Web Design Goes Beyond Design

Brendan Egan

Web Design Goes Beyond Design

Say that one 5 times fast — “Web Design Goes Beyond Design, Web Design….” .  Web design truly does go so much beyond design these days, yet it seems like the vast majority of web designs I talk with have one focus in mind — designing a beautiful website.
While having a beautiful website is important, there are three things that I can think of that are far more important than the way the website looks, and no matter how many debates I get into with web designers they just never seem to understand the importance of other elements of the website.  I can say that as a marketing company that does web design, we take a completely different approach to our web design projects than many of our competitors, and that’s why our clients consistently see fantastic ROI’s from projects as small as a basic website redesign.

Search Engine Optimization

So many web designers make websites that are entirely flash, websites that have images where there should be text, entire websites that are image based, websites that are poorly coded, websites that don’t use 301 redirects from the old site, websites that… well, you get the point.  Truth be told many web designers don’t care about your search engine rankings.
Even if you’ve never done SEO in the past, there’s a good chance your website naturally ranks for some keywords in search engine results.  If you aren’t careful with who you pick for your next web design job, not only could you temporarily lose those rankings due to the new site, but you could even permanently lose your rankings if the site isn’t setup properly.  If you’ve spent any amount of money on an SEO campaign, then things get even worse as you’re now going to see absolutely zero ROI if your new site isn’t setup properly.
I was just speaking with a web designer yesterday who was absolutely clueless about the implications their design has on SEO.  They’ve been doing web design for years and quite honestly have been hurting each and every single client they do a redesign for.


Ever see a really cool looking website but no matter what you do you can’t find the information you’re looking for?  Happens to me almost everyday and what I end up doing is leaving that website and 9 times out of 10 I find the information I need from one of their competitors.
Truth is web designers often put their master design ahead of usability as well.  They aren’t so concerned with whether the website conveys the proper information to the visitors or whether their current clients will find what they’re looking for when they visit the site.  Rather, many designers are so focused on their actual design that they forget that the website has to be functional, well organized, laid out properly, and contain the information the client should have on the site.
Again we put usability right at the top of our list when it comes to designing a new website, and we almost ALWAYS end up requesting more information from our clients so we can add more information to their website to make sure that it’s usable and that the visitors will find what they’re looking for.


This is probably one of the worst when it comes to web designers — they don’t understand that the website needs to be your company’s best salesperson.  Your website truly is your only 24/7/365 salesperson that people go to before making a purchase from your company.  Many designers forget this, and they don’t optimize the website with conversion in mind but rather lay out the website so it looks like their artistic sketch of the site.
Conversions are the backbone of any business — without a conversion taking place you may as well not even have a website in the first place.  And there’s some very scientific data out there about things you can do to improve a website’s conversion rate, but in reality I have never seen a web designer take those things into account when they design a new website.  That’s just another reason why a marketing company is probably your best bet for your next web design project if you want good conversions.
Now I truly am not just tooting our horn by writing this article, these three things really happen all the time and you’d be amazed at how many people call us to start an SEO campaign and we end up needed to make major changes to their website so it will be usable, convert well, and be SEO friendly.  And you’d be even more amazed at how many times the business owner tells me they just spent $X,XXX on hiring the best web designer around to redo their website and they’re just shocked that things weren’t done right.  The reality is, as a business owner, you assume a nice looking website is a good website, but in reality there’s thousands of other things beyond looks that go into a well built, successful website.  My suggestion would be to talk with us about your next web design project or current web design project so we can explain how we do things a little differently and how we truly are a full circle online marketing and web development company.