3 Signs Your Website Needs a Redesign

Your website is one of the most important business tools you have. It doesn't matter how amazing your products are or the kind of top-notch customer service you offer if you can't create a positive, and memorable user experience online.

This begins with strong web design. Your online performance is also determined by things like a good social media presence and positive reviews, but the right web design is vital.

Not sure if your website looks good enough?

Here are 3 signs you need a website redesign right away.

1. Your Bounce Rates Are Skyrocketing

Imagine if someone walked into your brick and mortar business then walked right out. Even imagine if you had a date with someone, they saw you when they walked up...and just walked right back out. It would be hard to convince them to come back, especially if they were thoroughly underwhelmed.

This is essentially what happens when your landing pages have high bounce rates. People are clicking on your website then leaving it right away because they don't like what they see or are feeling.

Bounce rates are one of the biggest red flags that something with your web design isn't right. Not to mention, the more bounce rates you have, the lower your search rankings will fall.

2. Your Conversions Are Low

Maybe the problem isn't with getting people to stick around and explore your website. Maybe you're having trouble turning traffic into conversions?

Better use of opt-ins and a stronger lead generation strategy can help you with that. All you need is a little A/B testing and a fresh set of eyes to see where your biggest conversion opportunities are. Still, it's best to leave this to the professionals than to try handling it yourself.

3. You're Not On-Trend

Consider this: if your website was built 3-5 years ago and you haven't touched it since, you need a new design ASAP. Even a site from 2 years ago could use a touch-up, that's just how web design works.

Industry trends are constantly changing, and consumers are paying more attention than you might think. If they go to a competitor site and find engaging graphics and clean navigation settings, they're going to set your website to that same standard. If you fall short, they'll move on.

You need to stay on trend to stay relevant. This isn't to say you should roll out an entirely new web design every few months, but a few tweaks here and there wouldn't hurt.

Most importantly, if you still don't have a beautiful mobile website, you're seriously behind! This is a must-have tool if you expect to do well on search and reach consumers!

Get the Website Redesign You Need

It's one thing to read about the areas in which your website might need some work and another to actually do something about it! Whether you can relate to one of the signs on this list or your site is experiencing all of these problems, you need to invest in a redesign.

A website redesign might be the online boost you've been looking for! It improves your search performance, your branding efforts, and your overall online reputation. It also might help you generate better leads and overall sales, which means more money for your business!

To get the professional help you need, click here.

8 Tips for How to Improve a Website With a Better Web Design

Is your website easy to navigate? Do your visitors know what your company does? Is the layout understandable? Are you getting enough readership on your blog?

If you answered 'no' to any of these questions, it might be time to rethink your website design and learn how to improve a website.

The internet is full of poorly made websites that miss the mark--both on their technical elements and their graphic design. In order to stand out from the crowd, you have to create a functional, interactive, and beautiful website design.

It's time to end low-quality, poorly designed websites, once and for all! Here are some web design tips on how to improve a website--so you can be sure you're headed in the right direction.

7 Tips for How to Improve a Website with a Better Web Design

In the digital age, it's not enough to just have an online presence. To bring readers to your site and keep them engaged, your website design needs to be at the top of its game.

Let's take a look at some tips, tricks, and shortcuts for creating cutting edge website design.

1. Keep It Simple

55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website. This short attention span means that you need to create a powerful first impression--without overwhelming the visitor.

Avoid using complicated animations, bad stock photos, or long blocks of content without any breaks. Instead, grab the reader's focus with short sections of content broken up by headers, bullet points, numbered lists, and relevant photographs.

Don't use overused terminology like groundbreaking, innovative, next generation, or cutting edge. These words are used by thousands of companies out there, and a lot of them will have lost meaning with the readers.

2. Don't Shy Away From White Space

For a clean, readable web design that hits on your brand's aesthetics, white space can be a powerful tool.

Also known as "negative space," white space refers to the areas around elements on a page--like text or photos--that are empty. It's an essential design element, allowing you to break up your content and make the website more readable.

Look through your website and identify pages that are lacking white space. This is a great opportunity to find content that isn't necessary to the purpose of the page--like a misplaced photo or a block of text that isn't concise enough. Then reorganize your content so that it flows well and leaves plenty of open space.

3. Design Without Color First

Simplicity is key. If you overload your website with too many colors and design elements, you'll lose the reader's focus.

When you're designing the website, try shifting everything into a gray-scale visual design. Starting out with shades of gray will help you assess your website's design from a fresh perspective. After you've added photography, include color to your website, one at a time.

This will help to prevent an "over-designed" website and highlight only the most relevant design elements.

