Asking a web designer to deliver a website design that is not a brochure website but a fully optimised money generating machine is like asking an architect to both design and build you a fully functional bridge. Like designing a bridge developing a profitable website is part of a global digital marketing solution and a multi-skilled team is needed to deliver a solution that forms part of your strategy and runs your marketing campaign like a well-oiled machine.
You, the business owner, needs to make a decision whether having a presence online is purely an extension of your business card (by sending existing customers to your website for purely informative reasons) OR are you creating a tool that will service your existing clients and generate new sales through organic Google searches, Facebook promotions, email campaigns, referrals and Google Adwords advertising. For each one of these lead generation tools, your website has to be optimised to get maximum traction for your campaigns. Website design is only one aspect of the bigger digital marketing strategy.
SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO (website design and digital marketing)?
Lets have a look at some of the technical website design and digital marketing components of an optimised website which will form a solid foundation for any marketing campaign that you might launch in the future targeting your website.
Knowing your competitors with their strengths and weaknesses enables a business to determine what their strategies are and what kind of threat they present to your companies well-being. Identifying your competitors, analysing their SEO structure, their social media strategy, traffic sources, backlinking strategies are just some of the factors that will show us their weaknesses, strengths and highlight any opportunities that we could pounce on.
Ranking for the right keywords can make or break your website”. Developing a profitable website without extensive keyword research is like building a house without a foundation and yet a large percentage of companies have a website design that has not been keyword optimised and therefore ranks poorly. During our SEO audit using Semrush we often see companies ranking well for keywords that have nothing to do with what they actually do and not ranking at all for their services. Poor keyword research, targeting too competitive keywords and not understanding the long tail keyword concept are just some of the reasons for this. The bottom line is if you want to rank you need to spend the time and research!
You have probably heard of Google crawling the web through Googlebot to discover any new and updated websites or pages and then indexing this information. Google stores billions of pages with all its information on their servers for us to find the websites or pages we need by searching their index through Google search engine. The easier it is for Google to be able to quickly crawl your website and to exactly understand what your website is about will make it possible for Google to deliver a better search result for their clients (You!). It does not take a rocket scientist to deduce that if your website is not on page optimised and if Googlebots have difficulty in crawling your website – you will be penalised – period.
When doing on-page optimisation some of the factors that need to be optimised are:
Content – We see it time and again that web copy is created by the client without any guidance from the web designer. With copy being the most important component of your on-page web development for both SEO and on-page conversions, one would think that proper keyword and competitor research would be done at this stage of development. Sadly this is often not the case and the business owner thinking that he knows his business and industry best is left without guidance to deliver the copy for the website.
Yes, the business owner will hopefully know his business and industry better than the digital marketing team but with proper keyword analysis, guidance on semantically linked keywords, taxonomy structures, proper keyword research, internal and external linking and working in unison with the client, we can deliver a product which is optimised to not only have a good Google ranking but also convert the traffic into conversions once the user lands on the page.
URL- Managing your URL structure and naming Your URL’s correctly will not only make it easier for your users to navigate your website but will also be beneficial to your ranking results. Some of the factors that influence a good URL structure are:
- Readability of your domain
- Avoid using sub-domains when possible
- Keyword embedded within URL is still a valid tactic
- CanonicaliseURL’s serving same content
- Do not use dynamic parameters
- Match URL to the title when possible
- Limited redirection to 2 hops if possible
- No keyword stuffing
Title tags – Title Tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. Not only will your title tag be the first information that the search engines see on that page but this will also be the first opportunity to “hook” your clients. This title will be clickable when displayed on the search engine result pages and is your first opportunity to market your business and attract the prospect to click on your result rather than that of your competitors. The right title tags are very important for usability, SEO, branding, social sharing.
Common mistakes we often see is that there is a duplication of title tags across pages which makes it difficult for search engines to determine the relevancy of a page. Pages with duplicate titles have a lower chance of ranking well on SERPs.
Meta descriptions – a meta description is also an HTML component that supplements and strengthens the message you have projected in the title tag. Since they appear below the title in your search results and can be much longer in length, this is a golden opportunity to strengthen your message and address your clients pain points. Just by having the right title tag with a powerful opening statement and backing that up with a well-scripted meta description to address your prospects “story” will increase your chances of a sale exponentially.
Like on the title tags duplication is often misunderstood and it is common for inexperienced web designers to just add the same meta description to their pages, this will make it difficult for search engines to differentiate between different pages.
Here are some examples where your client would interact with the title and meta description of your page:
Site structure and taxonomies – Having a definite structure within your website design that is clearly defined with cornerstone pages is not only important for SEO success but also beneficial to deliver an optimised user experience. Without a well-planned site structure you will soon be competing with yourself on certain keywords and not rank to your full potential on any of them.
To make matters even worse your visitors to your website will also be confused and are likely to get frustrated and bounce off your page just to find your competitor. A well planned and defined structure will enable you to add new content easily to the relevant section on the website since the content is well defined.
To further improve usability and SEO create relevant internal links to your content – Google and your users will love you for it!
Sitemap.xml – a sitemap.xml is an XML file that lists all information about a websites URL’s so that Google can crawl your website more intelligently. When crawling your site search engines will immediately know when you have made changes to the structure of your site. Don’t forget to update your sitemap when you have added pages or changed the structure of your website.
Website Design and Branding
Direct Marketing News states that 63% of people say that great design and brand consistency play a definitive role in their spending. Your brand identity throughout your digital marketing campaign is a vital element not only on your landing page but throughout your digital marketing strategy and website design.
Your landing page should be well designed and be within brand’s guidelines to give your client the peace of mind that they have reached the right product. With engaging typography, colours and logo, the client will identify with your brand and over time this will lead to brand awareness and trust in your product for a better return on your investment.
So you have done everything right with your advertising campaigns and you’re are getting great traffic to your website. Your marketing team is proud of all the “hits” your website is getting and everybody is waiting for the money to roll in. Hits on a page are “vanity” metrics and there is not always a correlation between the amount of traffic coming to your website and the amount of hard cash you will be earning from the campaign.
There can be many reasons for this but one of the most obvious and common mistakes are that companies are not driving their traffic to bespoke landing pages that are optimised for converting traffic to sales. We see it all the time that AdWords campaigns are driving their traffic to a companies home page which is not designed to get the prospect’s attention, awaken his interest, create the desire and finally to act on your call to action.
Don’t waste your money by doing everything right just to fall short on the final hurdle. Your landing page is where you convince the client that you will solve his pain points – don’t waste the opportunity!
Where to from here?
If making money was easy we would all be rich… having the right team behind you that understands digital marketing and can guide you through your website design project with honest and professional advice, will increase your opportunities and pave your path to being profitable.
“Your Success Is Our Future”
Open communication channels and access to professionals in their relevant field are essential to delivering a solution that will address all aspects of digital marketing.
We have only scratched the surface but I hope that you now have a better understanding that having a pretty website just won’t cut it anymore. Bringing together all aspects of digital marketing with all components working in harmony is the path to your success.
Talk Digital would love the opportunity to start this journey with you and would be honoured to become your digital marketing service provider.
Having a relaxed and productive relationship is of utmost importance to the success of our projects. To ensure this we host an obligation free consultation where we get to know you, your company and it’s challenges. Some of the topics we will discuss:
- Key insights into your business
- Branding & website design
- Your unique selling proposition
- Your Avatar or perfect client
- On and Off-page SEO
- Your competitors
- Your goals