What to bring to a web design meeting
Meeting With A Web Designer
So you have chosen a designer to take on your project and have scheduled a meeting to discuss your design. What are some of the things that you should bring to the intial meeting? To have a productive meeting you want to make sure you have everything that the developer will need to start building your website. If your web designer is good at what they do, they will ask a whole lot of questions about your business so that they can understand your goals and build a site according to your specific needs. But here are some NICE things to bring along with you to your initial meeting. I use the word NICE as an acronym to help you remember but NICE stands for: Navigation, Images, Content, Enthusiasm. If you have all of these with you, you will be more than prepared for your intial meeting and you will see your developer smile like never before. So, let’s take a look at what all NICE entials.
avigation: Your site navigation is perhaps one of the most important components of your site. It is from your navigation that all of your pages are linked. Whether or not you use a horizontal navigation or vertical navigation is irrelivant at this point. The key thing to focus in on when meeting with a web developer for the first time is what are your primary links and what are your secondary links. Primary links are your main links (Home, About Us, Services, etc…) that you want to use to help your clients get to the information that is specific to their needs. Secondary links are items that fall under your main links and are more specific (usually in a drop down menu).
Your navigational structure will help your web developer understand how to best build your website to funnel your prospective and return clients to parts of your website that contain content that is pertinent to the end-users specific needs. Furthermore, it helps the developer understand how to best optimize the linking pages with relevant keywords and content. It will also help you develop content with a strong call to action. Using your navigational structure as the “outline” for building content is one of the best ways that you can organize your thoughts and be fully prepared to engage with your website designer to maximize the use of your time together. Each of your navigational elements should foster many questions that your website developer can ask about your business to paint a better picture of what you do to your prospective clients.
mages: If you have any images that you wish to see on your site, bring them with you. You can save these images to a disk and have them ready to leave with your designer. One thing that you should consider is that the size and quality of the images you use is very important. You need to keep in mind that maximum resolution necessary for an online presentation of images is 72 dpi. So sending your web developer images at 300 dpi and 50mb in file size would be overkill. You want to make sure that your images are large enough that your web designer can manipulate them to fit on your site in certain areas, but small enough that the developer does not have to spend an hour preparing your images for use. Most developers work on a billable hour. This can impact your budget.
Naming your images is also critical. You want to be able to tell your website designer what images you want to use and where. This can be effectively accomplished by naming your images. Some suggestions that we make is that our clients designate the page they want the image to appear on and an identifier of some sort so that we can match the image with a description. For example, if the following image is to appear on the Services Page of your website you might save the file as “img01-services-plumber-with-wrench.jpg”
Not only will naming your images by image number supply your website designer with a reference point of where the image should go, it will also help you as you build your content to know where in your content you want your image to appear.
Naming your images with keywords related to your content is helpful for your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well. Keep in mind that Google and the other search engines do not have a way to really know what an image is. They rely on what is referred to as alt tags. Your website designer will understand how and where to put your alt tags, but your description will help them and the search engines understand exactly what your image represents.
Also note that just because your image contains text (as this image does), the text that is a part of the image is not readable by the search engines. Therefore, you will want to properly name your images to benefit from any SEO that may be derrived. When you go do develop your content you can put the image name (img01-services-plumber-with-wrench.jpg) in parenthesis to indicate the general area and the content area where you want the image to appear on a specific page.
ontent: In the area of Search Engine Optimization, content is everything. The search engines are not so interested in whether your website gets to the top of their search engine results pages or not. They are not even concerned with how much time or energy your website designer has put into the layout and optimizations for your site. The search engines are concerned with the end-user who is typing in keywords on their site. They are obligated to the end-user to find timely and relevant matches to what the end-user is searching for. In order to do this, the search engines will index many sites that contain information specific to many topics. The search engine will index this content on its servers and store this information for nearly instantaneous retrieval and delivery when the end-user types in a related keyword.
Having good, timely, relevant content on your site that is well organized and fully optimized is critical to whether or not your website is listed amongst your competitors on the search engine results pages (SERPS). Your web developer will take your content and place it under appropriate headings and then augment the content with other relevant keywords to build a keyword specific theme for each page. This is known as optimizing content. Adwebvertising has a special service known as the Wordsmith Content Development Suite that is designed to improve content to make it highly searchable across multiple search engines.
A great idea for developing content is to generate a list of keywords that are specific to one particular topic or page on your website. Using this list, and occasionally dropping in one of your keywords (as appropriate) while you write your content is a great way to make sure that your keywords are consistently appearing in your content. Your website designer will be able to use your keywords in a similar fashion when developing the page titles and meta descriptions for your website. Always keep in mind that your content (quality and quantity) will have an influence on your search engine ranking. But more importantly, it will have an impact on your readers perception of your products and services.
nthusiasm is one of the best things that you can bring to your meeting with your website designer. Enthusiasm is contagious! At Adwebvertising, we find that the clients that are the most enthuiastic and engaged have the best websites. By taking an active interest in every aspect of your website development, you are contributing a part of your expertise that shows in the final design. If you have fun while writing your content, your readers will sense your positive demeanor in the way you write. If you have a good, positive attitude when you meet with your website designer, ideas and information flow more readily. With your website designer fully engaged with you, they have a better chance of discerning your goals and then translating them into your final product.
So, keep this in mind when you schedule your next meeting with your web developer, and have a NICE meeting!
To schedule a NICE consultation with Adwebvertising, you can reach us at 713.397.3833 or on our contact page.
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