make a very small company seem huge. This reinforces credibility and establishes trust in potential customers.

9. Effectively Deliver Your Brand

Not only do professional designers know how to build a site, they know how to effectively market your business. Things like font sizes, imagery and a good call to action are implemented when you use a professional designer. They know how to convert web traffic into customers and get your brand in front of the right eyes.

Hire a Web Designer Today

Online competition is fast-paced. If you need a quality web presence for your business, you need to get started right away. Instead of trying to build a site yourself, turn to a professional designer to put their experience to work for you. WebHornet provides web development and SEO services in Nebraska. Contact us today to learn more.

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How Web Design Can Make Your Business Successful

Website Design Omaha

Having a well-designed website is about more than just physical aesthetics. Web design can impact the success of your SEO strategy, your branding initiatives and more. You want a website that will be user-friendly, and that accurately represents your business. Content is important, but if potential consumers don't find the site easy to look at or simple to navigate, they'll never make it as far as reading your content anyway. Becuase so many consumers go online to shop and find information, your website could be the first impression you get to make. You want to represent your business in a professional manner, but also communicate your unique business personality and brand. Below, we're reviewing tips for website design Omaha businesses can benefit from. Read on to learn more about what to do, what not to do, and how great website design can make a significant difference in your company's success.

1. What Makes Great Website Design?

Website design and marketing success are intertwined. Website design Omaha businesses will benefit from is that which allows them to reach their target audience. But what does that look like? Let us explain a few principles of effective design.

Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy refers to the order in which a consumer will register something on a web page. For example, we all tend to notice the largest item on a page first because our eye is naturally drawn there. This can be used in web design to direct your consumer's attention to the message or image you most want them to see. If you give it a stand-out spot on the page by making it larger or placing it near the top, the consumer will notice it.

Eliminate Choices

You've heard it said that "less is more," and that is definitely true when it comes to website design. It might be tempting to present consumers with all their choice right from your homepage, and that's understandable. You want them to know about all the services or products you can provide. In terms of design, however, that can lead to a page looking cluttered. Make use of sidebars or navigation dropdowns instead. It will give your consumer a clean first view of your website, but they'll still be able to click through the site to learn all the information about your business.

Group Similar Items Together

You want your web design to create an intuitive experience for anyone who visits your site. Grouping similar items together -- such as products, services, location information, etc. -- will help the consumer. The easier it is for them to find the specific information they're looking for, the more likely they are to stay on your site and complete a transaction.

2. What Mistakes Should You Avoid?

Website design is not "one size fits all." The website design Omaha companies will want to adopt will vary from one business to the next. There are certain mistakes that all companies should look out for, though, no matter what your business goals are.

Don't Rush It

If you're creating a new website or undertaking a major redesign, you may feel pressure to get it done as quickly as possible. But web design is not meant to be a quick process. Take time to think about who your target audience is and what design aesthetic will appeal to them. Work with a design professional to create the best version of your website possible. When you do launch your site, you want it to be as complete as possible. It's better to take your time in the beginning than to constantly be interrupting the site with updates later.

Don't Miss Opportunities

If you don't include a clear call to action on your website, you're missing an opportunity to engage with your consumer. Your website design should always point the visitor towards what they can do, such as buy a product or subscribe to a newsletter or contact your company. Those moments of engagement are crucial to company success, so build them directly into your website design.

Don't DIY Your Design

The website design Omaha companies should share with their target audience needs to be professional in nature. If you don't have design experience, don't try to do it yourself. There's a difference between a customized website that was built using professional tools and one that was put together haphazardly.

3. What Can You Get out of Web Design?

If you're going to spend the time and resources creating good web design, it's important to understand how it will help you.

Get More Consumers to Your Page

Website design is a factor in SEO and the more user-friendly your web design is, the higher your SEO ranking has the potential to be. The majority of users never scroll beyond the first several returned search results, so if your ranking is lower than that, you're missing an opportunity to reach consumers.

Create More Customer Interactions

Once potential customers are on your page, good web design will keep them there. An intuitive experience will encourage consumers to explore more pages and spend more time on those pages. That can lead to the customer interactions that your business needs to survive. They'll easily be able to shop and complete purchases, explore published content or reach out to customer service for more information.

Generate Positive Word of Mouth

The better the experience a customer has on your website, the more likely they'll be to tell others about it. Creating a website that customers will want to talk about could potentially expand your consumer base even further.

Want to Know More about the Website Design Omaha Companies Need?

