Web design and digital branding are drastically changing every year and as we approach the halfway point of 2017 (side note: how did this happen so fast?!) we would like to share some tips with you to consider when redesigning your website in 2017. While all of these tips and elements can be worked out throughout our extensive design and website planning process, it's best to at least think about a few of these elements before getting started to ensure the best possible results for a website in 2017.

Thorough Analysis of Industry Competitors
Pretty much every business nowadays has some sort of web presence -- and if your business doesn't then you probably aren't reading this blog post. One of the most beneficial ways to start off a new website redesign is to do some research on who your competitors are and what they are doing on the web to promote their business/product. Start by analyzing their website design - what you like/dislike, what is working/isn't working, content/messaging and overall branding. If they have a website or digital brand that you feel is outshining you, then it's probably time for a website and digital branding overhaul.

Wireframes & Site Architecture
Do you want to keep the same main navigation links as your current site or add more? How about the addition(s) of a blog or photo gallery or products? These types of items are what we sit down and analyze with you -- what you might need to add to your site for better conversions and what you can nix from your current site to keep it cleaner. It's imperative that we at least nail down a close draft of how this will layout and flow to help achieve a well functioning site that is easy to navigate through and through.

SEO & Keywords
SEO and keywords are absolutely crucial for a successful website in 2017 so be thinking about what content specifically you might want to include in your website. Content overrides design in 2017 and -- Content is key in 2017 for a successful Google ranking.

Custom Photography
Nothing makes a website these days stand out more than good quality custom photography. Even one or two professional shots for your homepage will help you stand out against your competitors who are probably using stock photography or just maybe have custom photographs of their own. So stay ahead of your competitors by investing in some professional shots - it's worth it.

Brand Consistency
If you already have a logo, set colors and branding guidelines that are working for your brand - and/or are across other mediums (such as: print design, brochures, advertisements, business cards) then there is no real reason to reinvent the wheel creatively. You want your branding to be eye-catching and innovative of course but you also need consistency so your site visitors can spot your brand on any medium - digital or print. So in short, the branding guidelines you use should stretch across all digital platforms (website, PPC ads, social media outlets and more). Here at E-dreamz, we are experts in making sure your digital brand flows across each web platform consistently.

Top Used Elements
As the success of the "less is more" design approach is continuing to prove beneficial, it's important to think about which elements are most important for your site and what can be hidden or put in an internal page somewhere. Do you really need 10 rotating panel images or can we narrow it down to 3-4 to make your site run faster? Do you really need all 10 navigation links or can we set up a site flow that allows for internal pages and a cleaner menu design featuring only the top-used elements? Also, thinking about which elements can stay and go in mobile is also important to ensure the best mobile experience. Not every fancy design element or photograph needs to go in a mobile site; where visitors typically are only looking for the most crucial information since they are often viewing your site on-the-go.

Analysis of Site Visitors
Everyone nowadays is using the internet - from your little nieces and nephews to your grandparents so it's important to think about which customer base is visiting your site the most and this will definitely change your design/layout.

Example: if you are targeting an older clientele maybe we need to use larger fonts than usual or create an easier navigation flow to avoid any possible confusion.

Another example: If you are targeting a younger, more tech-savvy crowd maybe we choose to use louder colors/graphics or a more innovative layout approach to catch the eye.

If you are looking for an updated website design or digital solution to stay-up-to-date in 2017 contact E-dreamz today!

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