Web Design SEO Marketing

The Internet is a very powerful tool and when used correctly can act as your business or organisation’s automated sales person. In order to do this, you need a quality website and effective internet marketing.

So what’s a ‘Quality Website’ and ‘Effective Internet Marketing’ you ask?!

QUALITY WEBSITE

Your website should do 2 things;

  1. Someone (ideally already interested in your service or product) lands on your website.
  2. The web design converts this visit into a sale or sales lead.

It’s as simple as that but I’m amazed how many web development companies miss these two critical points! I see so many websites that act as some artists showcase and others with animations all over screen but they’re not doing their job!

Simple?? How do I do this?

Quality Content

A quality web design isn’t about quirky graphics and animation – it’s about quality content.

  1. The text, image and video content has to be clear, non jargon and has to tell the visitor the benefits of your product or service. It’s normally a good idea to focus on the results or benefits, than an in depth description on your product or service.
  2. Images are important, you can convey so much in a correctly chosen image.
  3. Photos of people can help to associate a sense of trust.
  4. Keep it short. It’s tempting to keep writing but most people will lose interest and go elsewhere.
  5. Video is also very important now. Video can communicate a product, service or concept in a far more powerful way than text.

Search Engine Optimisation

Your website needs to be designed and content written so that search engines crawl and index the maxinum number of pages possible.

  1. This is a very complex subject but include your important search keywords for your niche market in your content (but keep it readable for humans).
  2. Use keywords in you page Titles (again though, it needs to be human friendly!)
  3. Use a sitemap and use CSS menus, not Flash.
  4. There’s so much more to SEO but I’d have to write a book.

Calls to Action

These are simply something that helps the visits make an action. They range from a simple ‘call us now on..’ text to email marketing capture boxes and lots more! Do a search online for Calls to Action and you’ll learn most of what you need.

Testimonials

Testimonials or user reviews (if you’re running an online store) of your customers (don’t make up testimonials…it will hurt you later) helps gain trust. Video testimonials are great as well.

Blog

A bog helps show your customers/visitors updates and can help them coming back for more. It’s also important to have a Latest News section on your Home page. This helps your visitors and SEO.

Social Video

You can effectively get free marketing, if you can integrate social and video sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube within your web design.

Landing Pages

When your potential customer clicks on your website via search engines ‘organic’ (the free) results or your Internet advertisements, they need to be sent to a landing page. This is a page written for what the person was searching for and will help convert them into a sale / sales lead.

EFFECTIVE INTERNET MARKETING

You need to get targeted traffic to your web design. These are people who are already interested, in some way or the other, in your product or service, improving the conversion rate (the % of people that visit, who are converted into a sale / sales lead)

OK, I understand what targeted traffic is but how do I do GET targeted traffic??

Researching Keywords

This is simpler than it sounds. You can use one of the many keyword research utilities or websites (just search for ‘keyword research’ and you’ll find various options) and you can check your competitors websites. You use these keywords within your website and also your various Internet advertisements.

Building Links

When search engines find links to your website from other popular websites and websites in your niche market then it will (help) rank your website higher – which means more visits – more sales.

It will take a long time. Start slowly and only do a few links a day.

Don’t use companies that do 1000’s of useless links.

Some ways of adding links are;

  1. Search directories
  2. Some blog comments (although a lot are NOFOLLOW now, so they won’t help your ranking but they can help drive human traffic)
  3. Forums (but never spam links in your forum posts. Become a valued member before posting any links and even then, keep the link within a valid useful post)
  4. Articles (again, always write an article that gives real value to the reader)
  5. Product reviews
  6. Agreements with other websites.

Research your Competitors

Check what your competitors are doing for their websites and Internet ads. You will probably learn something that can help you.

PPC

Pay Per Click advertising (EG. Google AdWords) can be a cost effective form of advertising, as you only pay when someone clicks on your advert.

This is a very complex subject and I’d only recommend you do your own PPC campaign if your market isn’t competitive at all (ie. not many of your competitors are doing PPC ads or they’re doing them very badly!).

Unfortunately it’s far too easy to setup a PPC campaign very badly and this will simply cost you so much more per click, it will make PPC non cost effective.

I suggest you use a reliable PPC / Internet marketing company to create your PPC campaign. If done correctly, the initial setup cost they charge will pay for itself.

SEO and Internet Marketing

Can you achieve good sales with bad site design and wrong SEO? Even Dr. Kotler, the marketing guru, can hardly do this. The unique and fabulous design comes first, than the SEO and finally the marketing effort. The key to success at each one of these three steps and of the undertaking as a whole is in the background reference. By this I mean that you should always have in the back of your mind (or closer) the idea of what you are going to do in the other two areas (say, SEO and marketing) when you are working in the first one (web design).

