Faith Name and logo
Faith Name and logo

When you first click on your website you have 5 seconds to catch a visitor's attention. You can quickly lose a potential customer if your website is too messy, too confusing, too formal. This article will provide you with 4 Key features of an engaging website to allow you to grow your clients. You want the first impression for your visitor to be positive. Here are examples of homepages that have made their first impressions acceptable. 

4 Key features of an engaging website

  1. Navigation -The rule of 3 clicks, the customer should get to your product or service in 3 clicks or less. The objective of a UX designer is to simplify users' tasks. In certain places, the fewer clicks a client has, the less likely they will leave the website. This also helps keep your clients focused on their goal of purchasing your product or service.
  1. CTA - A Call To Action (CTA) is an invitation on a website that allows the user to perform specific actions. For example, a command or a phrase, 'Sign Up' or 'Buy Now,' is usually a call to action and usually comes in the form of a button or hyperlink. In the marketing industry, the text can take the form of a button (a CTA button) or a web link. When sending email campaigns, CTAs can also connect to a web page to take additional actions. The call to action is a vital part of a web site that acts as a symbol for the user. Without a clear CTA, the user may not be aware of the next steps to take to purchase a product or sign up for a newsletter and is likely to leave the site without carrying out their tasks. Opoptimizely provides a great article that thoroughly explains the CTA and its importance.
  1. Design- Website design is an essential part of how your clients will view your business. The below elements should be placed into consideration when designing your website.
  2. White space- It is loved by designers. The owners of the website want to fill it. What is this? White space! Whitespace is one of the most neglected and unused components in a great web design project. Too often, the area is viewed as empty space and, as a result, as a waste of screen space. However, whitespace is one of the most valuable components of your design. For good reasons, white space is an essential design feature. If used properly, the design will alter and provide the website with several advantages. Web designers must create and produce eye-friendly layouts that make people want to continue reading. If you would like to read more about white space, seguetech has a detailed article on the subject.
  1. Layout- Layout design is a crucial web design area that deals with text and visual arrangement. Great layouts look attractive, but an efficient layout lets the audience understand the message conveyed by the design. In other words, the understanding of the structure of web design is essential in the development of user-friendly and engaging designs. What is the style of the layout? Let's make sure that we are aware of what the layout is. Briefly, the layout design refers to designing visual elements in a grid to deliver a specific message. The strategy is ineffective, no matter how stylish it looks, if a design does not read well to the audience.
  1. Responsive design- Responsive Web design is the technique that implies that design and development should respond based on screen size, platform, and orientation to the user's actions and environment. Many web designers have implemented responsive design into their projects. Your website must look impressive both on big screens and mobile devices. For an example of responsive design, visit Faith Web Designers and look around to notice the responsiveness of the website. We have also published an in-depth article on a mobile-first design that shows the importance of responsive design. 
  1. Content - Well written content on your website will keep your users engaged and staying longer. The opposite can be said for poorly written content. Written content can also affect SEO. Website content is a simple way to maximize the usability of your website. A user-friendly website can allow prospecting clients to stay longer on your website. They won't go back as quickly to the search results. Google will report your action with a higher rating and award you.
  1. Loading Speed - When creating websites, many designers use the 5-second attention span rule for website loading. You have five tiny seconds to make an immense impact and have your prospective clients take action on your website; otherwise, they will bounce somewhere else. You must explain your value, your organization, and what you do for your clients during these five seconds. Suppose your website has a slower loading time. In that case, if the client's attention span is necessary, your clients will look elsewhere to find the information they need. Please take a look at the loading time for this website we have built to compare to others. The approximate load time for this site is 1.1 seconds, which fits well below the five-second rule. 

In conclusion, at Faith Web Designers, we provide our clients with quality websites and focus on concepts that will allow them to grow. Our website's performance is far beyond what you would expect. We pride ourselves on providing value and respect to our clients. If you would like to schedule a free consultation or request additional information, please contact us today!

We have come across many clients that ask this question "What's the Difference Between a Landing Page and a Website?" In this article we provide you with information that will help you understand the difference. First, landing pages and websites perform very different roles in an organization's online presence, but they often get confused. One performs a very specific function, whereas the other has a much broader range of roles and responsibilities.

In some cases, a landing page is an ideal solution for your business. But in most other scenarios, a website is much more appropriate. So before we dip into the landing page vs. website debate, let's start by defining the difference between a landing page and a website.

What is a Landing Page? 

A landing page is a webpage that is built to serve a particular purpose. Maybe you are promoting a specific event, offering a specific product or service, or encouraging people to sign up for your email newsletter.

Regardless of the overall goal, the purpose of a landing page is to persuade the visitor to take a very specific action. A landing page's effectiveness is almost always measured on how many people land on it and take that specified action. Each successful action is known as a "conversion."

