Whether you are starting a brand-new enterprise or running an established family business that has been in operation for decades, one of the most important considerations is your website. Your website tells potential new customers not only what you do, but what kind of a company you are – your voice, your purpose, and most of all, what you can do for them. Customers expect you to have a website, so the days of getting along without one are gone. Today, no website = no future growth. Even worse, a bad website setup can send customers flocking to your competition. But the right kind of site created through quality web design packages can be your secret weapon of success.
Despite being “small,” companies with less than five hundred employees are large when it comes to their impact on national economics. Over 50% of employed Americans work for small businesses. But while giant corporations tend to have the most state-of-the-art and flashy websites, smaller organizations struggle to match that allure with their own sites. Often because of this disparity, some companies find it hard to gain market share against bigger competitors.
In today’s rapidly changing economic climate, many dynamic forces are poised to impact the revenue-generating ability of your organization. Lockdowns and stay-at-home orders might be rare or occasional, but their effect on sales (especially for small location-based storefronts) is devastating. As big businesses already rely on mega-websites for everything, such situations do not affect them nearly as much. But for too many small brick-and-mortar stores, these shutdowns ultimately resulted in permanent closure. An inability to swiftly switch gears to respond to the times, including failure to have an attractive, user-friendly website that gets seen, resulted in the death of throngs of small businesses in 2020 and on into 2021.
It’s time for small businesses to stand up and be seen. In the information age, you do that with a powerful web presence. Only companies capable of responding to changes in short order will survive, and a functioning, flexible website helps you do that.
When you don’t understand why your website fails to bring traffic, it can be frustrating. A website is not only an avenue to create a brand or enhance its visibility, but also to improve sales. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what product or service you offer. If you already have a website that does not bring in any revenue or only draws a trickle of attention, you need a better website.
Websites, in general, have proven to be a brilliant platform for both brick and mortar and web-based businesses to thrive. When run correctly, they are traffic-generating powerhouses that can make or break a company. But before you jump in, you’ll want to know what dooms a website to gather virtual dust and what creates a smashing success. As you move forward in the development of your business with a better website, how do you know what to look for in web design packages that will get your products or services noticed?
Are you ready for a website that actually works? Create your brand’s unique voice, enhance your traffic, and make your phone ring with a smarter, stronger website from MacMillan Design. Let’s talk!
Why You Need a Company Website: Building Virtual Highways to Your Products and Services That Never Shut Down
Before we get into the juicy details on the secrets to website success, let’s review why you need one in the first place. Whether it’s about the development or expansion of a brand or improving sales, websites are a hot topic for any small business right now. Old traditions of offering great products, services or competitive pricing, depending upon word-of-mouth marketing, and occupying a prime market location are no longer the most important factors when it comes to sales. The future is today, and digital is king.
The idea of customers with full carts lined up in front of cash registers has been fading for some time now. And, in step with it, the shopping experience that people knew is being redefined by the internet. There has been a steady growth in eCommerce over the last decade, and therefore, customer habits and mindsets have changed. Today, regardless of what product or service you offer, you can be sure that 70% to 80% of your clients are browsing online before spending their money. But if your small business doesn’t have a website, these customers will simply move on to buy the same product or service from your competitors who do. To believe that your competition does not exist online would be an epic folly: it is expected that the number of small companies without a website will be down to roughly 27% in the next few years.
One can still try to deny all the positive results of having a website and be firm in website-opposing beliefs. Some popular excuses include: the company is too small to warrant a website of its own (are you thinking of opening your own art store?); the products or services require the clients to come into your store (do you own a mani-pedi salon?); the population in your area is not internet-friendly (is your location not within a 100-mile-radius of a city?); the end of the Internet is nigh (ah well, you could still go out with a boost in your sales!); and more. But the impact of Covid-19 globally has unveiled many truths. The most important one is that the internet is the only thing that can save small business sales in a world of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. Now that consumers have gotten used to a new normal, they will continue to go to the web first before making any buying decision, even if that’s where to get their toes done. If they don’t see you on the web, you won’t see them in your store.
If you have a small business and having a website is still not on your mind, read on to understand why it should be.
Great websites bring booming sales
If you have a clear sense of what your business offers, there aren’t many things that you need to get your website rolling except for choosing from different web design packages. Your website should be attractive, easy for your clients to navigate, secure, and honest in the information it provides. There are essential details that a website houses, such as contact information, including the phone number, email information, and address or location. The website has to be a secure site where your clients can spend time without worrying about the safety of their personal details or credit card number.
Great design and easy navigation ensure that your visitors spend more time on your website. And, everyone knows the more time the customers stay in the shop, the higher their chances are of buying the wares. Clear calls to action prompt the visitors to choose your services, book an appointment or buy your products. Legitimate third-party validation in the form of testimonials, reviews, client lists, and case studies give social proof to your business and helps draw traffic. Great web design packages offer these features and more.
Websites keep your store open 24/7
Having a website is the online equivalent of putting your small business on the map. In the virtual world, your website helps customers find you. Studies have shown that e-commerce spending is on the rise, with 88% of consumers doing pre-research on the internet before purchasing any product, regardless of whether they are buying online or in-store. Data proves that even consumers who intend to shop in-store do internet-based research before making the purchase. Websites are a 24/7 version of your company, with the virtual world following its own ‘peak’ online shopping hours. Your operations might shut down for the night in reality, but your website will drive ROI even when you are asleep. Having a website is an investment you can’t afford to not make. Out of all the web design packages offered, finding the perfect fit can multiply your earnings.
