Did you know that over 80% of your potential customers will visit your website before they decide whether or not to purchase from you? In fact, according to the 2009 report How Clients Buy:
In light of these figures, you really can't overestimate the critical significance your website plays in the overall success of your business. It's not an exaggeration to say that your website is the most important marketing tool you have; it serves as the nucleus of all your other marketing activities.
We've all heard the adage "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" and the saying goes for your website as well. Studies show that your prospects will decide in less than 3 seconds if they should stay at your website – or visit the competition. If your site is poorly designed, inadequately maintained, and/or ineffectively positioned, this will shape the prospect's impression of your brand. Remember, web visitors are making subliminal flash judgments about your entire business in less than 3 seconds. So, in effect, a weak website means a weak brand in the visitor's perception.
Since 83% of your potential customers are deciding whether or not to purchase from you based on your website, don't you owe it to your bottom line to invest in custom web design? With a custom web design you'll be able to:
What many small business owners don't realize is that the design of your website can actually affect your search engine optimization, your traffic, and your conversion rate. Having a website that is designed properly, a site that utilizes the correct techniques, can actually improve your search engine positioning. HTML code and DIVs and layers and tables and rows are all "behind the scenes" code that affect the placement of your text and the weight that each component is given in your overall search ranking. Coding techniques, such as changing the placement of a div tag in your html code, are often invisible to the human eye, but can have significant impact to the way the search engine spiders view your web page.
I don't want to bore you with too much technical detail here; but suffice it to say that your custom web design is critical to the overall success of your website. Sure, your son might have taken a web design course in high school, or you might have bought the latest WYSIWYG web page software at the local office supply store, but if you're serious about your return on investment and your business's bottom line, you'll want to leave the development of your website to a professional.
When looking for a custom web design firm, you want to make sure you're dealing with a real business. If your neighbor's nephew designs websites as a side job in the evenings, when he gets home from his "real job" and after the kids have gone to bed, you probably want to steer clear. The field of web design is too complex and evolving to be treated as a mere hobby. There is no way to stay up to date on the latest tactics and technology unless you are in the trenches all day, every day.
You should ask your potential web design firm about the conversion rate for the sites they've developed. Too often, small business owners choose a web design firm based on the "look" of the other sites they've built. But a truly experienced web designer knows that looks can be extremely deceiving. It's not unusual for a beautifully designed website to have a pitiful sales conversion, while a seemingly "ugly" site rakes in the big bucks. Don't get too caught up in the look of a portfolio without knowing how those websites actually perform.
Ask your potential web design firm what they know abut SEO. Some web designers are graphic artists who know very little about search engine optimization – and that's OK, as long as they'll work closely with the SEO firm that you bring on board. Because search engine optimization is so ingrained in the initial design and set up of your website, you should avoid any designer who says he will first design the site, and then hand it off to you for search engine optimization.
Be sure to discuss content with your potential web design firm. I've seen many small business owners taken by surprise when they discover that their web design does not include the text. Most web designers are not copywriters or content providers. It is typical for a web design firm to create the site design while you provide all the text and body copy. Before settling on a final price for your web design, be sure to factor in the cost of content creation.
To begin with, we've been active in the web design field since 1998. That might not seem like a big deal, unless you realize that was practically the inception of the web design industry. We've been around since before WYSIWYG editors and do-it-yourself web design; we started hand-coding web sites from the ground up. Unlike some graphic-artists-turned-web-designers, we understand the backend of your website and the coding techniques required to take your project from the planning phase to the impact-the-bottom-line stage.
Being Google Analytics certified means we know what it takes to make your website a success. We're huge advocates of tracking and measuring and split testing and optimizing. We know the difference between a pretty website and a website that makes money. And we've got the team to make it happen.
Find out what else goes into planning your new site in our new 27 -page Website Planning Guide. We're offering this guide for FREE, but only for a limited time, so be sure to grab it now.
Get your FREE Website Planning Guide and start planning your website TODAY!