Hi, I'm Tyler Willis and I've been helping businesses optimize their digital marketing and web development efforts for over 10 years. I excel at teaching and helping companies understand complex digital solutions, and applying them to their businesses.
Websites and their role in the success of our businesses have been on a steady rise for the past number of years - with no end in sight.
As recently as 15 to 20 years ago, a business did well to have a website. In fact, it was a point of pride to be able to send customers to your company website.
During the past 10 years, it has become more and more obvious which companies have continued to invest in website development, making their website play an integral role in the success of their business, and which companies haven't.
From our experience, we'd say that only about 1 in 5 websites gets updated regularly. And only 1 in 30 business websites is currently being invested in and part of an active marketing strategy.
There could be many reasons why a business hasn't invested into their website:
- Businesses don't know where to start
- They don't have time
- They don't have money
- They're burned out from previous efforts
- They don't see the upside
We're going to cover all of those reasons (and more), by focusing on the first point - that businesses don't know where to start.
There are a number of website development services that a company can and should consider investing in to grow their business online.
The most common service with websites is simply website development. This could be the process of building a completely new website from scratch, rebuilding an existing site or many minor tweaks and updates to an existing site.
There are many reasons why you might want to consider website development:
- You've started a new business
- You have an existing business but no current website
- You're launching a new product or service that's differs from your existing product line
- You'd like to add new functionalities to your website
A successful website development service should provide you with a platform - whether it's a website, functionality, page, or something else - that operates as intended, is easy to manage and update and sets you up for success as you seek to grow your business.
2. Website design
Tightly coupled with website development are website design services. You wouldn't do any of the above development activities without also recognizing the importance of a good design, and making a strategy to come up with a design that will make the new development high-performing.
However, there might be times when web design takes the focus. For example, if an existing website or webpage isn't performing as well as you'd like, and you'd like to just rearrange a few things to see how that improves things. Or maybe you'd like to change the focus from one product to another, maybe there are things that you could do to make it stand out better.
Website design often consumes the most time from anyone who manages a website. It can be easy to overly tweak font sizes, splashes of color and images. And while design does play a role in a user's experience and how a company is portrayed, it shouldn't take you away from any of the other website development services on this list.
But, a successful website design service should accurately portray a company's branding (how it desires to be perceived by the general public) and make it easy for website visitors to learn and interact with the website.
3. Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of helping your website to get more traffic over time. This doesn't involve social media or paying for advertising. Rather, SEO is a service that is focused on the code and content of your site and webpages and helping them to work better with search engine algorithms.
The goal of SEO is to improve the rankings of the search engine results that point to your website on search platforms like Google and Bing.
There are a lot of factors that go into SEO activities, and many of them are pretty technical and require a developer to assist. They can include things like:
- Updating page metadata values
- Creating quality content
- Optimizing loading performance
- Generating a sitemap
- Submitting a website to search engine directories
A successful search engine optimization service and program should educate you and be transparent about the activities performed, regular updates and analysis of how the site is performing, and increased website traffic from search engines starting within a few months.
4. Content marketing
Content marketing or content creation is the strategy of producing and sharing quality information. Regarding your website, creating original, high quality content can do 2, very important things - grow your non-paid, organic search engine traffic over time and establish your business as the go-to experts in your industry.
Based on our experience, creating new content is the activity that will have the greatest influence on the SEO performance of a website in the long term. The more content (e.g. text, images, etc.) that your website has, the more that there is for search engines to index and list on their search engine result pages.
And having quality content will ensure that search engines like Google will continue sending web users to your webpages.
The more that website visitors see and consume of your content, the more they'll rely on your input and will start seeing you as the leaders in the market. This will help you to acquire new customers as they'll want to work with the best in the business.
A successful content marketing service should provide you with a strategy of what type of content will produce results, and possibly even the creation of high-quality content as well.
5. Lead generation
Lead generation, or conversions, is the process of turning website visitors into prospects or even customers. Basically, can you persuade a user to take an action of sorts.
That user action could be submitting a contact form, signing up for a demo, or making a purchase from your online store. Making a purchase would be the ideal result, but since most websites do not include online stores, the goal is typically to turn a website visitor into some sort of prospect that the sales team can then turn into a paying customer.
Your goal, as a company, is to either influence the visitor as to your ability to solve the customer's problem and therefore receive some sort of opt in (i.e. contact form) where you'll capture the user's contact information, or offer something of value that the visitor deems is worth giving up their contact information to attain.
Having some sort of lead generation program is a really important step to transforming your website from simply being a hub of information to a business-focused, revenue-generating tool.
A successful lead generation service should help you to identify, develop and launch 1 or more relevant and high-quality methods for capturing leads on your website, and ongoing analysis for current performance and recommendations for improvement.
6. Sales funnels
Sales funnels on your website are how you can send website visitors to your lead generation tools. A funnel is large at the top and gradually gets skinnier toward the bottom.
