website maintenance and improvement

Where your website design may be letting you down

Most business owners are not website design experts, but many will have a go themselves or hire an amateur to do it for them cheaply. This becomes most obvious not necessarily in the visual appearance of a site (many off the shelf or templated options can actually look quite smart) but in the business results your website design delivers. Drawing on our extensive experience of website design in Sussex, and further afield, there is a great deal of consistency in where the problems lie with website performance.

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These 4 key questions will show if your website is being effective or not: 

  • Are you getting traffic to your site?
  • Are visitors staying on your site and looking around, or just bouncing straight off
  • Are you getting leads, enquiries and/or sales?
  • Are those leads and enquiries relevant and qualified?

As discussed in a previous blog, websites have lots of jobs to do if they are to enable business growth. Each challenge you find with your website may require a different team member’s specific skills to fix in order to make it perform to potential. E.g. Is it the designer, SEO specialist, graphic designer or copywriter?

Knowing there is a problem is the first step, figure out how to go about improving its performance is another kettle of fish. Think of it as similar to a patient visiting a doctor. The patient understands they have a health issue, but the medical expert is the one who can correctly diagnose and treat it.

As website designers in Sussex, we’ve worked on many site challenges and their solutions. 

Below are the four most common challenges we come across, along with our quick suggestions on what needs to be done to get them resolved:

Problem 1: Not being ranked in the search results and/or receiving little traffic to your site

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You think you’ve got a good looking website and it’s written nicely. So why isn’t anyone coming to it? How are you meant to generate leads if no one can see it or find you? 

You need an SEO specialist.

Behind the scenes of a site, Google and Bing ‘crawl’ your site. This means that their ‘bots’ read it to determine what the site is about and how good the experience is for users. 

If a bot can’t read the site for some reason, can’t navigate it very well, or it gets error messages rather than being able to see your content, then you simply aren’t going to appear in the search results. 

It’s also about giving the ‘bots’ signals as to what the website is about such as the page title, meta description, the URL slug, schema markup and much more. 

Lost you? Don’t worry. It’s all about using the language your customers use for your products and services appearing on the web pages. For example, if you are a solicitor, rather than using the word ‘conveyancing’ you might go with ‘buying a house’ instead. 

It’s worth acknowledging that (as with many other industries), expertise matters. Using an amateur dentist doesn’t produce the best results, and the same is true for search engine optimisation. True expertise can save a lot of frustration and pain!

Problem 2: The traffic to your site is bouncing off and visitors are not reading the content

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A graphic designer is different to a web designer, although there are some elements of natural crossover between the roles. You may be lucky in that your website and graphic designer are one of the same, but don’t assume that they can do both. 

A graphic designer finds the best way to display your content, whether that be visual content, copy or video. They create a hierarchy of messages on a page, so that the key messages are prioritised and customers can easily find the answers and information they need to make decisions. 

Really importantly, a graphic designer ensures your brand is represented strongly, clearly and consistently. This is important, as when done well it means that before you even get to speak to your potential customer, they will already have a strong and positive sense of who you are.

Problem 3: Getting traffic to the site but prospects aren’t performing the actions you want them to whilst there, including enquiring

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This is where your website designer skillset comes to the fore.

The reason website design is different to graphic design is that a website isn’t static. Your website behaves and looks different for different users, depending on the type of device it’s being viewed on (desktop, tablet or mobile) and the browser being used (Chrome, Safari, Firefox etc), among other factors. These expertise underpin the technical design and build, if you like, of your website.

A good website designer will make the site intuitive to navigate and use, information finding will be straightforward and there will be lots of opportunities to convert and/or enquire. We’ve all been on websites where we are trying to look for something and can’t find it, or the content takes a long time to load up, and can ‘jump’ about as content loads. These sites are immensely frustrating to use and we’ll often give up rather than persevere.

Problem 4: Failing to convert the traffic to leads, enquiries or sales

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It’s disheartening to see your website ranking in the search results, your brand presented just how you want it but the leads still not coming in. The final hurdle to getting your website to achieve its full potential is to use the skills of a sales copywriter.

A copywriter will know how to write persuasive, compelling and clear copy to drive website conversions. They can tell a story, take potential customers on a journey through the purchasing/enquiry process, overcome objections and, ultimately, make it simple and straightforward for the potential customer to make decisions.

How to get all four skill-sets for the price of one from a website design agency in Sussex

Poor website performance can be stressful and scary for business owners. For a website to function at its full potential requires a number of different elements to work harmoniously, and this means the people with the skills for those elements to be well coordinated.

The most cost-effective solution to securing the four different skillsets for your website build, design and ongoing management is to look at outsourcing to an agency. You get the benefit of the different expertise, as well as their rounder experience in your sector, and learnings from other industries too. 

If you have some challenges with your website design and are in Sussex, or further afield, why not book a website review with our team at Growth by Design and see what the potential is of your website.

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