4. Simplify Navigation

Limiting your visitors' navigation options might seem like a poor choice, but it can actually help make your content simpler and easier to understand.

Instead of overwhelming your visitors with all the different links and pages, keep things streamlined to guide them to your best content.

To make your website's navigation the best that it can be, you need to make sure that visitors can easily find what they're looking for! Try to avoid multi-tier drop-down navigation and long lists of links in the header or sidebar.

Unless readers can find exactly what they're looking for within less than a minute of scrolling through your website, they'll leave and find a competitor that offers a better user experience. Make sure your website design is clean, easy to use, and responsive for mobile users.

5. Use the Squint Test

The only way to assess the successful (and unsuccessful) aspects of your website is to see it from the visitor's perspective. It's easy to get caught up in the design of it all and forget who you're creating the website for.

To perform the squint test, back up a few feet from your computer screen and squint. While most of your screen will become blurry and unfocused, the larger, more colorful, and more prominent features will stand out right away.

With this method, you can quickly identify what a first-time visitor is more likely to notice when they're skimming your website.

Are these features the most important part of your website? Are they what you want your visitors to notice first? This is a good opportunity to evaluate the features that stick out the most and make adjustments.

6. Use Social Media Share Buttons

A well-designed website doesn't mean much if you aren't using it to share what you have to offer. Social share buttons aren't just links to your social media page--they're usually icons throughout your website which allows you to share the page without clogging up your site with more links. It's a subtle and less pushy way to advertise your social media accounts.

Place share buttons for platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest throughout your site. You can put them in your header, footer, or sidebar.

7. Use Colors Properly

Nothing kills a website design faster than a terrible color scheme. If your colors are clashing or don't match with the tone of your business, your website might seem tacky and unprofessional.

To help you find a great color, you might consider taking some inspiration from nature. You can use your own camera to take pictures of the nature around your city or find one on the web. Then use a color picker to select a proper color.

When it comes to natural, gorgeous colors, mother nature's color palette tends to never fail. Nonetheless, this may not match your industry so do be sure to consider what your market audience likes.

The Bottom Line

Are you ready to put a plan in place to renovate your website? Are you hoping to take your website design to the next level?

With these web design tips, you can learn how to improve a website with enhanced web design techniques--for both the aesthetics and the navigation.

Looking for more website design tips and tricks? Check out our blog for more.

7 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Website Conversion Rates

Did you know the Internet bombards the average web surfer with over 2,900 media messages per day? Did you also know the average user only pays attention to 52?

We live in an age of information overload. Capturing the eyes, clicks, and wallets of the eCommerce crowd has become harder than ever....but it's not exactly impossible.

Make no mistake that website conversion rates bring in sales. To improve the latter requires improving the former. But are you maybe unsure how?

The trick is the setup. Once you have a system in place, you can automate it and focus more on content creation. These seven tips will help get you started.

Stick to the Basics

Before we get into any advanced tricks, let's talk about the basics. You need them to generate traffic, not to mention conversions.

What are the basics? You must first consider the building blocks of SEO, and they can be broken them down into three categories:

  1. Site Optimization
  2. Site Load Times
  3. Mobile Optimization

Site Optimization

Site optimization refers to your site's ease of use, as well as its content quality. Years ago web designers used flashy animation to get user attention. In today's world, that's just a distraction.

Your website should feature a simple design. If it doesn't, users may get frustrated and leave. Not only is your traffic heading straight out the door, so is your potential money!

Finally, you should optimize your content with the user in mind. Write what they want to know. Use strong keywords and backlinks to boost its SERP rankings. Content isn't site filler; it's your absolute bankroll.

Site Load Times

Slow load times also contribute to negative conversion rates. On average, a load time of three seconds is where you ideally want to be. If it's between four and six seconds, you have a problem.

Anything beyond that, well, you get the idea. Design plays a role in load times, too.

Remember those flashy animations? They slow down a site, hence why designers ditched them for a more straightforward look.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization is mandatory. Mobile traffic accounts for almost half of all web traffic! That's right, half, 49.7% to be exact.

So how do you optimize for mobile users?

  1. Decrease your page load times
  2. Reformat your content to fit on a mobile screen
  3. Have simple navigation to account for bigger fingers.

These three elements will get your foot in the door, conversion-wise. But a well-run site isn't enough to get sales.

eCommerce shoppers are protective of their information. They can spot corporate fluff a mile away.

So, how do you reach them?

Use Visuals

You've probably heard this one. But it works. Internet users--and people in general--are visual learners.

