If it’s been more than three years since its last redesign, it’s high time your company’s website underwent an overhaul. Even if you’re relatively pleased with the site in its current form, it’s recommended that you change things up every few years. This prevents your site from getting stale, keeps regular patrons interested and drums up enthusiasm from prospective customers. In the quest to make your site stand out, an experienced web designer can be your most valuable ally. This person holds the key to unlocking your website’s true potential and capturing the interest of first-time visitors. When searching for the right person for the job, take the following factors into consideration.
Someone with an Impressive Portfolio
When it comes to a visual medium like web design, a professional’s work should speak for itself. Even if your initial meeting with a prospective designer doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, have a look at her portfolio before coming to a decision. Fortunately, most professional web designers have bodies of work that are easy to access. Many of their websites feature screenshots of past jobs, as well as links to sites they created for other clients.
Someone Who Takes Your Input into Account
When you hire someone to overhaul your company’s website, the subsequent redesign should be a collaborative effort. Unless you have a strong background in web design, hiring a sycophantic “yes” man or woman is generally ill-advised. Demanding that a site be built according to your exact specifications – with no input from the designer herself – isn’t likely to bear favorable results. Conversely, a web designer who refuses to take any of your input into account may not be the best fit for the job. Any web designer you hire should be open to working collaboratively with your team – and vice versa. Throughout the design process, you’ll both be able to point out potential shortcomings and areas for improvement on each other’s ends, resulting in a site with which everyone is pleased.
Someone Who’s Well-Versed in Mobile Optimization
These days, a website’s mobile device functionality is arguably more important that its ability to run smoothly on traditional computers. With this in mind, limit your choices to designers who have extensive experience in mobile optimization. Even if someone creates a visually-appealing, user-friendly site for your company, it’s essentially worthless if it can’t comfortably be accessed on smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.
No matter what industry you’re in, it practically goes without saying that all of your competitors have functional websites. As Entrepreneur’s Tim W. Knox puts it, “It’s better to have no website at all than to have one that makes your business look bad.” That being the case, it’s imperative that you take steps to make your company’s site stand out. Simply having a website has long been considered old hat; what matters is how well that site is able to captivate prospective customers. With so much of your company’s success riding on its website, it’s in your best interest to bring a seasoned web designer into the fold.
In the digital age of marketing, Google is king. A recent study revealed that nearly 90% of consumers now take their buying cues from prominent search engines, most notably Google. Frankly, there’s little wonder as to why. Instead of scrolling through the local Yellow Pages and taking a chance on a random business, people can now get all the pertinent information they need from the world’s most popular search engine. A business’s phone number, email address, location, hours of operation and consumer reviews are readily available to all interested parties. In other words, if you want your enterprise to thrive in the 21st century, you’ll need to curry favor with Google – and the following tips will help you do just that.
Update, Update, Update
One of the most important qualities Google looks for in a website is consistent updates. The company prides itself on providing users with relevant search results, and if your site frequently goes weeks – or even months – between updates, it can hardly be considered relevant. Taking this into account, make a point of posting new blog posts, articles, image collections, videos or any combination thereof at least once or twice each week. If you don’t feel up to producing so much content on your own, delegate this task to creative-minded individuals within your organization. Within five seconds of arriving at a site, most people have mind up their minds about whether to stay or leave, so make sure this content is entertaining, informative and worth reading.
Organic Keyword Incorporation
Over the last decade, keyword integration has become crucial to search engine recognition. The keywords and phrases you’ll need to include in your content vary depending on a number of factors – industry, location and target audience chief among them. However, regardless of the industry you work in, you’ll need to incorporate your keywords in a natural, organic fashion. If Google picks up on the fact that you’re unceremoniously shoehorning keywords into your content, your plan will have the opposite effect, and you’ll quickly see your site take a plunge in the search rankings.
As previously stated, Google values relevance in the sites it favors. For this reason, a number of sites have risen in the rankings by referencing current events in their content. So whenever you have an opportunity to draw a parallel between your industry and a trending news story, don’t hesitate to take it. This is a great way to bring in new web traffic, step up your Google ranking and teach people about your company.
As AZ Central Small Business reports, businesses that appear towards the top of Google’s rankings are viewed as industry leaders and figures of authority by many modern-day consumers. Even if you’re absolutely in love with your company’s website and its content, the site’s not doing its job if Google isn’t taking notice. Luckily, being prominently featured in Google’s search rankings isn’t the uphill battle many business owners envision. Regular updates and moderately-tailored content can go a long way in stepping up your Google game and winning over prospective customers.