Before you decide on a web designer or web design company in the Raleigh-Durham area, check and see if any of these mistakes are obvious on their website or portfolio:

Not Optimizing for Search Engines

Ask your web designer about search engine optimization. Ask him how he plans to optimize your site. Search engine optimization (SEO) is not rocket science, it’s better web design.

Search engine optimization will not bring you hundreds of visitors per day all of the sudden, but all the visitors will come to your site searching for a service you provide. If you do landscaping in Raleigh you should come up when people are searching “landscaping in Raleigh”. These are the kinds of visitors your website needs.

Search “Web Design Raleigh” or “Web Design Durham, NC. If the company or designer you are considering for a web design is not there, don’t bother. If they don’t know how to get their company website to the top, do you really think they’ll do a better job for you?

Using Tables Instead of CSS (Style Sheets)

HTML tables are a thing from the past. Since search engines evolved to be such an important part of the Internet, websites started to optimize their content for search engines and CSS web design offers just that: is optimized for search engines, is faster, more reliable, allows separation of design from content and much more.

Not Being Clear What the Website Is About

Attention spans are very short these days. Visitors shouldn’t have to figure it out what your website is about. It should be specified big and clear in every page. In their eyes.

Have Confusing Navigation

The best, proven way, to please everyone is to make the navigation clear and simple. Design should help enhance the most important sections of the website. People are browsing websites in different ways. Redundant navigation actually helps. For example, on our website only 5% of visitors click on portfolio but 70% of them click on Recent Projects thumbnails. This helps drive more people to our most important part of the website, our portfolio.

Using Small Text

What is the point in using small text? Everyone agrees that crowded design doesn’t help, so thinking you show more information to the user is a mistake. You have all the space in the world. Use it wisely. Don’t be afraid of empty space. Give menu links breathing space. Text too close to the edge looks bad, not professional.

Using “Drop Down” Menus

Sometimes it is hard for users to notice all your main menu items. Hiding important information from them and thinking they will go on top of your menu expecting a rollover is a big mistake. Identify the most important sections in your website content, and structure the information accordingly so you won’t need rollover. And you don’t have to agree with me, but the most visited sites on the Internet (Yahoo, Google, MSN, YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter) are not using drop down menus on their homepage.