Visual content outperforms text-only content hand over fist. It's easier to digest. Customers can gain as much insight from a quick video as they can a lengthy product description.

An excellent example is a webinar. Webinars function as lead magnets. They give customers specific knowledge they can't get anywhere else.

It also comes in a video format, making it accessible anywhere. If you don't believe it, look at the numbers.

Adobe found that 51% of site visitors registered for a webinar. 19%, meanwhile, participated in a product demo afterward.

Use Email

With the advent of social media, you might think email is going the way of the payphone. You'd be wrong.

Email is still a marketer's best conversion tool. In fact, it's 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter.

With it, you gain an email subscriber list you can control. Plus, you get an easy way to earn new leads, nurture current ones with specialized content, and create conversions.

Implementing email subscription is simple, too. Place forms strategically on your website, either as a side-bar, pop-up, or end-of-post form.

Once users opt in, you can nurture them. We'll get to that later.

Make the Process Simple

You've heard of the KISS method, right? Keep It Simple, Stupid? You should apply that method to your conversion process as well.

Complications will keep users away. Instead, be sure to give them simple options. For example, place your phone number at the top of the page.

Users will see it as soon as your site loads. It will connect them to you, giving you the chance to build a relationship.

Chatbots and question forms help too. They give users a chance to have a question answered, building your credibility with them.

Be Honest

People don't connect with businesses. They connect with people and stories. What's more, they're smart enough to know when you're lying.

So be honest. Tell customers what they'll get when they subscribe to your site. Tell them what they'll get when they buy your product.

Finally, tell them about you. An "About Us" page gives you the chance to share your story with your customers. It gives them an opportunity to relate to you.

That connection will increase conversion rates faster than any promotion.

Nurture Your Leads

Email marketing is just one part of a lead generation strategy. Once you capture a lead, you have to nurture it into a customer. But how do you do that?

Think of it like the hot and cold game. Hot leads are ready to buy right away. Cold leads aren't willing to buy yet, but they might with the right motivation.

That motivation comes in the form of specialized content:

Start with personalized messages. You'll establish trust with the customer and learn about them. Once you know their interests, send a newsletter. It'll inform them about your site and what you offer.

Send discounts last, as they are direct product offerings. Customize them to reflect your lead's interest.

Free Your Content

This next one may seem counter-intuitive. Most sites feature forms that trade customer information for product information.

But what if you gave it away?

Think about it. Everyone loves free stuff. People will flock to your site and download your product.

More downloads equal more shares and more reads. More shares and reads equal more engagement. More engagement equals, you guessed it, higher conversions!

Now, it's not without drawbacks. Not everyone will convert, and a distraction could bounce them away. The only way to know it works is to try it.

Start Increasing Your Website Conversion Rate Today

Website conversion is the way you make money in the digital market. SEO basics will start you off on the right foot, but to make the sale you have to do the work!

Use visuals, email, nurture your leads, and you can make money in your sleep. Got another question? At Hooklead, we're experts at online marketing and lead generation.

Check out our blog for more insightful articles or contact us if you need any assistance.

How to Use Social Media for Real Estate Leads

Are you a real estate agent or broker that is struggling to get new leads and clients?

You've likely heard about the power of social media, but still a bit anxious to get aboard the social media bandwagon?

80% of all home buyers search online. You need to be utilizing online opportunities like social media to reach potential clients otherwise you are really missing out.

Still wary of social media? You're missing out on a vast opportunity to generate leads. Take action now with these five tips on social media for real estate.

1) Use Images

People are very visual. 83% of home buyers want photos to be available online and not just any photos. You need professional looking photos to stand out. This doesn't mean that you need to hire a photographer right away, unless that's well within in your budget. Get a great camera at a discount online, let alone learn how to use it through online tutorials.

Take eye-catching photos of the properties and post them on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Be sure to stage the homes when taking photos instead of just snapping pictures of empty rooms. This will help home buyers picture themselves in the home.

2) Have Reviews Available

Referrals are important in any type of business, but they are vital in real estate. On your Facebook business page, be sure you have enabled reviews.

This will let visitors to your page see what your past and present clients think about your business. Seeing honest and positive reviews will build trust with new and potential clients. Make no mistake though, negative reviews will likely happen at some point and this can't always be prevented. The solution is always in how these reviews are handled and how a customer's issues are addressed. The transparency in these interactions is vital to demonstrating to the public that you are a company that is focused on taking care of your customers and following through on that ethos accordingly. Managing your reviews is the epitome of this.

3) Go Live

Facebook offers live video. When you are touring a home and taking photos, take the time to do a live video to show off the house.

