marketing / web design

Existing Business. New Website.

Following on from our blog on future-proof marketing for start-ups, here we look at one of the common pitfalls of starting up on a shoestring.

Many established businesses approach us for a new website usually for one of the following reasons: 

  • Their existing platform has either reached its potential.
  • Domain Authority is low because of poor SEO
  • The website can’t be scaled up to meet changing requirements
  • It was a ‘bespoke build’ that it is out of date and cannot be edited or expanded upon without huge development costs.

New website. New Content

It is important to clarify, if you are having a new website built, you pay for an entirely new website. Borrowing bits and pieces from an existing website just won’t work. You’re already investing time and budget in this, now is not the time to cut corners.

Assets that you can carry over are:

  • Well-optimised popular blogs
  • Some existing content if the messaging is still relevant. This should all have been written specifically for the web and with a focus keyword, or it will need reworking.
  • Unique photography

What to leave behind

  • Blogs for the sake of it. If they aren’t properly optimised, or they are out of date in terms of SEO best practice, they could be doing more harm than good. So, have a look at what to keep and what to trash. Read our blog on working with old content.here

The ‘New Website’ Big Three.

We speak with numerous business owners and marketing managers who are looking to commission a new website. In our experience, their big three requirements within their redevelopment are:

1.Usability

Your website administrators.

Clients who are tied into a bespoke built website who need to pay their agency or developer £80 for a single word change. Internal marketers, unable to add a new blog category or, even worse, are being quoted thousands just for a blog page to be added.

Customer journey

From a user perspective, websites with confusing navigation, slow page loading times, clunky forms and confusing calendars can mean that leads are drying up and bounce rates are rocketing. All of these elements impact your SEO.

2. SEO

More leads mean more fun. I haven’t come across a business that doesn’t have a focus on drawing in relevant, high-quality traffic. This is where it becomes extremely important to keep an eye on the detail if you are getting in multiple proposals for your new website.

Your new website build should literally begin and end with SEO. (see our below process). A couple of quick and easy ways to check if your own website has ever been optimised is to look at your meta descriptions and/or your permalinks.

Meta descriptions.

Meta descriptions support any page, project or post on a website. They provide the ‘searcher’ with a snippet of what your page is about before they click through from a search engine. (see below example). If they are truncated, do not explain what the user is going to see when they do click or do not have a call to action – they have not been optimised.

Permalinks.

Permalinks and URLs are also ways to get the relevant keywords into your cornerstone content.

For example, our ‘Blog’ which is full of Marketing Blog

thetypefacegroup.co.uk/marketing-blog/ your new website should have well researched and relevant focus keywords on each page. You’ll be able to see if this has been done by looking at your URLs.

Don’t forget to ensure that your agency makes a note of these changing URLs, so they can set redirects and ensure you don’t lose any traffic by visiting old URLs cached by Google.

It’s not impossible but it is inadvisable to opt for a design only website with a view to optimising it in the future. This will mean going back to the very fabric of your site and starting again at some point down the line, which is a waste of time and money.

If there is a huge disparity between the quotes you are receiving for your new website, there is usually a good reason. Make sure you are comparing apples with apples.

3.ROI

Budget is always the elephant in the room when discussing the potential for a new website. Very often, we are speaking with clients that have been stung with a big development bill and yet seen few results.

That is why all website proposals should have clearly defined objectives, written down in black and white and agreed with your agency. Your objectives may well influence the cost of the project, but it is much better to iron out expectations at the briefing stage.

Eye on the prize.

There are various ways to measure website ROI, none more effective than setting robust goal conversions. These goals must be set at the briefing stage. Creating the relevant pages / downloads / forms / sign ups  / booking functions will become part of the build. Unless you are selling a product, putting a price on a lead or an enquiry can be tricky. The real importance is measuring the growth and quality of interest. Again, you may receive an increase in phone or email enquiries. If you want a true measure, your sales teams will need to record where any new client acquisitions have come from.

Setting up conversions at the beginning will also assist you in the long term to measure the effectiveness of your tactical marketing activities. This blog explains all: https://thetypefacegroup.co.uk/goal-conversions/

PROCESS. PROCESS. PROCESS

Defining a foolproof process for your new website build is key to success. A robust plan will reduce wasted time and will accelerate your project. With over 12 years of experience in our back pocket, this is the process we follow to make new website builds as pain free as possible.

If you have any questions about new website builds, do drop me a tweet

Alternatively, take a look at our website portfolio to see the fruits of solid
planning, best practice SEO and fluid client comms.