16 things to keep in mind when creating a new website
Getting a new website is an expensive job, which is why it’s so important to get it right first time. As we deal with websites every day, here are some tips we’ve put together based on our experience and most importantly, based on feedback we get from clients and their experience with web design.
Keep your website looking good
Your website is often the first point of contact you have with potential clients or customers. If your site is old and outdated, a whopping 38% of people will stop engaging with your site. Keep your site up to date and give it a bit of TLC to ensure that people want to keep coming back.
If you don’t ask…..
When you’re choosing a web designer, make sure you go for someone reputable. Although most web designers do a great job, there are some out there who charge an awful lot of money and give their clients very little in return. One thing to be aware of is that if you don’t ask at the beginning – you don’t get. So if you want an SEO optimized website you have to specifically ask for it at the beginning of the design process (and most of the time that only covers technical optimization and not the other building blocks).
Choosing your designer
Choosing a web designer is a lot like choosing a graphic designer. Start off by looking at their portfolio and seeing what their style is like. Ideally, you would have researched what you want your new site to look like and have an idea of the kind of style you would like to go for. Also, make sure that they’re willing to answer questions and help with issues, as you’ll probably end up going back to them with a few teething problems at the beginning.
If you’re getting a new website designed, make sure you start the SEO process at the same time. SEO content needs to be written in a special way, and technical optimization needs to be done so doing it while your website is being built will save an awful lot of time and effort in the long run. We strongly recommend hiring a good copywriter as they’ll give your new site a welcoming feel.
Make sure your website is customizable and easy to use
Chances are you’re going to need to make changes to content on your website from time to time. That’s why it’s so important that your web designer uses a customizable and easy to use theme so that you don’t have to get back in touch with them for every tiny change. It will also make things easier for your SEO company, too.
Website is like a plant – needs TLC to grow
You’ve probably heard us going on about blogging. Just like a plant, a website needs nourishment to grow, so keep feeding your website with new content and you’re sure to succeed. This also helps your SEO, as Google hates non-active websites. So keep blogging, even if you think its terrible. There’s nothing worse than coming to a website and seeing their last post was in 2015!
Never use stock images
We understand that it’s easier to get stock images, but they’re so obvious! Stock Images are like distant family, we recognize their faces, but can’t think of their names. If you want to sell, you need to be honest and transparent and one easy way to do that is by investing in some of your own graphics or using pictures of your team.
Don’t be pushy or tacky with the content
Keeping with the sales theme, when you’re writing your website content don’t be pushy or tacky. Talking about how amazing your company is anymore doesn’t cut it – you need to be proving how you help your clients and what problems you solve for them. Being tacky just makes you look fake.
Put your visitors first
You need to put your visitors first when it comes to your new website. You need to address what they want to gain from visiting. Make the site easy to navigate, and don’t go over complicated with industry jargon. To put things simply, you need your visitors to understand what you do.
Unique landing pages and homepage summary
Rather than having everything on one page, you should have unique landing pages for different products/services (makes SEO so much easier!), leaving the homepage for a summary.
Only have 1 language per page
It may seem easier to have more than one language on a web page, but that’s a big no no for SEO. Google gets confused if you have more than 1 language on a page, so make sure you have separate sites for different languages.
Some redirects count as duplicate content, if you’re redirecting from your old website to your new one it’s best to use 301 redirects, especially from an SEO point of view.
Although most new websites come mobile optimized, it’s important to make sure that your website is fully ready for mobile.
Make forms short and sweet
If you’ve got forms on your website, make sure they’re simple. Many people leave and don’t buy simply because they get fed up with filling out long or complicated forms. Although it is safer to do away with the contact form and instead putting your companies email, postal address and phone number on your site, and much less infuriating for clients if they just want to give you a call.
Google analytics and webmaster tools
Once your website is ready, make sure your webmaster or SEO company sets it up on analytics and webmaster tools. The sooner you do this the better, as you’ll have more data to access once you do start your digital marketing efforts.
Finally, before you go live make sure you test your website. Test all the links and all the forms just to make sure they’re working correctly. Any good web designer should have done this before showing you, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.