I’ve lost count over the years as to the number of companies that have come to us in just this predicament. Online DIY builders or template sites seem like a great idea at the time for obvious low cost reasons. BUT because they are generic solutions they don’t deliver a user experience that maximises the conversion potential for your specific business model. When was the last time you saw the website of a successful business built for £1 per month using a DIY builder?! The old adage “you get what you pay for” certainly holds true but more importantly choose an agency with a proven track record.
You may laugh but many still hold the belief that if you put a website online it will automatically get visitors. When budgeting for a new website you MUST factor in marketing spend or your site will simply disappear into the ether.
Your digital marketing strategy should be multi-faceted. For example: target specific audiences via social media and Google ad campaigns, then make sure you re-market to them. If you’re not familiar with re-marketing it’s essentially following those that didn’t convert to a sale or a lead around the Internet reminding them of your business. It could be in the form of an advert via the Google display network that shows on other websites they visit or a Facebook sponsored timeline post.
Likewise don’t make the mistake of investing solely in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). With the changes to the Google algorithm in recent years gaining an organic ranking for a new website is more labour intensive, time consuming and therefore costly than ever before. You’re looking at 6 months to a year to gain any serious traction with a new website. Even if you do achieve a page 1 ranking what does Google position above the organic search results: PPC (pay per click) adverts of course! So initially your SEO budget is probably better spent on PPC for that instant traffic hit.
What do I mean by personality when it comes to a website?
Exhibit A. Stock photography – The average website user is savvy to the use of a stock photo. You know the one of the flawless model wearing a headset ready to take your call. The impeccably suited business people shaking hands in some contemporary office reception and so on. You see the same tired images used time and again that give absolutely no insight into you as a business. Invest in some quality photography to show people just who you are.
Exhibit B. The industry standard – Quite often when we ask clients what their website should include or how they think it should be styled the sentence starts something like “Well everyone in our industry...” woah woah woah let me just stop you there! How can you expect a potential customer to choose you over the competition if your business doesn’t stand out from the crowd?
Where possible, break the mold, be different and don’t apologise for it... your new customers will appreciate the breath of fresh air!
How many times have you heard the phrase “Content is king”? It’s a cliché but you know what, it’s true. The problem is many get it confused with “the more content the better” and it usually stems from our old friend SEO. You might have heard things like: you must have a minimum of 400 words, ideally 1000 for Google to take the page seriously and it needs to be jam-packed full of keywords. Yes maybe back in 1998!
Content is king! So make sure it includes punchy headlines, short to the point text blocks, great imagery, graphics and informative videos. You only get a matter of seconds to impress a new website visitor before they are clawing for the back button. Make them count! A good agency will be able to put your content together for you if your budget allows.
There are a host of traps it’s easy to fall into when putting together a new website and these are just some of the more common ones in my experience. Of course there are many more. When choosing your website provider I’d always advise selecting an agency that are full service. This means they provide web design & development, digital marketing and content creation. Even if you don’t utilise all of these services you can be safe in the knowledge that they have an excellent understanding of the many components that make up a successful website project.
We hope you found Jason’s insight into the world of web design useful. If you are thinking about a new website project or some of the above experiences ring true give us a call or drop us an email. We’ll get you booked in for a meeting with Jason and the digital team here at Blue House.