We Want a New Website! What Comes First?
As one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Atlanta we are often asked by potential clients- what are the first steps for taking on a new website project? Without a hitch, we will tell them that the first and foremost step is a review of your website; what we call a website evaluation. And, almost always the second response is but why evaluate my old website when I know I want a new one?
While yes the idea of anything to do with a website (existing or new) can translate to many clients as an expensive prospect, it is important to know where you stand before proceeding further. Your website’s framework and functionality is crucial to not only your SEO goals but your marketing overall. While edits to your existing website can help, sometimes it’s just not going to meet your company’s digital marketing goals. In addition, developing a new website on an old ill-functioning framework, can lead to wasted opportunities…and budget. With a website evaluation, we can tell if a client’s website is functionally capable as is for optimal SEO, if its current layout is welcoming to customers and most importantly highlight what hidden needs there are for the new website. That said, a website evaluation is not as much of a mystery as you may think.
Here is a study of one of our latest website development projects along with how we approached the website evaluation and development solution.
EVALUATION OF BETTER MOONWALKS’ OLD WEBSITE HOME PAGE:
- Products are mostly used for children parties, school carnivals and “fun” corporate events. Note: While there are a few images. They did not really highlight the festive nature of the products and services. In addition, the island greenery background sent mixed messages about the services as well as clashed with the website theme…overwhelming visitors.
- There was no real perception of ALL the services and products offered. In addition, it was not made easy to navigate to the areas of interest.
- The design esthetic overall was very bland and did not capture the “fun” of this client’s business.
- The footer-incorporated information that was not relevant and did not provide seo optimized content such as locations served. In addition visitors were forced to scroll numerous times to reach the footer.
- There were no new opportunities for growth and information. Items such as: News and Events, FAQs and videos were not easily accessible and left an seo gap.
- The website was not mobile friendly. Pages displayed in a disorganized manor.
HOW WE FIXED IT:
- We brought in fun. This is a website that color and lots of it is not just welcomed, but expected. It’s a carnival and Better Moonwalks brings the fun!
- We highlighted all services front and center for ease of navigation. In addition, Featured Products and Top Rate Products categories were added to let customers know what is hot and available!
- We incorporated a new logo, as the clients were open and the brand allowed for a more “fun” appeal. We also provided some design features such as new fonts and image placements to make the site functional and vibrant. It literally comes alive.
- Contact information was included in both the header and footer menus for ease of contact.
- Locations were added to the footer to let customers know the areas served as well as for optimal seo purposes.
- A scroll icon was placed in the bottom for ease of return to the top menu.
- Facebook was highlighted as a “Likes” feature in the footer (and a small icon in the top menu) to encourage sharing yet not encourage leaving the website too quickly.
- Pages for content were added: FAQs , for customer information. News and Events, as well as videos to provide more customer interest…keeping customers on the site longer is an added benefit.
- All design was created to enhance mobile friendly use. Pages optimally display across tablets, cell phones, laptops and computer screens.
THE PRODUCTS PAGE EVALUATION:
- The Products page again had some of the same failing esthetic and navigation issues as the Home page.
- The page’s gallery design lacked cohesive image sizes. Images were small and products were mixed causing confusion for customers, making it hard to shop.
- Overall the page did not invite customers to really have fun and shop for the myriad of products available.
HOW WE FIXED IT:
- The New Products page was re-designed to encompass a new gallery layout. Images were cohesively set to a consistent site and orientation. In addition, images were enlarged to show off the great products and services.
- The fun carries on with the consistent use of colorful icons that link to the other products pages. Encouraging customers to explore the fun!
- Text content (an explanation) of the products and services was added to provide information and to optimize for seo.
- In addition, new individual product pages were used to enhance and really advertise the products. Videos are a feature on the product pages where applicable. Customers now see how really awesome Better Moonwalks is for their events.
Ready for a new website? Here are a few evaluation tips to consider:
Research – No matter how “great” or “cool” a website design is, if it is not designed specifically with your customers, industry and goals in mind…it’s just another pretty website. For a website to be evaluated properly you first need to know:
- Who are your customers? What are their demographics: age, ethnicity, gender and location.
- What are your products or services? Does your audience know the minute they land on your website?
- What is working? What do you “think” is working versus what website features have provided results.
- What is not working? Do you have any feedback that you have received from current website visitors (customers). Your team can often provide insights into areas of stagnation or “stop sign” points. Google Analytics is a crucial part of the evaluation and can provide vital information.
- Who are your competitors? Yes we all do it. We all “scout” each other to see what someone else is doing. However, did you know often times your competition may not be doing it right either?*NOTE: Always look to your marketing experts for guidance. Don’t assume because the competition has a fancy website, that it is functional or optimally SEO ready.
Good Navigation is Vital- No matter how rocking your website may look, if your visitors can’t find their way around easily…they will leave.
Is Your Website WordPress? – WordPress has become the industry website standard for a number of reasons. The primary feature however, is its ease of updating for both developers and website owners. With the huge varieties of plugins available to expand functionality along with theme design, WordPress is here to stay.
Does Your Website Shout, Whimper or Hum? – Website design esthetics should be complementary to your business, customers and products. If your website jolts someone upon landing, they probably will be scared off. The same is true if your website whimpers. Does your website have features to entice users to hang out where they can gain useful information? A good website hums, offering interesting content, great design elements, a pleasant experience and ease of navigation.
NEED A WEBSITE EVALUATION?
At The Mauldin Group, we offer digital marketing magic. Whether your need is a new website, seo or a variety of marketing solutions, our team of experts can take your business from the bottom to the top! Want to learn more Contact Us or call us at: (770) 609-1018.