Before you cough-up the cash on web design or you’re one of the many small to medium sized businesses (SMB’s) that has yet to join the digital revolution, STOP and consider these important tips before making the financial plunge.
When hiring a web design company, most will make 1 of 2 deadly mistakes. They either higher a developer too rooted in graphic design or too rooted in coding. The key to choosing the right web development company is one that understands the intricacies of website conversion architecture. Website conversion architecture encourages good user flow & creates a progression of quality content, reducing friction for the website visitor. This intuitive navigation flow encourages the user to stay on longer, navigate through the site and complete your intended goals.
A great web architect also understands the importance good SEO brings to the table, because lets face it…you can dress it up, give it all the bells and whistles, but if no one sees it, then what’s the point!
1-Free website builders suck! Although free website builders might seem like a good cost effective alternative, the truth is, a business website needs quality design, SEO friendly code and more times than not, custom features. Since most of you are not graphic designers, the investment in time and the quality of the outcome ends up looking like just that, a DIY website. In a world where first impressions mean everything, why risk it!
2-Content is king and it comes in all shapes and sizes. Text, images, videos infographics just to name a few. Understand your target audience and deliver what they need, not what you want. Personally, I’m not a fan of text heavy websites, I’m not going to read 600 words on your home page, all I want is to know you have a solution to my need in under 8 seconds. Is that really too much to ask! A good web architect understands this and also the importance SEO will play. Title tags, Meta descriptions and keywords, breadcrumb trails, H1, H2 & Alt tags to name a few. Told you it was simple!
3-Calls to action are crucial but most often overlooked. This is your online pen to paper, your close. CTA’s are any wording or graphic that provides your indented “next steps” or desired goal conversion. It can be a “Contact us now” or “Subscribe Today”. CTA’s have 1 objective and that’s conversion. CTA’s should be loaded with action packed text, clever imagery and designed to create a clear sense of urgency.
4-Website speed is crucial because lets face it, we’re all a bit impatient and this certainly holds true when navigating a website. If a website is slow to load, chances are someone bounces off before it has fully rendered. By the way, search engines hate slow websites, which ultimately create a high bounce rate and significantly hurt your chances to rank. Several factors can cause slow load speeds like the server it’s hosted on, high res images & the over use of plugins. A good web design company will understand how to control these factors and how to properly optimize a website for efficiency and a positive user experience. This is also another reason why free website builders suck!
5-Search Engine Optimization or SEO should be in the forefront of any web design project. A well designed website will encourage engagement but an SEO friendly website will make it much easier to attract traffic. A great web development company will have in depth knowledge of what the search engines expect and the over 200 factors search engines look at to help your website rank. Never overlook the power of a well optimized website. Even if an SEO strategy is not yet in your budget, develop your website with as many SEO tactics you can afford to give your online business the best fighting chance. Invest in some keyword research and make sure they’re inserted in the right places within your content. Ensure your Social Media Profiles are accessible from your site to help generate some social signals. Consider some internal linking strategies. If you’ve done your due diligence and chose the right agency, this should be a breeze!
In closing, web development and SEO is kind of like Love and Marriage. Sinatra wrote, “You can’t have one with without the other!” And if you do, it’s probably a recipe for disaster.
About the author:
Mark Jamieson is a managing partner at WSI eStrategies in Ottawa. WSI eStrategies is committed to providing the most advanced and up to date online marketing strategies to help your business generate the online leads and revenue it deserves.
If you’re a business owner or sales professional who understands the need for a strong online presence to compete but struggles to grow sales with it, drop us a line or contact us today. We can help!