Although my first exciting and visually appealing website had been put together by a wonderful graphic designer who understood my brand and my service offer well, it was not designed to attract the attention of web crawlers, those creepy bots that prowl the outer reaches of Web World snooping on innocent websites and deciding if they are worthy of Page One ranking. I am a web design company’s worst nightmare. I know exactly what I want my new website to look like and, with a background in art direction, I am alert to the tiny little details that impair visual appeal. I also have high expectations of the architecture and search engine data that I want my website to feature. And I’m a small business: I don’t want to pay the proverbial arm and leg for great results.
With my fourth website rolling up to the launching pad, and almost a decade spent learning how to differentiate one kind of web development company from another, I’m wary of a web design company that claims to be all things to all people. A good technically-oriented web designer loves playing with code, the behind-the-scenes information that communicates all kinds of information to the web crawlers to induce them to look favourably on your site. They understand metadata and tagging and categories and keywords. They care about building a site that the search engines love. And they stay abreast of the changes in search engine protocol so that when Google changes its algorithm, for example, they can implement the kinds of technical modifications that will maximize your chances of being found online. If you’re really lucky, your web designer will also be au courant with conversion architecture and strategy so that all those new visitors are funnelled into a deeper sales-oriented relationship with you.
Online search is a complex topic but suffice for now to say that your website is an important part of your online findability. And in a perfect world, you will find yourself a web designer who can do it all.
But What’s a Website Supposed to Do for You?
A website can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $50,000 (and more) so, for most businesses, it’s a substantial expense. And the task of renovating an existing website requires precious time – you need to go through the arduous process of selecting a website provider, and be available to guide the process of developing the new website according to your vision for the business.
Here are the nine things you want that website to accomplish:
- Stake your claim to your online real estate. If you don’t have a website you have a much harder time building the kind of presence that supports findability. It can still be done. But if you want to maintain a competitive position among the dozens or hundreds of companies that do what you do around the world, you have to have a website.
- Leave a positive impression. When people arrive at your website you want them to immediately feel good about your company. If they’re there because one of your sales reps handed them a business card that directed them to your website, the website’s job is to confirm the positive vibe that’s already been created.
Want to know the other seven things I think your website should do for you? Read next week’s blog to find out more! In the meantime, if you’d like to find out more about how Crossman Communications can help you tell your business story through your online content, please connect with me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also book yourself in right away for a free consultation at www.meetme.so/susancrossman.