You can take your audience on a live, virtual open house. This also lets people see your personality and relate to you. They can ask questions and you can answer them in real time.

The amount of tech available to do this is insane. Whether you prefer using something as simple as your smartphone, or possibly adding a 360 degree camera of your choosing; the options are boundless.

Tip: Facebook lives typically rate high in feeds so more people will see you.

4) Show off Your Neighborhood

Show off your neighborhood and events that go on. You want to show the culture of the area. Is there a new playground being built? Talk about it. Does the neighborhood have a yearly festival? Let your audience know all about it.

Showing off a home is obvious, but going that extra mile and talking about the community and it's events can make you stand out. What makes the community unique? Tell your audience these stories.

5) Create High Engaging Posts

It's important to create highly engaging posts on Facebook. What does this mean? Comments, likes, and shares from your target audience.

What kind of posts are high engaging?

Be sure that you are creating valuable content as well and sharing that with your audience. It's also very important that you respond to their comments. Engagement goes both ways and it shows you care.

Ready to up Your Social Media for Real Estate Game?

Social media is a free marketing tool that you need to be using to produce the results you want.

Let our experienced team help you develop a strong strategy to reach your target audience. Contact us today.

Hurry up and take action on social media for real estate!

Why Your Real Estate Web Design Isn't Converting

Creating a website's the easy part. There are a number of affordable options you can go for if that's all you want to do.

Of course, no business-minded individual is ever satisfied with just building a site. It has to convert or it's no good at all. That's why if you want your real estate website to be successful, you need to make sure that every element is designed to convert.

One such important element is your real estate web design. Here, we'll take a look at what factors could be causing your site design to underperform and what you can do about it.

Your Website Isn't Responsive

In a previous post, we talked about the importance of a responsive web design. We mentioned that Google prefers responsive websites over mobile templates. We also discussed how having a responsive design will enable your real estate website to look clean and concise no matter the device used.

The solution here is simple. Make your real estate web design responsive so you don't have to worry if you're providing a good mobile experience for your users.

You Don't Have Clear CTAs

A big part of running a successful website is to have a strong content marketing strategy. But beyond producing engaging and quality content, you must make sure your site design leads people to do what you want them to do. And that means having clear calls-to-action.

In a nutshell, make your CTAs clear, specific, and compelling. And don't forget to place them where people can see them - on every page of your site if you have to.

You're Turning Off Users

If you checked your bounce rate (the amount of people leaving) and it's high, it's a sign that you have something on your site that's turning off users.

Now, you can make guesses as to what that is. Or you can just ask visitors to your site directly. It could be through a survey or by encouraging them to comment on your posts.

If that doesn't work, just put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself what it is that you hate the most about certain websites. Is it the popups?

The difficult navigation? Or the lack of useful information? Whatever it is, take your time to inspect your site thoroughly and fix the issue (or issues) asap.

Your Site Is Basic

Basic as in boringly predictable. Real estate web design shouldn't be the same from site to site. You know your audience best so find a way to work with your designer to come up with a design that appeals to your target users.

If your designer isn't elevating your site's look and functionality, consider working with people who know exactly how to do that. Don't settle for a basic design just because it's what everyone else is doing.

Your Site Is Slow

There are many reasons why your site doesn't load fast such as broken links, Flash, unoptimized images, and so on.

The bad news is, your visitors don't care about those reasons at all, which means you have no choice but to figure out what it is that's affecting your website load speed.

Once you do, fix them right away. Sometimes, you only get one chance at impressing visitors to your site. Lose this chance and you may lose them forever.

Need Help with Your Real Estate Web Design?

Let us help. We're the experts at growth-driven website design. Give us a call at +1 740 500 HOOK or shoot us an email at contact@hooklead.com for more information.

How Growth Driven Design Can Benefit Your Business

The average attention span of web surfers has been rapidly decreasing for years.

Where you would have had 12 seconds to make an impression in the year 2000, you now have less than 8 seconds.

If your website doesn't make an impression in those 8 seconds, you'll lose out on a potential customer. If you aren't making that great impression right now, it's probably time for a redesign of your website.

You could invest in a total redesign of your website. But while you'll get some quick results, they won't last, and they'll come at a cost.

Luckily, there's an alternative.

Keep reading to learn about growth driven design, how it differs from other web design, and how it can make a difference for your website.

How Does Growth Driven Design Differ From Traditional Design

When you hear the words growth driven design alongside web design, you might wonder how this differs from any other type of web design.

After all, if you're creating a website for your business, the goal is always going to be to spur growth. So why would you ever use a type of web design that doesn't promote this growth?

