15th May, 2013

The Wrong Approach…

What is the first thing you think about when you start attacking the design of your brand new website? The design and look of it? well, this is the most common mistake made by many people and design agencies.

You might be thinking “what are you on about, of course the first thing you think about is what your new website is going to look like”?  Well, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t think this, but the most important thing you should consider is what you want to be found for i.e. what keywords are available for your services and what content you are going to create for the site.

Let me give you something to think about…

How would you feel about your website if you spent £10k+ on it and never got any return from it? – I don’t think I need to answer that question, do you?


The Essential Theory

At Essential Marketer we always advise clients of the possibilities, and sometimes to none existent possibilities of an ROI on their proposed website. Never do we lead a client down a path that could see their website being an expense that is not worthwhile by using our SEO Web Design Services.

With this in mind, and seeing so many customers paying large amounts of money for websites that haven’t returned any of their investments, we have decided to put together a list of things you should really think about before going head on into a website re-brand or new build. We have also put together some guidelines on how you should really place your budget to ensure your website works for you. I hope you enjoy…

 Do Your Services/Products Get Searched For?

do your services get searched for?

The first and foremost area we look at when advising a client on how to move forward with their website is to look at keyword research. Ensuring we can put a plan together to create content and a site that will drive traffic and enquiries, for an overall goal of sales and enquiries.

There are two outcomes of this research, and they can sometimes be pre-empted prior to the research by a weathered SEO consultant.

There could already be a vast number of people searching for your products/services within Google or your product/services are unique to the web and you need to make people aware of this amazing new USP you offer.

If people search for you products already, it very easy to put together an effective and faultless SEO strategy with your SEO consultant; we have seen our team achieve massive success time upon time using this method.

The second, you need to make people aware of your awesome products/services and you need to look at different alternatives to enable you to get your area of business exposed to the correct audience. This is where social media comes into play, and with the right strategy combined with the perfect content and SEO web design service, this can be just as effective, if not better than SEO on its own.

Do You Have A Content Plan?

content plan moving forward

Once you have identified all the keywords and/or areas that you need to promote through social media & SEO you then need to look at putting a plan together to ensure that you build a website that is an expert in its area of business. Creating a library of content that answers every possible question someone would ask about your products/services.

Think to yourself, would someone else need to visit another website to gain information about my product/service? If yes, then you haven’t fulfilled your plan sufficiently.

If you have a set of keywords prepared then it is an easy task to build these keyword based pages within your sitemap structure when planning the website build. You can also use our brand new content marketing system that we offer to our clients to enable them to plan a content strategy for up to 12 months for new websites and existing websites and all within a matter of minutes.

If you are promoting through social media, then this is where the design aspect begin to take place. Creating attractive landing pages and unrivaled user experience to overcome any other competitors fighting in the same arena, combined with the best content around, making people believe in your product.

The Design Stage

preparing ideas for design brief

Now that you know you have a firm strategy in place and a plan to move forward to ensure that your website is going to increase your bottom line it is time to start creating design mock ups for all the most important landing pages throughout the site.

Obviously the homepage is the most obvious place to start as this sets the tone for the rest of the website, then moving onto a general layout for inner pages throughout. Once these are completed the focus should be on the main ‘money page’.  These are pages that are going to give the first impression to potential customers when landing on the site through search engines or social media platforms.

It is important to get strong call to actions to get much needed enquiries, easy navigation for other products throughout the site and a sense of fulfillment i.e they believe you can provide a service over and above what they are expecting.

After the homepage these ‘money pages’ should be the main focus of discussion between yourself and the design agency, to ensure they engage the target audience in the correct way and also retrieve the data they require from the visitor. You as the client know exactly what your target audience want and hold the wealth of knowledge that any designer needs to provide you with the best end product, remember this…

The Build

changing html code

When all designs have been signed off, the designer/development team can begin building your dream website and produce a product that, as a client, you can begin to use and get the feel for on a test server.

Before this begins it is an important factor to discuss with the agency you are working with as to whether you have flexibility of the site’s content moving forward. By this I mean, are you able to update content easily without their assistance? Can you add images/videos to your content effectively? Can you edit pages titles and meta descriptions without editing the coding of the website and risking breaking the site itself. If you can’t say yes to the previous question then you should be asking yourself, why?

Content is a major factor moving forward with your SEO and Social Media campaign and if you are not in complete control of it and able to access and edit it freely then this can be a serious bottleneck on your progress.

I have lost count the number of times we have come across online marketing campaigns that have fallen at this hurdle and have had to pay again for their website to built in a more suitable platform.

Ironing Out

When we take on any client with an SEO package or web build, we ensure that we carry out a full site audit and make any changes that are required to give all our clients the perfect foundation to build on.

You should expect any agency to go through your website with a fine toothcomb after the build has finished, and provide any suggestions that they can improve and implement these suggestions prior to the site going live. Whether this includes sitemap optimisation, canonicalization issues, on page SEO changes, site architecture, any duplicate elements within the website and a whole list of other possible areas for improvement.

By doing this you have a peace of mind that your website is going to provide you with a return on investment that you have trusted in it, and rightly so.

Does All The Above Sound Familiar To You…?

does this sound familiar to you?

I guarantee that 95% of the people that read through this article will not have approached building their brand new website in this manner, and that is a worrying thought.

There are many other things that you should also consider prior to paying out a lot of money for your brand new website, especially if you are uncertain of its success.

Our recommendation to any new client is that, if your budget is tight, build a lower spec website and place a portion of that budget into SEO and Social Media.

Any website that holds the correct content and a great simple contact form as a call to action will begin to provide you leads, and if you are already holding the top positions in Google, people will trust your services thoroughly, then once you then place additional budget at this point to re-design you know that things can only improve.

So Next Time You Want A New Website, Remember…

  • Are people looking for my products/services?
  • Can I make people aware of my products/services?
  • Can I put together a definite plan for my content?
  • Will I have the time to run the marathon of creating content not just the sprint?
  • Does my design fulfill the requirements of my viewers?
  • Am I going to be able to gather the correct information?
  • Can I edit all my content including page titles, meta descriptions etc?
  • Will my website be fully checked for any SEO tripping stones?
  • AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, Is my website going to give me a return on my initial investment?

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