Let’s be honest … when it comes to web designers and web developers in the local Lancaster, Harrisburg, and York markets, you have plenty to choose from. Each one will tell you they have the know-how to give you the best website design. But if that’s the case, why are there so many bad web designs being developed? And why do so many website designs fail to deliver good SEO results?
Great web design isn’t based on just good looks. Great web design is based on the understanding that your website design actually has to talk to your target audience. More important, it has to deliver compelling website content to that audience at every level of the sales funnel. If you’re talking with a web designer who never brings up your target audience and their motivations, do yourself a favor and move on.
So in many ways, a compelling website design starts at the content level. That’s why it pays to start with a good content strategy that’s client-focused. Unfortunately, this make-or-break step gets lost on many local web designers.
When it comes to website design, a content strategy has to consider these factors:
1. Your value proposition
In short, why should I buy your product or service? And why is it better than others? Good web design starts here and makes sure you’re differentiating yourself throughout your website design.
2. Content audit
What content is available? What has worked well on your current website? If your website is missing information, where can your web designer get the necessary information to write compelling content?
3. Understand your customers
Start by identifying your ideal customer (creating buyer personas will help). It’s rare to only have one target customer. Typically your website design will need to address the pain points of different types of people – existing customers, new prospects, even potential employees. You need content to address each of their unique needs and questions.
At the same time, you also need different types of content for different stages of the buying process. Use blogs in the awareness stage to help educate and build your presence. If prospects are ready to purchase, try case studies to demonstrate your expertise.
4. Create compelling content
77% of consumers will go to a website to read content prior to making a purchase. Make sure your content hits home. Compelling website content will answer prospect questions and help them make an informed buying decision. Add substance to your content by including statistics, research, infographics, and other content types.
And make sure your content can be scanned as nearly 80% of website users scan your pages. That means using shorter sentences, layering in effective H1, H2, and H3 header tags, and including lists, bullet points, and other elements to make scanning easy. These items will also improve your SEO results.
Pay attention to content length too, as it’s a critical factor in supporting SEO with your website design. From a reader’s perspective, 1,600 words is ideal, but Google likes content to be even longer at 2,000 to 2,450 words.
5. Determine your tone and language
How do you want your content to sound? Friendly and conversational? Professional? Technical? Remember, you’re writing for your audience and not for you. Don’t use jargon that makes sense to you but gets lost on your prospects. If you aren’t sure your text is reader-friendly, use the Flesch Reading Ease Calculator. Good web design companies use tools like this to make sure prospects get what you’re saying.
6. Write and design for SEO
Here’s where a lot of web designers slip up. The web design and web developer teams get caught up in making the website look pretty and fail to connect with agency SEO services staff. So you wind up with a great looking web design that falls flat on its face when it comes to having essential SEO tactics in place to drive organic traffic and, ultimately, conversions.
Calls to action get hidden. Keyword-based navigation opportunities get overlooked. Text gets shortened because it doesn’t look nice to a web designer. It’s imperative that your web designers and SEO teams interact, especially with local SEO where you can generate good search results just by mentioning your location as Lancaster, Harrisburg or York.
The other thing that happens during website design and development is a lack of attention to website optimization. Too many images. Or images that slow your site down because they haven’t been properly compressed. The faster your website design pages load, the better. That applies not only to Google searches but also to conversions. Faster page loads = higher conversion rates.
7. Content takes many forms
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking blogging is always the answer when it comes to content creation and improved SEO results. You’ll hear lots of website designers in Central Pennsylvania tell you to blog, blog, and blog some more. They aren’t wrong necessarily. But content goes well beyond blogging. Think about it. There’s video, infographics, podcasts, webinars, and lots of other options open to you.
Just as important, even web design updates can make a difference. A change in navigation, improved linking structure, better service page content, and other changes can deliver huge improvements with SEO results, readability, and conversions.
Great web design requires a packaged solution …
- Web designers need to developer a web design that’s attractive but takes SEO requirements into consideration
- Web developers have to build a website design focused on speed by using image compression, deploying caching solutions, and keeping code light.
- Content creators must understand your customers and their triggers. They have to create compelling content that answers your prospects’ questions.
- And SEO specialists have to research the right keywords, while making sure the web design supports SEO.
If a web design company fails to properly integrate all these elements, the end result is a website design that misses the mark.
If you want to be sure you’re working with a web designer that gets it - one that knows how to create a cohesive, customer-direct website design - give us a call. Our focus as a web design company based in Lancaster is helping small businesses get an affordable website design that has all the pieces in all the right places.