How Vermont Web Marketing Redefines Website Design
What Steps are Necessary When Developing a Quality Website?
Before beginning an actual design, the Vermont Web Marketing team will work with each client to establish or refine their short- and long-term goals. Understanding where a company wants to go defines the strategies employed to reach those goals. Since things invariably evolve over time, the site will always have the capability of being updated to implement those changes.
Next, the purpose of the site must be clearly established. A purely informational site, for example, won’t contain the same elements as a site engaged in e-commerce. Knowing the purpose allows our design team to focus on what’s truly important and also goes a long way toward meeting the requirements of Google or the other search engines when they rank sites.
Once the purpose is defined, we can work on some of the basics of the site. A content management system, or CMS, will need to be selected. Deciding how the site will be structured is also important at this point. Since each site’s needs will be different, the design will be customized to reflect those organization-specific requirements. Website owners using templates don’t have the options clients working with us enjoy and have limited choices for the construction of their sites.
What Characteristics are Included in the Best Website Designs?
Every one of the top websites will have a design presenting the materials necessary for the site owner to succeed, but those sites also make it easy for clients to navigate the site’s pages. A lot of that convenience is related to the CMS used, but we still take steps to make sure the site loads quickly and, when clients click on tabs or links within the site, the navigation is intuitive.
Internal and external links must always function properly. We’ll make it a point to verify every function of a website works as intended. Site visitors quickly move on to competitors’ websites if functions within a site don’t work properly.
Of course, the site has to be attractive. Clumsily designed sites that are cluttered or lack flair rarely succeed in today’s complex marketing environment. We understand how a visually attractive site encourages visitors to stay on the site and, arguably more importantly, come back again.
Organization is important, as online shoppers rarely stay on a site where they can’t find what they need and check out quickly when they’ve decided to buy. Every portion of the buying experience must be convenient and intuitive for the customer or the site owner risks losing the client to a competitor.
What Types of Content are Important?
Simply put, everything should be important. If the content doesn’t promote the product or service in some relevant way, it shouldn’t be included. One thing often ignored is updating contact information. When a phone number or physical address change, for example, those changes should be updated on the website immediately. When employee names are used on the site, those names and positions should be constantly updated. Customers want to know who they’re dealing with, and when information is outdated, they tend to lose confidence in a company quickly.
The content included on any website should be clear and concise. That means getting rid of unnecessary verbiage is important. Customers want the facts without a lot of flowery or overly-complex language. Site owners should know who their customers are and present the information in language that demographic group is comfortable with. Remember, the average person in this country reads and comprehends language written at roughly a sixth-grade level. On the other hand, websites designed to attract top executives and other professionals may well use much more sophisticated language. Tailor the writing to the site’s target market.
Today’s trends lean toward using more videos and other graphics on sites. Industry experts suggest most viewers are more willing to watch a short video than they are to read a lengthy description of a product or service. Pictures are also recommended to illustrate what is being described. However, any videos or pictures must be of high quality. Videos taken using a smartphone or casual snapshots are not generally going to garner the same responses as professionally produced ones will.
Are Other Trends Important to Consider?
The industry is always in flux, which means every website owner needs to be aware of emerging trends as well as those that are no longer generating the interest they once did. We stay on top of the trends and go over them with clients to determine which ones offer potential value for the client’s site and which ones can be put on the back burner. So, the question then becomes, which current trends present strong potential?
Blogging is one of the current trends many sites are incorporating to enhance their site rankings with the search engines. Some sites use blogs written by someone within the company or by an outside writer with expertise in the area. Another option is to guest blog for another site. Doing so offers benefits to everyone involved, as it generally means links are shared, which tends to enhance the perceived value of both sites in the eyes of both the site visitors and the search engines.
Many sites feature interactive features, especially question-and-answer forums. Other sites use some sort of instant messaging option that allows customers to communicate quickly with a company representative when they have questions or problems. Again, the various strategies will vary from one website to another, but paying close attention to current trends is always important.
What Type of Communication Between Design Experts and Clients Is Recommended?
Many companies assume that once a website is up and running there is little need to remain in regular contact with our team. Given the constant changes in online marketing, that could prove to be disastrous. For example, Google and the other search engines routinely update the algorithms used to rank websites, meaning a site that is performing well today could quickly drop to the bottom of the rankings when modifications are introduced by those search engines.
When websites are designed, the CMS used is often selected to allow the site owner to make minor changes and add or delete content. However, maintaining and improving the site requires much more. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a powerful tool that makes it possible to integrate new ideas, track a site’s performance, and quickly adapt to search engine algorithm updates.
How Does SEO Help Websites to Become More Effective?
The very definition of SEO is evolving as search engines develop new ways to manage their traffic. Vermont Web Marketing works closely with clients to maintain their sites’ rankings, but we do far more. The goal of most websites is to generate profits, and simply having an attractive site isn’t enough. Even sites already generating substantial profits must continue to explore new ways to enhance their revenues. Monitoring a site’s performance is one function of SEO. If, for example, an element of the site is not being well-accepted, the data will reflect that information. That, in turn, allows us to suggest changes to improve or replace the element.
SEO experts on our team also monitor the sites of their clients’ competitors to see what they are doing that appears to be working. In many cases, changes can easily be incorporated into a site using the same types of strategies competitors’ sites are employing successfully. The goal is to continually improve a site to make it a more valuable asset for the owners.
Vermont Web Marketing recognizes the realities facing their clients. Not everyone can afford every service offered, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t explore the options available. Our team will work closely with any site owner to evaluate their needs and develop a plan to address those needs while staying within the budget. Improving your web presence is only a phone call or email away.