There is no denying that every business should have a website. Even the majority of the 29% of small business owners that DON’T have a website admittingly believe that they should. While half of those folks don’t have one because they don’t have the technical skills or resources (time or money), the other half feel that it is not necessary for their industry or that their social business profile page is sufficient. The fact is that if you don’t have a website for your business, you are missing out on a big portion of your market that your completion is surely capitalizing on. But to actually see a return on the time or money investment, your website needs to get you more business as well. This is why hiring a professional web designer with marketing experience is an important thing to consider. With over a billion websites crowding the internet and still growing, just having a website isn’t good enough. I used to hear digital marketing “professionals” use the term “your website is like a digital business card”, but I have always liked to say your website is more like an online salesperson, or a marketing platform.
NAPs are super important but very limiting
NAP (name, address, phone number) listings play a big part in your website’s SEO and lead generation and you should claim and create as many as you can in places that are relevant to what you do. In case you haven’t set one up, you typically have the ability to add your general business information like your business name, address, phone number, a short description of what you do, and a link to your website. Some will give you a few more rich content fields like letting you add images and links to specific services that you offer.
The issue with these is you have to follow that platform’s guidelines and limitations to attempt getting a conversion. All your information is plugged into their design which generally includes some ad placement for other non-relevant, or even worse, competing businesses (cough Yelp cough). Your best bet is for the user to click through to your site where there should be nothing distracting your user from getting the info they desired. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a conversion anywhere I can get it, and you will get some straight from your NAP listings. But you can also lose some of those leads to your competition or a poorly designed listing as well. With your website, you control the user experience, conversion optimization, and you get all the user data to analyze. This is why all of your off-site listings, posts, social platforms, etc., should always aim to lead your user back to your website where you can better guide them into an action.
Use website analytics to make decisions
Sure, some of these listings will have analytics baked into the backend, but your richest data will come from your website. When set up properly, you can monitor where the user came from to gauge which of your NAP listings are working best for you. You can look at your social referrals and see what posts or platforms are driving the most traffic. Monitor any paid advertising efforts or email campaigns. Then see what they are doing when they get to your site and set up goals for those users. Dive deeper and you can learn about your main user’s age demographics, male/female, location, interests, etc., and hone your marketing efforts to capitalize on your main user base. You will get information about your customers from your website that you won’t be able to find from any kind of TV, radio, or print marketing.
If you are looking to rebuild your website, hopefully, your original developer installed Google analytic tracking or you have some other method of viewing your site analytics. Use this data and let your user tell you what they want. If you know what your user has been doing on your site you can really pinpoint any faults and correct them t️hem in the new build. Look at the elements and pages that are most interacted with or most trafficked. Use this information to learn what your users are looking for when landing on your website.
You will also want to look at some fresh keyword research. If you don’t have any idea what your keywords are or should be, stop everything and build a keyword list using a keyword tool. Dive into your keyword list and look at not only what your user is searching for, but how they are searching for it. As searches continue to be more conversational, you can really zero in on the real questions your customers want answers to. Look at trends and search volumes in your target area. Again, this is something that should be done preliminarily to redesigning, or designing your new website.
Your web designer should focus on intent
Now that we have a better idea of what your customer’s interests are, what demographic(s) the majority fall in, and what they are looking for when they come to your website, we can use this to direct your user into an interaction. At Kodeak, we are thinking about all these things before placing a single pixel or line of code. This is something that is, or should be done at the beginning of any marketing campaign, and especially your website design.
That said, this could also be one of the most skipped steps in building a website by DIYs and agencies alike. Think about what your user is going to want when they get to your site. Use all of these tools that you have at your fingertips to research. What is the “intent” of your customer, what is the “intent” of your business, and how do those two factors align?
When you consciously think of your user first while building a website, you will set yourself apart from your competitors and capture more leads. I can tell you from experience, after taking over the management of our client’s SEM/SEO campaigns or website design, that targeting your user’s intent first will get you a bigger return on your investment every time.
Get your user to act!
With attention spans lessening, getting your user the information they are looking for as quickly as possible and peaking their interest early is more important now than it ever was. After you capture that, you need to get them to act to complete your goal. Your website or landing page needs to have available and easy to use calls to action. Think back to what you think your potential customer’s intentions are when they enter your site and create a reason to act around that. Have you proved that your product or service is better than your competitor’s? Are you offering something compelling enough for a user to leave their information? Have you disarmed them, removed doubt that you could be just what they are looking for?
This is why I like to say that your website is more like a salesperson than a business card. A business card is static. It is just there. But even your business card has your web address on it…. leading your potential customer back to your website! Your website should be designed to generate a lead or make a sale. If it isn’t, go back to your analytics and see where you are losing people and fix it.
Let’s get your website design project started off right!
If you are paying a Tucson web designer or developer from a professional agency, it should return on your investment, just like you would expect from a salesperson that you pay a salary to. Kodeak’s designers & developers are also experienced marketers. We are small business owners too and we understand when money is tight. Your website design is not a sunk cost to us, it is an investment, and as such, it should have a return. It should create new business. This is why we set up your website to have all the elements outlined above along with solid on-site SEO so that your website stands a better chance to be found by the people looking for what you offer. Give us a call, chat, email, or stop by the office and let us show you how we can help make your website work for you!