I know this is a long post, but I want to cover valuable insights/ information, so please bear with me. It grew from just sharing the few quick points I share with new clients who come to use because they want growth, to quite a bit of additional information. This blog article will also be included in one of the new eBooks I am writing atm.
Below are important key points to ponder when considering investing in a new website or a website redesign.
A website when done right can and should be a MASSIVE investment for your business.
On the other hand, if it only produces 1 or 2 or or up to 6 enquiries per month, it is not performing well for your business. HOWEVER, if it is yielding 7 or more enquirers per month, there are signs it is on the right track to becoming what I call a professional website… or what I also call a ‘massive performer service based business website’.
In this article I am only referring to service based businesses. If you own an online shop website/ business or an eLearning website/ business, or a .org campaign awareness website, similar things apply… though they are slightly different. I will write about them another day.
If you own a service business website, I recommend asking yourself these 2 questions:
- How many enquiries does your current site produce per week?
- How many legit/quality enquiries per week do you want your website to generate?
Every business deserves a ‘performer website’
I really do believe in the above statement. Everyone in business deserves a ‘performer website’. Without one, they are missing out on MANY sales and opportunities.
One of the problems I see right now in Australia and in some other countries is that not enough businesses actually own a ‘performer website’. I also notice that many have only ‘dipped their toe in’ and therefore only have an ‘on the right track’ starting-point website that isn’t finished nor has a conversion strategy or a traffic driving strategy strong enough to yield the results they want.
SO MANY BUSINESSES DON’T KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO OWN OR TO EXPERIENCE OWNING A PERFORMER WEBSITE.
Below is another key point:
There is a miss-conception that website design is an art. It is NOT. It is a SCIENCE.
Any designer who designs anything for a client is communicating a hypothesis that the website they design will be highly appealing and convincing to the clients ideal target audience… and it will convert well.
Only once the stage 1 (or stage 1a) website is launched can the hypothesis start to be tested and measured… and then improved using:
- ‘Data driven decisions’ using tools like Google Analytics, HotJar, CrazyEgg and Optimizely… and even the A/B Split Testing Tools built into platforms like Divi 3. Note, if you are not sure what those things are, please Google them. I will link to each of them later this week.
- A website traffic acquisition plan. Without one, you could have the best website in the world, but without professional traffic acquisition (traffic driving activities) done well by specialist professional digital marketers working on your behalf, who know what they are doing, your site will never get seen by enough ‘potential idea customers’ to make it a success.
Also anyone who is creating business websites and is not a trained and experienced Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) specialist and also a good digital marketer, or is learning via a mentor, really should be avoided by business owners (or managers) seeking a new website. The reason: ‘Website designers’ are a dime-a-dozen but they have not invested in years of studies, training and experience to have the knowledge required to understand and incorporate:
- Buyer behavior, buyer insight and buyer triggers
- Market Research (effective research, not guesswork)
- Deep Buyer Persona understand… including how to market to your ideal target customers… including their cultural differences
- Website user behavior
- UI design (User Interface Design)
- Improve the performance of a website by correctly understanding the data it tracks, OR the ability to improve the website based on what the data tells them (which is the job of a CRO)
- Little understanding of End-user Intent
- Google Domain Authority (DA) signals. Learn about what Domain Authority is here.
- Strategies to keep a website visitor on a website for longer
- Strategies to entice first time visitors to come back to your website and become repeat visitors and avid readers of your fresh and historic content. This also refers to ‘making your website and its content memorable and of HIGH value to the ideal target audiences’.
- Digital Marketing
- They know little about website security and how to do automated backups
- They don’t consider LoadSpeed Optimisation as particularly important vs what is often important in their mind: ‘how can they make your website a pretty piece of art’ so it looks good in their folio… so they get more work from others. <– very few website designers will admit this to you btw. More about why loadspeed optimisation is so important here.
