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What You Need To Know When Getting A Website Built (Hint - Not All Website Are Created Equally)

There are many web design agencies, many of which offer marketing services. Ironically, most take a ‘marketing second’ approach to web design – which both costs and loses you money (as I will explain shortly).

Building a website in today’s world is actually very easy. Almost anyone can do it. And there lies the problem … almost anyone does.

Unfortunately, most do it very badly or use simplified technology (such as an online website builder), that lacks the flexibility and power for advanced digital marketing.

Marketing needs to be a priority. This way, we can ensure that the website will perform as desired once we begin to drive traffic to it.

So, just how important is this?

professional web design

These days, every man and his dog are building sites. And looking at the Majority Of Sites online – It shows!

Web Design Landing Page 1

Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that take a desired action. If Your site Does Not Convert Well, You Are Losing Sales.

Conversions Are King

The truth is, as a business, we never set out to provide web design services. We wanted to focus on marketing. But here was the problem … digital marketing only works well if the website is designed correctly – and just about every site we saw wasn’t.

If we are doing SEO, then we need to ensure the platform is designed and optimised for SEO. If we are doing affiliate marketing, we need to ensure that we can use the best affiliate tracking systems. If we are designing special promotions, the platform needs to be able to handle the technology behind those promotions. You get the idea.

Most important of all though, the site needs to convert. That is, if someone visits your website, we want them to take action (purchase online, call you, fill in a form, or visit you etc.), and ultimately become a customer.

No Hard Sell. No Obligation. Just 100% Pure Value.

Function & Design

Making a site look pretty is not enough. It has a job to do. Yet, despite most websites being developed by professional web agencies, surprisingly few are intentionally designed to convert.

At EthicallyMAD, we design sites with a ‘marketing first’ approach. We identify what the objectives for a website are, what the intended marketing strategies will be, and then build the site accordingly.

This is not to suggest that aesthetic design is unimportant. Just we don’t believe in compromising conversions for the sake of design. A website should both look good, and perform well.

If you don’t take a marketing first approach to design, then you will struggle to make your marketing effective. You will pay more for clicks on Google Ads, struggle to rank well in the search engines, and ultimately get a lower return on all your marketing and advertising spend.

While there is no one website design that fits all businesses, there are some very common mistakes that are guaranteed to cost you business. Here are 3 of the most common to watch out for …

Good web design

“If you think good design is expensive,
you should look at the cost of bad design.”

– Ralf Speth

1) Sliders

Many web design agencies love sliders (those big blocks at the top of a home page with a rotating image). Their clients love sliders too – because they look nice. However, you should hate them and avoid them like the plague – if you care about conversions that is.

You see, sliders have been VERY well researched, and the results are crystal clear. They are really, really bad. They reduce conversions, reduce usability, reduce load speed (and so negatively impact SEO), can cause issues on certain devices … the list goes on.

If you don’t believe me, Google ‘Sliders kill conversions’. Every conversion expert, SEO guru and usability designer has repeated the same thing – “DO NOT USE THEM”. Yet most web agencies continue to make them part of their design.

If you find a web agency that uses or recommends sliders, do not walk, run! They either know too little about conversions, or care more about how their sites look than how many sales you will make.

2) Mobile Response

Most websites these days are ‘mobile responsive’. But most are not ‘optimised for mobile’. So what is the difference? And why is it important?

A non-mobile responsive website will not fit on a small screen. It will create horizontal scroll bars, have text that is difficult or impossible to read, and may use code that does not work on a mobile browser.

Mobile responsive websites take care of this. They adjust the content to fit a mobile screen and will usually look okay. But this is not the same as being optimised for mobile. Often the spacing looks strange, pages load more slowly than they need (as they use larger images than necessary), and usability is compromised.

Ensure your site is mobile optimised so that text and images display well, menus are easy to use, and your site loads as quickly as possible. This is important if you want to rank well on searches carried out on a mobile device, and if you expect your website to convert well with mobile users.

3) Poor Usability

Many design factors can increase (or decrease) your conversions. However, one stands out above all others. Usability. If a website is not user-friendly, visitors become confused and frustrated, causing them to go elsewhere. 

There are many factors to getting usability right, including the choice and size of the font, the colours used for headlines, buttons and links etc., the layout of the page, menu structures, and the messaging (to name but a few).

Having audited many sites now, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that the vast majority of web design agencies (and sadly many that offer digital marketing services) fail to understand the basics of usability, and therefore web conversions.

Some rules can be broken, but only when it makes sense. I highly recommend going out and doing a little research in this area before you build your site, so you don’t suffer the cost of lost sales and likely a rebuild.

No Hard Sell. No Obligation. Just 100% Pure Value.

What Is Included In A Website?

Most people think that all websites are essentially the same (except for how they look). But this is far from the case.

Most cheap sites do not include the ‘hidden’ stuff, like speed optimisation, advanced security, and onsite SEO. But do these really matter?

If you are running a personal website, maybe not. If your site is for your business or a non-profit, then we believe these ‘extras’ are essential.

Depending on how your site is built, adding them on later will usually be more expensive than during the initial build. (And, in some cases, won’t be possible at all.)

Here of a few of the things we consider important …

Grow Your Business

website Are Far more than skin deep.
Don’t Fall for their looks alone.

Thorough Research

To design a website well, you must get to know the business you are building it for, their audience, and their competition.

If this stage is missed, then it is all too easy to produce a site that does not meet the needs of the business or their prospects, and may fall short of the competition (and so struggle to convert).

