You know your website is outdated. And you know you’ve gotta “bite the bullet” and have it redesigned.
Online users consider website design one of the top criterion in ascertaining the credibility of your company.
In today’s marketing world, an outdated or poorly designed website can cause your customers to lose trust in you and go shop with your competitors.
When you’re ready to take action and hire a web designer, you’ll find several agencies who will quote you a price for a “brochure website” — a standard 3- to 10-page website including a Home page, an About Us page, and a Contact page. They’ll show you tons of beautiful designs that you can OOH and AAH over.
But here’s the catch:
Pretty doesn’t equal SEO.
S-E-Oh. Don’t fret. I’m not gonna get all technical on you. I promise. But you do need to know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to be sure your web redesign dollars are being well spent.
If you want your new site to be found, one thing you need to include is SEO friendly keywords on your site. Basically, when creating a site you want to include words that customers would use to search for your business. But your business isn’t generic. So you don’t want a bunch of broad, canned phrases on your website. Explaining all the facets of your unique business within the confines of a “brochure website” can be difficult, too. What you want is for the language used on your company's website to sound natural. Engaging. Distinctive. Relevant.
The challenge is to strike the perfect balance between telling your company’s unique story and loading your website with popular keywords.
Here’s another catch: If Google thinks you’re keyword stuffing — trying to unnaturally jam as many related terms as possible into your 3- to 10-page website — they’ll punish you.
This is serious business. Google has specific algorithms that severely penalize websites that try to use that approach. If you do it, your search engine ranking will PLUMMET, your site won’t show up when people search for it, and all that money you spent on a website redesign will be for NOTHING.
So how does a complex business website incorporate the important keywords associated with its trade?
You must demand — yes, DEMAND — a dynamic website that expands, changes, and grows with your business. This means you must request that the web redesign company you’re working with do three things:
1. Build a website on an open source platform that gives you the freedom to switch agencies, designers, or IT crews at any time. Still trying to decide between an Open Source or Proprietary Web Platform? Learn some of the pros and cons here.
2. Set-up and integrate WordPress on your company URL. If you were building a house, this would be the equivalent of asking your contractor to add plumbing to your basement. Someday, you might want to “finish” your basement to add more livable square footage to your house. So, at the outset, you should lay the groundwork for that possibility.
Having WordPress pre-set will allow you to easily expand your website in creative ways down the road. This is how you successfully add a variety of SEO keywords to your site.
For example, say you decide to add a customer FAQs section, an employee bio page, or a company news page. According to Hubspot.com, websites with blogs get 55% more traffic. With WordPress, the groundwork for developing those keyword-laden blog posts is already set. (You don’t have to blog. There are ways around blogging. But one day, you might decide that the smart money is on content strategy, and you’ll be glad everything's already in place on your website to get a blog up and running in no time.)
3. Ensure your website will get traffic and generate leads. The "all-purpose" solution that web designers offer you when quoting an inexpensive brochure website often really IS too good to be true. The price may be tempting, but it’s a waste of your money if it’s not done right. Be sure to design your website with a reputable company who thoroughly understands digital marketing, not just website design.
See? I told you I wouldn’t get too technical on you.
If the agency you're considering working with doesn't bring up these three topics as you discuss your website estimate, they might not be a reliable resource.