Creating a thriving business in today’s day and age depends on having a successful web presence — the key word being “successful.” It’s not enough to throw together a website and assume it will work the way you want it to.
Many clients come to us with misconceptions about website builds, in some cases because they worked with other agencies who told them wrong information. In this article, we’ll clear up some of these myths and discuss how our team approaches the web build process.
Myth #1: Websites Just Need to Be Eye-Catching
Websites aren’t like static print advertisements, whose sole purpose is to get people to look at them. Websites are meant to be used, not admired. Some web design agencies sell sites based on looks and try to get business owners to fall in love with how flashy their site can be. In some cases, features like animated site banners and elaborate illustrations distract the website owner from serious site issues like poor performance in search and bad user experience (UX) design.
We’ve had many clients come to us after working with other web design agencies and tell us that while their website looks good, it hasn’t been performing well and doesn’t seem to bring in business. So, make sure your web design agency can point to tangible business results they’ve achieved for other clients. Ask for testimonials, case studies, analytics data, and any other available information that can prove the company builds websites that actually bring in leads and customers.
Truth: Websites need to be user-friendly and optimized for search, not just eye-catching.
Myth #2: Website Visitors Want Lots of Choices
Another common myth about efficient web design is that giving users lots of choices creates a great website experience. Some business owners mistakenly believe that adding more calls to action, more navigational links, and more menu options will improve the user’s experience by giving them anything they could possibly want.
Instead, choice paralysis sets in, and potential clients and customers don’t know where to start. They feel overwhelmed, and they end up getting lost in the chaotic design of the site.
Instead of dropping your website users into the wilderness without a compass, plan a clear journey for them through the site and design your site to facilitate that journey.
Truth: Your website should shepherd the user toward completing some desirable action, whether it’s filling out a contact form or completing a purchase.
Myth #3: Our Current Content is Good — We Just Need Better SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is not a magical formula or line of code that developers can add to a website to make it rank better in search. The biggest factor that determines how your website performs in search is how helpful Google believes your site content will be for search users. This doesn’t include just written content — videos, infographics, images, and other types of visual assets can help your site rank higher in search, too.
It’s true that certain technical website issues (an unsecure website, slow site loading times) can keep high-quality content from ranking well in search, so you may want to have a professional web developer audit your site for these issues.
However, most websites fail to bring in traffic from search engines because they don’t have enough high-quality, helpful content. If you have a user-friendly website that’s clean, easily navigable, and visually appealing, but your site isn’t not performing well in search, chances are you need a better content marketing strategy that involves regularly publishing high-quality content.
Truth: If your website isn’t bringing in organic traffic from search engines, your site content is probably what’s holding you back.
Myth #4: Once Built, a Website Only Needs to Be Hosted
Your initial web build process may end once your website is up and running, but your web development needs don’t. Websites require a hosting platform to remain up and running, and some digital marketing agencies even provide these hosting services. While hosting is necessary, all it does is keep your site available on the web. Available doesn’t mean accessible, and it certainly doesn’t mean effective.
One of the benefits of websites versus print media is their ability to change, grow, and adapt to web users’ changing needs and expectations. So, don’t treat your website like a print advertisement! Most websites require at least occasional maintenance to remain bug-free and user-friendly, and all sites should have new content published regularly to attract visitors and stay relevant.
Truth: Websites require continuous maintenance, updates, and new content.
Our Holistic Approach to Building Websites
In the following paragraphs, we’ll walk you through our website build process and explain our approach.
Getting to Know You and Your Business
Before we even start mocking up your website, we’ll sit down with you to get to know your brand, goals, interests, and target audience. We’ll determine whether you have established brand guidelines or want to explore rebranding. We have experience working with highly regulated industries, and we understand that what your company does and who you are both need to shape your web build process. We don’t apply a cookie-cutter approach to each client; instead, we listen to your goals and build a holistic approach that will work for you.
Communicating to Ensure Vision and Goal Alignment
Once we have a clear understanding of your business and your needs, we begin drafting design concepts for your website. Throughout the design process, we communicate with you at every step to ensure that our work aligns with your vision and goals. We present designs, site maps, and draft pages, never moving on to the next phase until everything has met your approval.
Creating Personalized Branding for Clients, Optimized for Users
Our team includes marketers, writers, editors, designers, and web developers, so we strike a balance between technical web development, appealing design, and marketing strategy. The result: you end up with a site that not only looks great and functions well but works to advance your business goals and generate new customers.
LaFleur: Creating Websites That Deliver Results
Interested in learning more about our web build process and working with LaFleur? Contact us today by calling 888-222-1512 or by filling out our convenient contact form. We’d love to chat about what you need and find out how we can help.