Top 10 New Website Questions
Quick & Simple Checklist For Future Website Success
We’ve answered 10 of the most popular website questions below to help save you time, money and unnecessary frustrations with your next website. Today’s web space is very different to that of just 3 years ago and this useful Q & A checklist will help your business achieve the online results it deserves.
#1. What is the most important tool for website growth?
Here’s a clue: you can’t improve what you can’t measure! Yes, we are continually amazed to discover websites which have no type of visitor tracking in place. An analytics program should be a baseline requirement otherwise it’s practically impossible to grow your website and business. Analytical data indicates what prospects are doing on your site, how long their staying, which pages they view, which links they click .. well, you get the point?
The recipe for website growth consists of various performance factors which you’ll need to have at your fingertips. At the very least, your website and business can only grow by having constant access to the following metrics:
- Traffic (visitors, traffic / referral sources)
- Usability (site performance, bounce rate %)
- Engagement (top performing content)
- Conversion (conversion rate, top converting pages and funnels)
Audience Websites recommends several important (free) tools to its clients including Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools.
#2. Will my website convert and create new client leads?
The real truth is developers are not marketers by trade which explains why the vast majority of new websites are expensive brochures floating all alone amongst the clouds. As the captain of your (business) ship, the onus is on you to find a successful conversion strategy for your target audience.
Of course, unless you happen to be a seasoned marketer, you may well be thinking “how do I make this happen”? This is where our point of difference comes into play. During your initial discovery session, we work with you to obtain vital information such as;
- Your target audience •Your value proposition and USPs (unique selling propositions)
- The primary goal for your new website •The secondary goal(s) for your new website
- Your current marketing strategies & more ..
This input enables us to create an effective and strategic website which helps convert more visitors to clients and deliver a quicker return on your investment.
#3. Does my website need to be mobile-friendly?
Your website MUST be mobile-friendly to stand any chance of being competitive and attracting new customers. The experience you provide to your mobile visitors will dictate the future success of your website. This is one of the MAIN reasons why we spend the necessary time with our clients to establish a customised strategy for their target audience.
There are a few different ways to make your website mobile-friendly:
- Make your website responsive (recommended)
- Build a mobile website specifically for mobile users
- Create a mobile application Google switched its ranking radar to award mobile websites with better rankings and more exposure.
Jonathan Callinan (founder of Audience Websites) created an informative article here on why Google is clamping down on non-mobile sites and the type of mobile site it prefers.
#4. How much access will I have to my website?
It’s essential (in today’s digital world) to be able to have 100% access and full ownership of your website. This may sound obvious however many website companies out there will build your site on proprietary (privately owned) software and thus restrict your ownership and ability to develop it further. We believe your website should grow in tandem with your business and, for this reason, build all our client sites on WordPress.
This gives our clients more peace of mind and enables you to add (or remove) website tools/features when your business specifically requires it. To protect your best interests and provide more flexibility, you gain full access to;
- WordPress administrative settings
- FTP settings
- Database settings
- DNS settings
The reality is you generally won’t need these access points however you should never have to fight for this information.
#5. Will it be easy to manage website content?
If you’re keen to add (or remove), change and test different types of content on your site, then it’s imperative your website is built on a flexible and progressive platform. We recommend and use WordPress for all our clients since it’s built upon one of the most stable and user-friendly content management systems (CMS).
As a business owner, managing your content needs to be super easy and efficient so your website adapts and grows with your business. WordPress is blessed with some of the most talented and experienced programmers on the planet which makes it practical for you to control and grow your website as you wish.
#6. Can the website be improved further by other developers?
This is one of the most important questions to ask your developer without a doubt. Your future online results (and growth) hinge on having a flexible website which can adapt and grow with your business. Equally important is the ability to call upon other developers for further site upgrades and development. Circumstances change and the last thing you want is to be trapped by one developer or one company going forwards.
More than 50% of our existing clients have previously experienced such rigid set ups where they’ve had no control or ownership of their website. We’ve effectively been hired to ‘free up’ their site and improve conversions through an open source platform like WordPress. For example, our clients have the flexibility to;
- Add, change, remove pages, posts and plugins
- Change the website theme
- Add page templates (e.g. landing pages)
- Integrate e-Commerce functionality
- Upgrade their site to include a backend membership and/or forum and provide more customer value
Audience Websites gives your business website the flexibility it needs to grow.
#7. What type of security features will my website need?
Although we love and fully endorse WordPress, it can be vulnerable to attacks without the right combination of security software. All open-source (e.g. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc.) platforms are in the same boat since many website possess inadequate security features if any at all!
Your new website should be coded properly to preempt and prevent easy access for nasty intruders. Moreover, a credible developer will only use clean and credible themes and plugins which are actively updated on a regular basis. Audience Websites are also set up with A-grade security and monitoring software to significantly reduce the risk of hackers and e-criminals targeting our client’s sites.
To provide absolute peace of mind, our website care and performance plans deliver ongoing support, essential site updates, regular security checks and weekly back ups – hosted on Amazon’s secure servers.
#8. What are the essential SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) features?
The days of paying expensive SEO agencies to optimise your web pages are running out! One of the main reasons for this is the free SEO tools available to open-source platforms such as WordPress. For example, ‘SEO by Yoast’ powers up our client sites by generating keyword-rich page titles and descriptions (amongst many other features) which then show up in Google for your prospect’s search terms.
WordPress already provides one of the most SEO friendly frameworks for website owners however implementation of SEO and some Google ‘know-how’ are still required for best search engine results. Any reputable website development company should be familiar with fundamental SEO principles and our client’s initial discovery session provides the opportunity to determine the most important and targeted keywords for your business.
#9. What type of software will my website require?
One of the biggest advantages to using WordPress for your website is that the community of talented developers behind it continually creates premium software (plugins) for webmasters to use. If there’s a feature you need on your website, then someone has probably already built a plugin for it.
As with everything, plugins need to be used in moderation. The reality is it’s easy to overload, slow down and even break a WordPress website with an excessive number of plugins. At Audience Websites, we make sure each piece of software is absolutely necessary and customised to your business needs.
For example, we choose the most reliable and trusted software to;
- Enhance website performance
- Protect brute force attacks from hackers and cyber criminals
- Keep spammers at arms length
- Increase home page visitor-to-client lead conversions
- Optimise the home page (and deeper pages) for Google
#10. How and where should my website be hosted?
Hosting is one of the most overlooked considerations as many have become accustomed to quick, cheap hosting solutions from companies like GoDaddy. This is a major concern since how and where your website is hosted is vital to your website’s future performance and visitor results.
Here are 5 important reasons why you should carefully consider your next hosting provider:
- Your host location should ideally fit the geographic location(s) of your target audience
- Hosting setup (e.g. database settings, server settings, etc) needs to be correctly implemented depending on your expected volume and type of visitors
- Available bandwidth (and disk space) should be tailored to your business to avoid website downtime and any file upload issues
- Response rate and reliability of your hosting provider can save you a lot of unnecessary frustration when your website does unexpectedly go down
- Ability to access to your hosting settings (e.g. DNS, MX records, A records, etc) in case you need to hire someone else or make changes outside office hours
Audience Websites partners with one of NZ’s most experienced and reliable hosting providers to ensure our clients gain peace of mind with a service they can trust moving forwards.