When you have a great product or service to sell, the last thing you want is for poor website design to get in your way. Creating a professional, well-designed, and easy to navigate website is the best way to take your business to the next level. For more information on how to create a custom website for your company, please feel free to contact us at any time.

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7 Small Business Web Design Trends You Can't Ignore

7 Small Business Web Design Trends You Can't IgnoreIn the modern technological age, small business web design is absolutely vital.

Need proof? A March 2017 study showed that around 87% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses. This means that, for many, your business's website will be the first impression they ever get of you.

For this reason, it needs to look as neat and professional as possible.

But how do you design your small business website so that it appeals to the many internet surfers who stop by and check it out daily?

Here are 7 small business web design trends you can't ignore.

1. Mobile Compatibility

The days of optimizing your website simply for laptops and PCs are long over. Smartphones have taken over the scene, and are here to stay. For this reason, it's necessary to design a website that is compatible with mobile devices.

This involves sizing the website so that it can be easily read and organized on a smartphone screen. It also involves designing the website in such a way that it loads as quickly as possible.

If an online user has to wait a substantial amount of time for your website to load, he or she will likely just move on to the next business.

If you haven't yet, it's time to optimize that website for mobile so that you can keep potential customers from leaving you.

2. Minimalism

Visually speaking, less is more. Throwing too much color, too much geometry, and too much imagery up on one single website can be distracting to the user. It can ultimately result in him or her getting frustrated and leaving the site.

In the realm of small business web design, you should be prioritizing minimalism. This means making use of space and white area so that the user's mind doesn't become distracted.

Increasing white area and space will not only allow online users to better mentally process your website, it will also allow for more rapid load times.

In essence, this is not just an aesthetic design tip, but a functional design tip as well.

3. Skeleton Screens

Regardless of how fast your website loads, it's still going to run into processing problems every now and again. The problem is that online users hate waiting for pages to load.

To help keep online users around your website during long page loads, it might be wise to make use of skeleton screens. Skeleton screens are essentially popups which appear on a user's screen in the time taken for the rest of the website to open up.

These screens give off the illusion that the screen has already loaded, and that the user is already using the website.

While they add no real functional benefit, they do make users feel as if the page is loading faster. And sometimes, the feeling of the page being loaded is all that's needed.

4. Videos on the Home Page

Another small business web design trend is to use video on the site's homepage. There are a number of benefits that come with using video on the home page, from longer user stay time, to faster loading, and more.

Putting video on your site's homepage allows users to get acquainted with the general identity of your company in a very quick manner. Text, for the most part, does not have the same effect.

There are many different types of videos you could post on your homepage, from intro greeting videos to tutorials, to news, to a variety of other types of videos.

Using video on your homepage will give your company a more modern aesthetic, and will make users think that you're on the cutting edge.

5. Subdued Color Scheme

While bright and vibrant colors have been popular over the last few years, neutral and subdued colors are finally starting to get their moment in the sun. These colors include everything from black, to white, to gray, and dark shades of blue, green, and purple.

When you use these colors, you give your website a more polished and professional look.

Bright colors have a whimsical feel about them. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not necessarily what you're going for when your website is representing a serious business.

Bright colors create contrast. Subdued colors create integrity, uniformity, and a feeling of cohesiveness.

6. Chat Bots

A great way for users to feel welcome upon entering your website is to be greeted by a chat bot. A chat bot is essentially an instant messenger box which pops up and asks your visitors whether or not there's anything they can be helped with.

These bots help your users to feel comfortable asking questions, allowing for greater dialogue. Chat bots can be used to direct your users to different parts of your website, or enabling seamless and intuitive customer service.

In addition, they also make your website's users feel as though they're talking to a real person from your company. They're great for establishing trust with the customer.

7. Personalized Font

The last small business design trend we'll discuss is a personalized font. While it's not true of every company, some companies are using customized fonts which they've created themselves in order to differentiate themselves from other companies in their industry.

There are a number of different ways to create your own font, but perhaps the easiest way is by making use of the services of a graphic designer.

Graphic designers will be able to take your customized font and turn it into something that's both readable and aesthetically pleasing.

It's just a good idea to run your font under the eyes of a professional designer first to ensure that it actually looks as good as you think it does.

Web Hornet Knows Small Business Web Design

Do you lack web design ability? Do you need help designing your small business's website so that it's as appealing to customers as possible? If so, we here at Web Hornet can help.

We offer web services of all kinds, from small business web design to SEO services, and more.

Set yourself on the path to a great website by contacting us today!

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SEO Web Design: The Importance of a Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web DesignLet's face it - we're all addicted to our smartphones and mobile devices. Maybe you're reading this on your device right now.

