Looking for help with your digital strategy and not sure who to turn to? Alternatively, are you inundated with Digital Marketing agencies offering their services? This article will give you some ideas on what to ask and what to look out for when selecting a Digital Partner.

Website design has changed a lot over the last ten years.  If you haven’t updated your site recently, it stands out a mile when people visit it for the first time – if they find it of course!  If you still have flash running on your site, you are likely to be getting penalised by search engines.  If you haven’t changed over to a mobile friendly site, most people won’t even find your site or they won’t be able to see it properly as people have been accessing the internet from mobile devices far more than desktops since 2015. 

Website companies have had to run to keep up – and you will be able to tell if they haven’t.  If their own website isn’t filled with newly updated examples and they aren’t talking about ongoing digital marketing and continuous updates to your content, they aren’t being realistic.  Gone are the days when you design a site and leave it to promote your company for you.  If you want to be seen, you have to have a good website and then you have to keep it up to date.

So if you know your site needs to be updated or you are starting out and need a website, what are the key things your new website needs to have?  Here’s a few tips that our team at BCS Web Design tell all our new clients when we meet for the first time:

  • Interesting, useful information
  • Laid out simply so it’s easy to navigate
  • With graphics and videos
  • Properly designed with a good domain name and search engine optimisation.

Let’s explore that in a bit more detail.

  • Interesting, useful information

Why is someone coming to your site?  To find out about you and what you have to offer.  Don’t use big words, talk in jargon or try to say as little as possible.  We aren’t looking for the longest essay you have ever seen either.  If you write your website and then never change it, why would people come back again?  It needs to be kept up to date with new, interesting content so that people want to keep coming back to your site to see what is new.  Websites need to be regularly updated if they are going to rank in search engines – and people have to find your content valuable and worth reading.

  • Laid out simply so it’s easy to navigate

People need to be able to find the information they are looking for, so a well laid out website is critical.  Search engines need to be able to find their way through your website quickly or they won’t add all the pages to their directory.  So if you think of your website like a guide book, if you don’t put an index in the front, it makes it much more difficult to find what you are looking for.  If you put stuff in the back pages, but don’t put them in the index you will cause the same problem.  So when you are working with your web designer to create your site, take the time to think about what you are trying to say on your site and how you will lay this out to make it clearer.  People think that everyone lands on the front page of their website when they are looking for something, but the reality is that most people don’t – they land on the page which has the information they are looking for because they come via a search engine.  So you have to make sure that every page is a good landing page full of relevant information.  All pages need a call to action to try and prompt the visitor to do something, whether it’s making a purchase or filling in a form to give you information.  Don’t miss the opportunity to encourage people to act!

  • With graphics and videos

A picture says a thousand words – but a video is better!  From testimonials from your clients saying how good you are to work with to ‘how to’ videos showing how to use your products.  More people watch videos than will read all the information you put on your site – so you need to keep up by adding regular videos to your site.  Relevant pictures are also helpful, but to make your site easily searchable images need to be properly marked and videos can have their transcripts added.

  • Properly designed with a good domain name and SEO

There is no point having a website if it isn’t property designed and technically correct.  Search engines won’t give good rankings to a site which has broken links, no header tags to explain what the key messages are on the page or videos which take ages to load.  If people can’t remember your domain name or it looks out of date, they will leave quickly.  This is where your web designer/digital marketer comes into play as they need to make sure all this technical work is done properly and kept up to date on a regular basis. 

If you are looking for a new web design agency in Belfast or elsewhere in Northern Ireland, you need to make sure you pick one that can offer all of these things.  Some web design agencies just design your website and leave you to it.  They don’t help you to identify things like the keywords you need to target to get a conversion or offer video production to help keep your testimonials up to date.  If you want a full service company, have a chat with BCS Web Design about your website needs.  They offer a wide range of services from simple five page websites to huge e-commerce sites with product videos and they have plenty of experience helping make professional, well designed sites which help convert visitors to customers.  If you already have a website which you know needs a revamp, or you are starting a new venture and know you will need to get one BCS Web Design should be your first stop.