There is a huge knowledge gap between the web design and SEO industry and unfortunately it’s your business that is suffering. The reality is that web design and SEO require two completely different skill sets and in many cases you’re dealing with someone who only has one . Online business has increased exponentially in recent years and it’s become the gateway for your customers to find you and decide whether they wish to conduct business with you. What this means is that the days have gone where you can just “be online”, simply having a presence is not enough.
Ask yourself this question; “How will customers find my business online?” and when they do “How will I convince them to conduct business with me?”
I often hear the following from my clients’:
- Our website receives little to no traffic.
- I can’t find our website in search engines.
- We don’t receive any customer enquiries through our website.
Your website should be about attracting new business, besides you’re spending your hard-earned cash on it so wouldn’t you want a return on your investment? When designing a website, whether new or old, your primary concern should be about how you will attract potential customers, i.e. traffic, and how you will convert those visitors into new business, i.e. conversions, it makes sense right? However in most cases I find that it’s the exact opposite that has occurred. I’ll review a client website only to find a few thinly built pages which lack the information required for your visitors to choose your business or someone else.
What is worse is that it’s like the website was designed to repel search engine traffic and no prior planning or thought was put into creating a design that benefits your business rather than hinders.
The fact is that there is alot of bullsh!t out there and from the outside it’s hard for business owners to understand the quality of service they are receiving.
In many cases SEO and conversions are an afterthought and because of that it ends up costing your business the price of the actual web design, and often more, to optimise and fix it. It doesn’t matter whether you went the “cheap web design” package or you paid for “premium”, this can happen at any price point however it is more likely on the cheaper packages. The fact is that quality web design, that improves your SEO and conversions, is a combination of both technical SEO services, clean web design and the owner’s knowledge of their business and industry.
When you’re designing your website you have to understand its purpose in order to determine its future success. In almost all cases it will be designed for attracting new business leads, i.e. contact from visitors, and generating income from those leads. Both web design and SEO are not set and forget, I change and optmise my site ALL the time. Instead both services benefit from on-going optimisation to improve both traffic and conversions.
If your website is not generating enquiries and income for you then it’s time you changed it. So what can you do to improve your web design and ensure that you’re setup for success?
1. Keep it simple – Less is more
Focus on what you do best and when it comes to designing your website the less options you provide the higher your conversions will be. Understand which services provide you with the most income and drive your traffic towards the type of business you want to receive.
2. Create your call to action – Do what I say or else!
A call to action is the action you’d like visitors to take when they come to your website. In most cases client’s want to generate contact via telephone or email so why not ask them to do that? Sounds too good to be true but research has shown that a strong call to action will increase your conversions significantly. Call to actions can be provided throughout the website with images, contact forms, links, meta tags and more. Use everything at your fingertips to improve click and conversion rates.
3. Sell yourself – I’m unique, there I said it.
Every business has something that is unique about the services they offer whether you think so or not. Try to understand why you’re better than your competitors and what are your unique selling points that will convince visitors on whether they want to conduct business with you. If you can’t convince your visitors that you’re unique and can offer them the service they need then your conversions will never increase.
4. Make it clear – What the hell do you do?
You might say this goes hand in hand with keeping things simple and it does. Design your website to provide clear and informative information about your business and the services you offer. Each page, especially service pages, should be clean, contain both text and visual elements and explain exactly what you’ll provide. It’s not just your home page that needs to be considered as your landing page but instead it’s every page that needs to be optimised to capture traffic when it comes knocking.
5. Research the competition – Know thy enemy.
Why start from scratch when your competition is most likely already seeing success. Understand your main competitors and review their website to see what works well or doesn’t! If you’re conducting SEO then have your SEO expert review your competitors and see how you can leverage off their success. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a copy game, ensure that you stand out but use their website as a way to quickly catch up and bridge the gap between you and them.
6. “Google” – Optimise pages for what your customers are searching!
This makes complete sense right? Yet for some reason almost all client’s that come to me for SEO services have butchered their design. Do some research on the keywords that potential customers are using to find services like you are offering. If you’re just starting out then limit yourself to no more than five keywords, again keeping it simple, and optimise your website content to target those keywords.
7. Design on paper – what did he just say.
Remove yourself from technology, create a cutout for each service and page on your website and then place them down in front of you. Play around with your pages and understand what works best. This technique is especially powerful when you understand what people are searching for and you can craft your pages to target keywords more effectively. For example if you’re a dentist that targets multiple suburbs you could have a design such as the following
- Dentists<location 1>
- Dentists<location 2>
8. Content, Content, Content! – Get your game face on
More often than not you’ll find that brand new websites are handed to the client who considered it to be done and dusted from the moment they receive it and there is nothing further to do.
“Great job Byron, that should last me for the next 10 years”
Your new website is literally the beginning, consider it day 1. If you’re going to be competitive in your industry then you’ll need to understand that your website is the centerpiece for traffic, visitors and showing customers what you can do. You didn’t develop a business plan and then sit on your butt waiting for business to come knocking did you? So why would you do that with your website? Content marketing is your opportunity to take a slice of the millions of searches that are constantly occurring online. It’s not just searches from Google though, traffic diversity is key and finding traffic from as many sources as possible.
9. Know your audience – If you build it they will come
If you’re developing content for your website then you need to understand your audience. Don’t just write for the masses but instead write for the type of customers you want to arrive at your door. For example imagine if you’re a plumber and you decide that making DIY videos on YouTube is a smart idea? The people who watch those videos aren’t looking for your services but instead they’re looking to “Do it themselves”. It was a lightbulb moment for me so hopefully it is for you too.
10. Statistics – Know what works!
It’s time to get your nerd on or get a nerd to do it for you. Most client’s that come to me have no idea how their website is performing. It’s not your fault in fact and in most cases web designers have not provided you with the training or tools you need to understand your traffic and conversions. It’s likely that conversions are not configured as it’s typically something you’ll gain from SEO services rather that web design. Your investing in your website because you want it to bring business so it makes sense to track conversions from day one.
By tracking conversions you can understand which pages, and referrers, provide you with the best income. For example sometimes client’s will ask me what is the point of social media and consider it a waste of time. However if you’re tracking conversions you can understand what percentage of traffic is converting from Facebook or any other social media source. You’ll therefore have a stat on how you can improve social media or decide whether a particular platform works for your business.
Online marketing is not something that you’ll see overnight success. Be prepared to be patient and know that you’re in this game for the long haul. As soon as you lose your patience, and stop developing and optimising your website, you’ve waved the white flag to your competitors. You realise your competition isn’t stopping? They’re content generating machines and are constantly trying to get ahead of you and anybody else that gets in their way.
We specialise in seo and web design services and bridge the gap within the industries so that businesses receive the best possible opportunity for online success. If you want to chat or just have a free brainstorming session then just reach out and contact me.