Websites create and maintain your presence
Modern technology has become quite intricately involved in our lives. With people spending more and more time on the internet, you can be certain that all your probable clients are out there looking for your website. Additionally, your social media campaigns, interactions with clients via comments and reviews provide social proof of how great your product or service is. Without a website, you’re letting your competitors who do have one get all the glory.
Websites keep the leads flowing
Websites are more than a pretty doorway to your virtual presence. They are a very vital platform for the development of leads. They help you create email lists of potential clients that you can target for future email campaigns. They also help your clients book the services you offer directly from your site, saving you time and resources.
It’s time to say YES to that website idea you’ve had for so long. With Macmillan Design’s affordably priced web design packages, your vision can get the right start, even on a budget. Call us today.
Here in The Ultimate Guide to Web Design Packages, we have tried to answer all the questions that might pop up when you are investigating the best web design packages available on the market. Be it creating a new website or improving a website that you already have, before you can claim to understand all the web design packages, there is much to learn. Fortunately, none of it is difficult. Our goal here is to break it down into easy-to-understand points that help you choose the best web design packages for your needs.
To make an informed decision about which of the web design packages to choose, you should investigate the following aspects of a website:
- Design. Trust us when we say it is more than just the website looking pretty. Can your users find what they are looking for?
- Content. Catchy phrases are one thing, but what about words that bring in traffic and create visibility?
- Branding. Behind every unique product or service is a brand, but how does your company develop one?
- Security. Customer loyalty can’t be expected if their data is at risk. Is your website keeping you and your customers safe?
- Hosting and Support. Running a small business and handling its website can be very different. Do you have all the help you need?
Yes, there are many aspects to web design. Packages that can carefully bring together what your small business needs might not be immediately clear. When you are researching web design packages, you should carefully check their features and consider them in light of the five categories mentioned above. Below we have laid out the most essential elements under each category that you’ll want to watch for when choosing among web design packages for the one that best suits your company.
1. In Pursuit of the Perfect Design: Ease of Navigation, CTA Placement, and Speed
Humans are inherently drawn toward great design. For an enterprise that functions online, an intuitive sense of design not only makes a memorable first impression but can quickly translate into sales. If you find it hard to believe, studies have shown that 75% of users create a judgment about the credibility of a company based on the visual quality of its website. Great aesthetics are so intimately connected with trust in the minds of users that 94% of clients that are looking for healthcare services on the web make their decisions based on website design-related first impressions!
What your website looks like is certainly a critical factor, but it’s not everything. Here are some crucial elements that come under or are influenced by a website’s design.
Clear and intuitive navigation keeps customer attention
Knowing what we know about fast-receding user attention spans, you do not want your prospective clients or customers to struggle to locate information on your website. If they can’t quickly find what they’re looking for, your competitor’s website is only a click away. To increase the length of time they spend on your website you need to ensure that the design is enticing enough and easy to navigate. Broad headings, catchy call-to-action buttons, intuitive navigation, and many more design elements can be incorporated into a website to make it more user-friendly.
Customers are on the move. Is your website mobile?
When was the last time you checked the number of devices that you operate daily? Four or five? It is safe to assume your customers do, as well. Mobile phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and newer devices are coming out every year; it is crucial that your website functions on all of those devices. Ideally, each user, regardless of what device they are accessing your website on, should have a great experience. And the only way to guarantee that is to have a responsive website design that can adapt to and function effortlessly on any device. It will keep your users engaged on pages longer and translate into more leads or sales.
A style guide gives your brand a consistently unique voice across all mediums
To create a brand image that is successful enough to bring in sales and earn customer loyalty, it is vital that you have a style guide. A style guide is developed keeping in mind all the important facets of your brand to create visual recognition through design elements. These elements include color, space, line, shape, format, texture, typography, and, of course, the logo. These items should be consistent across the entire website and in line and other channels. Consistently using this style guide creates a cohesive experience for the user that helps build recognition and repeat business.
Maintaining the right balance with engaging visuals
A picture speaks a thousand words and takes less time to do so. A video does even better, as customers are ten times more likely to interact with it than text. Integrating visuals such as embedded videos of your store or product in the background, a full-fledged photo gallery and infographics help break up the text on a page, enhance the user engagement on your website, and garner leads.
Visuals are faster emotional triggers than plain text and make a more lasting impression on a user. However, it’s critical to maintain a very careful balance while using visuals to avoid crowding the pages. A cluttered website will overwhelm your users and fail to keep their attention.
Strategically placed call-to-action (CTA) buttons
What turns a visitor from thought into action on a website is the CTA or call-to-action button. The button guides a user towards conversion by getting them to act. A well-designed CTA aims to prompt the user into proceeding to the next step. You’ll want a design that draws a user’s eyes directly to the CTA button on a page.
Good web design packages deliver design/speed balance
Many components go into the development of a web page setup: images, text, videos, infographics, and more. Every single thing that you add to a web page influences the time it takes to load on the user’s device. If you have a website with a marvelous design but it takes a long time to load, you are going to lose customers. No user wants to sit and wait for a website to load, so page speed is an important consideration when designing the site. The aim of a website’s design and development should be to strike the perfect balance between attractive design and fast page speed.
Iconic logo designs are a must in great web design packages
The logo of any successful company has to be iconic. An easily recognizable and unique logo is the first marker of your brand that a user interacts with. If your small business is powered with a logo designed following a pre-developed style guide, it not only sticks in the memories of the users but reinforces your brand identity.
