Determining when to redesign your website is a common yet challenging business decision. On one hand, your website is often your most important marketing tool. An effective website can make a dramatic impact on your bottom line. On the other hand, redesigning your website requires significant time, effort, and resources. At Green Apple, we’ve had the opportunity to help dozens of clients redesign their websites over the years — a few of which have gone through multiple iterations. We want to help our clients make informed decisions on whether they should invest in a website redesign. We also want to help them avoid the mistakes businesses make when launching a new website. Sometimes they decide it’s time to redesign the entire site. In other cases, we help them identify small tweaks and improvements they can make.
The 10 Details to Look for When Testing Your New Website
Launching a new website is no small feat. It requires a combination of strategy, creativity, design, and web development skills to execute the hundreds of details required for planning and building it. After hours of preparation and collaboration, the last thing you want is to launch your website without making sure it’s ready for an audience. Testing your new website before it goes live is absolutely essential for a smooth website launch. As a full-service marketing agency, we’ve had the opportunity to help launch dozens of websites over the years. Along the way, we’ve learned certain best practices when it comes to completing the final details and testing a website before it launches.
10 Details to Look for When Testing Your New WebsiteHere are 10 areas of your new website to test and review prior to going live. Within each of these categories, there might be dozens of specific details (e.g. – forms on multiple pages), so it’s important to create a comprehensive checklist that includes all the pages on your new site:
1. Website FunctionalityMaking sure your website integrates with your existing systems and third-party websites or plugins is the first priority during a website review. This includes testing all outbound links, internal links, and forms on your website. Making sure your website is fully functional also means checking for HTML and CSS validation to ensure your website is accessible to search engines.
2. Site Navigation and ContentIn addition to checking the back-end functionality of your website, you also want to make sure it’s usable for your audience. This includes testing and verifying navigation features that make your pages easy to use and understand. This is also a time to review your content for any final editing or proofing that might be needed.
3. User ExperienceCreating a compelling user experience is key to attracting potential clients to your website. Before you launch, you want to make sure there aren’t any issues that might impact the experience people have on your site. When checking user experience, seek feedback from several individuals who haven’t worked on the website project. They’ll be able to see the site with new eyes and identify any issues that might arise when a new visitor first encounters the site.
4. Mobile ResponsivenessMaking sure your website is optimized for mobile is essential. Responsive web design is a design that fully meets the needs of users and is displayed without any problems on any type of device or browser. The layout should automatically adapt to different sizes and capabilities of various devices. It should also take into account the way people explore websites on their phone through scrolling, touching, and zooming.
5. Page Loading SpeedYour website must have a fast page load speed if you want to be optimized for search engines. If the site is slow, it won’t get displayed among the top results. The ideal website load time for mobile sites is 1-2 seconds. 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.
6. Your CTA ButtonsYour calls-to-action are one of the most important aspects of your website. They help visitors take the next step and inform you that people are interested in your products or services. It’s important to make sure the CTA buttons on your website integrate with your marketing and sales management systems. In addition, it’s helpful to make sure your CTA buttons are large enough to see, appropriately titled, and optimized to motivate people to take action.
7. SecurityMaking sure your website is secure from potential hackers is critical, especially if you have a customer portal that stores any confidential information. Running penetration and vulnerability tests on your website can help you verify that the information system you’ve chosen protects data and maintains functionality as intended.
8. Your Website Backup StrategyIn today’s digital age, you want to have a plan in case your website crashes. Make a concrete plan addressing where you will back up your site, how often you will conduct a backup, and what your implementation plan will look like after launch.
9. Your Website MetadataAnalyzing your metadata before launch is another way to ensure your website is optimized for search. You want to make sure each page has unique metadescriptions and that your metadata is properly in place for any social media sharing content. All spelling and grammar should also be correct in your metadata to make it properly searchable and indexable.
10. Your Website is Linked to Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics 4 is one of the most helpful tools we have when it comes to managing your website. Before you launch, it’s important to make sure your website analytics codes have been added, funnels and goals have been added, and all your accounts are synced. If you run any digital advertising campaigns, you’ll want to make sure those accounts are synced as well.
