Conversion Design

Conversion focused design is the principle of designing the site around the action you wish site visitors to take. Whether it's to purchase a product, sign up to a service or simply share the info with their friends, all routes should lead the user towards performing that action. More...

Search Engine Optimisation

Onsite SEO should be built into your site from the outset. Onsite SEO is essentially making it as easy as possible for search engines to find, read, index and catalogue the information on your site.
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Graphic Design

Because your site has to be functional, but it also has to look good. It has to tell visitors that they are in the right place, they can trust you; it has to represent your company, reflect your brand and present your products or services proudly. More...

User Interface Design

The goal of user interface design is to make the user's interaction as simple and efficient as possible, in terms of accomplishing user goals. When it's done well you won't even notice, the site will 'just work' beautifully.
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Accessibility

Accessibility is the principle of making your site accessible to as many people as possible, whether it's vision impaired users accessing the site via specialist readers, mobile users viewing the site on very small screens or simply users working over very small bandwidths. More...

Information Design

Information design involves organising the information on your website to optimise flow. This has benefits for your users -it makes it easier to find what they are looking for, and for your SEO efforts - if it makes users happy it makes search engines happy. More...

Web Design

Web design is a broad term which encompasses the many different disciplines that make up designing and building a website. These include graphic design, user interface and experience design, conversion design, search engine optimisation, information design and usability. These can be roughly thought of as 'make it look nice', 'make it simple and pleasant to use', 'help users get to where you want them to get to', 'make it accessible and easily searchable to search engines', 'put the information where users would expect it to be', 'make sure everyone can access the information however they chose to access it'.

Conversion Design

Most websites have a goal which they want users to complete, whether it is to buy a product, sign up to a service, sign up to receive a newsletter, share the website with their friends or just to find the information they are looking for. It takes time and effort to get users to your website, if users arrive there and can't complete their goals they leave frustrated and won't be coming back, that's wasted time and effort on your part. We want the highest percentage possible of people coming to your website converting into customers or members or friends or followers or whatever successful conversion you're aiming to achieve. We look at the different conversion goals of your website, at your market demographic, at the likely sources of traffic and we factor that in from the start. In this way we can lead users from entry page to conversion as smoothly as possible.

Onsite Search Engine Optimisation

Onsite SEO is the process of making sure search engine spiders can find all your important content, can easily tell what it is about and are happy to return it as a response to users queries. That means things like:

  • make sure all content is text not an image or Flash, which a spider or bot cannot read
  • make sure all pages are linked from somewhere - there are no orphaned pages which a spider or bot will never reach
  • make sure all pages have a reasonable load time, slow pages will adversely affect how likely a search engine is to return your site to a users query
  • make sure links have meaningful anchor text so spiders know where they are going – 'contact us' not 'click here'
  • try to keep page URLs meaningful and simple – 'example.org/products/cool-gizmo.html' rather than 'example.org/index.php?pcat=5&prod=7
  • try to pick a meaningful domain name – 'solarlighting.com' rather than 'slltd.com' *
  • make sure page titles are meaningful, interesting and reflect the key word/theme of the page - the page titles are what search engines will display as the clickable link to your page so they should be compelling and accurate. They should also be unique to each page.
  • make sure meta title and description are meaningful and interesting. Some search engines still return these to uses in their search results pages
  • make sure header tags (<h1>,<h2>...<h6>) are meaningful and accurate. H1 tags denote the main title, your main title should describe the page content and contain your main keyword. Subsequent tags, h2 etc., denote decreasing levels of sub headings and should contain decreasingly important keywords.
  • make sure all navigation is annotated, images have alt tags, non textural elements have titles etc so spiders as well as visually impaired readers can read what the element is supposed to depict
plus a myriad of other little tweaks and checks.

Graphic Design

Graphic design also plays a large part, it's important that your website encompasses your brand values, it needs to convey the pride you feel about your company to your users, they need to know they can trust you, can trust the site. All this needs to be portrayed in an instant. Research in Canada showed users make a decision about a webpage in about 1/20th of a second and that this impression heavily affected they way they interacted with the site thereafter. If the first impression is favourable they are going to be a lot more inclined to navigate and explore around the site, however if that first impression is negative then any problem with the navigation, any instance where they have to hunt around looking for the next step is likely to lead to a disgruntled users bouncing back to their search engine to try again.

User Interface Design

User interface design is the discipline concerned with looking at how visitors to the website will use it, what are they trying to do and what is the simplest, most intuitive way of allowing them to do that. You know from your own web usage, there are a great many websites which require you to hunt around through page after page searching for the information or functionality you need, links that don't look like links, buttons that don't look like buttons, information categorised under seemingly nonsensical subheadings. My least favourite example of this is the HMRC website, an absolute wealth of information but if you don't know the exact name of the information, or form or payment process you are looking for almost impossible to find anything. User interface design is about making sure that everyone can find what they need regardless of how familiar they are with your products, with your website or even how familiar they are with websites in general.

Accessibility

As with the world outside the web, accessibility is used to describe how accessible a product or device etc is to as many people as possible. Users will access your site through a wide variety of devices, for instance visually impaired users may use specialist readers rather than traditional browsers, which read the content to them, in which case site navigation must be well laid out and well annotated; users with motor disabilities may not be able to use a mouse in which case your site must offer full keyboard support; users may be viewing your site on a mobile device with a very small screen or over a very limited bandwidth connection so not be able to see any images. In these instances and many more your site still needs to be legible and easy to navigate.

Information Design

Information design is at the root of both Usability and SEO, if the information is laid out correctly then users should be able to navigate to the information they need intuitively and search engines should be able to see how every bit of content relates to every other bit and therefore easily and accurately index and categorise your site's pages.

* there is some debate about the importance of keywords in the domain. Most people that argue that it doesn't matter point to huge sites like Amazon, IMDB, eBay etc. which are big despite not having the keyword in the domain. That's absolutely fine if you can afford to build a brand or already have a brand which people know and are looking for. If you don't, if you just want to rank quickly and get your message across quickly we would always recommend a domain based on your key offering. Certainly it's not the be all and end all, it's not the one thing that is going to get your site ranked today, nor is it going to prevent you getting ranked at some point but there is no harm in spelling it out to people, and search engines, what you do from the outset.

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Testimonials

Link Metric's search engine optimisation work took us from a brand new site, not even listed in Google let alone ranking for any of our highly contested terms, to page 1 in Google in 12 months.

For many of our top performing terms we now have 4 or even 5 separate pages in the top 10, we dominate the first page of results!

Our increase in traffic has been phenomenal; I can't recommend Link Metric enough.

Tim Taylor, Foster Fridge

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