Landing page designs are an underrated force in marketing
Designing a crisp, minimalist, and modern landing page setup that can instantly convert leads is an important aspect of website design. The landing page, be it a standalone landing page, the contact page, or the homepage, has to be distinct. Its entire focus is on converting a visitor with a single primary CTA button. Its job is to make your offer look irresistible, whatever it is: signing up for an event, subscribing to a newsletter, purchasing a product or scheduling an appointment.
Social media buttons get you synced with all channels
When it comes to social media buttons, you’ll need to decide which social media channels you want your users to share the page to. When considering the positioning of social media buttons on a page, ask yourself some questions about your social media presence. Do you prefer to attract users with an encouraging ‘+1,000 shares’ button at the top of the page, or are you worried that a low share count might scare them off? Do you think that having social media buttons at the bottom might distract readers, getting lost in the other elements in a web page’s footer and lower your social media shares? Are social media buttons better in line with the post or as floating bars? Answering these questions can impact your social media shares and the leads that you receive through them. A well-designed website will have social media buttons close to the copywriting, away from navigation, and in places where they are clearly visible.
The best web design packages have faster build-times
Build-time refers to the total time involved in the construction of a website until it launches. It usually takes anywhere from 14 to 16 weeks for a website to be created. Depending on the scope of the project, it could even go over six months. If you are just starting as an artist or an author, you might not necessarily need a big website. Alternately, if you are a grocery store opting for an eCommerce storefront, your website will be dramatically different, and so will the build-time.
A faster website is better than a pretty one
Speed is a vital aspect of a website that impacts user response almost instantaneously. The relationship it shares with design is, well, interesting at the very least. Design plays a critical role in attracting users and people tend to stay longer on beautifully designed pages over plain ones, regardless of how the subject matter differs. But however beautiful a page might be, if the loading speed is over three seconds many visitors will not engage with it. Clearly, when it comes to speed, both design and subject matter take a backseat as far as user reactions are concerned. About one-fourth of users will walk away from a page that takes more than three seconds to load, regardless of how nicely displayed the information may be.
Putting powerful design into web design packages
Intuitive navigation, multi-device functionality, emotion-driven and carefully placed CTAs and speed are essential components for a powerful website. Without these factors done and done well, your design will fail to serve your target market. When you choose MacMillan Design for your new or redesigned website, you’ll get 25 years of experience poured into each and every one of these aspects. Your current and future customers deserve the best user experience. We listen, we create, and we deliver.
MacMillan Design provides six web design packages: Keep It Simple and Keep It Classy for small and new businesses. The build time for websites under these web design packages is four and five weeks, respectively. In the Make It Grow and Grow It Faster web design packages, the website can be launched in six and eight weeks, respectively. You can level up with the Industry Challenger (9 weeks) and Industry Leader (10 weeks) web design packages to truly position yourself for greatness.
Not sure why your good-looking website doesn’t attract customers? Unsure if your users can find all your information fast and in the right place? Let us help you turn your website into your greatest asset.
2. Content vs. Good Copy: Enhancing Market Visibility, Driving Footfall, and Leveraging Sales
Content is king. It’s an often-repeated cliche but not an entirely correct one. It’s only good copy that has any power (divine or otherwise) to drive traffic to your company. However, what we mean by good may be different from what you have on your website now. We will come to that in a bit.
The internet works like a kingdom made out of information, and good copywriting guarantees your website a position on the top. Over the web, this copy comes in many forms, such as web pages, blogs, whitepapers, ebooks, social media posts, infographics, podcasts, videos, local listings, and more. But most of them hardly make a wave, let alone prompt a visitor to spend money. For copy to turn into clicks and then result in a sale, it takes quality and strategy. A small business with an innovative website with good-quality, keyword-loaded, SEO-enhanced, and well-placed text can become a force to be reckoned with, even against much larger competitors.
Your customers are online. Where are you?
Americans love to shop. With the rise of eCommerce, the older mall or showroom-based shopping experiences are rapidly being replaced by more comfortable and conducted-from-the-safety-of-the-house internet shopping experiences. You cannot deny the popularity of virtual shopping over any other means of shopping, especially when Google researchers state that 84% of Americans are shopping online at any given time!
And not just that. There are enough statistics available to convince even the most faithful believers of the word-of-mouth modus operandi of small business marketing. Average American adults spent close to four hours per day on their phones in 2019. It’s expected that this time will only increase and go over four hours in 2021. So, we can safely assume that devouring information is no longer just a way to pass the time while you’re waiting for something else to happen. Neither is it simply an avenue for those living a more intellectual or tech-savvy lifestyle, or for those who think information is power (did someone say ‘cliche?). These days, with people remaining more and more indoors and even using their devices when they’re outdoors, an internet-friendly existence is mandatory for survival. With people spending about half their workday online, they are doing more than simply scrolling. They are getting groceries, scheduling their nail appointments, doing medical consultations, and getting educated—all digitally!
The consumption of internet-based information has dramatically expanded. There is no doubt that your small business can very intelligently utilize copywriting that brings your website to the first page of a relevant Google search result. This creates a direct path to your website, driving quality traffic to it. The math is simple. If more people visit your website, more people are laying eyes on your products and services, increasing your chances of converting visitors to customers.
Why do some websites fail to draw traffic? They didn’t say the magic words.
Keywords are the fundamental building blocks of online marketing techniques. If you use the right ones in the right way, your site gets found. If you don’t? Well, don’t wait by the phone. But what exactly are keywords? Simply stated, they are words and phrases that a prospective customer will put in a search engine to find internet-based information. Small businesses can take advantage of these words and phrases to connect with potential customers looking for products or services on the internet.
