Welcome to the first part of this blog series, Turning Web Visitors Into Web Leads – Site Design!
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be covering everything you need to know to get your website found in Google, start generating web traffic, and converting that traffic into web leads and ultimately new business.
We’ll be covering the following topics:
- PART 1 – Website Design
- PART 2 – Website Content
- PART 3 – Lead Capture
- PART 4 – Email Autoresponders
- PART 5 – Onpage SEO
- PART 6 – Offpage SEO
- PART 7 – Social Media Marketing
- PART 8 – Reputation Marketing
But once you have those things in place, what do you do with the traffic you produce?
Why Mobile Responsive Design
At time of writing, we’re seeing explosive growth in the use of internet-connected mobile devices: primarily smartphones and tablets.
This has a direct impact on how we design our websites!
If your website is more than say, 2 years old or so, chances are that it doesn’t automatically adjust to fit smartphones and tablets. Google’s own research suggests that up to 61% of your viewers will simple leave your site if it is NOT giving them a positive, mobile-friendly experience.
What a tragic waste of traffic and potential web leads!
Mobile Friendly Site Design: Option One
You’ve got two main options to improve your website for mobile visitors. Firstly, you can create a custom standalone mobile version of your website, or a mobile site. This website will only display for mobile users, and is stored on a separate URL to your primary “desktop view” website.
For example, if your regular website is:
… then your mobile website may be:
The advantage of using this approach is that you can quickly and cheaply build a mobile-friendly version of your website, without impacting your main site design.
If you do a Google search for “free mobile site“, you’ll be presented with a number of options including DudaMobile and Onbile. We are not associated with nor endorsing these service providers, we’re simply listing them as potential solutions for you.
As with all things in life, you get what you pay for -but it may be an adequate stop-gap solution until you are ready to upgrade your primary website into a mobile-friendly site.
If you’re looking for a more functional, customised mobile site, we can certainly help you with that.
Mobile Friendly Site Design: Option Two
Google’s preferred option for creating a positive mobile experience, is for your primary website to automatically adjust – on the fly – to the size of the screen being used.
One consistent user experience.
WordPress ? The World?s Favourite Website Platform
The most common website development platform these days is WordPress. It?s what this site is built on, and it?s what we use to create our client?s sites as well.
One of the many advantages of WordPress, is the multitude of response themes available for it. You can purchase such themes from $30 to $200, upload them to your WordPress installation, and modify the theme to suit your specific requirements.
We like the themes at ThemeForest, but there are plenty of other credible sites with beautiful and flexible themes available.
If you?ve got a few weeks spare to create the content, tweak the layout, adjust the colour scheme to fit your branding and so on, you can end up with a mobile-responsive website all by yourself!
Note: While it is certainly possible to build a site without paying a cent, in our experience you?ll want to have someone with WordPress skills handy for all the times things don?t go quite as expected. The alternative is spending many hours trolling through support forums? not fun!
Site Design Considerations
If you’re choosing a pre-designed theme from a credible provider (such as ThemeForest), you’ll have few issues with design – because most of the work is done for you.
However you will still have to setup your menu structure, widgets (boxed areas on pages where you can drag-&-drop custom content), your blog categories and so on.
Most important of these – from a usability perspective – is your navigation menu. Try to group related pages together in a local format, to avoid your visitor having to “hunt” for a certain page. For example, as on this site, place your Services underneath a main Services page.
Also check the Theme Options for your chosen theme – often there will be important, theme-specific features to explore which will increase the functionality (and usability) of your website.
Obviously each theme is different, so be sure to check out your theme’s documentation for help.
Site Design vs Site Content
If I had to choose between “ugly yet content-filled site” or “beautiful site with no content”, I’d choose the former every time. I’ve seen way too many “ugly” sites create thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in business for their owners, while the “pretty sites” just sit there… well… looking pretty.
Now, I’m not saying you should ignore design or aim for ugly websites. Google DOES hire people to check the “human experience” on websites, which can affect rankings. And of course, you’re going to lose a bunch of viewers if your site is truly horrid!
I’m simply suggesting you should not waste hours & hours of your own time trying to perfect site design, at the expense of producing quality content. If you’re the only member of your team, your time is going to be better spent getting your site to a functional level and dedicating yourself to content creation.
And that is where we need to leave site design – we’ll pick it up next time, with Part 2: Website Content!