It’s the end of the year and goal setting is on everyone’s mind (smart goals, reaching your goals faster, and how to avoid mistakes). So I started to think about the struggles my clients had in common this year and the goals we had to set to grow their business. All roads led to improving their website design.
Establishing your online presence and having a website design become an asset to your business requires some strategic thinking. This includes creating a brand and establishing goals that will drive traffic and generate money for your business.
Can you believe that in 2017, CNBC did a survey and discovered “45% of small business owners do not own a website
Having a poor website design is just as bad as not having one. According to
Before breaking down the website design goals you must set for 2019, please answer the following questions.
- Do you have a website?
- If so, how effective is your website?
- Does it get you more visitors?
- Does it generate sales?
If you answered “No” to any of these questions, then this blog is for you. It will guide you through the steps of improving your business growth opportunities through web design.
Please keep in mind that a DIY (Do it Yourself) process will take longer. In other words, you will have to decide whether it’s better to invest in hiring an expert (equipped with all this knowledge) or if you prefer to go through the growing pains of DIY.
It’s not easy
Let’s start by acknowledging that building a website can be overwhelming. Especially, if you lack the skills, time or money to do so. When I first started my journey as an entrepreneur, I strived to figure out web design on my own. But truth be told, even the pre-built websites were way over my head. Time is money so I had to choose wisely where I would spend it. Needless to say, it was an easy decision not to spend it on things I knew nothing about. I’m a strong believer that we have to surround ourselves with people smarter than us if we truly want to succeed. Fortunately, I had created a great hive to help me through the process.
It’s important to remember that regardless of your industry, websites add tremendous value that your social media profiles can’t. Underestimating the value of investing in great website design is not a luxury any business owner can afford. A great website can help you establish credibility and centralize all your business services/products so that potential customers can make a purchase.
Plan for Success in 2019
Now let’s dive into the website design goals you need to establish in 2019. Listed in no particular order because at the end of the day they are all interconnected. These are things I work through with my clients when developing their digital marketing strategy to leverage their brand and grow their business.
- Publish higher quality content
- Improve website optimization
- Have a more user-friendly design
- Improve security
- Establish a clear call to action
Publish higher quality content
This first step is important to improving your SEO (the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results).
This goes beyond writing a good blog that adds value to your potential clients. It includes making it visually appealing. According to an article on Hubspot “When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.”
Here are a few steps you can apply to deliver quality content to your website visitors.
- Develop a digital marketing strategy. This does not need to be complex. Make it something simple that clarifies your direction, target audience, and competition.
- Create headlines that include the keywords your audience is searching to find the products and services you offer.
- Publish consistent content. You can start by creating a publishing schedule. Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly, it’s important you create a schedule you can stick to. In addition, I suggest creating a list of topics before you commit to this. It will make it easier for you to work through the content in advance.
- Add great images (don’t forget to add alt text), videos, infographics, and links.
- Avoid using jargon (industry language).
- Add an online grammar checker. The Grammarly extension will make sure everything you type is clear, effective, and mistake-free.
Believe it or not, page loading affects your bottom line. According to Neil Patel (a top influencer on the web):
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
In other words, you don’t really have much time to make that first impression with your website visitors.
With that said, let’s first define website optimization. This is the process of making changes to your website so that it ranks well in search engines.
Failing to optimize your website will prevent you from turning leads into conversions (getting your visitors to do what you want them to do – buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, register for a webinar, or fill out a form).
You can end up in a crazy rabbit hole trying to optimize a website design on your own. Luckily, there are some great tools you can use to do it yourself if you choose that route. At a minimum, you’ll gain knowledge that’ll make it easier for you to have a conversation with any web developer.
GT Metrix provides a full report on your websites performance. It will include a lot of information that will stump you but here are the DIY things you can focus on.
- Page speed score (A or B rating means your website is doing well)
- Click on the “
optimizeimages” or “serve scale images” – This will provide you with the list of photos that need to be reduced in size because they are slowing down your website performance .
- Click on the “
Make sure you monitor the “Fully loaded time” under “Page Details” to compare how the page speed improves after you have completed the suggested revisions.
You Compress reduces the file size of videos, PDF documents, songs,
Have a user-friendly design
This means making your website simple, easy to use, and engaging. This includes readability, navigation, mobile-optimization, and load time. It also includes making sure it is “responsive” (a website that can automatically resize, hide, shrink, or enlarge to make it look good on all devices).