But while it may feel as though undertaking other web design strategies are helping your business grow, they could also be inhibiting growth and sales at the same time.

If you've had the current website in place for a while and aren't seeing the growth that you want, you're likely considering a redesign.

But with a traditional web design, you'll have to stop all progress while web developers are doing their thing.

In the time that your site is down, you'll experience a drop in traffic. This means lost leads and sales. If your business brings in long-term clients, you could be missing out on landing sales that will generate income for years to come.

Once your new website is ready to go, you can start increasing traffic, leads, and sales once again.

But only until your new design begins to age.

With the rapid change from one trend to the next that happens online, this won't take long.

Soon your redesigned website that you invested so much in will be out of date, and you'll have to undergo another redesign. That means suffering through the lost traffic, leads, and sales all over again.

The Difference that Growth Driven Design Makes

The downtime and short-term success of a traditional web design call for a different approach.

That different approach is growth driven design.

Growth driven web design is centered on promoting growth even while a website is still being designed and built. Rather than only focusing on growth after a site is entirely finished, growth starts as soon as the design of a site does.

Growth driven design is a slow process, and it won't lead to overnight success. When you choose this approach, you'll be committing to a process that, while time-consuming, can lead to success that lasts.

The Process of Growth Driven Web Design

The process of implementing growth driven web design is a multi-step one. Completing each step will help set your website up for success right from the start, which is what helps eliminate the need for redesigns of your website every few years.

Step One: Strategy

The first step of implementing growth driven web design on your site is creating a strategy.

This strategy should include analyzing your current site and any problems it has and creating a plan for the features that you'll use to improve your website.

To figure out what isn't working on your current website, start by running a site audit. This will help you figure out any major issues with your site, like slow load speeds, and tell you more about how your current customer interact with your site.

Once you have this information, you'll use it to decide what areas of your site you need to work on.

Create a list of features that you'd like to add to your website. Then, rank these features, with the ones that you think will create the next return on investment near the top, and those with the least return near the bottom.

Step Two: Implementing Change

Once you know the changes that you plan to make on your website, it's time to start implementing them.

The goal of growth driven design is to make adjustments as you implement change. This means that when you add a feature to your site or make a major change, you also need to implement tracking to see how those changes are received by your web visitors.

As you implement a major change and track customer interaction, look for any potential issues. As these issues arise, adjust your approach.

By adjusting as you go, you help ensure that your website is as effective as it can be. Your site continues to improve as you make these changes, which means that you won't need to worry about it going out of date. You won't have to worry about a major redesign down the road.

You'll also get the chance to implement new digital marketing tactics and adjust them as search engine algorithms and web surfing trends change.

Investing in Growth Driven Design

Growth driven web design is a great way to make the most of your investment in web design. You'll get a responsive website that is constantly updated to meet your customers' needs.

While this type of web design requires a bit more work upfront, it also helps to keep your site relevant, so that you won't see a drop in traffic as your site become outdated. It also eliminates the need for a total shutdown while you redesign your site.

Now that you know the difference that growth driven web design can make, it's time to decide whether it's the right choice for your website.

If you decide that it is, it's time to get the help you need to start implementing effective growth driven web design.

Contact us today to see how we can help improve your website's performance through responsive, effective, evolving web design.

5 Landing Page Design Tips to Help with Conversion

Building a good landing page design is only successful from the testing that is done. We work with clients to help build and test custom landing page design to help with their goals. Along the way we've discovered some of the best landing page design tips.  We've collected a few of the tips to share with you below.

Hide that Nav Menu on your Landing Page Design

Yes, no navigation menu. If you're not already hiding your navigation menu we recommend to do so now. Why? Simple. Your top menu should not be the focus of your landing page's objective. A navigation menu is well of course at the top of your website. By cutting the menu out your site visitor will follow on through the landing page design as expected. Hopefully, converting on the call to action.

Relevant and Short Headlines

We consider the headline one of the most easiest and fastest way to make a change for testing. Your headline should not be too complicated. Limit yourself from trying to be too creative or unique. Test with the most direct and relevant headline first. Don't try to be too lengthy with these titles in these first tests. If you want to get inside your potential lead's mind make the headline answer what they want. When you think of the title begin saying "I need to..." and complete the sentence with the value you're providing them. For example, "I need to manage expenses quickly" can become the headline "Manage Expenses Quickly".