It all begins with market research, of which keywords are a significant part. On the internet, keywords are more than just a bunch of words strung together to convey a user’s query. When used correctly, they work like bricks, building a pathway straight to your website. However, even a tiny change in the wording can cause a dramatically different result in the user’s search display, so it’s essential to choose the perfect words.
These keywords are at the heart of the search engine optimization (SEO) processes, topic clusters, and Google Adwords campaigns. Therefore, keywords can make or break your efforts. Not using keywords, getting the keywords wrong, putting in insufficient or over-stuffed quantities of keywords, or simply placing the keywords in inappropriate places are among the main reasons why less than 10% of websites are able to draw any traffic with their online written material.
Most users who search online visit only those websites that show up on the first page of Google search results. Another way to look at it—and understand what happens when your website words are perfect—is this: the websites that appear on the first page of Google search results receive 95% of clicks. That means good (in terms of correct keyword usage) copy puts your site in the top Google rankings. And a direct result of being in top Google rankings is better click-through rates.
We understand the power of keywords. That’s why our web design packages include thorough research to curate keywords with the highest search rates and lowest competition for your industry. These keywords are then expertly employed in your website’s copywriting to put your site at the top of every relevant search result. Keywords can also be used to attract prospective clients based on categories or areas. For example, using short-tail keywords (insurance), long-tail keywords (insurance for car), or local keywords (insurance for car in Atlanta, Georgia) on your website can help refine the visibility of your products and services in relevant searches by customers. We customize your keywords directly for your industry for maximum impact.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the key to digital marketing
At MacMillan Design, we provide various affordable and fully managed SEO packages and services to come to the rescue of small business websites. These SEO packages include fully managed blog writing, authority homepage links, automated rank tracking, top-tier blogger outreach links, local listing, citation cleanup, on-page SEO services, online reviews and reputation development, press releases, and distribution SEO booster link packages.
Not just market research, but in-depth market research
If you are looking for effective web-based marketing and advertising, the key is in market research. Correction: in-depth market research. Data is vital, and the more of it, the bigger your customer pool will be. Proper in-depth market research lets you know your market from the inside out and makes your target audience come running to you. Get to know your target market and you’ll learn how to press all the right buttons so that they can’t wait to click “add to cart.”
The next step is keyword research
High volume and low competition keywords are chosen via Competitive Gap Analysis and are made available in web design packages in 25, 50, 75, and 200-keyword lists. SEO services use these keywords to pull your organization from the background to the forefront of Google search results. These keywords can then be used in targeted Google AdWords campaigns to give your visibility a boost on Google. This makes sure that when your audience is looking for your services, they see your website first.
Creating SEO-friendly content marketing that shines on Google
Good copywriting is vital for the performance of your website. Google’s recent updates place an immense amount of emphasis on SEO-based wording. Another thing that works brilliantly in SEO-based text is topic clusters. They are cutting-edge and insanely powerful. In addition to all of these, there are consistent SEO-based blog writing services to provide you with the best quality content marketing complete with the blog setup.
Topic clusters with internal links dominate keyword search results
Topic clusters refer to multiple pages of interlinked information (usually blog posts) that revolve around a central topic. Topic clusters use a pillar page to link to and from. As the topic clusters can be huge chunks of words, they can cover vast amounts of relevant information regarding the central topic while providing contextual support. In addition, topic clusters provide you an opportunity to create a strong internal linking framework that can help users locate your information faster and easier and they tend to dominate keyword categories in organic search results.
Strengthening your presence with link-building
Apart from crisp copy emotionally targeting the users and keywords in the right place and in the perfect amount, there is another thing that makes the copywriting on your website draw more traffic: backlinks. Link-building is the process of getting other high-quality websites with higher domain values and more traffic to link back to your small business’s website. This drives referral traffic to your website, increases your site’s authority, and improves your website’s search engine visibility. The engines crawl the web looking for links between high-quality websites and your small business’s website in order to validate your presence and enhance your site’s ranking in the search results. Quality web design packages will assist you with getting these backlinks.
Your competitors are investing in quality copy
One of the best sales tools in the world is great copywriting. A good story will always find an audience. But it takes work to make sure the story makes it to the top spots in search results on Google, where it finds the biggest audience in the world. Around one-fourth of the businesses online are planning to create and publish more high-quality information on their sites, and you need to as well in order to keep up.
A small business needs copywriting that can contribute to the development of relationships. Over the web, relationships are built via networks that are created through SEO-optimized copywriting. Your story will need to be seeded with proper keywords in the right places, in a structure that makes it easy for clients to navigate and find relevant information. All these factors contribute to getting search engines to pick up the keywords. If your target market isn’t building a relationship with you, they’ll be building them with your competitors.
Keywords have to be in the right place and appear the right number of times.
There are rules to creating perfectly SEO-friendly but not-too-keyword-stuffed copy. Such wording can attract clients, pull your business from the background to the top pages of search results, and translate clicks into sales.
But what does it take for online copy to be considered good? Here’s the breakdown:
- Relies on in-depth research using volume and competition metrics to curate the best keywords using keyword tools, Google analytics, user research, and more.
- Maps the keywords to their relevant pages and places them following the rules and recommendations.
- Structured so that the main keywords appear in the page’s title, the headings, the opening and closing paragraphs, page titles, page headings, meta-data, meta-descriptions, etc.
- Ensures that the H-tags (section headings) are placed in strategic locations that reinforce the page’s theme and help the search engines navigate the page.
- Place the keywords in the actual web addresses of each page on your site so that the URLs help your prospective customers find your written material and help the search engines understand what your page is about.
