For many businesses, website design can often stir up confusion and frustration. It seems like such a simple concept; you want a website that is professional and attracts customers. New approaches to marketing and complicated search engine algorithms may leave you scratching your head. We can’t speak for all website design businesses, but here at OSC there are three questions we receive from new clients on a consistent basis.
Question #1: “How long will my website design or redesign take?”
A custom website typically takes around 10 – 90 days from start to finish. If your current website is driving away business, you may shudder at the thought of waiting 60 more days for a new one. The time it takes to complete a website design depends on your unique needs and wants.
Our Casco Bay Package can be built in as little as 10 days. Here’s an example of one we built for a client’s landscaping business.
More complex websites, such as this one which included a custom platform for their “online shooting coach”, took closer to the 60 day mark. Below is how our web design process typically unfolds.
- Discussion about your vision for colors, typography and other individuals needs you may have (eCommerce, user logins, etc.).
- Initial design is presented to you. This is your opportunity to make any suggestions and feedback.
- Your website is coded and setup on a website platform by your developer.
- Content is ported over from the existing website.
- Bug testing is conducted to ensure everything displays properly on various browsers.
Voilà! But what happens to your current website during construction? Many people are under the false impression that their business will be completely off the web during this process. This won’t be the case since your developer is able to create the new website from an alternative URL that will be replaced upon completion.
Another option is growth driven design. With this type of web design, your new “launch pad site” will publish to the web in as little as 45 days. This is followed by continuous testing to ensure your website is always improving and has the highest rate of conversion.
Question #2: “How do I get my website to rank better in search engines?”
For the majority of businesses, this is at the top of their lists of concerns. Ranking higher in Google search results is no small feat. If millions upon millions of businesses have this same goal, how can your business have a chance? The best way to rank higher is through a combination of tactics.
- Use the right keywords. You know, phrases that are searched in Google like, ‘food delivery’. If you own a pizza delivery business and begin using ‘food delivery’ throughout your website, you will have a huge amount of competition in search engines. Starting out, it’s definitely better to be the big fish in a small pond. Using ‘pizza delivery in Amherst, MA’ will cut out a lot of competition as well as bring more qualified leads to your website.
- Target your buyer personas. Are they working in a professional environment? Emphasize your options for catering to meetings. Younger, college students may be more interested in ordering from an app and free delivery. Think right down to what wording they use. If they are more educated or an older crowd, they may search with longer sentences or with a more sophisticated vocabulary. A younger or less educated persona may use more abbreviations. If you haven’t yet defined your business’s buyer personas, check out the guide at the end of this article.
- Keep testing and improving. It’s great to invest in a professional website that will last for the next two years or so, but how do you know the design is even working? Sure, you’ll notice if suddenly a flood of leads begin contacting you, but what if they don’t right away? Even if you do receive steady business, there’s always room for improvement. More businesses are moving from traditional website design to growth driven design. It is based on continuous improvement with data and testing, and producing measurable results.
- Content, content, content! The best technique overall is to create more content. The more relevant and helpful content you have that is targeted to your audience, the greater your chances are of ranking higher. Each blog post has it’s own chance of ranking high and becoming popular, giving your website more
credibility and a higher rank as well.
Question #3: “Why isn’t my website getting leads?”
Of course every case is different, but generally this is because of two main reasons.
- Your website isn’t ranking in search engines. When you’re on the very last page of search engines, new users aren’t likely to find your business. Take a look at the combination of keywords, buyer personas, testing, and content above. Does it look familiar? If not, bingo! Users never have the chance to become your leads because they aren’t finding your website.
- You’re targeting the wrong audience. Maybe you’ve written a killer blog that’s going viral across the web. First off, congratulations! That’s something to be genuinely proud of. The downside is that this popular blog could actually be harming your business if it doesn’t target your buyer personas. It could be attracting traffic with absolutely no interest in your services. If visitors are going directly to that particular blog, skimming it and then leaving quickly, this can also give you a high ‘bounce rate’ and hurt your search engine ranking. While we’re not going to go into the details of bounce rates here, it’s a factor in how Google Analytics ranks the quality of your site. High bounce rate= bad!
Thanks for reading, let us know if you’d like us to elaborate on any of our answers, or if you have a different question altogether!