Let Our Team Handle the DetailsFailing to conduct a final test is one of the most common mistakes businesses make when launching a new website. At Green Apple, we do everything we can to help our clients avoid these pitfalls. If you’re looking for advice or support for designing a new website, our team can help. We’ll work to make sure your website fits within your overall marketing strategy and is built with longevity in mind. Connect with our team today to learn more about our process and share a bit more about what you’re looking for.
5 Ways to Attract Your Ideal Client to Your Website
You have a great website. So, why are people not finding it? If they are coming across your website, why aren’t they staying? Are these visitors even your target audience? These questions may have crossed your mind as you’ve been navigating through your digital marketing strategy. It’s common for businesses to feel like they’re doing everything they can, with little to no result. That’s where we come in. To help you attract your ideal client to your website, we’re sharing five elements of your strategy that can make all the difference.
1. Know Who They Are (In Detail)Before you go looking for your ideal client, you must determine who they are. You may feel like you already know, but even if you do, it’s important to delve further into the details. An essential tool for this process is the client profile. By asking yourself deeper questions about who your clients are, you can paint a picture of your client that will guide your marketing decisions moving forward, such as where to advertise your website, for example. Need help coming up with questions? Take a look at our recent article, 20 Questions to Ask Yourself that Will Improve Your Customer Profiles.
2. Speak to Their Current ChallengesUnderstanding your clients’ pain points—their current challenges—you can speak directly to them, making them feel seen and heard. What keeps them up at night? What is that one thing they need to hear? If you can identify those elements, you can grab your audience’s attention by showing them that you can offer the solution they’ve been searching for. Utilize this messaging throughout your website, social media captions, blog articles, and more to attract the client who needs exactly what you’re selling.
3. Show them the Type of Results You Can DeliverPeople are attracted to results, and rightfully so. They want to know that they’re spending their hard-earned money on a service that will deliver the promised results. Show your clients what you’re capable of. Create case studies and curate a portfolio so that your prospects can see what you’ve done for others. This way, they’ll be able to imagine what you could do for them.
4. Provide an Excellent User ExperienceWhen a prospect visits your website, you want to make sure that their experience is top-notch. This is sometimes their first impression of your business, and therefore should be a tool used to begin solidifying your relationship with this visitor. If they have a tough time navigating the site or aren’t drawn in by it, that might be all they need to know to begin looking at your competitors.
5. Use SEO Best PracticesIf your prospects can’t find your website, all of your effort could go to waste. It’s vital that you implement SEO best practices, such as adding keywords, metadata, and backlinks to your website so that you rank higher in search results. SEO can be a complex element of your digital presence, so it’s often essential to have a marketing team on your side, but there are a few tactics that you can implement yourself. Check out this article for a bit of guidance: 4 Steps Your Small or Midsize Business Can Take to Improve SEO.
Attract Your Ideal Client with Green Apple StrategyWe can help you reach your target audience through a comprehensive set of marketing tactics. Want us to join your team? Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our team is happy to sit down with you to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve each and every one of them.
4 Steps Your Small or Midsize Business Can Take to Improve SEO
If there’s one thing we know about small business leaders, it’s that they are incredibly busy people. While many small business leaders recognize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as an important marketing tactic, most don’t have the knowledge or bandwidth to execute everything that needs to be done to optimize their website for search. At the same time, most small businesses have limited digital marketing budgets. SEO is a game-changer for small and midsize businesses. It’s what makes small, local companies able to compete with the big companies. No matter what industry you’re in or the size of your business, consumers are looking for brands like yours online every day. Investing in SEO, or at least having a working understanding of the basics, is one of the best ways to reach these potential customers.
4 Steps Your Small or Midsize Business Can Take to Improve SEOWhile SEO can seem overwhelming, there are four steps we typically encourage small businesses to consider—from simple basics to more complex tactics:
Step 1: Create a website (that’s optimized for search).One of the reasons small businesses struggle with SEO is because their website isn’t built with search in mind. Sure, your website might look good, but if it’s not structured correctly, you can lose out on a significant amount of search traffic. In case it helps, here are some of the most important local SEO factors for small and midsize businesses.