Content integration vs. Custom Copywriting
Some web design packages will proudly offer something called content integration where your organization’s writing is distributed from a central source. However, what that really means is you write it, and they copy and paste it. By contrast, premium quality web design packages will offer custom copywriting. This is unique, useful, and highly targeted content marketing writing. Don’t get caught up in the jargon – if a web development company offers you a content integration setup, ask for custom copywriting instead and see what they say.
Flexible and Intuitive Content Management System (CMS)
Content Management Systems or CMSs are software applications. Their job is to allow users to create, edit, collaborate and store digital files. The core functions of a CMS include: intuitive indexing, search and retrieval using attributes such as publication dates, keywords, or author, format management to manage scanned documents, HTML or PDF documents, revision features to perform edits after initial publication, and publishing new material.
A CMS is important as it provides ease of use, searching functions, and managing files. Plus, it is accessible from anywhere as long as there is internet connectivity. It should be easy to scale and allow multiple users to collaborate. It is versatile, simple, and powerful. MacMillan Design offers a WordPress CMS in our web design packages because of its versatility and ease of use. It also helps us keep our pricing competitive.
Web design packages with super-charged content marketing
At MacMillan Design, those magic words are our specialty. We understand the power of proper keywording, search engine optimization, quality market research, and custom copywriting. That’s why all these services are part of web design packages at MacMillan Design. We have spent years researching, analyzing, and implementing techniques that will take your SEO far beyond anything you thought possible at pricing that is affordable. We also offer powerful backlinking services. All of our web design packages include SEO services for three months. Once you see how powerful they are, they will become your favorite marketing tool. Our carefully crafted content will meet your customers where they are – on the web – and help you reach them before your competitors do.
Tired of talking to yourself? Our web design packages will put your words in front of your target market and get your products seen. Let’s talk!
3. Your Brand: Build It and Grow It
After a brand is built comes the work of growing it. One of the ways to do this is by understanding the various useful metrics that help you grasp where your organization currently stands. Having set up a seamless website with fine-tuned marketing campaigns across multiple platforms, we now need to focus on metrics to gauge how well your campaigns are performing. This data helps you refine your campaigns, make them more targeted, and improve traffic to your website and your lead funnel.
Google Analytics presents a complete picture of your company – where it was, where it is, and where it can be. Like a backstage view of your website, it provides you with all the necessary information about your site’s statistics: who is visiting your site, who is converting, and who’s not interested. It allows you to see all the data in a dashboard overview, making it easy for you to analyze it and make informed decisions. Google Analytics is an essential tool to help you market your products and services to the right people, in the right way and at the right time.
Gaining insight into your website’s traffic with Google Analytics reports
The main goal of Google Analytics is to understand user engagement. The tool gives a complete picture of how users interact and engage with the content on a website or app. Once Google Analytics is fully deployed, it will show you which measures are working and which are not, allowing you to optimize accordingly. The relevant data and its interpretation will come in the form of reports that will help you understand the role different channels play in your campaigns. The best web design packages will include the use and analysis of powerful reports from Google Analytics to grow your brand and increase your sales.
Tracking your audience with Google Analytics’ Audience Overview reports
The Audience Overview report presents consistent and clear frames of reference about the visitors of your site. These reports are backed by comparative data and helps steer your decision-making process in the right direction. This will help you in the development of better marketing strategies for attracting your niche audience. By tracking your company’s performance against the performance of its competitors, you can improve your site’s performance to become more targeted to your potential customers.
Google Analytics Customer Acquisition reports: How can they benefit you?
Customer Acquisition reports help evaluate how your marketing efforts are performing and how you can make better strategic decisions based on the data. Not only will you gain insight into the topics your audience is enjoying the most, but you will also find out what digital marketing channels are the most successful so you can focus on their development. A high bounce rate on some pages gives you a clue that the subject matter or speed needs to be improved to discourage users from abandoning those pages. Course correction on these pages based on the reports can boost your website’s SEO and user experience.
Google Analytics Real-time Behavior Reports: How can they benefit your organization?
Real-time Behavior Reports let you view how busy your site is in real-time. They help you understand who is visiting the site, what pages they are interested in, and whether or not they convert. These reports measure the effect of changes to your website, campaigns, and promotions. Real-time data will help you determine the times of day your website receives the most visitors so you can schedule blog posts around those times. This will give your copy a boost and increase exposure, giving you a greater sense of how successfully your material resonates with your audience.
Garnering legitimacy via testimonials, reviews, and comments
Testimonials, previous work, or case studies provide legitimate validation to any enterprise. If a visitor on your website can read a plethora of testimonials, it will give them an insight into your ability and standards of customer satisfaction. Online review websites and social media presence further add to your visibility and the development of your credibility. The comment section on social media platforms is quickly becoming the place to gather leads and do a sentiment analysis. Good web design packages will be able to help you get reviews, improve review ranking, and display the results on your site.
Improving Google ranking with XML Sitemap submission
Google bases a website’s ranking on the data that is gathered by crawlers. These crawlers access all URLs within your site and all the internal and external links on a web page. So your website’s XML sitemap helps the crawlers identify new and more popular links and indexes your pages using them. These pages are then ranked. If a web page is not connected to other more popular web pages via links, then that page will not show up on Google rankings. These high-quality links belong to websites that have authority and high rankings. Because of that, they help direct traffic to your website.
Having an XML Sitemap enhances your visibility on Google. It puts your products and services in the limelight, leagues ahead of your rivals, and increases your website’s footfall. This footfall, later on, translates into leads and customers. Good web design packages won’t let this factor slip by.
