Why Do I Need a Digital Marketing Agency to Help Me Launch My Website?
It’s 2019 right? You’re sure of it! The calendar deems it so, all the newspapers are verifying it and so is your iPhone. So why is it that every time you visit your businesses website it feels like you’re transported back to 1999? There’s no more denying the fact that you, my friend, need a brand new web design, and you need it quick. So now you’re wondering whether you can bootstrap it and do it in-house, or whether a digital marketing agency is the better option. We both know that outsourcing a digital marketing service for your businesses new web design launch is the better option, but perhaps you don’t fully understand why what we do is superior to a quick fix template website. That’s a fair question, there’s so much that goes into web design that digital marketing agencies often become a bit too lax on explaining the fine details of what’s involved in their web design process. In fact, our guess is that you probably think building a killer website requires just the web dev department of a digital marketing agency. In truth, website development requires a multitude of digital marketing services and experts. That’s WHY businesses invest in a digital marketing agency opposed to a pre-built template, or freelance web developer - too many integral components of the build are missed. We’re here to fill in the gaps for you, this is an extensive (but actually our digital marketing team would consider this brief) checklist of most of the components we need to complete in order for us to feel like we’re ready to launch your website! We say ‘most’ because to include ALL of the components would make this blog far too long, and we’re here to educate you, not bore you to death.
Review Existing Site
If you have a pre-existing website, we sit down with you and audit your site. We determine all the aspects that you like, things that require a slight tweak or touch up, and what needs a complete change. Then we create a strategy around what we find to ensure all the elements are considered throughout our design and development process.
Create A Branding Guide
If you have a current brand guide we design your website in accordance with that. If however, you haven’t updated it in the last two years or you simply don’t have one, we work with you to determine the aesthetic that best represents your brand. Your branding design can include a refreshed logo design, brand tone, design elements, typography, color palettes, CTA’s and branding collateral. This is condensed and transferred over to you for continued use post website launch.
Determine Services, USPs, Brand Proposition
What do you want your website to achieve? What message are you trying to send? What services are you trying to provide? How do you want to inform your visitors of that message? What actions do you want them to take? This all has to be determined before we do any practical development of your website. We need to create a clear roadmap to ensure your website will achieve your goals.
Website Page Drafts & Reviews
Once we understand who you are, why you do what you do and what you look like, we get to work crafting preliminary designs of your website. A.K.A. What your website will look like. We do this in stages and work our way through, usually starting off with the homepage and integral service/offer pages. Once you review and leave your comments regarding what you like and dislike, we refine the design to your liking.
Complete Keyword Mapping & Site Navigation
One of the most crucial steps to ensure lasting success and website visibility is by determining your SEO Optimised keyword mapping and proposed site navigation before the build. This is the backbone of all your future search engine optimisation strategies. It’s also beneficial in helping you determine what the most significant factors are of your business and how to cater to each users search intent. Our Keyword Mapping and site navigation suggestion focuses on URL’s, Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and keyword suggestions for individual pages.
Create and Submit a Sitemap
Sitemaps are “maps” of your website that you can submit to google search console. You need this in order to make your website more search engine friendly, by submitting your sitemap we’re helping Google to crawl your site including all the pages and information available on it and then index you accordingly.
Suggest SEO Optimised Content to Create
Using proper SEO techniques to populate your site can be the difference between 1 visitor per day or 1000 visitors per day. Continuing to use proper SEO techniques to populate your site with carefully curates content is crucial to help you get noticed. As mentioned a few steps above, part of our keyword mapping exercise is to help you determine the most appropriate keywords for each page on your site. With this as your guide, you’re able to fill out all the content on every single one of your pages and know that it’s SEO optimised and ready to be found by the visitors that need your services/offers most.
Create and Install Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager & Google Search Console
Before we launch your website we want to ensure that you can track its performance and understand user behaviour from day one. So at your request, we can create and install all the analytics to track your goals and measure performance. Allowing you to make continuous tweaks as new data comes in.