These are some quick easy steps you can take to ensure an easy and effortless user experience.
- Create branding guidelines (logo, fonts, color palette, slogan/tagline, etc). This will make your website visually appealing and easier to skim/navigate through.
- Verify your website is mobile friendly.
- Add a search button to make it easier for website visitors to find what they need.
- Provide online options to instantly book your services or purchase your products.
Ensuring your website is secured will help you build trust and credibility with website visitors while simultaneously improving your ranking with Google.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. This is the standard technology for keeping an internet connection secure and safeguarding any sensitive data that is being sent between two systems, preventing criminals from reading and modifying any information transferred, including potential personal details.
Website security may require you getting a professional. But here are a few things you can do on your own.
- Purchase a web hosting service with spectacular customer service. You will need this to help you navigate through the process of doing it on your own. Siteground for WordPress websites and Squarespace have great people that respond to you promptly. Squarespace however, unlike Siteground, does not offer 24-hour support via chat. Chat is the most immediate and effective way for me to get my clients the results they seek with their websites. Both include SSL certification when you purchase one of their subscriptions.
- Check the SSL Certificate. Look at the URL of the website. If it begins with “https” instead of “http” it means the site is secured using an SSL Certificate (the s stands for secure). In most cases, you will also see “Not Secure” on the left-hand side of the URL bar.
- Do not allow file uploads on your website. This can create an array of website security risks for you and your website visitors.
Establish a clear and effective call to action
The dictionary defines a call to action as “a piece of content intended to induce a viewer, reader, or listener to perform a specific act, typically taking the form of an instruction or directive.” Some examples include “call now”, “find out more”, “claim now” or “visit a store today”. Here’s an article from Hubspot with some awesome call to action examples.
Here are a few tips on how to create a clear and effective call to action.
- Develop a business strategy to help you design and implement a plan that turns your ideas into reality. This will simplify the process of establishing calls to action based on your business goals.
- Quickly explain what’s in it for them before making an offer. Make sure to include all the information they need to make an informed decision that will allow them to invest in your service or product. Let them know your audience, services/products, contact information, social media platforms, expectations, and how to’s.
- Establish credibility highlighting your previous work or including testimonials.
- Include the pricing of your products and services. Don’t worry about turning business away. There’s nothing worse than meeting with someone or speaking to them for 30 or 40 minutes only to discover that they can’t afford you. This will ensure neither of you ends up disappointed and wasting each other’s time.
All of the website design goals discussed are interconnected. You cannot do one step and ignore others without negatively impacting your results. The case study below will show you how it all comes together.
During the first quarter of the year, I started working with a new client. She has an amazing service for parents. When we met, her goal was to increase sales from $1500 – $2000 to $4000 a month. She couldn’t understand why she wasn’t converting website visitors into clients even though her website was getting so much traffic (300 clicks a day).
My client had done a few things right. She had 3 of the 5 website goals implemented.
- Website was responsive
- SSL security was set up
- SEO game was strong because of her great use of keywords
However, she lacked the following:
- User-friendly website – Website visitors couldn’t easily navigate through the content. Making it difficult to buy into her or her services.
- Strategy and branding guidelines – Her message was unclear and the use of jargon easily intimidated website visitors.
- Clear call to action – Nothing was included to motivate a website visitor to take steps towards becoming a client.
After our first call, she obtained immediate results. Part of her success is owed to how quickly she worked to complete the suggested revisions. She didn’t hesitate to implement the changes for her website design. As a result, she reached her $4k goal in one month. By the 5th month, she surpassed her goal and started making $15k a month!
“Roxana, I want to thank you for helping me. In the month of March, I increased my sales from 4k to 7k and I believe it was all due to your advice given to me about my website. Once I published the changes my phone started ringing off the hook. I immediately got sign-ups and 6 phone calls. Thank you so much for your help.” – Melissa, Confidential client in Florida
At the end of the day, it’s all about having a strategy. The content on your website, social media platforms, and blogs should all align with one another to deliver your business goals. This will simplify the process of designing the website on your own or ensuring someone else can do so without disappointing you at the end.
So how did your website perform? Let me know in the comments section below.
Here’s to an amazing and successful 2019!