Starting a new website or revamping your current website can be very tricky. With so many website designers operating across the globe promising to delivery impeccable results, making a selection can be challenging to say the least. The influx of website designers and heavy competition online, make the decision-making and evaluation process much more critical. Getting the final look and feel you want that also takes into account the necessary performance is a big order to fill.
Having an online presence matters and having a website is no longer an option to succeed in business. The bonus of having an online profile gives your business the opportunity to flourish in so many ways. By expanding your position in the marketplace, building brand awareness and selling more products or services.
Over the years our team members at Marketing 4 Real Results have worked with many clients who have faced terrible experiences of being overcharged and underserved. The issue of saying yes quickly to business seems very common. The other element is that at times the vision and workflow are not clearly defined. That is why having a marketing voice involved in the process of building your website will tie the knot between customer and company.
At Marketing 4 Real Results we recommend that our clients take a strategic marketing approach to a new or revamped website design. Throughout this article we will share information to help you make the best decision on your next website design project.
(After reading the article if you have questions about our preferred website designers, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
According to the SBA, of the 30 million small businesses in the U.S., only 64% have a website.
When choosing a website, cost is usually the best place to start since this seems to be the first mistake. It is important to note that cost should not be the only determinate in your decision-making process to build a website. The scale of cost will vary significantly depending on your industry, competition online and if you want a custom website or template website.
Instead of focusing on cost, it is better to focus on the designer’s experience, number of years running a business, communication response time, and understanding of your industry. It is important to ask qualifying questions to make your website designer selection less frustrating in the end. A great starting point is to get a reference from someone else that has a website you like and ask them about their experience.
We recommend getting started by first understanding the capabilities of the website designer. This analysis can be done in a combination of ways.
What You Need to Know Before Signing The Contract
- View the website of the designer
- Ask for links to other websites designed
- Ask for business references
- Find out who will directly design your website? (Third party outsourcing to India is very common.)
- Will you have a dedicated account manager assigned to your account?
- What is the time required to complete your website? (This helps to anticipate timetables for product launches/marketing campaigns etc.)
- What platform will the designer use to build your website? (Template or Custom Build).
- What are the capabilities, limitations to plugins and visual components that pertain to the type of site you want designed?
- Payment terms? (We recommend paying a portion upfront and the balance upon receipt of the final site.)
- What is the number of revisions included in the website design?
- What is the cost for additional revisions? (This is a tricky one that can get very expensive).
- What are your options to cancel if you do not like the final website design?
- Will your final website include an SSL Certificate?
- Will your website include Google Analytics?
- What SEO capabilities are included in the project?
- What is the cost for content writing?
There is a shared priority in the website designing process, which is the connection between the back and front end. Both are important one is prettier and more appreciated for its visual aspects of the website.
- The backend pertains to the coding of your website. (Many people miss this mark and do not have an SEO foundation, keyword focus etc.)
- The front end is the look and functionality
Yes, you should definitely have a clear description of your small business services or products on your website. Including what prospects can anticipate during the business process.
Keep in mind, all aspects of your website must connect with your target audience and that has to do with the content needed on your website. Your website is an online representation of your brand. All content must be aligned to represent your products/services appropriately. Remember, just because your website is pretty does not make it fully functional and adequately set up to support your sales and marketing growth plans.
Pay close attention to:
- Title tag
- Quality content
- Call to actions
- Blog Page
- Social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Yelp, Google + Business)
- SSL Certificate
Ultimately you should think of your website as a virtual resume about your products/services. This is where your prospects/customers/clients go to best understand your ability to fill their needs. Think of your website as your marketing hub.
Your website will be best equipped to drive new leads/business opportunities when prospects feel welcomed and informed. To accomplish this quickly and instantly grab the attention of all website visitors, we suggest having a short video on your homepage that talks about your services/products.
Also, it is important to note that having a bad website can drive away business. Having an inadequate platform with too little information, grammar mistakes or loading time issues (more than 5 seconds) can result in a bad representation for your brand to all visitors.