- They don’t understand a website is about ‘GETTING REAL RESULTS for your business’ and is ONE IMPORTANT PART of a holistic marketing plan, nor do some realise that presenting your content, your value statements, your proof to support claims, your promotions, your points of differentiation, your uniqueness, your market position, etc, etc in effective and meaningful ways to assist your marketing, is more important than ‘creating a pretty website design shell, that your content is going to have to fit into’.
- Emotive triggers
- A deep researched understanding of your ideal customers
- Trust based ingredients and signals a website needs if it is going to perform
Here are some other things a typical website designer does not know:
- Lead generation strategies that work. This also refers to little to know understanding that many people are only in ‘research mode’ when on your website, they are not always ready to enquire straight away. They want to connect with you and learn more about you and your business first.
- Traffic driving strategies
- The skills to help the website and the businesses services be discovered in Search Engines on desktop/laptop and Mobile phone Devices. Did you know that Google’s Algorithms are different for both? Read this article to find out more. Also read about ‘mobile first indexing‘
- The skills to use social media effectively so it actually helps with conversions, not just ‘a bit of awareness about the business’… which does next to nothing to help with growth goals… unless is is part of a larger holistic strategy.
- How to do Inbound Marketing effectively
- How to include the website in a Integrated Marketing Plan
- and the many other ingredients needed to be included into a website to make it convert well.
- Many don’t even take the time to setup Google Analytics on your site. I have seen this time and again.
They won’t (and frankly don’t) know how to get the results the business owner and/or manager needs.
I am not knocking purist website designers btw — they have their time and place, AS PART OF A DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY and with digital marketers working with them, supporting, guiding and enhancing their design efforts. They are workers who have a place in a professional team environment. It is ONLY once they re-train, up-skill, INVEST in becoming digital marketers (and align themselves with those that are already highly experienced) that they can be trusted to work DIRECTLY with clients and gain actual ROI (return on investment) results.
Right now simple freelance website designers are up-skilling as quickly as they can to stay competitive. This is because business owners and managers all around Australia and overseas have woken-up (and are waking-up) to a typical website designers lack of ability to gain results due to lack of value, ability and accountability for the customers… which in the past has caused pain for business owners who have invested in websites, but not got the ‘massive value’ and ROI they needed.
Side note for any website designers reading this: I myself started as a graphic artist, layout designer, junior marketer, junior illustrator, junior DVD Author, junior architectural model maker, junior signwriter and website designer 20 years ago, but invested massively in my digital marketing skilling throughout those 20 years. If you are a website designer reading this and you want to up-skill, please note that I do train, mentor and coach. Feel free to contact me. My business also supports/assists freelance website designers who are wanting to offer better value to their clients. We have many options.
In the past, too many small business owners have been short-changed by website designers. They paid for a site, hoping it would produce good results, only to find it only provided a few enquiries per month… that translated to next to no sales. I know this because I have had many business owners over the years who previously worked with 3rd party website providers, get no results, and then found us (or heard about us) and then contacted me saying the exact same thing… and asking us for MUCH MORE in their hour of need.
I have decided to break this article up in to two parts. Please read part 2 here. It covers more key points including:
- A website is never finished until it is consistently hitting your Goals based on KPI’s each month. HOWEVER, even once this happens and you are at the top, your competitors can try and chop you down. That is why your direct competitors need to be monitored closely ONGOING in case they try and aggressively overtake or outplay your efforts. This happens all the time AND this is why agencies like us are commissioned to monitor your competition online. Amongst things we can report to you any advances by them and then help you continue to out-perform their efforts. Same thing too if they try and perform what is called ‘negative SEO’ on your business. Learn about what negative SEO is here.
- In 2018/ 2019 and beyond, a website needs to be built on a platform that makes it fast and easy and cost-effective to update and improve… including (Conversion Rate Optimisation improvements)
- As website professionals we aim to share this information with as many business owners as we can, in meaningful ways.
- Bonus key points