It all comes down to attraction

If you read even only one book on web design, one on SEO and one on Internet marketing you will be lost in the details and endless options suggested. Do not worry; try to see the forest behind the trees: it is all about attraction. With the dazzling web design your site is crying out to be noticed among the hundreds and thousands of others on the web, to catch the attention of Internet user. With the scrupulous SEO you are trying to increase the traffic to your site, i.e. to seduce the search engines and more visitors to visit the site more often and stay there longer.

The ingenious marketing strategy has the ultimate purpose of conversion, turning the visitor into a buyer by all sorts of enticing tricks and manipulations. All a matter of attraction, isn’t it? And the basis of attraction is you, your own branding as a reliable and resourceful web companion.

Haw can this best be done?

If we are really professional and honest, we must admit that you cannot overcome the natural consumer concern by glossy ads and witty widgets only, but rather by focusing on the real value of your products and your unparalleled service, by treating your customers fairly and with respect. Always step in the client’s shoes and see through his/her eyes what they expect to see, what they like and dislike, where they prefer to spend their online time, what their shopping habits are, etc; then try to make them feel easy and confident, try to solve their problems, not yours. As the guru says, do not sell drills, sell a convenient way to make holes.

Five practical hints:

1. A one page site is absurd. Reliable companies have sites with many and varied pages. Not one single page with description of products and service, but whole catalogues, galleries and sections, demonstrating business capacity and exhaustive supply. Try for this, even on a smaller scale, but grow constantly.

2. Do not place the order form too close to the home page. If so, it looks like you are pushing the visitor to buy. But no one likes to be pushed, especially buyers.

3. Make your site look consistent with respect to the big three from the beginning of the article. Do not allow the visitor to notice that you have put too much money and effort in the design, but you have had no money or understanding to pay equal attention to SEO or marketing. Or the other way round.

4. Indicate clearly, next to enter and contacts buttons, that you have a strict policy of confidentiality and personal information protection and provide a link to the respective rules. This creates trust and makes the visitor feel easy on your site.

5. Make visitors interested, and why not fall in love with the miracle of marketing, called Unique Selling Proposition. Yes, this it is: what is the value you offer that can make someone buy from you, rather than from the competition. If you still do not have the answer to this question, just stop and take your time to figure it out.

Top Tips for Choosing the Best Web Design

Gone are the days where most people look in a phone book for products and services:

Most people now usually visit Google or another search engine to find their goods and services.

So for many companies, a website is their primary method for generating new and repeat sales.

One of the main frustrating issues for a business trying to choose a web design company is which factors to check for.

The issue is there are literally thousands of website companies around. How do you choose the right one? This is a critical decision and can cost your business thousands of dollars if you choose the company.

Here are a few important guidelines to help you make the right website design choice.

  1. Quality Content. The image your website presents to your potential customers must be professional. Your website design company should offer you expert copywriting services for your new website, so your website content can written for your target market in an effective way.
  2. SEO (search engine optimisation). A website is completely useless as a business tool if it can’t be found. A good web design company will have great SEO skills to promote your website. Strategies such as; SEO content, link building, Pay Per Click advertising campaigns (Google AdWords etc), keyword research etc to help your website rank highly on search engines. The higher your website ranks on search engines->the more visits->more sales.
  3. Calls to Action. It’s important to have a quality landing page for your business. Your web design company must include many strong calls to action so that your website generates results – new customers and sales. Ask them what Calls to Action will be included in your website.
  4. Social Media Marketing. Your web design company needs to use the power of Social Media Marketing. Using websites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can offer essentially free marketing. Ask them how they’ll use Social Media Marketing for your website.
  5. Ask for their track record. New web design companies are springing up all the time, but don’t be fooled by shiny sites loudly proclaiming their amazing services. You need to make sure the web design company you talk with can show you examples of past work, with proven results. Ask them for real world examples of successful website marketing.

So whether you’re looking for a website design company in Wellinton, Auckland, or elsewhere, keep the above key points in mind and be careful about your decision. They will be responsible for presenting, protecting, and promoting your online image, and you’ll want to make sure that responsibility is in good hands.

Web Design SEO

There are so many websites out there that have not been optimised for search engines at all, the question is should web designers optimise websites for search engines as part of the overall solution?

Well it’s perhaps a little unfair to criticise web designers for not doing SEO as standard since it is an entirely different skill set, however my opinion is that to be in the web design market these days in order to add value to clients some basic knowledge of SEO is essential.

Of course having the skill sets is one thing, but doing SEO properly is a time consuming process so arguably it should be an optional service in addition to website, and really if a client want their website to produce results for them, then they should be seriously considering this.

However I do believe that every site should have basic SEO included, this means that HTML title tags can be made relevant to the website itself, and the website should be search engine friendly making it easy for either a customer to complete the SEO themselves or an SEO consultant to manage should the design firm not offer SEO services themselves.

Unfortunately this does not seem to be the case most of the time and customers are often left with what might be a great site from a design or technical point of view, but just does not produce results for them.

My advice would be to find a web design company that actually offer design, development and SEO in-house, this way you should be confident in the knowledge that your website should look great, be technically good and actually produces results for you.