An important goal for your website is to retain old business. Another important goal is to acquire new business. Both old and new audiences must be represented on your website. You can do this successfully by creating an online buyer’s journey to drive anticipated actions. Taking your audience step by step to the right place, at the right time, with the right message can make a huge impact on your business.
Most web designers are in the business of website design. Therefore, your marketing goals are not a first priority. It will be important for you to have a clear vision on your website expectations before getting started.
At Marketing 4 Real Results we have identified some important marketing factors over the years that impact website performance and below we listed our top 4 distinctive elements.
- Search engine rankings (Google, Bing and Yahoo)
- Consumer decision making
- Consumer purchase behavior
- Competitive landscape
Although we have managed hundreds of website projects both large and small, we specialize in the industries of Real Estate, Restoration, Retail, and Juvenile products. We best understand the foundation of website experiences within those industries.
Our agency is fully equipped to answer your website design questions, at no cost. We are here to shed light on your marketing mindset for target audiences, business communication and workflow. We understand that in many cases website projects do not get the adequate attention needed to compete online resulting in a heavy expense for website development and over time a lot of PPC to drive sales. Just like any other marketing building blocks, the fundamental principles of your website matters.
Why Marketing Matters To Websites?
Over the years we got more involved in the support of our client’s website designs to ensure the business alignment and marketing touch points are in place to support sales. A part of getting your website on track is to align future email marketing, social media marketing, text marketing and content marketing for organic SEO growth over time.
We have found many ways to minimize inbound calls for our clients by adding robust FAQ’s and Inquiry Forms. These elements provide a 24-hour prospect/customer solution from scheduling a new service order or providing answers to repetitive questions. These two components directly support after hour buying decisions and decrease the amount of time your team has to spend answering repeat questions.
What Your Website Needs?
You may need to hire more than one company to design and produce the exact website quality you desire. Think of it this way, most website designers specialize in one element or another. As a business owner, you need your website to fully align with your varied customer demands. Note: Information as well as sales and marketing objectives require a deep level of communication to adequately maximize results.
Website Design Cheat Sheet
- Have a budget
- Understand the difference between custom or template site.
- What visual graphics are needed?
- What content is needed?
- What level of authenticity will you have?
- Which home page tabs are needed?
- Is your site ADA compliant?
- What aspects of your site should be branded versus stock images?
- What is your keyword strategy for search engine optimization?
- SET DEADLINES! What is the timeline for your website launch?
Why Is It Important To Build The Right Website?
COVID-19 hit America by surprise. With businesses and office spaces closing, it left many business owners wondering what they would do next. For many small business owners being partially closed was a huge financial hit to their businesses. Without having an online presence, most small businesses will never recover or may take many years and a large marketing budget to see profitability.
Website Benefits Breakdown
- Having a website allows your business to be accessible 24/7. This allows your business to gain exposure to a huge number of potential customers.
According to Oberlo.com, “As of 2019 4.131 billion people use the internet.” Any online business has the potential to reach 4 billion people every day across the globe.
- Having an online presence gives your business an opportunity to elaborate on specific details on your services/products and share examples of your value proposition. Photos, videos and content about your day-to-day workflow to gain the attention of prospects/customers. You also have the added benefit of sharing information about local businesses, eateries, and community affiliations.
- Malfunctioning products, customer service and fan favorites can all be assessed as a way to cater more to your customers. Gaining feedback by using surveys, polls, and chat software are smart website additions.
- Website traffic data gives your business the opportunity to gain insight on what content is considered valuable to your audience, through frequently visited page and organic search findings. The goal for analyzing data is to continually improve prospect and customer experiences.
- The Career Section of your website is a great tool to filter candidates to work for the business. This allows employers to save time from using other job search sites like Indeed, LinkedIn or Zip Recruiter. This also informs prospective employees with insight before applying and arriving for an interview.
The website benefits mentioned above can easily be attained if your online presence is properly set-up. With the help of web designers and marketing personnel, your brand can be well defined and aesthetically pleasing online.
Need marketing advice on building or revamping your website? Fill out a FREE Consultation form and we will get back to you shortly with information on building your brand.