Web Design

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What You Need To Know When Getting A Website Built,  And What Makes Us A Little Different...

There are many web design agencies, and many that offer marketing services. Unfortunately most come at web design with a ‘marketing second’ approach.

Building a website in today’s world is actually very easy. Almost anyone can do it. And here lies the problem… almost anyone does do it. Unfortunately, most do it very badly or use simplified technology (such as online website builders), that lack the flexibility and power for proper digital marketing.

Digital marketing needs to be considered first. This way we can ensure that the website is designed and built in a way that will meet the demands of the marketing strategies used to promote it once finished. 

How important is this?

professional web design

These days, every man and his dog are building sites.

If your website does not convert, you lose the majority of your potential sales

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Well, as a business we never set out to provide web design services. We are marketers. But here was the problem… digital marketing only works well if the website is designed correctly – and just about every website we saw was not.

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.

But most importantly, the site needs to convert.

That is, if someone comes to your website, we need to get that visitor to take an action (purchase online, call you, fill in a form, or visit you etc), and ultimately to become a customer. 

Just looking pretty is not enough.

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 the website are, what the intended marketing strategies will be, and then design the website accordingly.

This is not to suggest that we think that aesthetic design is unimportant. Just we do not believe in compromising conversions for the sake of design.

If you don’t take the marketing first approach to design, then you will struggle to make any of your online 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 advertising costs.

So, here are 3 very common web design mistakes to look 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 never use them – if you care about conversions that is.

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

If you don’t believe me, search Google for ‘Sliders kill conversions’. Every web conversion, SEO guru and usability expert has repeated the same thing. DO NOT USE THEM. Yet most web agencies continue to integrate them in their design.

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

2) Insufficient attention to mobile responsiveness

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 technology 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 want your website to convert well with mobile users.

3) No consideration to conversions

Even if you have never considered them, conversions are the reason your website exists. Yet, as I have pointed out already, few web agencies give little consideration to this crucial fact.

There are many design factors that can increase (or decrease) your conversions. The choice and size of the font, the colours used for design features such as headlines, buttons and links, the layout of the page, the choice and size of images or videos, and of course, the actual words used on the page (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 web conversion.

There are rules that can be broken, but only when it makes sense. I highly recommend going out and doing a little research in this area before you get started building your site, so you do not have to suffer the cost of lost sales and a possible rebuild.

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Simply fill the form below for your no obligation, no hard sell, web and marketing advice...

If you are unsure how well your current site is designed and built, then I would suggest booking a free consultation. This will give you a custom review of your existing site, with suggestions on what can be done to improve it. 

To help you make the right decision when getting a site built or upgraded, checkout our articles, ‘Why A ‘Good Looking’ Web Site May Kill Your Business‘, and ‘How Much Should A Website Cost?‘. 

They will give you a much deeper understanding of what to look for, what to expect for your money, and the hidden dangers of going for the cheapest web developer. 

Please note: We offer payment plan options to help ensure you get the website you need, not the compromise that budget dictates. For more information click here.

We also offer a Conversion Rate Optimisation service, which is ideal if you just want to enhance an existing site without committing to a complete rebuild. Click here to learn more.