An effective website is much more than great design and graphics, funky hover effects, cool parallax images, and flat buttons. These things are important for a website to stand out and give a ‘WOW’ factor when people visit, but without a well defined digital strategy to meet a definite set of goals and objectives, the website is only a great looking piece of art that very few people get to enjoy.
When a business says … “We Need A Website” … what they are really saying is … “We Need More Leads & Sales”
To create an effective, high traffic, lead generating, sales converting, profitable website there are a number of steps to follows:
1. Objectives and Goals
The website is a tool to facilitate certain behaviours from visitors, customers and clients. The first step when working with us is to spend time looking at your business systems and processes to determine where the website can automate and leverage some of these in order to grow leads, sales, profits while driving down costs.
Once these are identified, we set solid measurable goals that will define what will constitute a successful website. This could be:
- capturing enquiries
- Getting the phone to ring
- Making sales
- Automating communication to filter genuine enquiries from tyre kickers
- Positioning your business as the authority in the market
- After Sales communication and education for customers and clients
Once the goals and objectives have been decided, we can then move on tho a wireframe.
2 . Wireframe
A wireframe is at it’s simplest a sketch on the back of a napkin showing where all the elements in the website should be placed to maximise the visitor experience and drive them towards specific calls to action. Typically the Home page and main inner pages (or the “money pages”) of the website are sketched out and will include calls to action, navigation, media, image placements, and the things that are important to direct people through a series of actions towards the end goal (and to weed out people who are not the ideal customer).
3 .Web Design
The wireframe is the starting point for the web designer who creates a ‘mock up’ using the business logo, colour palate, imagery and endeavours to represent the business in a way that engages the customer in a way the meets their values, likes, interests, demographic profile. In essence the web designer adds the ‘paint’ and ‘texture’ to the wireframe sketch. The design is not a piece of artwork for YOU the business owner to fall in love with. It should be something that draws the attention off the people who click through to the website and is an immediate identification of their interests, values, and likes and dislikes in a way that communicates to them that they are in the right place.
4. Web Development
The web developer takes the design and ‘codes’ the website breathing life into the creation. They add the functionality to all the pieces of the ‘painting’ so that people click on the right places, fill in forms, navigate through to pages and are taken through the experience to the end goal as defined in the initial Objective and Goal Setting process. Their job is creating the business system and processes online to ensure it functions optimally.
Most websites we build are on the WordPress CMS, which allows you, the business owner and your staff to easily add, edit and manage the content, without needing to send every change to the web developer to schedule in to their job queue and charge for.
5. Mobile Responsive Website
With so many people searching with phones and tablets, it is vital that you website is optimised for smaller screens. Google is able to identify mobile friendly websites and ranks these higher on mobile devices than websites that are build only for desk top screens.
The way people ‘behave’ on mobile devices is often different to the information they require on desk top devices. On mobile they may be looking your phone number and location in order to call or visit your business. This can often be after they have read through your desk top version of your website earlier to find the information that has lead them to want to call or visit.
6. Content Creation
The text, photos and videos that go into the website is one of the most important areas because this is what Google relies on when serving up results to people’s searches. It can also be the most difficult part to write about your business in a way that is relevant and interesting without being self-serving and corny.
There are several quick tricks we show clients to gather good content easily without having to spend long evenings and weekends agonising over, which is a great start. Averagely written content on a website is 100% better than perfect content never published. Once the content is on the website, it can easily be refined and updated from the dashboard. Again, there are a number of great strategies to update content in less then 30 minutes a day that we show our clients.
Another, alternative is to engage a copywriter to craft the words of the website. Generally, this would include the Home Page, About Page, the important ‘Money Pages’ and the ‘Calls To Action. We have a number of copywriting packages available should you prefer this to be done for you.
7. Search Engine Optimisation
Relevance, relevance, relevance … that is the one word that describes Google. Optimising your website to appear on page one in the search results takes time and effort, but fortunately due to this can sometimes be easy to out rank your competitors in a short space of time.
If you remember nothing else than the word relevance, that is your guiding principle to help Google help you with your organic online marketing. Google’s goal is to give people the most ‘relevant’ answers to the questions people type into the search bar. And this is what is so simple about optimising your website to get to the almighty page one. Simply answer the questions people are answering. The difficult part can be finding out what questions are being asked. Fortunately, with the checklists we have available you will be surprised how simply and easily you can find these.
BEWARE: There are many SEO companies “guaranteeing” to get your website to page one, but what is the point of being the top search result for people who would never buy your products and services. Some of these companies (and you have probably already received emails from ‘so experts’) will actually damage you reputation and ranking with Google.
However, done consistently and regularly you can quickly get ahead of your competitors who don’t spend the 30 minutes a week we will show you to take advantage of the ‘free’ advertising available online.
8. Online Marketing
It can take some time to move up the search rankings to page one. In the meantime or as well, paid online advertising can bring instant traffic and enquiries on day one of your website launch. Generally paid traffic is via:
- Google Ads
- Online Directories
- Other Commercial Ads Channels
It is easy to waste a lot of money for very little return on investment (ROI) with these channels if not set up and managed correctly. The ideal marketing campaign is one where for every dollar spent, more than a dollar is earned. This is not to be confused with instant sales (although this can happen if that is the goal), but is funnelling people from a click on the ad through an online lead to sale process.
A managed paid online campaign can as many leads and sales as your business can handle at a fraction of the cost of traditional offline marketing channels, and can be increased or switched off instantly to fit with the resources in your business.
9. Analytics, Tracking And Measuring
Every website is set up with Google and Bing Analytics and Webmaster Tools to track and measure the performance and effectiveness of the websites.
This helps knowing where traffic is coming from, what:
- devices (phones, tablets desktop computers)
- operating system (Windows, iOS)
- browser (Internet Explore, Chrome, Firefox, Safari)
and so much more information visitors are using to get to the website.
While you may not need all the information,l some of it is extremely valuable to asset in targeting your SEO and Paid marketing efforts to improve your ROI – i.e. reduce the cost per lead and sale.
These statistics also help you determine what information people are looking for, which generates topics to write additional content to publish on the website.
This information is very powerful to grow and develop your business and can easily double the sales in a very short period of time. That is our goal with every digital strategy we build for businesses we work with.
10. Review, Refine & Improve The Website Strategy
We carry out regular reviews with you to constantly refine and improve the strategy to keep up with current trends and advances in technology, trends and patterns.
You have probably seen those outdated websites that have not been touch since the day they were launched. While they may (or may not) be generating good traffic and enquiries, they are slipping quickly behind websites that are consistently improving and keeping up to date. It is not uncommon to reducing the website every two to three years to keep is current and maximising its return. It is no different to updating the company car over the same period.
11. Protecting The Website
Every website comes with hosting, regular maintenance, updates and a backups.
There is are ever growing risks to your online assets in the form of:
- Server failure
- Malicious attacks and hacking
- Software Vulnerabilities
- Code failure
Our maintenance packages ensure your web assets are protected, kept up to date, and backed up regularly to ensure that should anything happen, the website downtime is minimised and you are back up and running quickly after a threats or issues are identified.