Speed Optimization

Many tests show even a difference of just 0.1 seconds makes a significant difference to conversion rates. Google understands the need for speed all too well, which is why they penalise slower sites.

If your site is running slow, they will decrease your position in the search engines, as well as charge you more for clicks from Google Ads. 

Most site owners think their sites are loading fine, but this is a subjective opinion. Google is a harsh critic, and measures every site with incredible precision. 

Advanced Security​

There are many levels of security, and unfortunately, a secure password is not enough in today’s hack happy world.

Hackers create automated robots that scour the internet looking for sites with vulnerabilities. If they find one, they will hack it, then secretly use the site for their illegal purposes. 

Usually, the first the site owner knows of the problem is when their hosting company disables the website. And, once hacked, it is often difficult to fix.

Onsite SEO

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of getting a website found in the search engines. One of the critical pieces to this puzzle is how the site has been designed, structured and configured. 

This can be quite a time-consuming process to do well, which is why many web designers skip it. Doing so may save money in the short term, but it will cost you much more in the long run. Get it right the first time.

Tracking Integration

Adding Google Analytics code is easy, but setting it up properly to get accurate data takes quite a bit more time and a lot more skill. 

Configuring the various Google services such as Analytics, Tag Manager and Search Console may not make the site look any different. Still, it will be essential to collecting the data you need to make informed marketing decisions. 

Quality Assurance

Once your website is live, the last thing you want is for your site to have errors. Sadly, coders and designers are notorious for not checking their work.

Even those that do make mistakes. That is why we believe in using a dedicated QA team member who works through a list of checks at multiple stages throughout a project.

In addition to this, we believe it is critical to provide robust training and support to every customer – something all to often missed.

No Hard Sell. No Obligation. Just 100% Pure Value.

How Much Does A Website Cost?

This is a question we get asked a lot. The truth is, it is impossible to say without having more information.

There are just too many variables. How many graphics are needed? How many pages of content are there? What functionality is needed (forms, eCommerce, booking systems, social media integrations, etc.)?

It also depends on the platform of choice (is it being built on WordPress, SquareSpace, Weebly, Shopify, etc.).

Another significant variable is who builds your site. There are plenty of cowboys that take your money, then hire someone much cheaper from Fiverr to build your website. 

We believe in using an expert for each element of a website; e.g. a graphic designer for the design, a coder for the development, an SEO expert for the onsite SEO, a usability and conversions expert to direct and refine the design, a specialist QA tester for checking everything works, etc.

This does not cost much more (as these are all things that should be done when building a site anyway). However, the result is far more professional than having a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’ try to do it all.

Every project is very different, so if you would like an accurate quote, drop us a line.

nz marketing consultant

A cheap website Will usually prove to be false economy. Always check what your Are getting in A Quote.

“Engaging EthicallyMAD was the best decision and best financial investment I have made since starting The Breathing Clinic. Getting a website up just seemed too difficult until I engaged EthicallyMAD to do it for me.

They made it all seem easy and I’m thrilled with the result.

It made sense to engage web designers with a very strong marketing background given that a website is really a marketing tool and with their experience I was able to trust them as experts and actually enjoyed the process.

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.”

– Nicky McCleod, BreathingClinic.co.nz

website consultation

Book now for a free web design consultation. You have nothing to lose, And More sales to gain.

Getting Started

If you are unsure how well your current site is designed and built, then book in for a free consultation (valued at $150). This will give you a custom review of your existing site, with suggestions on what can be done to improve it. 

Unlike most free consultations, this is no sales pitch. Our objective is to wow you with useful help. Of course, we hope after you will want to do business with us, but there is never any obligation or expectation. 

To reserve your free spot, either fill the form below, or give us a call on 03 669 3663. We look forward to helping you identify missed opportunities on your website, and to get more business.

Our Guarantee

If during your audit and consultation we can’t provide you with at least five ways to increase sales (or we give you an unwanted sales pitch), we will send you $50 just for wasting your time.

Book Your Free Website Audit & Consultation

No Hard Sell. No Obligation. Just 100% Pure Value.

Who Are We Anyway?

As with a lawyer, accountant, or any other person you trust with some aspect of your business, it is sensible to know the credentials and experience of those who build your website or do your marketing.

We are EthicallyMAD, that is Ethically Making A Difference. EthicallyMAD’s founder, Leon Jay, is quite unconventional in the world of digital marketing agencies. His knowledge comes over 18 years of building websites, running marketing campaigns for his own businesses, and testing what works.

It is this entrepreneur and business owners mindset that drives EthicallyMAD’s focus on conversions.

Leon has not only run his own businesses, but also has:

  • Studied with, and mentored by, many global leaders in online marketing.
  • Served as Director of Marketing for an international multi-million dollar company.
  • Authored five books on the topic of online marketing and business.
  • Taught digital marketing on stages around the world, and been a guest on numerous podcasts.
  • Designed and developed the world’s first drag and drop sales funnel system.
  • Created some of the email marketing strategies that have now become standard in many of the large email marketing services.
  • Launched multiple products that have generated 6 or 7 figures within days of going to market.
After founding EthicallyMAD, Leon built a team of experts in all the various disciplines needed to build world-class websites and deliver marketing that works. We are not only official Google Partners and certified across a range of Google products, but are passionate about sustainability and helping businesses that are also busy Making A Difference.
web design nelson

Although we may be A little MAD, we’re industry leaders, not industry sheep.

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