More users now access the internet from mobile devices than desktop computers. That trend isn't likely to change anytime soon. That's why it's more important than ever to make sure you're using a responsive design for your website.

What exactly is a responsive website? Why does SEO web design matter? And how can you make your site more responsive?

Read on to learn more about the importance of a responsive SEO web design.

Responsive vs. Other Designs

Before we discuss why a responsive site is important, let's define what it is.

There are three types of mobile website designs (or configurations):

Responsive Design

Often called RWD, these sites shrink or expand according to the device screen. The designs feature fluid grids and flexible images to ensure excellent user experience on any device.

Adaptive Design

Also called dynamic serving, this design generates different versions of the site's HTML based on the device. In adaptive design, the website has multiple versions served through common URLs.

Separate Mobile Site

Also known as mDot, this design delivers different HTML on separate URLs for mobile devices. The mobile-friendly pages are usually located on the "m." subdomain.

Of these three options, Google favors responsive SEO web design. If you're hanging onto an adaptive or separate mobile site, it's time to consider making the switch to responsive design.

Why Does Responsive Design Matter?

If you think SEO web design isn't that important, think again.

94% of users trust a website based solely on its design, rather than specific content. You can create the world's best content, but no one will read it if your site doesn't perform well.

The whole goal of SEO is to optimize your site for search engines, right? Google places high importance on responsive design, so the rest of your SEO efforts are in vain if your site isn't responsive.

Think about it. If your website is slow to load, why should Google recommend it? If it looks terrible or is difficult to navigate on a mobile device, why would Google reward you with higher rankings?

5 Reasons to Use Responsive Web Design

Still not convinced? Here are five specific reasons to choose responsive SEO web design.

1. Eliminates Duplicate Content

Having both a desktop version and a mobile version of your site sounds like a good idea. The problem is it can create an SEO nightmare.

If you use a separate mobile site, you'll likely encounter issues with duplicate content. The mobile site creates its own URL, which is different than the desktop site's URL.

Even though the URLs are different, the content is the same. This can seriously harm your rankings because Google doesn't know which content to view as most important.

The result? Google will "punish" your website with a lower search result ranking. A responsive website with one URL eliminates this potential problem.

2. Speeds Up Page Load Time

Page loading times are another crucial factor in improving SEO. The faster your home page loads, the higher Google will rank it.

Responsive SEO web design ensures your site gets favored in the search results.

Mobile responsive designs almost always load faster than non-responsive ones. This is especially true for smartphones and tablets. Not only does this offer better user experience, but it will also boost your ranking.

3. Lower Bounce Rate

Science has proved that the average person now has a shorter attention span than a goldfish. This means you have only a few seconds to capture a visitor's interest.

Google pays close attention to how long visitors linger on your site - and how quickly they leave it. If users consistently "bounce" out of your site after the first few seconds, Google may decide that your site isn't relevant.

Responsive SEO web design ensures visitors will spend more time on your site. It provides a clean, crisp website that's easy to navigate.

The longer users spend perusing your site, the higher Google will rank it.

4. Improved Usability

Along with a reduced bounce rate, responsive design offers improved usability. If your site is easy to use and navigate, your customers will have a positive experience.

The result? Better reviews, increased traffic, and more branded searches - all of which help your rankings, too.

Customer journey and experience are what make online businesses succeed. Their satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) has a direct impact on your conversion rates.

Boost your chances of making a sale by choosing a responsive design with improved usability.

5. More Social Sharing

Another benefit of responsive web design is that it's designed with the mobile user in mind. This makes sharing content on social media channels easier for the largest percentage of users.

True, the number of shares doesn't directly impact SEO. However, it will help you to grow your audience.

The larger your audience, the more traffic and engagement your site will receive. As more people search for your brand, Google will sit up and take notice.

If your website design is solely for desktop users, you may miss out on this valuable opportunity to increase brand awareness. A responsive site makes finding and using those "share" buttons easy.

How to Make Your Site Responsive

Now that you know why responsive SEO web design is so important, let's briefly look how to do it.

  • Use a mobile responsive website design or theme.
  • Use fluid layout for enhanced user experience.
  • Use mobile-friendly technology that works across all platforms.

If you need assistance with any of these, you can always enlist the help of a professional web design agency.

Final Thoughts on SEO Web Design

SEO is a tricky world to navigate. The rules are always changing, too, which makes it even more confusing.

One thing is for certain, though: Responsive SEO web design is here to stay.

Are you designing a new website from scratch or making changes to your current one? Please contact us at WebHornet to discuss your needs and our website services.

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