A landing page is often connected to a website or hosted on the same domain name, but it won't have many (if any) navigation buttons or links to other pages. That's why they are most often used as pages to drive sales or capture leads, as everything on the page is focused on getting the visitor to take a specific action (such as giving their email address for a discount coupon).

What is a Website? 

Websites are a series of interconnected pages containing details about your business or organization, along with informative content surrounding the products and services you sell. Websites are more informational, and they encourage visitors to explore with navigational menus to different sections.

They are usually anchored by a home page and include pages dedicated to explaining to visitors what you do and why you are a respectable purveyor of those goods or services. For businesses selling goods directly on their website (these are called e-commerce websites), it's possible to have hundreds or even thousands of website pages dedicated to products.

You will have pages such as About Us, Services, Contact Us, and perhaps a Case Studies or Testimonials page for a typical business website. Local businesses may also add pages about their locations. Many have a blog section that provides useful content to interested customers and helps the website appear high up in popular search engine results pages (this practice is known as Search Engine Optimization).

Landing Page vs. Website: Which One Do You Need?

The short answer is it depends. As highlighted above, they both perform very different roles. If you are looking to push web visitors into taking a specific action, then a landing page is the best fit for you. For example, if you are trying to capture email addresses for an early-access Black Friday sale event, then a landing page is the best solution.

If you need a better idea of how landing pages are utilized, take a look at these examples created for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events.

By contrast, if you run a local plumbing business, a landing page wouldn't make sense at all. You aren't aiming to drive people to a specific action. Instead, you'll want to inform visitors of the plumbing services you offer, where you are located, which geographical areas you serve, and why they should choose you.

For examples of businesses and organizations where websites were the best solution, feel free to take a look at our case studies page.

Difference Between a Landing Page and a Website

Landing Pages and Websites Are Very Different: Speak to Expert Designers to See Which Is Best for You

Here at Faith Web Designers, we are a leading Raleigh, NC-based web design agency that can design beautiful websites for your business or organization. We can also design and host your landing pages too, should you need them. However, we find that unless you are focused on achieving one specific goal, a well-designed website is always the best place to start.

If you need help or advice concerning the best choice for your business or organizational goals, why not speak to me (Carlos) about your web design and hosting requirements? You can book your free consultation appointment here. I look forward to hearing from you soon.  

How does the psychology of color in branding affect your business? You might not realize it, but color plays a vital role in our everyday purchasing decisions. Companies and organizations harness the power of color every day to reap dramatic increases in sales and drive positive brand associations. In many cases, customers fail to recognize that they've been persuaded by a product's color as much as anything else.

Many of you may be unaware of the specific influence of each color when thinking about your branding. Thus, this article will give you a run-down, color-by-color, so you can make an informed decision when it comes to designing your website.


But before covering each color, it's worth explaining why the psychology of color in branding is so important when it comes to your business website.  

Why is the Psychology of Color in Branding So Important for Websites?

The psychology of color is a vital tool that successful businesses use all over the globe. From internal presentations to printed marketing materials such as brochures, the chosen colors have a tangible impact on the customers they are prepared for.

However, when talking about creating an excellent website design, the psychology of color in your branding takes on a heightened role. This is mainly because so much business is conducted online these days. Get your color choices correct, and you benefit from increased conversions and better sales. However, if you make incorrect choices, you could find yourself scratching your head, wondering what has gone wrong.

There are numerous examples whereby merely changing the color of a button can dramatically impact a company. For instance, one sizable European e-commerce site selling porcelain ran two identical marketing campaigns to equal numbers of visitors. The second time they ran it, they made one minuscule difference, they changed the color of the call-to-action (CTA) button. The result of the change was an astonishing 35.81% increase in conversions.

This is just one of the hundreds of examples demonstrating the power of the psychology of color in branding. The switch from a blue to green button instilled a much higher level of confidence and trust (associated with the color green) and better highlighted where customers were supposed to click to checkout against a white background.

As you can see, when it comes to designing a website for your Raleigh, NC-based business, you're going to have to think carefully about the color scheme you want to use. So without further ado, let's give you a color-by-color run of the psychology associated with each major color.

The Psychology of the Color Red

Perhaps the most powerful color of them all when it comes to branding, red creates urgency and focuses minds. That's why it's popular with fast-food chains and when retail store sales always use red for these discount tags. It's the color of love, passion, and romance. It's also proven that sports teams wearing red uniforms win more often. An excellent choice for forcing people to take action. 

The Psychology of the Color Yellow

This may surprise you, but yellow is one of the least frequently used colors in branding. That's because, despite being considered a cheerful color, too much exposure causes feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear. This is why warning labels are often yellow. However, the advantage of these psychological traits is that yellow can grab attention better than many other colors.

The Psychology of the Color Green

Unsurprisingly, green is associated with nature, health, growth, and harmony. It's also an incredibly restful and relaxing color that promotes a feeling of safety. This is a perfect color choice for your website if your products or services relate to healthcare, the environment, or general wellness.

