ReDesign for More Traffic, Part 1

To make more sales and receive more leads through a website requires more than a visual makeover.

For most graphic designers, they already know what’s needed to improve the look of a website to make more appealing and professional. The WOW factor. But what about the other stuff like how to get traffic? Is there a strategy or discussion on this key topic? Not often.

But this is what the client is expecting will automatically occur with a new website build yet is seldom talked about. Each party simply assumes that a new website automatically gets more traffic from Google. Yeah, right….

When business clients go looking for a website redesign, they’re thinking about:

  1. improving their branding
  2. getting more sales.

Unfortunately with online, good branding alone seldom means more traffic, business or sales. Creating a slick brochure website is like building a new, fancy looking store at the end of a no exit street and then not advertising. Here’s some things all designers should cover in their discussions with clients to cover this vital business issue.

1. We Must Optimise for Search.

As 50-75% of the traffic to most websites comes via Google, then ensuring that the site is appealing to Google is as critical as ensuring it looks good for the client. 90% of this work has little to do with design, but everything to do with code, copy and backlinks. But there’s a cost. The days of Google rewarding you with free traffic after an hours worth of simple ‘SEO optimisation’ is long gone. Adding keywords and meta descriptions isn’t enough now. (For proof, read this article on my blogsite).

Be aware that expert SEO work that actually results in more traffic, can range from $2,000-$20,000 pa! This is typically much more than the website itself cost to build. Good SEO is not a ‘standard feature’ today, although our WordPress platform provides a massive head start over others, explaining why it’s popular with SEO geeks.

As i tell my own clients, if this wonderous, expertly crafted website can’t be found online and get’s little traffic that results in new customers, what’s the point of having one?

just diverting what they’re spending on the Yellow Pages, magazine and newsprint ads is more than enough to cover SEO costs, providing your client 3-5x more business…

And like any advertising effort, this SEO stuff doesn’t need to done all at once. But it’s foolish to avoid this topic due to the added cost, because if the site doesn’t get traffic or sales results, the website designer will themselves loose credibility and have a very unhappy client. Remember too that a busy, high traffic website means more business for the customer, which can also mean more ongoing work for the graphic designer.

2. Start measuring – Analytics

Google’s free, powerful analytics software helps track where clients are coming from and what they’re after on your site. Monitor and use this data to plan your site articles, promotions and activities. Perhaps look to build up an email list with targeted campaigns. If it’s a local retailer or takeout, some [printed] letterbox flyers with an online offer and signup works very well. Tracking what’s happening each week is the key.

3. Analyse the competition.

Here’s something that few realise is even possible. Google and others provide numerous online tools to help see what your competitors are doing and opportunities you may be missing out on. It’s a big topic that’s always overlooked. Email us for a sample report.

4. Re-Define your value proposition.

Last but not least. Just saying you’re a company that offers the best product, service or price won’t get you anywhere. Try to define what your client provides that is unique.

Tell it in a story format. For this you WILL NEED to employ a skilled copywriter. And just accept that most designers and us geeks are bad at this stuff… You need an expert.

 

So, What about the Design side?

Does the graphic design or appearance affect search traffic? Generally no. Google doesn’t see design, layout or the wonderous effects you’ve added, only raw code, structure, links and text. Where branding and design plays its vital part is once people arrive at the site.

A good visual design adds credibility and helps boost conversions.

This all means a new website needs to appeal to:

  1. Your business client and customers¬† –¬† Branding, visuals, engagement
  2. Google – With good coding, content, backlinks

The later is where we play our part in the website build or makeover…

We’ll followup this topic is a future article, discussing website conversions and the design elements that can make more clients sales. For more details, fill in your name and email below.

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