Here I am in week six of trying to find the time to complete the research for revamping my own web site.
Web design research requires a lot of effort
Here's the drill.
Keyword research; 100 character site description; 63 character key-wording that varies for each website page; weighing and selecting master keywords; listing and linking to related international, national and local directories; listing related websites; documenting potential inbound links; describing the "perfect" prospect; identifying the main selling proposition; identifying a unique selling proposition if possible; creating the database layout; creating the offer for the contact page and integrating it into the home page; and finally, compiling all of this data into a single document.
After all of this is done, then write copy that communicates key benefits to the perfect prospect taking great care to incorporate heavy keyword density to optimize the website for Google and other search engines.
Only after all of this is done will I be ready to hand over the project to the designer to set up the navigation bar, layout and photograph selection.
As a final step, I must create three-dimensional navigation capabilities within the copy that links specific words or phrases to various portions of the website that expands upon a given topic. This allows the reader to move from one part of the website to another more easily based on his primary interests.
Without an audience, any website will fail
After all, it does no good to create a beautifully designed and exquisitely written website if your perfect prospect can't find it.
This is what SEO copywriting and web design is all about -- marketing.
Website development technology has advanced to the point that the marketers must now take over. Anyone with minimal technical capability can create a website. But it takes online experience and special skills to develop websites that generate a lot of income from organic search. Getting click through depends less on technology today than proper research and integration of that research into the final website design.
Search engine algorithms are maturing quickly. These algorithms make less use of the invisible metadata tags relying more heavily upon the actual site content as well as the inbound and outbound links to rate websites on a search.
Just yesterday, a prospect told me that his web site was getting ample click throughs, but he wasn't getting any leads in his email or by phone. He felt like he was wasting his money. And I agree with him.
A quick review of his web site that was developed at considerable cost by a large and reputable web design firm about a half year ago did not reflect any search engine optimization whatsoever. The design or look was nice, but the marketing that was supposed to make it work never happened. Yet this web design firm purported to provide state-of-the-art SEO.
For success, let the knowledgeable direct marketers create your website
Regardless of size, most web sites were designed by, well...designers and IT people. They are technicians, but not marketers.
The moral to this lesson is to not believe that these web design firms know anything about optimization or generating qualified leads that convert to real business. Leave that up to the direct marketers in your organization or list of suppliers.
Direct marketers understand the requirement -- every medium you use MUST make money for you
If your web designers don't use terms like testing, offers, conversion rates or cost per sale, run away from them as quickly as you can. They don't know the marketing aspects of web design.
Have you had similar or different experiences with your suppliers or internal support teams? If so, please comment.