Step 2: Optimize the meta-descriptions on each page to reach local customers.More than likely, you already have a website. But making sure it has relevant keywords that matter to your customers—and therefore search engine results—is an important second step. The next step for SEO is to make sure all of your primary landing pages are optimized for the keywords you discovered. In other words, you must utilize the appropriate keywords in your titles, meta descriptions, and body content for each page. Also, ensure that every page on your website has a unique meta description and title. Pro tip: It’s helpful if your metadata description doesn’t exceed the length at which Google begins to truncate the text. In addition, try to make sure that the description will entice users to click-through to your site. If you need to optimize your meta-descriptions and website content for search, here are a few details and rules you’ll need to consider.
Step 3: Set up and optimize your Google My Business page.Google My Business should be a focal point for any small business, especially if you want to maximize the power of search. It’s incredibly simple to set up your Google My Business page, and it can make a big impact. As a small business, you should leverage every element of Google My Business pages to your advantage—images, videos, Q&A, reviews, and posts you publish.
Step 4: Look for creative opportunities to increase reach outside your city or region.Many businesses serve clients across the country or region and are looking for ways to rank high in searches outside their cities. One of the most common questions we get as an SEO firm is, “How do we rank beyond the city where our headquarters is located?” This is where you can begin to get creative with your SEO tactics and strategies. You might consider creating content focused on specific cities or regions. Taking this approach allows you to build up the authority of your site with quality external links, and you could increase your search rankings for location-specific keywords. If you want to rank high outside of your business’ physical location, here are a few specific tips to help you rank in searches conducted outside your area. You don’t have to execute every step mentioned above, but if you’re looking to take advantage of everything SEO can offer your small or midsize business, I’d encourage you to take the next step. SEO success doesn’t happen overnight for any business. That’s why it’s incredibly important to take action to address the basic issues and then tweak as you go.
5 Questions Your Marketing Should Answer for Prospective Customers
The digital world has changed the way we make purchasing decisions, including B2B businesses. Consumers and potential clients are more in charge of the buying process than ever before. In fact, it’s been reported that “57% of the purchase decision is already complete before the customer even calls the supplier.” If this is true, that means potential customers are expecting to be able to answer the questions which were formerly answered directly by a salesperson. This is where marketing comes in. 5 Questions Your Marketing Efforts Should Answer for Prospective Customers Whether it’s through your website, email marketing, or advertising campaigns, here are five questions your marketing efforts should be answering for prospective customers:
- Why should we trust you? More than likely, your business is just one of a dozen or more options that customers can choose from. Why should they choose your business and trust you to solve their challenges? The best way to increase trust and help people understand why they should choose your business is to position yourself as an expert and share meaningful insights. Numerous studies have shown that when the brain recognizes that someone is an expert, it is far more likely to comply with that person’s suggestions.
- Why should we choose your specific product or service? There are two primary reasons people choose a particular product or service: cost and differentiation. To differentiate your product or service, potential customers must understand your unique value proposition. Your value proposition is a unique value that a buyer desires and will receive from your company, product, or service. Think of the word “only” and how you can apply it to your business, products, and services.
- Why now? Overcoming the lack of urgency is a challenge for many B2B marketing and sales professionals. While you don’t want to become an overbearing hustler (that doesn’t work), you need to help your customer realize that embracing change now rather than later is in their best interest.
- Is it worth the investment? When you are asking buyers to purchase something from you, you are also asking them not to do something else. The most effective way to answer this question is to appeal to the emotional reasons people buy. Knowing this, identify ways to start creating emotional connections with prospective customers to increase their likeness toward making a decision.
- Is it worth making a change? People have a natural aversion to change. The brain is wired to associate a high level of risk with accepting a new idea or purchasing a product or service. The most compelling ways to incite change is to find problems by challenging the status quo with insights that compel your buyers to think about how they can improve themselves or their business.