The Psychology of the Color Blue

The epitome of a masculine color, blue resonates particularly well with men, which is why many shaving and grooming products have blue packaging. Other psychological associations include security, stability, reliability, and trust. That's why it's the color of choice for many banks, security companies, and investment firms too.

The Psychology of the Color Purple

Sitting at the cross-section of red and blue, purple can be viewed as both masculine and feminine, depending on the specific shade. In many instances, this color conveys wealth, wisdom, and luxury. It's commonly used in beauty and anti-aging products as well as more spiritual and other-worldly products and services.

The Psychology of the Color White 

The psychology of the color white is best-defined by feelings of purity, cleanliness, and safety. An essential color in web design, white space on a website helps increase the ease at which content can be read. It also highlights brightly-colored CTAs, and it keeps shapes, logos, and other crucial design features easily-distinguishable and well-defined.

The Psychology of the Color Black

At the opposite end of the color spectrum, black invokes a sense of power, sophistication, authority, strength, and stability. Of course, it can also convey grief and mourning, given its association with death. Villains also frequently wear black. In most cases, it's best to pair black with white to offer balance against these possible negative psychological overtones.

Final Thoughts

As a business owner, you should never ignore the psychology of color in branding. Remember, in many ways your whole online brand identity will be defined by the colors you use for your website's design. Your chosen colors can also dramatically impact other aspects such as conversions and how long a visitor spends on your site (known as dwell time). That’s why it makes sense to consult the help of experts such as Faith Web Designers when making your choices.
So, if you're new to the world of web design in Raleigh, NC, then don't hesitate to reach out to me (Carlos) to receive detailed advice concerning the implications of the branding color choices you're thinking of making for your website.

WordPress Vs. Wix Vs. Squarespace you ask? Small business owners have several choices when it comes to the platform upon which they create their website. The problem, however, is which one should you choose? Which of the leading providers is the best option?

In this article, we'll be performing a WordPress vs. Wix vs. Squarespace comparison so that you can make an informed decision. This review of the most popular website builders will take a look at essential evaluation criteria such as scalability, ease of use, search engine optimization (SEO), and web design, among other factors. We'll then give you our take on which we think is the clear winner and the best choice for your business.

We are going to start with perhaps the popular choice for complete website novices, Wix.

Wix Review

Wix is so popular because a) it's a very affordable website builder, and b) it uses a drag-and-drop page builder that does most of the heavy lifting for you. You can have a website designed within a matter of minutes using Wix. However, the site you create will have that distinct Wix template feel to it, and they often lack personality.

If you want to include something as necessary as a blog, you have to layer it on top of the site, hampering your site's performance. E-commerce is particularly tricky with Wix, ruling it out for many online business owners. Again, any additional features such as email opt-in pop-ups all suffer the same fate.

Another reason for Wix being so popular is because it's an all-in-one package. They handle hosting, site security, and they can also help you with a domain. However, having them take care of the website's technical side makes taking it with you impossible if you want to switch platforms.

Lastly, excellent SEO performance is not something Wix is known for. In fact, Wix is known for its poor SEO performance. While they have been improving this aspect of their offering, they still only allow for light optimization, making ranking your website tricky.

Even though Wix lacks in many departments, it provides an affordable all-in-one package for website hobbyists and those looking for a simple website while relying on other forms of marketing to grow their business.

Squarespace Review

Squarespace is another website builder than is pretty intuitive, and the templates provided on the platform look stunning. The problem is that the selection of templates isn't exactly vast, meaning you could end up with a website looking very similar to hundreds of others.

Suppose you want to create a bit more than a simple but elegant website. In that case, you'll have to upgrade to a pricier premium plan to secure some of the more advanced marketing features, such as their Facebook Pixel integration.

However, beyond that, Squarespace doesn't have a directory of plugins for you to add on the backend, leaving you with the task of adding snippets of code to make further changes. Unless you're comfortable coding websites, this is less than ideal.

On the SEO front, you can't do much more than write search metadata for the home page, which is even worse than Wix and leaves you fighting an uphill battle to have your business found online.

If you're looking for a website that is more beautiful than it is functional (think professional photographer), then you're in luck. Squarespace might provide what you're looking for if you're on a budget. But don't expect to gain any leads from your website, with poor SEO infrastructure and coding knowledge required for website high-level marketing integration.

WordPress Review

WordPress is a powerful content management system that's best for the serious business owner who wants their website to grow with their business.

It's fair to say that WordPress is the least beginner-friendly of the platforms being compared here today, some may say it’s for the technically savvy individual. But that is a result of the sheer volume of themes, tools, and plugins available inside this website builder. That's why most small businesses outsource the website design of their WordPress to professional web developers who know how to get the best out of the platform.

