What you will learn: How to select the right company to build your next lead generation website. Who should read this article: Company and marketing leadership of firms with a lead generation website.
Warning Signs of an Ineffective WebsiteSelecting a firm to build your new company website is one of the most daunting tasks in all of marketing. Here are warning signs that you may have chosen wrongly in the past. (If some of this sounds like your firm, don’t worry – you have a lot of company.)
- Your website fails to convey the value of your firm.
- Your website is stagnant or declining in terms of traffic and conversions.
- Your website is invisible or barely visible on Google and Bing for important keywords.
- Your website is slow to load and confusing for customers using a desktop.
- Your website is virtually impossible for customers using a mobile phone.
1. Responsive Web Design ExpertiseResponsive Web design is a set of techniques used by designers and developers to make a website adjust automatically for optimum display on any size screen. A mere two years ago, responsive design was a frill. Today, it is a necessity. The number of people using mobile devices to access the Internet is exploding. If a lead generation website fails to satisfy mobile users, it will turn away traffic and conversions in ever-increasing numbers. A great Web design company has experience and expertise in responsive Web design. This means:
- The company has built successful responsive websites.
- The company has a detailed and documented process to build responsive websites.
- The company involves you in design and development decisions at key points in the process.
2. User Experience (UX) ExpertiseWhen most clients think about website design, they think of jaw-dropping images and super-slick layouts. While attention-getting design elements are OK, the real key to successful website design is user experience (UX) – designing the site to be easy and enjoyable for users. UX is crucial. Without outstanding UX, visitors to your website become confused and frustrated in their efforts to find the information they need. As a result, they bounce from your website quickly and never come close to converting. On top of that, they leave your website with a poor impression of your brand, dimming the prospects for any future business relationship. Your Web design company must have strategists, copywriters, designers and developers well versed in UX best practices. UX techniques enter into all aspects of a website: the imagery, the content, the navigation, the conversion forms, the page loading times and more. An understanding of UX is what enables Web design companies to create inviting, easy-to-read Web pages, write persuasive and informative copy, produce Web forms that are easy to submit, and employ navigation that makes finding information almost effortless. How do you know if a Web design company is adept at UX techniques? Ask the company to walk you through a few of its recent projects and point out where and how it employed UX principles. Ask for data demonstrating how clients’ numbers and quality of conversions increased thanks to their new websites. If you receive vague answers, that’s a sure tipoff that the company has only a vague knowledge of and focus on UX.
3. SEO ExpertiseOver the years we have talked to hundreds of firms that have spent substantially on ongoing SEO campaigns but have received inferior or no results in return because their websites are seriously flawed in terms of SEO. For many companies, lack of visibility on Google and Bing is a tremendous competitive disadvantage, because competitors grab far more than their share of organic search engine traffic and sales leads. The very best Web design company is proficient in SEO and manages client SEO campaigns as part of its services. If your new website is built with a solid SEO infrastructure – proper URLs, meta titles, meta descriptions, internal site structuring, navigation based on smart keyword research, and scores of other characteristics – your SEO campaigns will put you, not competitors, in the driver’s seat for acquiring traffic and sales leads. Web design companies strong in SEO have Google and Bing certifications, and share specifics about how they integrate SEO into their overall Web development process.
Start Here, But ContinueNeedless to say, many other qualifications are necessary for a worthy Web design partner – creative design capabilities, a large staff, strong project management and financial stability to name just a few. However, if your prospective partner doesn’t make the grade for responsive design, UX and SEO, looking any deeper is pointless. Start your vetting process by identifying companies strong in these areas, and you are probably 90% of the way toward making the right selection.
Contact Straight North to discuss your new website project. Call us at 855-883-0011 or request a quote online.