Word Play on CTA Buttons

One thing that is usually tested with call-to-action buttons is changing the color. From red, green to yellow the variations are almost endless. Since a pastel orange might look good on one landing page and a dark orange may look good on another. But to take it a step further try focusing more on the phrase of the button. If everyone uses "Buy Now" or "Download for Free" and all landing page visitors notice this from one page to another do you think it's convincing? Probably not. Let's take a look at some PDF weightloss guide for example, instead of trying to convert a lead with "Download your Free Guide Now" test out "Yes, I Want to Start Losing Weight".

The Weight of the Font

It's amazing how often we run into "can we use a different font for this headline, another font for the sub headlines and yes, let's try this font with the paragraph". Honestly, we think it's better to stay with only one font for the landing page design and adjusting different weights for the title, headlines and paragraph. Different weights simply mean light, normal, bold and bolder. Trust us, you're not going to suddenly trick someone to focus on a particular section or element just because the font is different from the 5 other fonts on the page. If you absolutely feel like the page needs some different font choices only use about 2 font choices. Three would be the maximum.

Cut Featured Items Down

We get it, you have all of these testimonials and you think it'll be good to showcase all of them. If you're A/B testing then try this out. One variation show 2 of your greatest testimonials and the other variation with 10 testimonials. Why do we think the one with just 2 testimonials is preferable? Well, it's proven that you can convince a customer with little as possible. Especially when it's your best material. This will give a sense of decluttering or doesn't give them too much to take in. Have something to feature like portfolio or awards? Cut it down. Remember, we need them to convert not get caught up in so much fluff.

We have given some great tips to try and test with your next landing page design. We're sure you'll be able to see a difference when you follow our advice. If you want to learn about more tips and the value we provide find out more about our custom landing page design.

Website Design Goals To Consider and Examples

Back when the Internet was in its infancy, the first rendition of websites were no more functional than a digital billboard. Businesses simply put up a website with basic functionality and call it a day. However, since then the purpose of a website evolved to become an integral part of any business strategy. Now with more modern tools like Social Media, Email Marketing and so forth...your website design goals should be a powerful ally to your company objectives.

Setting Goals the SMART way!

Before we jump into specific website design goals for your online marketing strategies, we first have to understand what a SMART goal is.

SMART is an acronym for; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Utilizing these parameters, you will be able implement goals that will actually benefit the bottom line of your business objectives. Ignoring these might result in your company bleeding money in their respective departments. Do not implement marketing practices that are not in your best interest, not attainable or simply cannot be measured.

Understand the process of establishing SMART goals now? Let’s see how we can apply these to specific departments within your business model, or see how SMART goals are incorporated in Growth Driven Design.

Breaking Down the Website Design Goals for Each of Your Company's Departments

Firstly, let’s take a deeper look into the specific goals for each department. Understanding these points will help you design your website accordingly. Which aligns the functionality of your online endeavors with the goals each department seeks.

Marketing – Their main objectives will always be to generate leads by driving in traffic, to engage prospects in relation to the Buyer’s Journey and to re-engage old customers for repeat conversions. Sounds like a mouthful, but this is the general gist of it all.

Sales - The sales department of the business will always require a website to assist in closing sales through validating and supporting sales team communications. In other words, utilizing a CRM that will streamline leads to the sales department. Which assists them in closing a prospect on a specific offer.

Customer Support – Here it's all about creating a deeper sense of ‘customer satisfaction’ by providing a more robust service to the customer. This is usually done through, live chat functionalities, email support, support desks, telemarketing services integrated into the website and so forth.

Webmasters – These are the people that keep the site running smoothly. Their goals usually depend on simplifying and optimizing content updates and general website management. They want to keep your site as current and as secure as possible.

IT – The IT Department focuses on cross-platform integration, security issues, performance and scalability issues. Think of everything related to the back-end of your site.

Operations – The ‘Operations department’ works on streamlining and automating the website in order to reduce costs and optimize workflow.

HR – The functionality of the HR department focuses on attracting and hiring new recruits. Additionally, they can create a space on the site where current employees can find additional assistance without having to show up ‘in person’. This also helps optimize the HR Process and reduces costs in the “Operations Department”

C-Suite – For the top dogs of the organization, their ultimate goal is to grow the company’s bottom-line. Which should increase profitability in all sectors. When it comes to websites, it refers to lowering costs, increasing company practices efficacy and streamlining the functionality of all departments.

Now that we know the general objectives of each department, let’s see what we can do specifically in each of the departments to insure that their goals are SMART. Below are some examples to provide you with a general sense of ‘what you should be looking for with your company website design goals’.

Marketing Department

Within the Marketing Department, their main objectives is to attract relevant potential customers to the website. Then engage with them on their particular ‘stage’ within the Buyer’s Journey. Lastly, convert them into customers.