As mentioned, on the design side of the platform, there are literally thousands of website themes to choose from, including website builders such as Oxygen, known to most designers and developers as one of the best builders due to is vast technical capabilities. Another good builder is  Divi, it utilizes a drag-and-drop page builder that's very similar to Wix.

In terms of features, WordPress once again wins hands down. Not only does it contain the best blog functionality as standard (which is so vital for SEO), but there are thousands (if not millions) of plugins that you can add to perform specific functions on your website. From email opt-ins to high-powered SEO tools, if you can think of it, there's a plugin for it.

But the best feature of WordPress is that you're in control. There are no limits to a site built on this platform. You manage everything from  website hosting, domain name, and well, everything else involved in creating a successful website. The result? Your site is infinitely scalable. 

Regarding SEO, Matt Cutts, Google's Head of Spam, has stated on the record that a standard WordPress website handles 80-90% of SEO optimization for you. All you have to do is take care of the remaining 10%. There's no contest concerning WordPress and the other platforms reviewed here when talking about SEO, WordPress is the clear winner.

The Verdict

As you'll probably have realized by now, in the WordPress vs. Wix vs. Squarespace debate, there is only one winner for small business owners looking to find customers online, continuously scale, and customize design and functionality to your heart's content. WordPress is the best choice if you're serious about building a business that allows you to make a real difference.

That's not to say that there aren't scenarios where Wix and Squarespace make sense. Still, in today's online world, most businesses will rely at least somewhat on digital marketing techniques such as SEO to secure new customers and clients.

Here at Faith Web Designers, we are WordPress web design experts. We have years of experience working within this platform, and we can create any website style to suit your specific business needs. By choosing Faith Web Designers, you can guarantee that we'll supply you with a beautiful, engaging, and high-performance website that meets your requirements.

So if you're a small business owner in the Raleigh, NC area, and you need a new website, don't hesitate to speak to me (Carlos) to discuss your business goals and website requirements.

Regardless of whether you have a physical location or an online-only business, 97% of consumers research online before purchasing. What that means for you as a business owner is that your website has never played such a significant role. Clunky, cluttered, and unresponsive web design can leave customers with no option but to go elsewhere.  

With that in mind, let's run through five ways that poor website design hurts your business.

1. A Poorly-Designed Website Shakes Visitor Confidence and Ruins Credibility

When assessing how poor website design hurts your business, one of the most obvious aspects it affects is the first impression of your business. In fact, your website has the luxury of 0.2 seconds, according to researchers, to make that crucial first impression. 

If you've got a terribly-designed website full of pop-ups, errors, or counter-intuitive navigational menus, then customers aren't going to have a great first impression. Worse, if a customer doesn't like what they see on your website, they'll lose confidence in your business. 

According to the Stanford Web Credibility Research Lab, 75% of users judge a company's credibility based on their website's design. If you sell either products or services on your website, if customers don't find you credible, then it could have disastrous results on your sales.

2. A Bad Website Can Severely Impact Your Bottom Line

Speaking of sales, poor website design can ultimately cost you customers, and therefore profits. Whenever a customer navigates away in frustration – because of broken links, display issues, or erroneous layouts – it is unlikely you will see them again. They'll bounce to a competitor with intuitive website design that converts.

While quality content may have helped land a visitor on your website, it's your website design that gets them over the line into a converting client. If a visitor can't work out how to navigate to their desired location (such as the contact us page or checkout) within a few seconds, you'll lose them forever. There's no point in working hard to achieve 100,000 website visitors a month if your conversion rate is 0.01% due to poor web design.

3. Poorly-Targeted Web Design Can Leave You with Low Conversion Rates

Good web design focuses on tailoring your website to your target audience. If your web designer fails in this regard, then you won't effectively connect with customers, and you'll find your business suffering from low conversion rates.

good web design company will optimize your website for conversions, including making tweaks to a site to cater to a specific audience. For example, you may simplify your website layout if you run an e-commerce store selling mobility products for seniors. By contrast, if you're a professional photographer, it makes sense for your website to be as beautiful as possible instead of functional. 

Whatever the nature of your business, excellent website design always reflects customer preferences and tastes to maximize conversions.

4. Slow Website Loading Speeds Can Drive Customers Away and Ruin Your Reputation

As mentioned in previous blog posts, outstanding web design is characterized by fast loading speeds. If your website takes longer than a few seconds to load, you can expect visitors to head back to search results, frequently never to return. Worse, 79% of shoppers report that they will not return to purchase from a slow website again, and approximately 44% of them will share the unfortunate experience with their friends.

To top it off, if your website is designed in a way that creates slow and cumbersome loading speeds, then Google will actively rank faster websites ahead of you. The leading search engine recently extended this ranking factor to your website's mobile version, which often performs even worse when paired with unresponsive web design.

