A Website Is Not A Brochure For Customers To Read And Discard. It's Not A Business Card, A Letterhead, Or Advertising Billboard: It's Your Virtual Sales Team And It Should Work Harder And Work Better Than Everything Else You've Got
It's Time To Stop Thinking Of Your Website As A Static Set Of Text Pages, And Develop Its Full Potential As A 24/7/365 Automated Sales Engine... One That New Prospects And Your Loyal Customers Truly Appreciate
Too many businesses still view their website as a static brochure, to be built, published, and then left to stand with minimal updating. This is all wrong. Your website is never finished: it's a living, evolving center for your business and it should be the core of your business generating marketing activities. Read more on this page and call us today to awaken your website's potential.
Enlightenment Media, a website designers in Brevard which design websites, but that's not all. We work with you long term to grow the website and build all of the dimensions of digital marketing around your site. Call us today for free, no-obligation advice about your business website and how it could be driving growth in your business.
Web Design: Beware Hiring A Web Designer*
*There are a lot of people who call themselves web designers, that's the key: read on... and remember your website is the central auto marketing engine driving your business... not just a static brochure...
There are a LOT of companies which can offer you web design, but surprisingly FEW that can really design your living site around marketing principles... perfectly combining the brand aims of your business with the needs of your customers.
What's the problem with just hiring a web designer? It is because the specialist skills involved in designing and building websites tend to divide providers into two camps: either overly design-focused, or overly technical-focused. But what you should be focusing on is the suitability for delivering your marketing messages, and control/flexibility for continuing to improve this marketing performance over time.
...And Beware The One-Off Project Approach
Hiring a visual designer or a technical designer for building your website may give you good results in their areas of expertise.
But by definition that's a one-off project. You tell them what you want, they deliver something roughly matching, then that's it. You'll likely not work with them again for a long time.
Contrast that with developing your website design with Enlightenment Media: we work closely with you throughout the whole web design process, and launch, and we continue with you after it's live.
You will not find a lot of web designers who will work with you throughout the implementation and launch, AND then stay with you to work long term on the development of your marketing WITH that website.Contact Enlightenment Media today to discuss our unique Universal Solution for your digital marketing and website design in Melbourne FL.
Consider the implications of building websites without a marketing focus: On the one hand, you have the aesthetic, design-optimized web designer crowd. Beautiful but you have to fit your content around their vision, because the style comes first... Tempting for creating a visually cool or impressive site, but not adaptable to a living, customer-focused, informational, functional website which you need to maintain and grow continuously over time.
On the other hand, you have the functional, programmatic, technical type of web designers. They will think a lot about the code, the system, the server, and hopefully the performance. The performance aspect is very important, so if you are starting your web design with a technical expert, at least you can focus on speed, reliability, and the performance/viewing on mobile devices. But the more code-oriented website builders won't be able to offer an integrated visual design, and they aren't focused on understanding your customers, what they want, what your business offers, and how to persuade them you are what they've been looking for...
When you design and continue building your website, it must begin from that marketing strategy perspective. What do your customers need and expect? What are the key benefits about your product, service, and brand which you need to communicate as clearly and persuasively as possible? How can the website help draw in potential customers and convert them to the next stage of the sales process? How can you use the website to gather data and learn what works best in your promotions and conversion process? These are all questions you need to look at (and we'll work with you through all of them)... before you 'break ground' on beautiful or highly technical website building.
Put bluntly, a lot of businesses dive straight into building their websites without asking the right questions first. Why do we even have a website? Who is it for? How can it deliver real business results? -- We always start with the important strategy questions, so everyone is crystal clear about where we're going and why.
Importantly, neither the cool visual web designer, nor the geeky technical web designer, are able to produce the actual content of your website. When you work with Enlightenment Media we will work on the whole picture of your website, including the content of the pages, what message you are putting out there, and how you can continue to test and improve what your site does for your actual business goals.
One of the main questions you have to ask about your current website is whether you feel fully in control of adding to the site over time, including constant improvements to visuals, navigation, design details, and interactive parts. If you feel that your website is too locked-down or out of your hands, it's definitely time to discover what the blockers are, because you need to get back ownership.
Websites should be designed and built in the best interests of the target customers first. Second, pay attention to control and ease of use for your own team. Your team must gain a full sense of ownership of the online marketing, especially what's happening on your main website. These two things are your web design priorities. Don't let your priorities get distracted by gimmicks, flashy design, or excessively technical debates. Always keep it about the marketing.
Web Design Standards Won't Stop Evolving - Are You Keeping Up?
The technologies that power the web are improving, and users' expectations are evolving too. You may already be feeling the pain if your website is not performing well for mobile users, or relies on obsolete software like Adobe/Shockwave Flash.
Is your site's technology up to date? Things are moving so fast, by the time you read this, our list will probably be out of date, but here are a few we're talking to all our clients about these days!
- Compliant HTML5 ?
- Editing styles with a CSS preprocessor like Sass?
- Deploying SSL in all the key interactive parts of the site, if not everywhere?
- Hardening your CMS with lots of security add-ons?