The top of the funnel represents every visitor to your website. The bottom of the funnel represents the moment a conversion takes place - submitting a form, making a purchase, etc.
The middle sections is where we build our funnel - where we transform a user from a simple visitor to a prospect, lead or customer.
There might be some lead generation methods that don't require much of a funnel (i.e. a simple contact form). Those probably don't produce many high-quality leads either.
But if you're trying to get high-quality prospects for the service that you offer, you might need to lead a user down a sort of sales path. For example, from top of the funnel to the bottom:
- Blog post relevant to a specific service
- Intro about the service
- Benefits about the service
- Real-life service use cases
- Customer testimonials about the service
- Form to sign up for the service
Some or all of these may be different pages, and some may be on the same page just requiring scrolling to the various sections.
This is where you should leverage your all-star sales team members - determining how you can turn visitors to prospects to customers.
A successful sales funnel service should help you to plan and build 1 or more sales funnels for your products or services, starting with the product that your company most wants to sell. It should also provide ongoing analysis, recommendations and A/B testing methods for continuous improvement.
7. User experience
A user experience website service is the process of improving the way that a user sees and/or uses the website or web application. This is especially important if your website contains functionalities beyond simple websites, but typically websites should still be assessed and optimized if necessary.
For example, let's say that your web application contains some level of advanced functionality. Maybe it's an online store that allows for multiple product variations, which essentially means that it's a fairly complicated form of sorts.
Maybe you've received negative feedback about how easy the website is to use, or maybe your sales haven't been as high as expected. It would probably be a good idea to have a user experience (UX) designer/developer perform an assessment and provide recommendations.
This might involve changes to:
- The layout
- Font sizes (even font styles)
- Helpful tooltips
- A demo or preview
And more. The goal is to make a website and/or platform that is easy for a user of any level to be able to navigate and use to its full capacity.
A successful user experience web service should provide you with a full assessment of the site or functionality, recommendations for improvement and design and development services to execute the recommendations.
8. Accessibility optimization
An accessibility optimization service would help to make your website accessible or usable to everyone, including individuals with disabilities.
Have you ever thought about how a person who cannot see might use your website? Would it even be possible for them to use your website, navigate around, view and consume different webpages and submit forms?
What about how an individual who struggles with seizures might react to your media-filled website design? It might look really sleek, but would it be safe for that individual to view it?
Having a website that's accessible to everyone is becoming more and more expected, and may soon be a requirement for everyone in the days ahead as lawsuits have been on the rise.
A developer can help to make a website accessible by:
- Adding alternate text tags to media elements
- Enabling keyboard tabbing to every necessary element
- Adding structure tags to page components
- Building a user interface for modifying the site's formatting
A successful website accessibility optimization service should provide you with an assessment on how well your site is currently optimized, what's necessary to bring the site to acceptable standards and the execution of the development to make the needed updates.
9. Page speed
A page speed or website performance service would be the process of helping to make your website load faster on both desktop and mobile devices.
How quickly or slowly your website loads affects every other website development service listed on this page. Users expect quick performance. A slow-loading website can:
- Cause a user to hit the back button and try visiting another site
- Lower the chances of capturing conversations
- Reduce online sales
- Negatively affect SEO
Developers and even non-developers can perform some steps to boost the performance of a website, including:
- Compress and resize image files
- Compress video and other media files
- Leverage a content delivery network for assets
- Minify and combine source code files
A successful website performance service should provide you with an accurate assessment of the performance of your existing website, what can be done to improve the loading speed, realistic expectations and performing the optimizations.
10. Web analytics
All of the service above require some level tracking or analytics in order to identify potential issues and review and analyze existing marketing and website optimization activities.
In fact, none of the above services should be performed on your website without basing the decisions first on concrete data received from your website.
For example, maybe your website loads very quickly already. If that's the case it might be better to spend your website budget elsewhere. Or, before you redesign that certain webpage, maybe you shouldn't because it's already performing very well.
A website consultant should be able to review your site's analytics and provide guidance based on data.
A successful website analytics program should help you by connecting your website to an analytics tracking program and provide ongoing analysis and data-based recommendations.
11. Interactive tools
A website can become so much more than a hub of information with a contact form. A website can include interactive tools to educate and entertain users while still helping them to learn about your products or services.
Consider a sort of calculator that allows the user to enter their values and see how your product would make their situation better. For example, if you sell a manufacturing product that claims to improve the efficiency of an assembly line by 20%, ask the user to enter their current production numbers and show them what their new production would be after adding your product to their service.
Take it a step further and calculate what their added production would mean in terms of dollars and how quickly the product they purchase from you will be paid off by the added production.
You can also use your website to improve your business operations - handling quotes, employee management, file sharing, lead management, marketing activities, and more.
Making your website less of a static source to an application will help to take your business to the next level.
A successful interactive website application service should help you by identifying ways to make your website, content, products and services interactive on your website, executing the development of that application and providing information on how to measure and track performance of the tool.