As the saying goes, ‘you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure’…In our business, quite often we are told by clients that their friend or a family member was building/has built their website but:
…they have spent months (even years) working on it and it’s still not finished
...it doesn’t look the way they thought it was going to
...it's not working the way that they want it to
Usually, when they are a friend or family member (and not a web designer), they invariably take an off-the-shelf package thinking 'how hard can it be?’. It’s true that building a website from one of these off-the shelf-packages isn't necessarily hard, but do they really know what they are doing? Do they really understand how to make a website perform well and not just look good?
There are thousands of cook books out there and it's easy to follow a recipe, but that doesn't mean the results will always be the same, or that what you make will even taste nice. There is a knack to good cooking and the same principle applies when building a website.
Often it's the things that look simple that can be complex underneath.
Building a website in itself isn't rocket science, but there is a method to making a website great. A website with all the right elements in place will add value to your business. A nice looking website, may simply be aesthetically pleasing but does nothing for the growth of your business. The fundamental components you need include:
By that it needs to be clear, well-written, grammatically correct and keyword rich. Content IS King. Being found in search results is determined by the search engines algorithms matching the users’ keywords with the content on the site. If your content is sparse, poorly written, not properly thought through (using a range of keywords) it is likely that you will feature low down in the rankings.
Search Engine Optimised headings
Headings carry more weight than body text, so ensure that your headings are relevant to what your audience is searching for. Using keyword-rich content in header tags will improve the search engine visibility for your target keyword. Mashable also recommends not having the same article title as you would for your page title, and advises how to write a good meta description.
Easy to use navigation
If your user experience is cumbersome and clunky, it's likely to put customers off. Make sure that you think carefully about how your users might navigate through your web site. Keep it clean and simple. Before you ‘go live’, test your website out as if you were visiting it for the first time. Can customers navigate your website easily? Is it clear and easy to understand? Could any steps be simplified?
High quality images, but not high resolution
There are so many stock photo agencies these days, that having low quality images is not an excuse any more. Your photos need to be clear and crisp, but they must also be saved as smaller files. Large image files will make loading your page slow, which may put people off staying on your website.
Calls to Action
A Call to Action (CTA) on a website is a prompt to get the user to take some specified action. It could be a button asking you to ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Subscribe’. Visually it can be a button or hyperlink. When designing your website consider how your customer might want to get in touch with your business. Are you making it easy for them to do so? Are you giving them choice; email, online forms, telephone numbers? Find out more about why Calls to Actions are important.
When Perfect Layout Digital Marketing works with customers, these are the core principles which we adhere to as the starting point for building their website. These fundamental steps are the foundations to having the building blocks for great online presence. Though don’t be mistaken with thinking that the work starts and ends with a website alone. Consider the website edging of the puzzle - there are still other pieces to put together before the picture is complete. Perfect Layout Digital Marketing can talk you through what other digital strategies would work best for your business.
Before starting a new web project you might want to read website trends for 2017. This article was published by Forbes magazine at the beginning of the year, and it might be useful for you to think about how you would like your website to look and any features that you might like to see.
Perfect Layout can, of course, simply do a website build. However, we prefer not to do that. Instead, we encourage our customers to take up a support package, where month-by-month we will monitor your website against the competition, check where it is ranking in organic search, and if needed, suggest tweaks.
We also apply other digital strategies to ensure that your visibility online is not just limited to your website. Are you active on the right social media channels? Is your business listed correctly in external directories?
If you are unsure of what your next step should be, give us a call and let’s have a chat today.
Having a good website seems easy to do these days. There are many website builders on the market offering web packages at reasonable prices, but there’s a lot you need to know when it comes to ensuring that your website design has everything in place to make it work for you - especially if you want to generate more leads.
1 Content is King. Make sure that you explain what your business is about, ensuring that you use keywords that customers will use when searching for you. Google can then marry up your website with their search terms. If you don’t have the copywriting skills yourself, we can help you get keyword-rich content onto your web pages.
2 Use Call to Actions. If you want your customers to strike while the iron is hot make sure that you have Call to Actions on your page. This could be your phone number, contact forms or special offers to make them act at that moment.
3 Make sure your website is user-friendly. Make it easy for people to find their way around your site. Bad navigation could lose you a lot of business.
4 Use external directories to help boost your online presence. Is the platform that you are building on mobile friendly?
5 If your website isn’t responsive Google will penalise you and your website could suffer in organic rankings*.
These are 5 essential tips to keep in mind when you are looking to build your website. If you feel out-of-your-depth and would like some help, Perfect Layout Digital Marketing can offer you a free consultation and put together a digital strategy to get your business to where you want it to be. We can either look at hosting you on one of our monthly packages, or you can arrange ad-hoc work, such as re-writing your current website copy, based on our hourly fee.
If your website has already been built, but you feel like you are not getting enough new leads, it could be because you are missing out on other digital strategies that help boost your online presence; this is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If you don’t know how to do this, Perfect Layout can help you with elements such as keyword-rich content, setting up and activating Google My Business and Bing Places accounts, as well as listing you on other directories.
Perfect Layout Digital Marketing is a web design company in Romford, Essex. While most of our customers are local to us we do have clients in London and across Essex. Whether you need ad-hoc work to help improve your website design and online presence or you would like ongoing website support, we can help you.