5. Unresponsive Web Design Could Forever Bury Your Website in Search

There's no getting around it. Your website has to perform well on mobile devices to be discovered within search results. Mobile searches surpassed desktop searches back in 2015, and they continue to take an increasing slice of search traffic. If users cannot use your website correctly on a phone or tablet, then your business could be doomed without the help of an agency well-versed in responsive web design.  

Due to the ever-increasing volumes of website visits conducted on mobile devices, mobile-friendliness has become a much bigger Google ranking signal. Mobile devices come in varying shapes and sizes. Therefore, you must optimize your website to adapt to various interfaces if you want to keep your spots in search engine results pages. 

Remember, almost every customer, no matter the industry, performs online research before doing business with a company. So you can't be found online, you won't make any sales.

Don't Let a Poorly-Designed Website Hurt your Business

Here at Faith Web Designers, we know what it takes to deliver beautiful web design that provides industry-beating conversion rates and superior SEO performance. As one of the best web designers in the Raleigh, NC area, we understand that the best web design is developed from understanding who you are as a business. That's precisely why we spend time getting to know your organization and future objectives.

We use the latest design methods, and our mobile-first methodology ensures that you don't get left behind by your competitors. Whether you need a state-of-the-art informational site for your B2B business or a high-performance B2C e-commerce store, you can count on us to deliver the web design you need.

So if you would like to have an initial conversation with me (Carlos) to avoid poor website design that actively hurts your business, don't hesitate to get in contact with me to discuss your requirements.

"Don't judge a book by its cover" is one of the oldest adages out there, but unfortunately, that advice simply doesn't apply to e-commerce website design. In fact, the opposite is true. When trying to convince online shoppers to use your site, you've only got an average of 50 milliseconds to make an impression.
 
That's all it takes for a user to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they'll stay or leave. That's why it's so crucial that you've got all of the right web design elements in place so that they'll stay, and crucially, buy products from your e-commerce website.
 
Given that this is the case, what are the must-have design features of an e-commerce website?

1. Easy Navigation

You won't make many inroads with your e-commerce site if shoppers can't understand how to use it. It's always best to invoke the principle of Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) to leave visitors to your website in no doubt of how to navigate to where they want to be.

According to a recent survey undertaken by HubSpot, 76% of consumers said the most critical factor in an e-commerce website's design is "the website makes it easy for me to find what I want." So you should never ignore your website's navigation, and it's actually one of the most significant difference makers.

2. Friction-less Checkout

The aim of an e-commerce website is, of course, to sell products. Therefore high on the must-have design features of an e-commerce site list is a hassle-free checkout process. Regarding checkout design, you should always offer the option of checking out without creating an account since it's the second-highest reason why people abandon their cart.

You also need to have a payment gateway set up that accepts a range of payment methods, as everyone has different preferences. If they arrive at the payments page and discover you don't support their preferred payment option (e.g., Apple Pay), they'll become one of the 70% of shoppers who bail at the final hurdle.

3. Fast Load Speeds

E-commerce sites are data-heavy entities. They are stocked full of product photos and videos, which is why you need to work with a web design agency with expertise in optimizing website loading speeds to avoid bad user experiences.

Time and attention are today's most valuable commodities, and if you fail to deliver what shoppers are looking for quickly, they will abandon for your site for another. The stats back this assertion up, with online retailers, losing at least $2.6 billion in sales each year to slow loading speeds alone, and half of all shoppers expecting a website to load in less than two seconds.

4. Mobile-First Design

Your e-commerce site is dead in the water if it doesn't perform well on mobile devices. This year, mobile devices have accounted for 70% of all internet traffic. Furthermore, mobile e-commerce revenue already accounts for over 50% of total US e-commerce revenues.

These figures are only going to rise as smartphone use continues to increase across the United States. Not to mention that Google openly admitted back in 2016 that it was beginning to rank the best performing mobile sites first. By 2020, those changes will affect all websites. Therefore, creating an e-commerce website that considers the needs of mobile users first (known as mobile-first design) will not only benefit your sales, but it will boost your search rankings too.

5. Gorgeous Product Photography

Pictures can really paint a thousand words. It's crucial to remember that your images and videos sell the product, not the text. The more photos, the better, as consumers want to see every possible angle. 

A video of your products in action is even better. 97% of video marketers reported that video increased user understanding of a product, and 76% said video helped them increase sales. So don't hold back on imagery when constructing your e-commerce website. Just remember to work with a team experienced in compressing these files to ensure that you retain those all-important fast loading speeds!

6. User Reviews

User-generated reviews are also a vital piece of the e-commerce jigsaw puzzle. First of all, reviews influence $400 billion of total e-commerce sales revenue. As if that wasn't convincing enough, 97% of consumers report that the customer reviews they read influence their purchasing decisions.

Therefore, user reviews are another one of the must-have design features of an e-commerce website. By adding these to your product listings, you can build social proof and really skyrocket those conversion rates.

