Your website is an integral part of your sales funnel and should be designed to not only draw in and engage traffic, but also convert. The checklist below was compiled to explain the features and functionality we build into our client’s websites so that they are never held back when it comes to marketing. We also answer the big FAQ such as “how long” and “how much”!
To see a selection of recent website projects please visit this page.
There are several characteristics of an effective website.
1. An easy-to-use content management system
Why is this important?
- With an easy-to-use content management system, content gets updated regularly. If you need a designer to do it, or it’s hard work, your site will very quickly become stagnant and cripple your marketing efforts.
- Search engines like fresh content. It suggests that the site is up-to-date and that if the search engine directs visitors to your site, those visitors will not be disappointed.
- Your website should be a hub for all your marketing activity. You should be able to post the latest news, case studies and tips on your site so that you can share links and tidbits on social media and in your newsletter. Astonishingly, many corporate sites are very static and cannot host current content, which leaves marketers with stories but nowhere to put them.
2. Built in conversion strategies
What does that mean exactly?
- There are several degrees of conversion in a typical sales funnel, and your website should have strategies built in (or that can easily be added when needed) to achieve engagement and conversion at the different levels. Such strategies, in order of increasing visitor commitment, include:
- Clicking to follow you on your various social media platforms.
- Social media sharing of your content.
- Submitting their email address via an on-site lead capture widget or one of the excellent landing page apps in order to receive/download/attend or take part in some attractive item or event (either on or offline). With this email address, you nurture the relationship with email marketing.
- Encouraging visitors to contact you!
- Purchasing either the main item or some supplementary item.
- The navigation of your site should be such that visitors are encouraged to convert, and the content should clearly communicate exactly what you do or offer, and how visitors can get it, or at the very least start engaging with you.
3. A good representation of your brand identity
This is usually the first and only thing that web designers concern themselves with. It is essential of course, but it is only the foundation of an effective website.
If you don’t already have a brand visual identity, we can help you develop that. If you’re ready to go, we can apply your brand to your website design, source images or arrange photography if necessary, and edit or write content (including translation) that showcases your brand in the best possible way. Content need not be restricted to just the written word; videos, infographics and slider stories are a few of the other ways to communicate online.
4. Search engine optimised (SEO)
If all of the above are done correctly, then your website is 80% search engine optimised. The software we use, WordPress, makes it easy to achieve all of the above making the site relevant and engaging for visitors so that they don’t “bounce” straight out the minute they arrive. But there’s more:
- Mobile friendly or responsive web design displays well on mobile phones and since search engines are all about giving their users a good user experience (which of course is your goal too), and with about 50% of people viewing content on mobile devices, a mobile friendly site definitely gets extra SEO points. On April 21, 2015 Google’s algorithm changed to favour mobile friendly sites at the expense of those that are not. If you want to check whether your site is mobile friendly, click this link to test your site using Google’s mobile friendly/responsive web design test tool.
- “Pretty” search-engine-friendly URLs are important. See the URL above for this page which uses real keyworded language that helps search engines understand what this page is all about.
- The page title is also a signpost for search engines, and it should be customised for each page. This is not always possible.
- We like back-end tools that check your keyword density and use in headlines, subheads and so on. Of course our designers also know to use descriptive names when uploading photographs (alt text).
- Back-end tools that allow you to craft your own rich snippets are also helpful. This is the bit of descriptive text that shows up under the link on search engine results pages (SERPs) and although not strictly SEO, when well written this text can encourage people to click your link over others when they have done a search.
- Following recent search engine algorithm updates, speed is now considered more important than ever before.
Naturally, we build sites that check off on all the above.
How long does it take to build a website?
The factor that usually slows website development is often, surprisingly, the client finalising content, but if content is ready and the design has been agreed, a website can be built in just a few days. However, realistically the procedure is more like this:
- Meet to discuss and Conduit prepares an estimate (1 week).
- Appoint Conduit to build the site (a happy day).
- Create design of home page, with options, and agree initial site map (1-2 weeks).
- Develop design sheets for other pages. (1-2 weeks).
- Build website (1-4 weeks).
- Add content (1-4 weeks).
- Transfer to live site.
Total – 1-3 months (or two weeks)… depending!
The final time really depends on the complexity of the site; whether it is multi-language, whether it has many pages and whether there are logic requirements, such as booking or shopping sites, where the logic needs to be discussed and finalised.
- Call +44 (0) 795 5259422 or email for a chat or to set up an appointment.
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