Give the Perfect Layout web development team in Romford, Essex a call today on
01708 578 015.
*if you are unsure of any terms or jargon that has been used, go to our Glossary Page.
To ensure that your website delivers more business to you, we will follow these essential steps:
Mobile Friendly Design
In April 2015, Google announced that it would favour websites that are “mobile-friendly”. Companies that are not investing in new websites, could see a decline in their business leads as their websites fall down the rankings.
A responsive web design ensures that no matter what device someone uses (i.e. tablet, laptop, mobile phone) your website is displayed on the screen in the most effective way. No longer should mobile phone visitors see a website that is used for standard desktops, like a laptop, which can make viewing content, navigating menus and clicking on links difficult and awkward to use.
Your site will be built to be suitable on all devices.
High-Quality Content and Excellent Customer Experience
The content, or written word, on a website must be of good quality. Without it you can’t tell your story, attract new and repeat customers, or explain the services that you have to offer.
All content on your website should be informative, engaging and useful. It should be easy to read, and delivered in short paragraphs that match the interest of your customers. High-quality content demonstrates authority and will naturally lead visitors towards purchasing whatever your company has to offer.
Whatever the customer is searching for, it must be easily accessible. From company contact information, product specifications or prices, browsing should be a pleasure, not a burden. At its highest level, the function of your website should be about giving your customer what they want before they even know that they need it!
We will write content that encourages your visitors to purchase your services or products, whilst at the same time having a great online user experience.
Visitors will be more inclined to navigate your entire website if it looks good. It should appear clean, logical and informative, with the correct amount of visual content balanced alongside the written word.
The impact on a customer’s emotional response to your website should not be underestimated. Visual design has a huge part to play in how customers consciously and subconsciously perceive your company. If your website design has a below average visual appearance, the customer will believe that this is a reflection of your services/product. Nobody wants to give a sub-standard performance, so set yourself apart from the competition and invest in a website that is better than the rest.
We will work hard to ensure that all aspects, of your website are attractive to the visitor, encouraging them to stay on your site and find out more about you.
The platform upon which your website’s design is built will have a huge impact on its usability as well as how efficiently you are able to update content and interact with visitors. We can’t overstate how important this structure is to the performance of your website. This is particularly important for e-commerce websites (sites that sell goods).
To build your website on a platform that:
The Perfect Introduction
Having the perfect introduction to your site is really important. When meeting someone face-to-face for the first time, people form an impression within the first 60 seconds. It is no different for visitors browsing a new website and studies show that they spend less than a minute on most of the websites that they visit.
This means that you only have a few precious moments to convey who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and why they should keep reading your site. So make sure you nail your pitch on your homepage, but also bear in mind the importance of content on your other pages as customers do not always start looking for what they want on your home page.
We will spend time with you perfecting your core marketing message and ensure that your logo design, tagline (catchphrase or slogan) and the initial paragraph of your website copy is clear. We will show that your business has credibility as well as describing what you offer upfront. There’s a lot to communicate in just one paragraph!
Clear Call to Actions (CTA)
A clear call to action is an instruction (to the audience) that should provoke an immediate response. Such as, ‘call now’, ‘find out more’, or ‘buy now’. The best website designs will include value-led CTAs that will subtly encourage visitors to take the next step and engage with the customer, guiding them to making a purchase. Visitors to your website need specific information before committing to make a purchase or inquiry. By using CTAs effectively, they can preempt the customer’s next step and gently lead them through your website in the way that you want them to experience your website, all the while delivering the information they are seeking.
All of our websites will have your phone number at the top of every page of your site and your contact information on the footer of every page along with quick links to your most valuable content. This is even more important for mobile websites where prospects are often just looking for a quick phone number, hours of business or address.
Track Your Conversions
Conversion tracking is a free tool that shows you what happens after a customer clicks on your ad. It is a powerful insight into your customers’ habits and can often be overlooked as a useful tool by some web designers. Yet for every business, it is vital to know how many inquiries and sales are received through your website. For example, have those website customers purchased a product, signed up for your newsletter, called your business or downloaded your app? Conversion tracking allows you to accurately measure your marketing spend, evaluate the success of any improvements or modifications in your website design or online marketing, and ultimately measure the underlying success of your website and business.
We will help you with tracking your conversions and understand how your website is working for you.
Engaging ‘About Us’ Page
Your company exists for your customers. So by logical extension, your About Us page (even though it is about you) is also about your customers.
They want to be informed about the engaging profiles of the personalities behind your organisation because it gives them insight into who they will be working with.
They also want to know how you and your company are going to provide them with solutions. Your About Us page, like the rest of your website, should present all information in the context of how it will benefit your customers.
We will plan the best way to present your About Us page specific to your business – for your customer!
Marketing beyond the website build
An online presence alone isn’t enough to generate leads. You need a strategy to work out how best to broadcast your content, attract search traffic and convert browsing customers into buying customers. Options available to you include pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing and social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.). Depending on your business and industry some strategies will work better than others. The key is to find what best works for your business by experimenting with all of the available channels. Ultimately, it’s a process of trial and error while you discover what is most effective for your potential customers.
If you would like to use our marketing expertise to help drive more traffic to your business, we will create a package that is just right for you.