State of Web Design

As web search continues to advance as the primary way people search for products and services, website design becomes more and more critical for just about every business. Getting found online by your target audience is part art and part science. This guide to web design for 2017 has all the information you need about the strategy and tactics to create and maintain a site that will work hard for your business.

Getting Started – Web Design Strategy

As our blog below says, “The most important part of web design is strategy.” Your site will only be successful if you have a clear idea of what success means. Building a website is a lot like building a house. First, you have to know what you need your house to provide, then you start designing something that will meet your needs, create the blueprint, and start building!

Website Pricing – Understanding Key Cost Drivers

The cost of a business website doesn’t have to be mysterious, but many well-meaning marketers and business owners don’t understand all that goes into a well-conceived website. Yes, you need great design and ease-of-use, but you also need great content optimized for search and, depending on the nature of your business, lead generation, mobile responsiveness and other features that add complexity and cost. Learn where the money goes, and what you can expect to pay for a small, medium, or large-scale website.

Choosing the Right CMS

Your content management system (CMS) should not be an afterthought. The CMS is what you will use to continue to manage and maintain your site, responding and evolving as business conditions change. There are managed “drag and drop” CMS’s (Weebly, etc,) that simplify page design and host all content and images; open source CMS’s that allow you to program any kind of functionality you want (WordPress, etc.); and a CMS bundled into marketing automation (HubSpot COS). There are significant issues to consider–especially in the area of content ownership and long-term site performance. Learn what’s right for your business.

Website Features and Functionality

There are some things that are optional on websites, but most businesses require some basic functionality in order for the site to be useful to users. User experience is increasingly important for search engine ranking, for one thing. Also, tools like Visual Composer for WordPress can make managing a WordPress site just about as easy as a drag-and-drop CMS like Wix or Weebly.

Building Your Site for Lead Generation

Lead generation and qualification are at the heart of the content marketing revolution that has taken hold as people turn to search engines to find the products and services they want. Lead nurturing–found by your target audience, converting anonymous visitors into leads, and leads into customers–is mission-critical for most businesses. Collaboration between sales and marketing is essential in this process–agreeing on qualification criteria and how/when to hand leads from marketing to sales will decrease friction in the sales process and provide metrics that will enable continual improvement.

How to Maximize Your SEO and Search Ranking

Search is big and getting bigger. If you have a product or service that solves real business and personal problems, people are looking for you online. What are they finding? It is essential that you understand your target audience–the questions they ask and the search terms they use–in order to have the right content that will come up in search engine results, and that you deliver that content via a user experience that gives people just what they’re looking for, when they’re looking for it, and how they want to consume it.

Mobile First – Why Mobile Optimization is So Important

The vast majority of search now takes place on mobile devices. But many businesses continue to develop websites for desktops/laptops first and then test for mobile compatibility. That’s backwards, according to just about every marketing expert in the world. The hard truth is that the quality of a website’s mobile experience also affects how search engines rank site content on any device.

How to Find the Right Web Development Partner

Few companies have an internal web development team. That means when you need a new website, you need help, either in the form of freelancers or marketing agencies. What resources you need will depend, of course, on what you want your website to do for your business. Learn what to look for in a web development partner, and how to choose the right one.

Website Hosting and Maintenance – It’s More Important than You Think

Most companies don’t think about things like web hosting, security, updating CMS and plugin versions, and other backend maintenance until they have to–i.e., when something goes wrong. We recommend against treating web hosting as a commodity that should go to the lowest visitor. There’s too much at stake for companies that count on their websites for business and for branding. If your site is vulnerable to anything from slow loading times to malicious attacks, your business is vulnerable too.

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We hope you enjoyed this free ungated resource.  If you’re looking for help with web development, please get in touch to set up a 30-minute exploratory call.

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