Most things that are complicated in business require testing. That may be as simple as the local supermarket testing different promotional offers during different weeks to see what cuts through. Or it may be as complex as a commercial electrician performing circuit board testing on a highly specialised pieces of equipment that controls the signals on a busy freeway.
In the digital world, testing is just as important. Enormous companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon all employ thousands of engineers and other staff to do constant testing on their websites, apps and services to squeeze out every bit of efficiency that can.
But there is another, less commonly understood form of testing that these businesses undertake. It’s called A/B testing. And it is an incredibly powerful tool. Without testing, businesses are just guessing what website layout, offers and landing pages work best or will appeal the most. So the process of designing a website is less scientific and more driven by gut feel and experience.
There is a better way. And that way is A/B testing. A/B testing is very simple. It basically involves having two different versions of the same web page. That allows a small change to be made to one (the tested page) and one to be left as the original (the control page). That way, the effect of a particular change can be observed and measured as different users interact with the page.
Images – or more broadly, graphics – are an extremely important component of any WordPress website according to web design expert Peter Brittain. They are engaging, they can encourage people to explore your content, and they can help you claw your way up the search engine rankings.
As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. If we extend the definition of picture to include things like infographics, GIFs, and other visually engaging content, we have a modern definition which applies to website creation.
However, images are good for more than just telling a visual story. Some of the most important functions of images on your WordPress website include:
Images can help you jump up the search engine rankings – when used properly:
Although a lot of beginners don’t realise this, images are actually a huge factor when it comes to search engine rankings and search engine optimisation. Search engine crawler bots will pay particular attention to your images, and you can win big ranking bonuses if they are labelled correctly with things like meta tags and captions.
If you aren’t sure how to do this a quick Google search will help you out. Although it can be confusing to start with, it is definitely worth learning how to label your images properly if you want to rank highly in search engine results.
An excellent point raised over at Bokardo, which reminds us of a fact we sometimes lose sight of: that designers are marketers. Especially in web design, that’s a controversial point. Sure, the “tech geeks” who spend their days slinging pixels and hacking AJAX code tend to bristle a little at the marketing types, who breeze by in their suits and ties and golf tans on their way to another power lunch, but we have to acknowledge that the product of our work is the first thing every potential customer sees.
The thing that makes the boundary between web design and marketing so distinct is the kind of people each profession attracts. Marketers – the people who work in ‘sales’ – are a different breed. They’re social, talkative, interactive, open, friendly, and persuasive. Web designers, on the other hand, spend all of their time working with machines and designing abstract things like software and graphics on them. So they’re likely to be introverted, intellectual, solitary, analytical, and strong on communications but weak on personality skills.