7. Security and Trust Features

Trust is another critical aspect of successful e-commerce sites. You've got to earn customers' trust to make sales. That's why you need to have security features that give them peace of mind conspicuously displayed within your website's design. Of course, you should start by making sure you use secure hosting with an SSL certificate (the padlock symbol in the browser), ensuring that your site can be trusted to handle sensitive personal information.

Next, you have to build trust at the most crucial moment, the checkout. While some shoppers may see the padlock on their browser, others may need more encouragement. That's why it's a good idea to design your checkout pages in a way that prominently displays the security badges throughout the payments process, emphasizing that you should be trusted as an online retailer.

Secure All of the Must-Have Design Features of an E-commerce Website with Faith Designers

When trying to locate a top design web design agency in the Raleigh, NC area, you need to ensure that they include all of the must-have design features of an e-commerce website listed above as part of their service. Skip any of these, and you could find yourself struggling to make those vital online conversions.  

Here at Faith Web Designers, we've designed many e-commerce websites for our clients. We ensure that the focus is always placed on crucial web design elements and user-experience (UX) processes such as friction-less checkouts, easy-to-understand navigation, and high-converting product listings that both look great and load fast. 

So if you would like to have an initial conversation with me (Carlos) about designing a high-performance e-commerce website, don't hesitate to get in contact to discuss your project in more detail.

What to Expect from a Top Web Design Agency in the Raleigh, NC Area?

Whether you own a brick-and-mortar store or an online business, if you’re operating in the Raleigh region of North Carolina, you’re likely going to need a website to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and ultimately, increase sales.

But while you might be fully aware of your need to have an excellent website for your company, you may not be well-versed in what to expect from a top web design agency in the Raleigh, NC area.

This post will run down through a list of features you should expect from your web designer to make sure you’re making the correct decision when it comes to creating your new website.

Mobile First During the Design Process

In today’s online marketing world, everything has to be designed with the mobile device in mind. Mobile search overtook the desktop equivalent way back in 2015. Furthermore, from September 2020, websites that perform well on mobile devices will be permanently ranked ahead of those that don’t display correctly.

Thus you should be looking for a web design agency that puts mobile design first. It’s no longer ok to approach a website project with desktop in mind before trying to use responsiveness to reverse-engineer functionality to a mobile device. Instead, the design should be focused on the mobile experience first.

Responsiveness Across All Devices

Mobile-first design is not to say that you should do away with responsiveness. Instead, it changes the angle of attack from starting with a desktop and moving downwards in screen size, to starting with mobile and moving up.

By starting with a design focused at a mobile screen, a reputable Raleigh-based web design agency will use responsiveness to scale up the user experience to each subsequently larger screen, such as tablet and desktop.

Fast-Loading Websites

Speed is everything in today’s attention-starved world. If your website doesn’t load quickly, you’ll lose visitors, leads, and sales. Did you know that slow-loading websites cost online retailers at least $3.4 billion in sales each year? Thus, if you’ve got an e-commerce site, you can’t afford to make any mistakes when it comes to page-load speeds.

Even if your website is informational and your goal is to guide potential clients into contacting you about your business services, 74% of people will abandon a web page that takes longer than five seconds to load on a mobile device. Remember, mobile is now by far the most popular method for searching.

Thus, you need a web design agency in Raleigh that you can depend upon to secure lightning-fast page-load speed using smart coding and image compression techniques. Preferably you should choose one with website hosting plans since your host has a significant influence over how fast a website loads.

SEO-Optimized Websites

There’s no point in having an amazing and beautiful website if no one can find it in Google search results. Of course, the page-load speeds mentioned above is a significant factor in a website’s SEO performance. But there are many more influences on SEO performance that your Raleigh-based website design agency needs to consider.

For instance, intuitive navigation and user experience are “must-haves” for avoiding high bounce rates and high dwell times. SEO-optimized web design helps create a positive user experience and dramatically increases your chances of your business being found online.

Choose a Raleigh Web Design Agency That Takes a Client-Centric Approach

When trying to locate a top design web design agency in the Raleigh, NC area, all of the above factors are critical when comparing and contrasting providers. But it’s crucial not to forget that you, as a client, should come first.

Too often, web design agencies try to force clients into pre-made template designs that aren’t quite the perfect match for your requirements. Here at Faith Web Designers, we take the opposite approach.

Rather than starting with a website design template and tweaking it to your needs, we begin by getting to know your business. We take the necessary time to understand your specific needs and then use that information to build a beautiful, engaging, and high-performance website that meets all requirements provided by you, the client.

So if you would like to have an initial conversation with me (Carlos) about your business goals for your website, don’t hesitate to get in contact to discuss your vision.

Excellent web design is vital for several reasons, but one of the most significant is its influence on your site's SEO performance. Understanding how web design affects SEO should give you a new (or renewed) appreciation of how the design choices you make impact your website's performance in search results.

With that in mind, let's look at which specific SEO ranking factors web design influences the most.

