Here are five, mission-critical truths about website design that are important to understand:
1.) SEO and Website Development Need to Work Together
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is now a common term in the business world. Chances are, you’ve heard the acronym thrown around once or twice. Simply put, SEO is your ability to rank for relevant keyword phrases in search engines in your regional or global marketplace.
Most people associate SEO with backlink building or keyword stuffing, but there are a myriad of areas where SEO practices have to be carried out in the development of a website. Too often, however, SEO and Website design & development are treated as two completely separate topics. This leads to a flawed and insufficient approach that doesn’t maximize results.
A website should be structurally formatted and built to impact SEO power. HTML markup language is crucial to the utilization of SEO. Developers must set up the proper heading tags and implement Schema markup language to position a website competitively. It’s also beneficial to note that from a development standpoint, that a website needs to load lightning fast. The faster it loads, the better the SEO.
Although a larger SEO and content development strategy is necessary, a great deal of SEO success ultimately rests on the mantle of development approach, technique and knowledge. These two areas cannot be separated.
2.) Website Design and Development Takes a Great Deal of Effort
Many marketing communications services are labor intensive, but website design and development tops the list. A website redesign and redevelopment take an immense amount of work. The average project will fall somewhere in the hundreds of hours ballpark.
If done properly and customized to your business needs, it’s going to take a great deal of time and attention to complete the process, from start to finish. Beyond that, the maintenance needed to keep your website running is also extensive.
Our hope is that you’re working with someone who has built your website in a way that makes it easy to manage, so that effort is well spent by your marketing team. It may also be worth bringing your website design firm on retainer for monthly maintenance actives.
3.) Your Website is a Deal Closer
It was only a decade ago that websites were beginning to catch on. They weren’t, however, easy to utilize and prospects didn’t lean into them for their buying decisions. There wasn’t a competitive search engine ranking environment.
In today’s day and age, however, prospects will look at your website to determine whether or not you’re the business for them. It doesn’t matter what anyone tells you —whether you’re advertising in the newspaper, launching a Facebook Ad Group, placed in a media relations story or shared via word of mouth, people’s next steps will most always be your website.
With that being said, your website better be a magnificent representation of your organization and should be user friendly.
4.) It’s Hard to Have a Great Website without a Solid Brand Established
Diving into your website without a solid, well-documented and comprehensive brand identity is a mistake. Your website is an extension of your brand and should represent every tenant behind it. The practice of branding design establishes a formal strategy, visual identity and an extensive supply of copy. These three elements are the foundational building blocks of any website. Without them, you will be flying by the seat of your pants.
Before you take another pass at your website, invest in your brand identity if you haven’t already. Potential clients can pinpoint the flaws in your marketing efforts. Begin with cultivating your brand. It will make your website a masterpiece.
5.) There are A LOT of “Website Designers/Developers” Out There—Not All Are Good
Searching for a website design and development team can be overwhelming. Today, more than ever, it suddenly seems like everyone and their grandmother has opened a shop saying, “We can design your website!”
As we’ve established, your website is mission critical and should be treated as such. It must be done right or your SEO power, ability to close deals and your overall brand will suffer. It’s important to have high standards when choosing a practitioner. There are many developers out there, but they are not all created equal.
Keep the following 13 characteristics in mind as you look for your next website design team:
- They put on their listening ears and hear your goals, needs and situation
- They have expertise to share
- They center development on a Content Management System (CMS)
- They have a proven website design and development process
- They have marketing experience
- They design and develop responsively across devices
- They write well-structured code
- They design with conversion in mind
- They have a diverse portfolio
- They understand and implement on the little, technical details
- They put the end-user first
- Their design talents are from the 21st century
- They build solid SEO structures.
There They Are
There you have it—five mission-critical truths about website design and development.
What truths have you seen reign true?