Implement Schema Markups
Schema Rich Snippets are a type of code you implement that Search Engines like Google can understand. Essentially it’s a short form that easily tells google who you are, what you do, the industry you’re in and how to identify you. It’s complicated to understand, but it’s a crucial step to help your website gain visibility.
Check for UX issues
There’s no point building a website if it’s not a logical for the customer to take action. As experts in UX Web design, we run through the website from all touch points and ensure there’s a satisfying and easy to follow customer journey and experience. Often we'll work with a professional copywriter to choose the right wording to complement the design and guide the customer toward the next step in the process.
Check All Indexing Issues
A few steps above, we mention creating and submitting a sitemap. This one kind of ties in with that one. For a sitemap to be indexed in search engines it has to be crawled. Sometimes due to a number of different issues, particular pages can’t be crawled, which means they can’t be indexed, which means they won’t be found on search engines. Before launching all of these issues should be eradicated. And yes, we can do that for you.
Check All Duplicate Issues
Duplicate pages? Duplicate Content? Duplicate Domains? Duplicate issues are complex and can arise due to a surplus of reasons which are seemingly out of your control, but having duplicate website information can really damage your sites search engine visibility. To ensure there are no duplicate issues, developers spend a lot of their time implementing redirects, canonicalizations and scraping the site for duplicate content. This is complex, and not exactly recommended for you to DIY.
Site Speed Check
Let’s be honest, there’s no excuse for a slow page load speed. If your page takes even 0.1 of a second longer to load than visitors are used to, they’ll bounce. In fact, page speed is one of the biggest factors in customers bouncing from your page before they even get there. We check your site speed and ensure everything is optimising for ultimate performance.
404 Page is Set up & Optimised
You can’t control everything, like someone linking to your site incorrectly, or entering your URL with a spelling mistake. But if they do by chance do either of those, you can at least control the ‘404’ page they’re sent to. By optimising your ‘404’ page to also be a potential customer journey, you’re able to save a portion of the visitors who would otherwise be lost to the 404 abyss that generic 404 pages send people to.
Mobile & Tablet Optimised
If your website isn’t optimised yet for mobile and tablet users, you’re doing your websites all wrong. More than half of your website visitors will be visiting you via an alternative device and if your website layout isn’t considering mobile or tablet use, you’ll lose out on potential clients. But don’t worry, if you hire us, we do multi-device optimisation to ensure you’re catering to ALL your customers. Not only that, we make sure you’re multi-browser optimised, too.
HTML/CSS Error Free
Before launching, we run through your site and check each individual page to ensure it’s free from any HTML/CSS errors and that all your code is clean.
This is a foundational step for any website launch. To make sure there is no loss of data due to a web issue, we make sure that you have a complete and up-to-date back up of your website before launching. Often websites can experience issues that cause it to go “down” without warning, keeping a backup ensures that you can always have your website back up in a jiffy.
Double Check Functionality
One of the final tasks we do is to double check the functionality of your website. From email list sign-ups to social sharing, lead form generation, internal page links, load speed, comments, and cross-device checks. Ensuring your website functions properly is crucial for an easy and enjoyable customer experience. The slightest hiccup and you’ll have successfully discouraged the customer from staying on your site. So your functionality is seriously important and should be treated just so.
Ensure site URLs are secured, live, and functioning properly.
Generally speaking, sites are built on something known as a staging platform. A.K.A. Not live and visible to the public. Once the entire web dev project is complete, then the tedious task of transitioning the site over to go live begins. It’s complex, rarely goes smoothly and requires a developer to facilitate the whole thing. They check for the following types of issues and ensure everything is A-OK: Broken Links, 302 Redirects, HTTPS enabled, Canonical URLs, iFrames As we mentioned, there is an incredibly large checklist involved in your web design project, even the tasks in this checklist, have checklists in order to do each task effectively. I know, it’s overwhelming, isn’t it? We’ll be honest, not all of these services are 100% necessary for your website to function, but all are necessary to ensure your website is successful in helping your business gain visibility and grow. If you’re looking for a web design refresh and want to discuss what a digital marketing agency can do to help, call us today for an obligation free quote!