Local NAP citations for location-based sites
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. If you have a location-based website, NAP citations are vital for your local search engine rankings. The NAP citations make businesses discoverable on the web to potential new customers. In addition to that, the NAP citations also influence local search engine rankings. This means that a company’s website should have accurate NAP citations everywhere on the internet. Having accurate citations helps your location rank accurately on Google Maps so customers that find you online can find you in person. The NAP citations can be managed directly by you to ensure data accuracy.
Local NAP citations include industry categories, hours of operation, driving directions, business description, images, videos, payment forms accepted, reviews, geo-coordinates, owner responses, taglines, links to social media platforms and other forms of media, email addresses, fax numbers, alternate phone numbers, and attributes. Good web design packages offer careful NAP citation cultivation for new sites as well as audits for existing sites. These audits help in locating inaccurate or duplicate NAP citations and then clean them up.
If you are selling directly from your website, directing customers to stop by a storefront or offering both, your internet storefront needs to pack a punch. A good eCommerce storefront on your website will include clear product displays and pricing, an easy-to-use ordering setup, inventory management applications, billing and payment system, and payment processing software. If you’re selling from your site in any form, you’ll want to choose a web design package that makes it easy for your e-commerce storefront to grow easily with your company.
Other crucial aspects include web analytics for tracking and anticipating your business’s trends and secure socket layer (SSL) security. Normally, providers demand a simple one-time fee for setting this up followed by either annual or monthly fees. This fee might depend on the number of product listings, which are typically predetermined, and your website’s traffic. Your site overall needs to display trustworthiness so customers feel confident that their time, personal information, and credit card numbers are well placed with your organization.
Google AdWords campaigns
When you’ve got your SEO working through good copy on your website, you won’t need much, if any, paid advertising on the internet. However, if you’re in an industry with heavy keyword competition, a Google AdWords campaign could prove helpful. Google Ads is an advertising service which allows businesses to display ads on Google search results and its advertising network. It can be a useful tool when it comes to approaching an audience in a saturated industry. Good web design packages will be open to this option if it is necessary.
One of the major benefits of a website is having a storefront that is open 24/7. But what about the customer service in the off-hours? That is where chatbots enter. Great web design packages will be able to incorporate chatbots for your website when needed because customers love them. Statistics suggest that 64% of internet users love the 24/7 service chatbots are able to provide, and 37% of customers use a chatbot setup to get a quick answer to a query. There are chatbot services available that can respond to textual, visual, or auditory inputs from users. They can mimic human speech, and by using artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing, and machine learning, they can also understand what a user is saying. They are economical and get smarter over time.
The time to grow is now
As the world grows more and more dependent upon web-based information, quality websites are more important than ever. Even right now, businesses from every industry are updating, upgrading, and learning about the power of brand expansion with SEO. That’s why MacMillan Design incorporates all of these essential elements in our web design packages. From the range of Google Analytics options, boosting reviews and testimonials, XML sitemaps, NAP citation, robust e-commerce solutions, and more, we provide the perfect set of tools that meet your website’s needs at pricing that makes it easy to say let’s get started. Nothing more, and nothing less. MacMillan Design is committed to your success.
Can you serve customers better than your competition? Then don’t wait to grow your brand. Contact us today and let us help you create an online presence that dominates.
4. Hosting Setup and Security: Up and Running with Data Protection
Web design packages should involve air-tight security measurements for your website. Your customers’ information and your control over your site are paramount in an age of hacking, piracy, and data breaches. Security measures also protect your website from sudden failures or slow download speeds that drive visitors away.
You’ll want to be sure you consider web design packages that provide the following security factors for your small business’s website hosting and security:
Fast, secure, and reliable website hosting
In web hosting, the files that make up a website are saved on a web server and made available on the internet for viewing from there. This is a service by a hosting provider. Secure website hosting means that your website has an SSL certificate and your visitors will access your website using HTTPS, which stands for (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure). Your website hosting setup needs to be reliable and fast. You will lose customers if you have a slow website. A website that is also constantly up and down will also send customers knocking on your competitors’ doors. Quality web design packages will include hosting that you can count on.
Core security updates, daily backups and 24/7 monitoring
It’s gone, and there’s no backup. Those words are terrifying to anyone, but especially to small business owners who make a living and pay employees based on electronic data. That’s why regular data backups are an essential safety measure, even when you’ve got excellent security already in place. Server failures, hacking, or hijacking are a lot less scary when you know you’ve got a current backup.
Alongside having regular backups, you’ll want core security updates. Digital bad guys never sleep. They are always looking for – and finding – weaknesses to exploit. That’s why regular security updates are necessary to keep ahead of them. Web design packages must offer both of these essential components to keep your business safe, secure, and open. You should also look for 24/7 security monitoring so you can be alerted in real time of any issues.
The HTTPS SSL security certificate: An essential website security accreditation
One of the vital security features that web design packages should provide is the HTTPS SSL Security Certificate. This is a digital certificate that enables an encrypted connection. It also shows visitors that the web service host has proven ownership over the domain. Lack of an SSL certificate can result in a scary-looking warning being shown to potential customers, practically ensuring that they won’t continue their session on your site.
The SSL certificate ensures the encryption of all server-client data. This protects any exchange of information. For any website to accept online payments, it must comply with the payment card industry (PCI) standards. Having an SSL certificate is one of them. It provides safety to every bit of data like login credentials, credit card numbers and bank details, and any other private information shared on your site. The SSL certificate is also crucial for the identity of the company. An SSL certificate makes sure that your users remain on your website and do not fall prey to frauds.
