Fixing, rebuilding and migrating existing working sites is our specialty, We do repairs, plus updating for looks, functionality, ranking, security and performance. It’s a complete package that goes beyond a visual makeover. Most who have worked with a graphic designer or agency, know they focus upon the look, the site branding. However a website is not an online brochure. We’re not in the 90’s any more.
Good visual design and branding is just 25% of the job
Good visuals are only 25% of what’s needed when marketing yourself online. Yet 80-90% of any new website budget is poured into what it looks like. To succeed online today you must also ensure:
- the website is fast and secure
- one Google likes and will rank
- has the tools to engage visitors
None of these functions are taught well at web design school. The site look is but the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. Yet many businesses are sold a website that is all icing, no substance or goodness within.
1. A new look. A new theme.
Okay, lets get icing sorted and out of the way. A site update often does require a better look or theme. We can even ‘fix’ an existing one you may have purchased through themeforest or other outlet. But sometimes the update and repair process can be prohibitive. Many of these ‘multi-purpose’ $50 themes are a coding nightmare, many designers not following best practices. Often very slow too.
Note this does not mean we discard all your existing site content or photos, but simply use a new layout and better coding structure. The site look from our perspective is just an outer ‘skin’ that is often easily swapped for a better one, so all the time you spent on the content is not wasted.
Yes, we can build you a new, 100% custom look too. We’ve done this for hundreds of clients. But, it does add considerably to the time and costs. Instead, consider some pre-built themes, releasing budget for marketing and getting traffic. Below is our recommended list of theme providers we’ve used with great success. Each offers clean, slick-looking designs that are well coded, more targeted and mobile-ready. We then install the theme, configure it and migrate content from your current website. You’ll save 50-70%.
- Web Savvy Marketing (Industry-specific themes)
- Restored 316 Designs (Soft, very stylish layouts)
- AppFinite Designs (Bold business styles; slick portfolios)
- Pretty Darn Cute ( Feminine designs that stand out)
- StudioPress (Collections for business, magazines, blogs)
Don’t forget we can tweak each of these themes for colours, fonts, menus, adding in logos, forms, galleries, social linking etc as well as optimise for security, speed, ranking and engagement, outlined below…
2. A Fast and Secure Website
Did you realise that WordPress websites are typically half the speed of most other websites? We’re told Google ‘prefers’ WordPress over other sites. But Google will not rank slow sites well, be they WordPress or other technology, and these days, WordPress sites, because of all the extra ‘stuff’ people add and the slow budget hosts they tend to use, sites often very, very slow…
The goal should be a complete page load in under 5 seconds with something appearing in under 2-3 seconds. And every second counts. An Aberdeen Group study showed an extra 1-second page load delay caused a 7% decrease in conversion rates and 11% fewer page views. Also, it had 25% of visitors abandoning business websites after waiting just 4 seconds to load. For eCommerce sites, expectations are higher with 40% abandonment after just 3 seconds with little showing. To checkout your current site, go to http://www.webpagetest.org/
3. Getting found online
If you can’t be found online in a search, what’s the point in having a website?
Bottom line is you have to take care of your best online salesperson, Google. You may have spent thousands on getting the right look, yet Google cares nothing about how pretty your site looks. (And adding in a free SEO plugin isn’t the miracle cure). This is why most beautiful, agency-designed websites where nearly all budget went into the graphic design, get little search traffic and little business. Most then revert to spending thousands each month on AdWords. They sold you on a website look, perhaps bundling in a Facebook page too… It’s simply not enough.
Google, when evaluating your website for an organic listing, looks at your site coding structure, site speed, authority and content relevancy. Failing in any one of these areas will drop you out of the game. There is a detailed process to work through before Google will reward you with visitors. How ‘pretty’ it looks is never a factor in search ranking. All this requires expert planning and some budget. We can help work through this process.
4. Tools and a Strategy to Engage Visitors
Once people get to your site, it’s important to engage them, get them to do something. Collegue Chris Lema summed it up well in a recnt podcast.
Well put Chris. Sadly 95% of websites are in this state. The good news is that knowing this, it doesn’t take too much effort or budget to get ahead of the pack.
If your site is in dire need of some expert assistance and a makeover, then talk to us today. Fill in the form below or use the chat box and we’ll get back to you within the hour.