This first point can almost be number one, but it isn’t “technically speaking” …
We obviously recommend that you choose a web development team that is hands down, the best solution for your organization. Do your due diligence by learning if they are reliable, accessible, trustworthy + technically competent. Most importantly, do they have the “skills + marketing chops?” Being technical is one thing, understanding how to “convert visitors to buyers” is where the “rubber meets the road.” Don’t underestimate how valuable this ability/expertise is.
And preferably …
Consider the negatives if you decide to do business with a “one man and/or one woman” operation. You may think you’re “helping them out” or “getting them started,” but, dare I say it—what if that guy/gal unexpectedly gets out of the business? Moves away? Gets another job that pays better? Or perhaps worse … gets injured? Do you honestly think they’ll make you a priority? In theory anything is possible.
And what happens when you need to change something on your website, chances are you need it done quickly—no waiting. You’ll be left hanging. For the sake of price and convenience, do you want to put your livelihood at risk? So keep all these above scenarios in mind.
If you decide to work with an ad agency, make sure their web team + web services are in-house. Why exactly?
A) You don’t want to be paying higher prices because the agency is marking up an outside freelancers work. Yes, that’s how it’s done when an agency hires a “mercenary.”
B) You don’t want to risk your business with someone who could be “here today, gone tomorrow” should the agency + freelancer have a change of heart relationship or worse … a falling out—where might that leave you? It ain’t cool to be on the losing end of a website castoff!
Instead, you want the peace-of-mind knowing that you will be able to sit down with a reliable web team face-to-face. Preferably the brightest minds in the business that can go from concept to completion right before your eyes. A team that will make you part of the process.
With all that said + done, it’s human nature to want to dive in to all the esthetics, but before you get to all the fun creativity, you gotta put in the effort and give great attention to the “not so fun” stuff.
1) Choose a domain name or URL (web address) that resonates with your brand. One that is memorable and/or easy to remember for your audience.
2) Assess your website storage needs + select a reliable and accountable web-hosting provider for hosting your website. Some web companies offer their own hosting in-house. You want to know from them what is their “up time” and get a thorough understanding exactly what are the ramifications should your website be off line for any amount of time? Do they offer “mirrored servers” or “redundant servers” that provide for backups of your website to minimize downtime in the event of a failure? After all, you could lose dollars due to lost sales.
3) Know precisely who your target audience is + tailor every element of your website to suit THEIR needs, wants + desires. Many organizations are so inner-focused, they wind up putting more emphasis on what they want, rather than considering the buyer. This is a critical point if you want to bond with your potential buyer/client. For psychology geeks like us who love to understand “why a client buys,” this is considered the most “fun” when creating a website. Being a true “marketing disruptor or influencer” separates the sales/marketing geek from the technical geek/techy. It’s not about being “technically” connected … as much as it’s about leveraging “customer” connectivity.
4) Understand the pros + cons of different program languages + web technologies BEFORE opting to choose one. For example, should you build your site in HTML, WordPress, Drupal, etc.? Well, this will depend on what functions your site requires, as well as how involved your team needs to be (access) with your site on a hourly/daily basis. It depends on how much control you really need to have.
5) Browser compatibility. Customization is big these days, therefore every browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Explorer, etc.) renders a website differently. Therefore, your website must load properly on every browser.
Now the fun stuff … why create memorable, when you can deliver unforgettable?
6) Choose a clean + clutter-free website layout to give your visitor an insanely effective online journey.
7) Typography skills/knowledge is key to giving your visitor enjoying an amazing online experience. Selecting the ideal font ensures your website is easily readable.
8) Every color conveys a different meaning. Use colors that not only align with your brand’s personality, but choose those that resonate with your buyer’s desires. This is the hardest aspect for most decision makers because they wind up choosing colors they like, versus colors their buyer would desire.
9) Make your website easy-to-navigate so users can get the information they’re looking for quickly + easily.
10) CONTENT: Don’t underestimate the power that relevant, purposeful content has to influence your buyer. Content comes in a plethora of forms and a creative web marketing team will offer you a multitude of options. So make sure your content consistently delivers “value” to your target audience. You want to engage, entertain + educate them about your products + services … but more importantly, give them something to “takeaway” in order to create “top-of-mind” branding with your products + services. Don’t be stingy with insight + innovations. Meaningful, purposeful content is an ideal method to prove to your visitor that you are an “expert,” hence, you are more likely to convert visitors to customers—versus your competitor who doesn’t offer “value” to their prospects. An web agency with talent + wisdom can help you with this, particularly if they are both “in touch” with your audience … and are experts in your business/industry.
11) Everyone knows the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Make an amazing impression by choosing the highest quality images available for your website. Shoot visually arresting + inspiring professional photography and video, rather than purchasing stock images. Rest assured, the use of “stock images” will dilute your branding initiative, because buyers are sophisticated today and they can easily tell if it’s your product/people/work in the photos, or not. Now that you know this, why would your organization take the chance that your competitor is using the same stock photo(s) on their site? In the beginning, the investment is more, but I assure you that your company will quickly get a return on investment (ROI).
An experienced web development agency can help you with this, particularly if they have an arsenal of equipment to provide professional still photography capabilities, as well as video execution which includes, but is not limited to creativity in script writing, storyboarding (illustration), audio/recording, music, voiceover, shooting, lighting, editing, special effects/green screening, licensed drone capabilities, etc.
When done creatively, video is the most effective way to differentiate your organization from any competitor.
12) “Ask for the sale” by creating a unique + memorable call-to-action. You must be crystal clear what you want your website visitors to do at the point of sale. A compelling, meaningful call-to-action will convert them from visitors to paying customers.
13) Encourage your website visitors to share content by integrating your website with the popular social media sites where your target market frequently hangs out. For example, if your buyers aren’t on twitter, then being on twitter may not be the best use of your marketing efforts.
14) Your website should be user-friendly and doing so will encourage users to spend more time on your website. The more they dig deep and learn that you are an ideal match, the better chance you have to make them your buyer.
The critical technical components:
15) Reduce your page load times to take the user experience of your website to the next level. You might not have known this, Google grades your site based on how quickly it loads. Please place a premium on “authority” and don’t sacrifice load for quality.
16) Your website should look esthetically pleasing + load properly on a vast array of devices—including desktop + mobile. This is where your screen resolution is critical.
17) Take the necessary steps to make sure your website is secure, so that
A) Your website doesn’t get “hacked” + used by a third party for unscrupulous reasons
B) So that users are not afraid to share their information.
18) Tracking + analysis means monitoring your website progress in order to identify flaws that are hindering your website success. You should always be aware how your website is performing. A proven web developer will provide you with a huge advantage by delivering strategies, methodologies + systems that will measure performance.
19) Making provision by employing a sitemap helps both search engines + users in navigating your website.
20) Blogs, Vlogs, Facebook LIVE and/or webinars! If you want to engage + give your prospect a chance to really connect with you, these are terrific opportunities to fulfill all of your buyer’s desirables.
The most important component of all:
21) Digital marketing initiative – You can have the greatest website there is, but if nobody knows it’s there, it’s essentially floating in cyberspace. You MUST boost your website visibility + get more buyers by optimizing your website through the search engines + engaging potential buyers through various touch points. Align yourself with a web development team who places a huge emphasis here. And a team who is “certified” in a vast array of search engine initiatives to position you “at or near” the top.
If you want a profitable website, you’ll not ignore our advice. It’s the difference between a successful launch and failure to “lift off.”
It appears we have a solution to your marketing needs, call 860.621.8866 while the thought is fresh in your mind