- Using a CDN if audience is from international locations?
- Web pages scale down responsively for small screens... or should that be scale UP elegantly for "non-mobile"? ;)
- Accepting mobile Bitcoin payments for your drone deliveries? Only kidding, but keep an eye on the horizon, the boat's steaming faster all the time!
Many of the above points are not covered by web designers, who expect IT staff on your side to implement the actual details of optimization and server setup. We can advise on this so that the live implementation of your site doesn't fall down on any technical points.
Another factor that often causes smaller businesses headaches is legal compliance, in terms of data protection, privacy policies, end-user license agreements, etc. Yet another thing usually not considered by specialist visual or technical web designers. We can help you ensure all the details are covered as well as the technical side of things.
Three things became very clear for Google SEO in 2014:
1 - A slow website drops down the rankings, a fast one rises up;
2 - A mobile-unfriendly site gets penalized, a mobile-ready one rewarded;
3 - SSL-enhanced sites get a boost for being on-message for security.
How is your site doing on these three key points?
"We Have To Change Our Whole Site AGAIN?"
If you've been stuck in thinking that your website needs to be "finished", the realization that you have to treat it as a living thing, constantly developing, can seem like you've created a lot of new work.
But in the right hands, updating your site and continually adding to it is something that is very practicable and fun.
One way to think of it is the enjoyment you get out of working with your customers, but a lot more leveraged. Instead of helping one customer, you help a thousand. Instead of receiving one useful suggestion or positive comment, you pull in hundreds. So we like to start from this point of view, that your website is not a chore to get out of the way... it should be something interesting and useful that you and your customers constantly get a lot out of.
At Enlightenment Media we are not prescriptive: we don't barge in and tell you that you have to follow all the latest web design trends "just because everyone is doing it like this". We seek to understand your vision and pull together the whole marketing strategy so it makes sense to you and to your customers. Everything we suggest changing or adding to your site, will come with a clear reason that aligns with your strategy.
Update or Begin Again?
Most established businesses already have some kind of website up and running, often something quite extensive that's taken a lot of work over time to build up. So of course the question of website design and development hardly ever occurs in a pure "blank slate" scenario.
You have to consider what is already online, and whether you are adding to it, modifying it, or throwing it out completely and starting from scratch!
At Enlightenment Media we are very aware of these real-world considerations and we will make sure we listen to you and understand your current website position before discussing how to improve or evolve from where you're at right now.
Considering the work that's gone into your current website, it can be difficult to consider options which will radically change or completely trash what you've worked on and gotten used to over time. It is true you should look at the learning curve and your current team capabilities before choosing new software systems and development goals for your website. We'll help you assess that.
Even if you opt for a new website foundation, you don't want to throw everything out. There will usually be technical questions about how to preserve certain content and features (and Google rank!!) of the best parts of your site, while transitioning to a more modern website system. We make sure to help you through the technical side smoothly as well.
The best way to approach website planning issues is to get a very clear picture of where you stand right now, and objectively how well your site parts are performing.
Know Your Current Position
- Measure exactly how much traffic your site is currently getting, where that traffic goes, and whether it's relevant and converting traffic for your business goals
- Benchmark your current site's technical performance such as speed, reliability, and usability on mobile devices
- Track the bugs or difficulties in your current site setup that seem to make its usefulness less for your customers, and seem to block your team from developing the site to its full potential
- Clearly note your site's strengths and weaknesses right now: be aware of what you want to keep and develop, and what you want to throw out or build up afresh
- Don't be limited in your creativity by what you are familiar with on your own site: make sure your whole team is involved in sourcing interesting ideas of design, content, and functionality from related or competing websites
Keeping Up With The Web
Although every website is going to be unique, we certainly have some "good practice" standards about how we develop clients' websites, and have various tools and design concepts we use a lot, because they work well. But we won't automatically tell you to change your whole system.
Here are some questions we discuss with you when deciding the most efficient course of action for your website development:
- Do the design and function ideas you are prioritizing for your site right now fit within the software system that runs your website?
- If you have extensive or radical design and development plans, what is the likely timescale, and what is the likely investment? Are there things that can be improved in the meantime more quickly and cost-effectively?
- Have you already got coders and designers and content producers in your team who need to be involved in website development, or are there skill gaps we can help fill?
- What are the risks of disruption to customers and your business from changing branding, information, and functionality on your website? Do we need to make additional plans
Because a fresh pair of eyes is always a help with website design, we will give you plenty of ideas about visuals, layout, new pages, and improved marketing power. We also believe it's important to create an open discussion forum so that your team members, and even your customers, can continuously contribute ideas and feedback about how your website can keep getting better.
One often-overlooked part of website design and development is making
sure everyone's voice is heard and continues to be heard. We'll help you get valuable ideas from everyone who holds a stake in your website... and that includes your customers too!.
Whether you would like to start with a brand new website, or get help improving your current system and pages, give Enlightenment Media a call today for impartial, fresh advice -- and remember, your website deserves more than a superficial makeover: get some full-solution marketing experts on your side!