If you build it, they still may not come

The design is only the first step to building a successful website.

I’ve worked with clients over the years who want me to design or redesign their website because it’s outdated or isn’t attractive. I get this. Image and design is a powerful tool and the look of your site can make or break a sale.

Personally, I would not trust a company that looks like it’s using a website from the 90s. Neither do your visitors.

But let’s be honest. You can have the most attractive design and navigation and still have low traffic and disappointing conversions.

Why? First, it’s because your site isn’t optimized for Search Engines, or your site is not using SEO. You need to hire someone who understands keywords and can find the best targets to get your ranking higher in searches.

Nowadays almost anyone can hop on WordPress, pick a template and throw together a site. I have helped clients who tried to DIY, and they soon learn that there’s more to it than just posting pretty pictures and a logo.

I want to point out here, that you may be paying for advertising (PPC) that you don’t need to. In most cases, good SEO wiz can find ways to raise your search listings without a hefty price tag, especially if you have a location-based business.

Secondly, conversions. Regardless of the amount of traffic to your site, you need to be able to quickly convert visitors into customers.

How is this done? Through a conversion funnel.

Your designer may not understand how to make sure your visitors stay inside the funnel and may be losing them to clicks that lead them away from your call to action.

Which brings me to your third reason, your call to action isn’t obvious.

Do you have a CTA? Is it obvious within a five seconds of landing on your landing page what you want your visitor to do? This is another area that I see a lot of sites lack.

Once you get them to the CTA, how do you know if they are even a valid customer who needs your services (or will result in a sale)? That is called lead qualification, and this is your fourth reason.

Lead qualification is a way to sort out the tire kickers and sales calls that can eat away at your time when you want to focus on the real potential clients.

How do you vet your leads? The best way to have a contact form(s) that asks the questions you need to know to qualify them.

The takeaway here is that good design is important, but it’s only the beginning. If you want to hire a web designer, look for a company or person that also is trained in SEO, conversion funnels, content management and writing.

Anyone can throw together a decent looking website using WordPress, but a marketing company can do a lot more for you.

Once you find a good marketing person or company and see they can be trusted to increase your conversions, hire them to maintain your site and continue updating and keeping your content fresh while tweaking design or lead qualification when needed.

The return on investment for this type of complete service is going to far exceed the ads and PPC campaigns you may no longer need.

AKA Fierce Geek. I write about marketing, design, and occasionally cats and kids. I also like contemplating life’s deeper meaning.

AKA Fierce Geek. I write about marketing, design, and occasionally cats and kids. I also like contemplating life’s deeper meaning.