The SSL certificate also helps improve Google rankings. This is because such websites are more secure and reliable, and Google wants to deliver quality results. Customers trust a website with an SSL certificate more than one that does not, as it gives them assurance that their information is safe. The certificate also helps protect your business’s reputation. This is why web design packages should always include SSL certificates, even for sites that do not collect credit card information.
CAPTCHA features built-in forms for added website security
An acronym for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, CAPTCHAs are tools to differentiate between human users and automated users like bots. When you have a built-in contact form with CAPTCHA, it provides challenges that can only be performed by humans and not by computers. CAPTCHAs make activity on your website secure, reduces spam, and helps prevent bot activity from bogging down your site speed.
Building sites that you can trust
It doesn’t matter how flashy your website is if it isn’t reliable or if customers don’t trust it. That’s why MacMillan Design incorporates these essential components into our web design packages. Fast, secure, and reliable hosting, essential security updates, backups and monitoring, SSL security certifications and CAPTCHA are all elements that go into our carefully crafted and completely customized sites. You look out for your customers, and we’ll look out for you.
Don’t get caught with your website down. Stay up and running, secure, and protected with premium web design packages and hosting from MacMillan Design. Contact us today.
5. Support: Your Website Designer Should Be a Real Part of Your Team
Choosing the perfect one out of a variety of web design packages is not just about technical stuff. There is a lot of warmth, love, sugar, spice, and everything nice that goes into making a website—by which we mean the human touch. A lot of small business owners who know they need a website to boost their bottom line hesitate because they are already overworked as it is; who has time to maintain a website, too? Not just that, they’ve heard about the exorbitant price tag of really good sites, and they don’t have the budget for that.
Fortunately, truly great web design packages come with the knowledge that most business owners don’t have the time or know-how to manage the website on their own and are ready to fill in that gap. They are offer pricing that is economical enough to fit into your budget.
Web design packages should also be customizable, so if you already have a website, you can choose from packages to find one that provides auditing features. A thorough website audit will give you a great amount of information and help you zero in on the perfect package for you.
The power of the initial strategy meeting
We may live on the web, but nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a strategic deep-diving brainstorming session. In good web design packages, post the website audit, the first step in the process is the initial strategy development meeting. This is where you sit down with the experts to discuss every single aspect of your business that is important, and maybe some that you don’t think are but actually have a more significant impact than you believe. It will cover both website-related concerns and your company in general. This is required to ensure that all website-related problems faced by the owners of small businesses are addressed and their digital marketing processes are noted, analyzed, and improved upon. The initial strategy development meeting is a standard fixture of all good web design packages.
Here are some of the most critical facets that should be covered in the initial strategy meeting and the ways your design and SEO company should assist you:
Your content strategy and goals
Initial strategy meetings are designed to understand your objectives so the copywriting on your website helps you achieve those goals. What do you hope to achieve through improving your online presence? Are you trying to generate a certain number of new customers? Improve current customer retention? Expand into new markets? Promote specific products or services? Once you have reached your goals, how do you know it? Web design packages should take into account your business’s strategy and objectives and curate copy around them.
Identification of your target audience
The audience your company caters to will affect the tone that you use throughout your site. Are they primarily other companies or are they individuals? Do they live in a certain geographic area? Have families? Analyzing these demographics will help you determine what voice you should use throughout your site.
Creation of copy that promotes your brand
Will your content provide valuable information to your customers, or is it intended to promote a particular product to earn new ones? What format will work better? What type of information will your visitors find the most useful? Answering these questions will help determine what topics you should cover.
Design a distribution strategy
What are the best channels to share your new material? Do you or should you use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? Will your blogs be distributed through an email list? You can also partner with other sites to get your content published. You can achieve a much greater reach and a healthier backlink profile by connecting with other sites, and your web design package should cover this for maximum impact.
Plan out your publishing using a calendar
You’ll want a schedule of content for the upcoming several months. Take into account how often you’ll be releasing new copy and the different platforms you’ll be using. Also, you’ll want to ensure that the copywriting is being created in the background to be ready on schedule when the day comes.
Regular meetings with your strategy team
Having regular strategy and status meetings will allow you to adjust your approach and fine-tune it as needed. They will also keep all the schedules and deadlines in check and manage expectations. Web design packages should include clear and consistent communication through the various stages, and they should cover all of these details with you.
Website Training: How to Use (Or Delegate) What You’ve Got
Having a website for your small business is like having a child. Even after the website is fully deployed and operating, there is a lot of nourishment to keep it healthy. A healthy website means it is up-to-date, complete, and fully functional to keep the leads rolling and business booming. Good web design packages will include an understanding that managing a fully functional website was not necessarily what you had in mind when you started your company. You already have enough to handle. That is where the care factor comes into play.
Web design packages should be designed so that you receive the guidance of experts from the inception of the website through its deployment and include clear instruction or done-for-you ongoing support. You should understand how your website will be managed and by whom. But what does managing a website even mean? Well, it depends on how hands-on you want to be. You can DIY-it if you’re tech-savvy (or employ someone who is), or you can go with the easy route and outsource it by handing over the day-to-day work by adding on a maintenance plan to your web design package.
Nourish your website on your own
If you prefer to be in the trenches with your website, congratulations – you can do it! Good web design packages will include a complete knowledge transfer from the experts to you or your staff about managing the website in the most productive manner. Handling your website on your own involves focusing on varied aspects of your platform, such as WordPress. These include:
- logging into the website using your login credentials;
- navigating the Dashboard, menus, and admin panels;
- managing the different types of copy on the website—editing existing ones and adding new pages or posts, organizing content classifications and codes such as categories and tags, SEO settings, etc.;
- managing media library—adding and replacing media as well as viewing media details;
- modifying the structure of the website by changing menus, widgets, and redirects;
- managing forms—creating forms, embedding them, and analyzing their entries; and
- managing users, comments, cache, and updates.