Well-Designed Websites Have Lower Bounce Rates

A bounce rate is best described as the percentage of people who visit just one page on your website and subsequently leave without clicking anywhere else. You can assess your bounce rate within your Google Analytics dashboard, and you should be aiming for less than 80% as a minimum figure.

According to leading SEO authority SEMrush, bounce rates are the 4th most crucial ranking factor in search engine results pages (SERPs), so it's definitely something you should be paying attention to. Furthermore, it's something your website's design will have a considerable influence over.

For example, if you have an easy-to-understand navigational menu, users will quickly click onto another page to find what they're looking for, lowering your average bounce rate, and improving your SEO performance.

Beautiful Websites Have Higher Dwell Times

Dwell time, or "time spent on site," is another significant SEO ranking factor. The longer a user spends on your site, the more likely Google and other search engines are to push your website higher up their search results.

Once again, your web design has a significant influence on how long a visitor will stick around. As highlighted above, functional and easy-to-grasp navigation is vital, but it won't save you from making poor design choices.    

Put simply, if your site looks great, then they are more likely to browse for longer. A horrible-looking website, with garish colors and impossible-to-read fonts, will have your users heading for the exit as fast as possible hurting, your dwell time metrics.

Well-Coded Websites Load Faster

Load speed is fast becoming one of the most critical metrics when it comes to SEO performance. In fact, it's been an essential prerequisite for SEO success since 2010! While it's true that in some part load speed depends on your web hosting provider, you need to invest in a well-coded website that leaves your competitors behind.

Therefore, you need a web designer experienced in minifying CSS, JavaScript, and HTML to ensure that your website loads as fast as possible. Not to mention building a website that automatically compresses images, videos, and other bulky items to ensure your page load speeds are lightning fast.

You can always check if your website page load speeds are up to scratch by using the Google PageSpeed Insights Tool, which even gives you recommendations for speeding up your website.

Mobile-First-Designed Websites Always Outrank the Competition

Here at Faith Web Designers, we've already spoken about the importance of mobile-first web design. But it's crucial to remember that it's vital not just for your overall user experience (UX), but for SEO purposes too.

Google has been ranking the sites that perform best on mobile above those sites designed with desktop in mind for over five years. So if your website isn't optimized for mobile, you'll get left behind by those that are.

Not only do you need to ensure that your web design agency has a mobile-first approach, but you also need to choose a team that delivers responsive websites that adapt to screen sizes. From the smallest cell phones to the Smart TV screens, your website has to look beautiful across each individual viewing method.

Invest in Web Design That Helps Visitors to Discover Your Website

Even if you have the most beautiful and helpful website in the world, it will mean nothing if no one can find it. Optimizing your site for search engines is one of the most important marketing activities you can undertake, and hopefully, you can now appreciate exactly how web design affects SEO.

If you're looking for the best web design agency in the Raleigh, NC area, then you need to choose a company that designs with search engines in mind. A mobile-first approach, easy navigational menus, beautiful design, and lightning-fast load times will all help to secure more visitors, more leads, and ultimately more sales from your website.

Whether you need to upgrade the design of your existing website or you have a new project in mind, don't hesitate to contact me (Carlos) to discuss your requirements.

Why is Mobile-First Web Design Important you ask? Everyone is aware that smartphone usage continues to rise. Almost three quarters (72.6%) of internet users will access the web solely via their smartphones by 2025, equivalent to nearly 3.7 billion people.

When it comes to your website’s design, if it doesn’t display or perform well on mobile, it will get left behind by those that do. It’s no longer the case that web designers can get away with designing a website for desktop first, before trying to fit those elements to fit a smaller screen retroactively.

But before going into the finer details of why mobile-first web design is important, let’s first define the concept.

What is Mobile-First Web Design?

Mobile-first web design is pretty much exactly as it sounds. That is brainstorming, prototyping, and designing the website specifically for mobile devices. Once those fundamentals are in place, web designers can then scale up from there to larger screens.

Mobile-first ensures that you deliver the right User Experience (UX) to the right screen. With such limited real estate available on a smartphone screen, the design is focused on simplicity and clarity to help guide the visitor toward where they want to go.

What’s the Difference Between Responsive Web Design and Mobile-First Web Design?

Mobile-first web design is a design strategy, whereas responsive web design is a framework governing how a website displays on different viewing mediums.

Until recently, web designers implemented their web design processes for desktop and then used responsive coding to ensure that the display was altered to match the screen on which it was being viewed.  

However, mobile-first web design reverses the process.

While it may still make use of that responsive coding framework, it considers mobile users’ needs first and foremost. So rather than creating a desktop website and then forcing it to fit in a mobile screen, you create a website that considers the majority of users on mobile first before scaling it up to fit a screen with a more substantial surface area.

What Are the Benefits of Mobile-First Web Design?

Improved Google Ranking

Ever since Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced in 2010 that web designers should consider mobile users first, mobile-first web design has improved a site’s search engine performance.