Here are some of the most common marketing-related goals for a website:

  1. Quality Lead Generation – As mentioned, websites of today are meant to generate relevant leads for the business. However, simply generating leads isn’t enough. It is important to focus on quality over quantity. For most businesses, rather than putting “X amount of leads per month” you should be focusing on a lead increment percentage. So instead of saying, “We want 50 leads per week”, you should say something more along the lines of “We want to increase lead generation by 10% monthly”. This gives you the framework for measurability.
  2. Conversions – Secondly, generating leads is nothing without converting them. Most marketers achieve this through a “Smart Content Marketing Strategy” including blogs, landing pages, bribe gifts as well as many other tactics. Once more, it’s best to establish a percentage goal as opposed to a specific number as the measurability becomes more dynamic in nature.
  3. Brand Awareness – Another typical goal for the marketing department is brand awareness. In relation to a website, this means ‘how easy is it for your customer to understand what your company does, what your offers are or any other specific element of your business you’d like to promote. Typically, this can be done through landing pages or “squeeze pages”, information sites and so forth.

Sales Department

Now let’s move onto the Sales Department. It is obvious that the main goal of this department is to generate more sales. However, what about companies that do not push sales directly through their website? How do they utilize the website to assist them with their overall objective of generating more sales?

Usually, for companies in the second category, the idea of the website comes more as a “supportive tool” rather than a direct sales mechanism. Allow me to explain in a bit more detail;

  1. Generating More Sales - Obviously, the point here is that the site (company) ultimately wants to increase their sales. This applies to a wide range of companies. Once more, the idea here is to set a percentage goal as opposed to a “fixed number of sales” per week as the scalability is more dynamic in nature.
  2. Improve Sales Conversions – Secondly, it is just as important to increase the conversion rates of the leads the marketing department is generating. To calculate your current conversion rates, simply take the number of unique monthly visits and divide it by the actual converted customers (those who made a purchase). Similarly, you’ll want to establish your goals by percentage benchmarks as opposed to “physical numbers”.
  3. Support Systems – Finally, it’s important to be able to increase the support system around your sales. Once you have made a conversion, what are you doing to keep your customers happy, to respond to their follow up questions and so forth. To establish goals within this field, it’s more about understanding your sales department than the external customer. Thus surveying your sales teams about the performance of the website in relation to facilitation of sales is the best way to establish key performance indicators, which can then later be set as goals. Based on what your sales team responds, make the appropriate adjustments.

Customer Care Department

Let’s move onto Customer Care. Most websites today have some sort of customer care option. Whether it’s the “contact us” part of the website, live chats, telemarketing services and so forth. In order to fully understand how we can establish website design goals for this department we can break it down into two sections;

  1. Satisfaction – In this section, you’ll be focusing on ‘how you can improve customer satisfaction throughout the buyer’s journey. To do this, you’ll need to generate data first which can be done through surveys before and after a customer makes a purchase. It’s not easy, as most customers simply want to purchase whatever they want, and move on. Thus, implementing small surveys throughout the sales process can help quantify this data.
  2. Task Time Reduction – Secondly, we look at ‘how long it takes’ for your support team to take care of a problem. This is much easier to measure as you will be able to see the steps ‘in-living-color’ as your support team handles requests. To set a SMART objective, once more rely on percentages as opposed to “minutes/hours” as the framework. For instance, increasing the ‘completion time by 10%’ is a good example of setting a proper goal.

Webmaster + Content Creators

These people are usually the people running the digital aspect of your website, from content generation, integrating CMS’ and creating landing pages for specific products/services.

Similar to the Customer Care Department there are two main points you need to be focusing on;

  1. Satisfaction – We’re not talking about how satisfied your customers are with the content. Rather how satisfied your content creators are with the workload. If you have unmotivated workers, you’ll receive unmotivated content. This will directly affect every other aspect of your online endeavors. You’ll need to listen to your webmasters/content creators and make adjustments accordingly.
  2. Task Time Completion – What can you do to make your content creators more efficient? Perhaps using task manager apps, weekly calls, summaries etc. To set a goal, simply take the current time it takes for one of your content creators to finish a task (a.k.a create a blog). Figure out their steps and see how you can optimize the process.

IT Department

The IT Department is all about allowing you to run your website efficiently. They need to keep everything current, secure and working smoothly. While they are not always necessary, they are crucial for the success of your digital endeavors. After all, if a website is “down” or “offline”, you’re not generating sales or activity for any other department.

