You need a new website when...

You realize your business deserves to look better than your competitors! 
Why? Because you are better than them. A new website says a lot about your business: it's a window into your company; it's an advertisement of your products and services; it's the first point of contact for many of your future customers.
You know your site should keep up with modern browsing trends. 
A huge number of internet traffic is via mobile devices. (And this figure is increasing.) You need to make sure that your content, your design, and your user experience is optimized for all types of devices. You don't just need a new website, you need a new mobile-responsive website.
Potential customers can’t find you when they do a search. 
Having an informative, good website is only half the battle. 90% of people looking for a product or service start their search online using a search engine. If your website is not optimized for search engine crawlers, you’re missing out on significant traffic and sales opportunities. Sites need to be built with search engines in mind – if you built your site even just three years ago, Google has made numerous algorithm updates that your site needs to optimize for.
Your website uses outdated, visually unappealing graphics and images. 
You do fantastic work, much better than your competition, but your website doesn't show it...therefore your prospects don't know it!
You want to ensure that you're making the most of social media. 
Your present website doesn't have links to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ pages. The pages on your website don't have buttons to allow users to share your news and blogs on their own social media channels. You don't even have a news section on your website for users to share. Other people sharing your posts and pages is free advertising. You need a new website because you want free advertising.
You’re not getting enough inbound leads from your website. 
Your website should do more for you than be an online business card. It should act as a tool to introduce new clients to your business, your products/services, and further opportunities down the sales funnel. Consider the opportunities for inbound leads on your website. Are your forms easy to find and fill out? Do they require a minimal amount of information? Are there multiple ways to request quotes? Is your contact information clearly listed and easy to find? Are there multiple calls-to-action depending on the content on the webpage? The easier you make it for website visitors to contact you, the more contacts you will receive.
Part 7 of my series:
Lisa's Website Insights for creating websites that Impress & Engage

Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly? Google's Next Algorithm Update!

What Is the Mobile Algorithm Update?

Think back to the last time you landed on a site that wasn't optimized for mobile. Chances are, you needed to zoom and then swipe side-to-size to even read what was on the page. And when you went to go click on something, your fingers could barely select the tiny links. I'm going to bet good money that you just bounced from that page -- with all the information on the internet, you didn't need to waste your time on a website with a really poor user experience.
Google's realized how frustrating this whole experience is and decided to change their algorithm accordingly. Soon, when someone's searching on a mobile device, Google will serve up sites that are easy to read, make navigations and links easy to tap, have images appropriately sized for the device, and more generally, make information easy to find.
Back to the algorithm update. At the moment, Google denotes which sites are mobile-friendly in their mobile search results (below is an example of what that looks like). They'll be actually rewarding and penalizing websites for their mobile experience.
We tested all of our sites, see the image above for what the results look like!


Enter your website's URL into Google's Mobile-Friendly Test and it will let you know if you've got a mobile-friendly page on your hands. If the website you entered passes Google's test, you will see a green banner indicating the website is mobile-friendly. If the website does not pass, Google will let you know the page is not mobile-friendly and give some reasons why.
Many of the common reasons why a website isn't mobile-friendly is because:
  • The content is wider than the screen: This requires users to scroll side-to-side to read the page.
  • The text too small: This means the user must zoom to read text on the page.
  • The links are too close together: On a smartphone, links should be easy to tap with your fingers -- this means that the links should be big enough and in natural location to tap. Most smartphone users hold their phone in their right hand and tap links with their thumb.
  • The mobile viewport isn't set: This is a little more on the technical side of things, but the mobile viewport controls the width of the page for the device. If your website displays a desktop landscape when smartphone visitors land on your page, then the viewport is not set for mobile on that page. This is an extra special case where responsive design comes in handy - responsive design will automatically adjust the viewport based on the device.
This is part of an article written by HubSpot. To see complete article, visit here.
Part 6 of my series:
Lisa's Website Insights for creating websites that Impress & Engage

New Website Design Rules for 2015

Website design is so much more than what the site looks like.

Many organizations are re-prioritizing their websites to become a star in their marketing mix. Site design is changing and the savvy company knows that by adapting these web design best practices, they'll create new revenue through sales or leads from their website.

Sites are changing from “nice to haves” into important lead-nurturing tools. The right site design will keep them impressed, engaged and ready to take the next step in the buying process.
Designing websites strictly for visual appeal is no longer enough. To be effective in 2015 and beyond a website:
  • Must impress with a great look.
  • Is mobile-optimized to keep visitors and Google happy.
  • Needs to engage to convert site visitors into customers.
  • Takes into account new Google search rules. They've rewritten the SEO game, making relevant content and user experience more essential and valuable than ever.
2015 website visitors have very different needs, depending on where they are on the path to purchase. Their website experience must respond to these needs throughout the different stages of their website journey.

If your organization follows these new 2015 website design rules, your website can turn into a powerful lead development and sales powerhouse.

Part 5 of my series:
Lisa's Website Insights for creating websites that Impress & Engage

2 Website Design Principles for Optimal User Interaction.

We all know how important it is for your website to 

encourage interaction with your visitors.
You want them to explore, learn, take action and return often.
One of the biggest mistakes is trying to do and say too much. If a site is cluttered with random content and images all vying for attention, it can be overwhelming. Your site should give visitors an easy way to navigate to what they're looking for, if not, many will leave out of frustration.
How to keep your visitors engaged and happy they stopped by.

1. Know Who You're Speaking ToIt's very important to know your target audience. Who are they? Why are they coming to your site? How can your company help them? Your web firm should be asking you these questions and more to gain this insight so your website speaks to your potential customer. 
Knowing this important data helps guide your site's design, content development, placement of important elements, calls-to-action, site navigation and functionality. All adding up to an awesome user experience.
2. Keep It SimpleToo much information can detract from interaction. A site that is well thought-out with clear messaging and images helps guide your visitors to take the desired action. Concise messaging is much better than lengthy content where important messages are buried, never to be found. It's also about word choice. Your content should be easy to understand and straightforward. Not only does it make for a better user experience but it also helps with SEO.
Keeping it simple is also a necessity when catering to an increasingly mobilized audience. Everyone uses a smartphone or tablet to surf the web. A responsive website adapts automatically to these devices for an optimal user experience…no more pinching, squeezing or frustration. Creating a mobile-responsive site will not only increase your search ranking on Google, but keep your mobile visitors happy. 

As you can see, there's a lot more to consider than the 
design of your website for optimal user interaction. But, when 
all your website parts and pieces are properly orchestrated, you end up with a powerful online presence.

Part 4 of my series:

Lisa's Website Insights for creating websites that Impress & Engage