The impetus for mobile-first design then snowballed when Google announced that from 2018 onwards, it was moving to mobile-first indexing. This move meant that those sites that performed best on mobile would rank the highest. Today, those websites still designed with desktop users in mind are being left behind by mobile-first designed sites.

Improved User Experience (UX)

Since more people will search for your website on mobile than on desktop, a mobile-first designed website will give users a much better user experience (UX). With simplified icons and navigational menus (such as the ‘hamburger’ menu), users can quickly find the information they are looking for or proceed to checkout with ease if you operate an e-commerce store.

Which leads us nicely onto the next benefit.

Improved Conversion Rates

At the moment, desktop conversions still outperform mobile conversions; 4.81% of desktop visitors convert compared to 2.25% of mobile visitors. However, when you consider that five years ago, mobile conversion rates were at just 1.32%, it’s clear that mobile conversions are accelerating. Those who are yet to switch to mobile-first-designed websites are set to lose out on those new customers.

Evaluating Web Design Companies in Raleigh? Make Sure Their Mobile-First Designers!

If you’re on the search for the best website designer in Raleigh, NC, you’ve got to ensure that they operate with a mobile-first outlook. Hopefully, this article has helped to underline why mobile-first web design is important, and why you should steer clear of companies who still design with desktop in mind.

Here at Faith Web Designers, we believe in the critical principles of mobile-first web design. We emphasize simplicity, lightning-fast mobile load speeds, captivating visuals, and easily-located contact information/checkout pages to maintain high conversion rates for your business.

Whether you have an existing website, or you’re a brand new company, don’t hesitate to contact me (Carlos) to discuss your project vision.

Nowadays, those looking for a new website can easily become tempted by the promise of a website you can create yourself in a matter of hours with a do-it-yourself website builder.

But while it’s true you can create a simple website with Wix or Squarespace without any prior design or coding experience, hiring a professional web developer is always the better option. Especially if you’re looking for a website for your business or personal brand.  

We’ve put together a few reasons why this is the case, starting with a responsive, mobile-friendly design.

1. Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Design

Did you know that 85% of adults think that a company’s mobile website should be as good, if not better, than the desktop version? This means if your website site does not feature mobile-friendly responsive design, then you’ll lose visitors, leads, and ultimately sales.

Professional web developers are experts at implementing crucial responsive design elements such as full-width viewing and smart scaling to react to the size of a screen. Unfortunately, when you start making tweaks with a DIY website builder, the user experience can become clunky on mobile devices, driving interested visitors away from your website.  

2. Web Design Optimized for SEO

One of the biggest criticisms of the DIY website builders is that they don’t take care of enough of the requirements when it comes to both organic and local SEO. All web designers worth their salt will design a website that checks all of the boxes when it comes to pleasing search engines.

Remember, it’s no use having a fantastic website if no one can find your business because the site is poorly optimized. Here are just a few of the SEO-related tasks that all good web designers do on your behalf:

Once again, these are all tasks that those DIY website builders can’t complete for you, leaving you to do a chunk of the heavy lifting on SEO yourself. Unless you have extensive knowledge of SEO, it never makes sense to use a DIY website builder from an SEO standpoint.

3. Do-it-Yourself Website Builders Offer Very Little Room for Customization

While it’s true that the “What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)” editors are easy to use when editing the look and feel of your website, they are very limited in scope. 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if their layout or design is unattractive.

When you hire an experienced web developer, the scope of your design is unlimited. You can use their excellent user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design skills to produce a website that perfectly corresponds to the needs of your target audience. Building a website from the ground up could be a difference-maker when it comes to converting leads into conversions.

4. Hiring a Web Designer Saves You Time

What’s more relevant to your business? Spending hours learning about how to use HTML and CSS to make customizations to your do-it-yourself website, or securing your first customers? Of course, it’s acquiring customers. Without them, you don’t have a business in the first place.

Many entrepreneurs turn to paint-by-numbers website builders because they are cheap. But hiring a web developer will pay for itself many times over by allowing you to work on the most critical aspects of your business. Not to mention the fact that a custom-built, well-designed website will perform better by converting more leads into sales.

Better still, once the site has been built, they can manage your website continually, leaving you to focus on running your business. 

Professional Web Developer vs. Do-it-Yourself Website – The Answer is Clear 

Hopefully, you’ve realized that even though DIY website builders offer low costs and ease of use initially, they end up costing you a lot more in the long run. In many cases, those websites created with these providers fail to appear in search engine results, negating the point of a website. Thus, a well-designed website created by an experienced web developer is always going to be the best option.

Here at Faith Web Designers, we create beautiful, responsive websites that are customized and optimized for your business needs. Once you’re delighted with our work, we can then take care of the management of your website afterward.

To talk to us about your website project, simply contact me (Carlos), and I’ll happily discuss your requirements.  

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