The IT department has one major goal;

  1. Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency – In this case, to create a goal for the IT department you will want to look at physical costs (servers, hosting, licenses etc.) In many cases, IT departments charge by the hour. Seeing how efficiently these hours are being used can help set the framework for your objectives. This includes updating platforms, migrating to better systems and so forth.

Operations Department

These guys are all about efficiency and seeing ‘where they can automate’ processes. Thus, one of the major goals of the “Operations department” is set to;

  1. Automation and Workflow – How much of your website can be automated? Sales, email, customer support, CRM integration etc. All of these elements fall under the goals and objectives of the department. They will need to analyze the current state of the website and see where automation is possible.

Human Resources

For most websites, the HR department focuses on the ‘in-house team’ meaning they look for recruitment and support for current employees. Thus the website design goals they should be focusing are;

  1. Application Optimization – How easy is it for an applicant to send you their resume? Getting a key employee that will benefit the bottom line of your company is a priority for this department. Similar to lead generation goals and objectives, you can track this process through a CRM. This will let you see here the pain points lie. Understanding the points of conflict and how to optimize them will be a heavy influencer in relation to establishing goals.
  2. Employee Satisfaction – How can they help make your employees more efficient and how satisfied they are with their current tools. You will need to analyze the current “toolbox” your employees are using, measuring the frequency of use and seeing where there are areas to increase the overall efficiency of it all.

C-Suite

Now that we have looked at every department in detail, what about the ‘head honchos’ of the organization? How does a CEO or a COO fit into all this digital workspace? Mainly, the job of a CEO is to increase the overall revenue of the company thus their main objective is;

  1. How to Maximize ROI – They will need to analyze every aspect of every department, find where to improve and suggest the changes for each. Based on the feedback of each department, the CEO can measure areas of improvement and implement timeframes of transition. The main question a CEO should be asking is; “How will this new website help our bottom-line?”

Conclusion

Now, you should have a deeper understanding on how to establish website design goals. Especially, if you want to focus on a specific department. Obviously, this is merely touching the tip of the proverbial iceberg, but it should give you a clearer picture when it comes to establishing SMART goals for your company in relation to the digital workspace. Learn more about how we go about our website design service.
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Is Your Website Responsive? Find Out Why It Should Be

Responsive Web Design: The Time is Now

If you've made it this far in life, you probably already realize how important it is to adapt to a situation. Being able to realize things cannot always go your way and having the ability to accommodate situations/feelings is a vital survival and success skill.

This rings true in all areas of life, including web development. Like a chameleon who adapts to its surroundings, your website must also adapt to different devices. If a user is on a mobile device and your website has not been made to adapt to their screen, they will probably leave your website. This loss of interest often results in a loss of business opportunity.

Mobile vs Responsive Design

Responsive design has been the most popular and widely used method for designing a mobile website. It requires one website to be coded to adapt to all screen sizes from any device. Whether the website is viewed from a desktop computer or handheld device, the content is not compromised. It simply shifts and changes to the best display for each screen.

Mobile templates are built for each specific site, not screen size like responsive design. They do not adapt to different devices, and if a user has to try to adapt themselves, there is higher chance they will give up on your website. This is why your website needs to be responsive. Check out some of the statistics below to give yourself an idea of just how important mobile-friendly websites are and why you should choose responsive over mobile templates.

Mobile Device Statistics

According to Smart Insights, mobile devices account for:

61% of users will leave if they can't find what they are looking for on a mobile device. On the flip side, users are 67% more likely to make a purchase if they have a positive mobile encounter with a website. According to ComScore, over half (55%) of social media activity happens on a mobile device.

Google Prefers Responsive

In 2012, Google's Pierre Farr revealed at SMX Advanced that Google will index responsive websites before mobile templates. It's easier for Google to crawl and index responsive websites with little room for index errors. If you want to push your brand forward past your competitor's mobile template websites, it literally pays to make a responsive website over a mobile template website.

Speed Matters

The standard loading time for content on a mobile device is 1 second and the entire page is under 2 seconds, according to Google's PageSpeed. When loading a website designed for a desktop on a mobile device, these speeds are typically impossible. PageSpeed Insights will tell you how fast your website is loading as well as how to make it load faster.

What Does the Future Hold?

As newer devices are being used for web browsing now and in years to come, having a responsive website will enable your site to look clean and concise no matter which device is/will be used. Since technology is moving quickly, it is critical that you provide users with a mobile website that can adapt to all kinds of screens. The future of your business depends on it!

Let us know if you'd like to learn more about redesigning your website to be responsive and mobile ready.

Or, learn more about Growth Driven Design by downloading our eBook below.