Category: Web DesignPublished: 16/05/2019
Building a successful website is not a tick-box exercise. Done properly, it takes time, skill and teamwork. If you approach it with the view that your business needs a website because ‘everyone else in your industry has one’, then you’re doomed to both failure and mediocrity. The first stage of the process involves careful consideration of how your website can fit into and support your sales process. A professionally produced, active website is a powerful sales tool.
Think about how your sales process runs right now and where it needs strengthened. For example, how often are you generating inbound enquiries right now, how much is it costing you per lead and are you getting enough information from inbound leads to quickly convert them into sales? Adding a clear call to action on your website linking people to a free quotation form could help here by making it easy for people to approach you with exactly the information you need. Or, maybe your sales team spend day after day writing support literature to support sales proposals, including case study material. An archive of project examples could exist on your website so that your team can send on links. This archive can also build over time and become valuable content that drives regular search traffic to your website.
Once you are able to think in these terms you will form a clear vision of how valuable your company website can become. Now, you can engage with a few digital agencies, tell them your vision and listen to their proposed solutions. They should listen intently to what you are saying and contribute ideas from the get-go. Remember, the cheapest or most expensive proposal may not be the best. Cutting corners on cost will undoubtedly result in a poor solution, and over-paying may minimise your return. Partner with an agency that shares your vision, considers your ROI and present reasonable pricing.
To get the best solution, your agency should scope out the project with you and give clear indication of what will be required from you throughout the design and build phase. They should also give an indication of how long the project will take but you should bear in mind that this may be reliant on you to provide crucial information at certain stages. A general guide on timescale for a standard website design and build and launch is usually around 10 - 12 weeks. However, this will probably depend on you collating and supplying content (copy, images, video). You should build this into your own schedule (somehow) and be ready to commit to your side of the partnership.
With reference to planning content, it is vital that you review what text and photography is used on your website. Quality control is crucial here. Copy should be professionally written, with your customers in mind (see our article on this). It should engage and entice people into wanting to do business with you. Images should be of the highest possible quality; professional and consistent in composition to compliment the words on the page. Video content should be of high quality and professionally produced. If you don’t have the time or expertise to do this in house, your agency should be able to help draft professionally written copy, and provide video/photo editing if required. Remember, content is just as important as design in ensuring great results.
If your digital agency is proposing to host your website, they may need access to your domain name’s control panel. This will be accessible through the service provider that you registered and renew your domain name with, for example, GoDaddy, 123 Reg, Fasthosts - there are many more. It’s always a good idea to gather this information early on in the project so that when the time comes to make the new website live, you don’t have to search around to see if anyone has the login details.
Think about what will happen once your website goes live. Discuss with your agency how active you will be in adding and updating content and what level of support you will need from them in operating the administration area. What would happen if your website crashed for whatever reason and you began to lose valuable sales or leads as result? By investing a small amount each year in a support agreement, Big Red’s web customers have peace of mind knowing that we respond quickly to any issues that may arise. And that we are available to maintain, update or develop their website as and when required.
As I have said many times in my previous news articles, creating a website is not a "build it and they will come" kind of deal. Once your shiny new site has been launched for the whole world wide web to see, you can congratulate yourself on having completed only the first part of the job. Following its launch, every website needs an ongoing strategy to drive relevant traffic to it through a carefully chosen mix of digital marketing services. If you want to generate sales, you need to find the right customers, in the right places and send them the right message about your website and your business. Your agency should work with you to put place a strategy to keep the site content up to date and to publish regular new, industry-relevant content such as news articles.
We work closely with our clients and we invest a lot of time and energy in them. We do this because we know it is to our advantage to make sure they understand how the overall process work and to show them what they can expect in return for any investment they put into their website and marketing. The winning combination of our Big Red Business Platform and our blended approach to digital marketing means we deliver results time after time. Contact our Sales Manager, Roisin McNeill now on 0141 771 7242, or share your vision with us here.
Our advice costs nothing and we’d love to hear from you. Don’t consider how much it could cost to work with us, consider what you could be missing out on by NOT speaking to us.
Hi, thanks for reading this article. I'm Big Red Digital's Managing Director and have been with the company since 2012. After starting my career in one of Glasgow's busiest advertising and design agencies, I made the natural shift to web design and digital marketing. I'm passionate about getting the very best results for our clients.
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