If the list looks tediously long and full of complicated tasks that seem beyond your capacity, any web design packages worth their salt will include a plan to help you learn the most intricate maneuverings of your website so that you can assume complete control of your site.
Have a meeting
Nothing tricky about this one. Your education should start with a simple meeting that covers all the different aspects of your website. If you think website management is not your forte, it should become so with step-by-step instructions. These meetings can take place in person, but generally will occur via Skype or Zoom.
Screen sharing and recording
Are you worried that a virtual training session on website management will not be the best way to do it? Take a deep breath. Two of the most valuable aspects of online meetings are screen sharing and screen recording. Both should be used to ensure that even if you are not physically present you won’t even notice. With screen sharing, you can understand the tiny details in real-time, while the recording facility enables you to look at it again in the future for a refresher or to train another person.
Suppose you prefer reading on your own and doing research independently. In that case, you should be provided with pre-recorded videos, written documentation, links to easy-to-understand online material, etc. PDFs, ebooks, Google Docs, DropBox, screencasts, images, and more can be used to share information and transfer files to you.
Apart from one-on-one video meetings—the most popular medium of website training—you should also be able to request instructional emails. They come very handy in breaking down the job in tiny daily updates that you can look at instead of pouring over pages and pages of reading material or hours with videos.
Exhausted? Take the easy route and outsource it
If reading that list of tasks and thinking about hours of training to learn how to use your website is enough to make you consider giving up before you start, hit pause. All good web design packages will include an option to completely outsource all of those tasks as ongoing management and maintenance. You won’t have to worry about uploading blogs, knowing how to use tags and categories or any other routine updates.
You have our full support
When we were creating our web design packages, we put ourselves into your shoes – the role of a frantically busy small business owner. We get it – we’re small, too. But small in size does not mean small in service. Our done-for-you web design packages are flexible, customizable and personalized to you. Need to add on a service? Great, we’ve got you covered. Don’t need certain features? That’s a-okay. No matter what your package ends up looking like, MacMillan Design has your back. From your first strategy meeting to ongoing support, your site is in good hands.
Don’t get left in the cold after your new website goes live. MacMillan Design is committed to making your site continue to work for you. Call us today to get started.
The short and sweet on MacMillan Design web design packages
It’s no secret. We think quite a bit of our web design packages. We pour ourselves into your market research, your design and development, your customized copywriting and your success. Your business is why we have one, and we are completely committed to helping small businesses regain market share from larger competitors to remain a staple of the American economy. But each small firm has unique needs, so we’ve got several different web design packages to choose from. Check them out below and see which one looks like the winner for you.
(Before we dig into the details, you should know some features are common to all of our web design packages: custom designs (no templates!), custom development, free SEO consultation, competitor research, and one year of secure hosting. The rest of the features will vary depending upon the package and the size of your company needs.)
MacMillan Design web design packages and hosting: From small but mighty to large and in charge
At MacMillan Design, we focus exclusively on the development of small businesses. We craft web design packages that are focused on strategic ways to increase your traffic and boost your sales without busting your budget. Here is how we work our magic (in the form of our web design packages) at MacMillan Design:
Keep It Simple and Keep It Classy
These are starter web design packages of up to 7 pages. These are just what you need to kick off that great start-up idea or dip your toe in the water for smaller established companies. These budget-friendly options come with 21 inviting images (in the Keep It Simple package), and SEO copywriting with a word limit of 2100 words (in the Keep It Classy package). Both of these web design packages offer two months of free SEO. Don’t forget that one year of secure hosting is also included!
Make It Grow and Grow It Faster
If you already have a small company that you know can do better, you are here reading this article because you want more. The Make It Grow and Grow It Faster web design packages have been created to be the fuel required to usher your company forward. These packages provide you with design and development of up to ten and fifteen pages with 30 and 45 images, respectively. With the Make It Grow package, you’ll get SEO copywriting with a word limit of 3,000 words, a list of 20 strategic keywords, and three months of full SEO. The Grow It Faster package brings you SEO copywriting with a word limit of 5,000 words, a list of 30 targeted keywords, and three months of full SEO. With these strategic and powerful yet still refreshingly reasonably priced web design packages, your company will gather the momentum you’re looking for.
Industry Challenger and Industry Leader
Ready to pour some fuel on the fire? These two web design packages have been created to catapult your company onto the big stage, giving even your biggest competitors a run for their money. These are the mega SEO powerhouses of web design packages, and are designed to dominate. The Industry Challenger and Industry Leader web design packages offer up to 20 and 25 pages on the website, 60 to 75 high-impact images, SEO copywriting with a word limit of 8,000 and 10,000 words with a list of 40 and 50 strategic keywords and three months of full SEO, respectively. If you’re ready to become an industry challenger or industry leader, this is how you do it.
The Complete Package: Done-For-You Development at DIY Pricing
In your search for the ultimate web design packages, MacMillan Design can deliver what your organization needs. From SEO consulting to custom copywriting, design, e-commerce solutions, development and a reliable hosting setup, we are squarely on your team and committed to your success. Part of our commitment to you is keeping our pricing as affordable as possible, so no matter how small your organization may be, you can still rank on Google like a giant. Contact us today, and let’s grow your success together.