We’re Kicking Off 2021 With a Shiny New Website January 22, 2021 This year is all about growth. Who’s with us? So much has been written about 2020, and all of the lessons we learned, but I think we can all agree that for the most part, it felt like collectively pushing water uphill. (Hello, by the way! My name is Kirrily and I’m the Content Manager here at Beacon Media + Marketing.) In the words of Taylor Swift, we decided to, “shake it off.” And like every ‘90s teen movie ever, we decided to kick off the new year with… wait for it… a makeover. That’s right, we’ve just launched a shiny new website! As a digital marketing agency, having a great website is like a hairdresser having great hair or a car salesman driving the latest model. It’s not just a piece of digital real estate where our clients can find out about our services, get to know us, and talk business. We want to make a great first impression and show you what we can do! If you can’t already tell, we’re extremely proud of our efforts and the changes it symbolizes for our business. In this blog, we’re going to talk you through the process of redesigning a website and explain some key digital marketing strategies we used to stand out and generate leads. Already convinced? We’re excited to meet you. Contact us today. How Do You Create a New Website? The first step in creating a stunning new website is to hire a marketing agency. As you can see, we know what we’re doing! We’re here to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible for you. There are lots of great benefits to choosing us – bear with me while I go ahead and boast about (ahem, list) them: We utilize the full power of our team to brainstorm ideas based on your objectivesOur copywriter can help you create memorable messaging and sharp contentOur graphic designer can strengthen your brand and make your site a visual standoutOur developer can save you hours on coding, making your site incredibly easy to useWe offer hosting to ensure your site is always up to date, backed up, and secure Our process depends on whether you’re starting from scratch or updating an existing website. If you’re starting from scratch, we’ll meet with you to talk about products/services, your company culture, your vision/mission/values, and your current marketing funnel, before getting to work. We already had a website in place, so we looked through it as a team to decide what could stay, what needed to go, and what we wanted to change. We wanted the website to have a fresh look and feel to represent our optimism for the future, we wanted it to focus on our passion for American small business and highlight our new “Grow, Scale & Thrive” key messaging, and we wanted to reorganize the structure to make it easier for people to use. Importantly, we also wanted it to have very clear calls to action (CTAs) to make it easy for people to take the next step. Once we agreed on a brief, our leadership team worked closely with our creative “Dream Team” (consisting of our copywriter, graphic designer, and developer) to bring this vision to life. Click here to learn more about our web design and web development services. What Strategies Did We Use for Our New Website? Getting a new website can be stressful, especially if you’re doing it yourself and wading deep into the world of how-to guides and hosting. It’s important to note there’s no “perfect” way to build a new website. Instead, there are really only five things a website needs to be successful: Clear objectiveHelpful contentBeautiful designAwesome functionalityCTAs, CTAs, CTAs Let’s unpack each of those individually, using examples from our new website. Clear Objective Different websites can achieve different goals. It’s important to be very clear on your goals before work starts on your new website, because you’re essentially building a funnel that is going to guide all visitors toward your goal. Do you want people to purchase a product? Contact you with all of their questions? Attend an event? Be amazed at your beautiful artwork or literary prose? In our case, we want people to schedule a free consultation, because that’s the first step toward signing a new client. When you look at our site, you’ll notice that every page works toward this goal. The content is exciting and persuasive. The design is eye-catching and deliberate. The functionality is simple and easy. Nothing on this site has happened by accident! Having a clear object from the outset will ensure your website works as hard for you as possible, becoming an active part of your sales process instead of passively letting prospective customers draw their own conclusions. Helpful Content The secret to writing great website content is simple: make it helpful. Put yourself in your customer’s or client’s shoes for a minute. What’s the most important thing they’ll need to know in order to make a decision to choose you over your competitors? In most cases, it will boil down to what your products or services are, who you are and why they should care, and how they can contact you. Once you’ve gathered that information, you’ll need to make sure it’s organized into a logical way that makes it easy for them to follow. Most websites follow a basic template that you’ll notice in the navigation bar at the top: Home, About, Products/Services, and Contact. You can add more – that’s entirely up to you – but make sure these elements are all present. You’ll also need to give some thought to your subheadings, because this makes sure content is easily scannable so people can quickly find the information they need. Take our Dental Marketing page, for example. First, we use an emotive heading to capture your attention. Then we tell you why we specialize in this area. Then we tell you what you need to succeed. That’s followed by a case study, and a call to action. It’s simple, helpful, and logical. Don’t overthink the content! Beautiful Design People are incredibly visual, so design is undoubtedly the best way to make a great first impression. You can think of a website as a functional artwork. It’s beautiful, yes, but it’s also innately practical. Like we said earlier, everything is done deliberately to encourage clients or customers to take action. Brand colors will build brand recognition. Brand fonts will create a visual tone, whether that’s modern and fresh, strong and capable, creative and fun, and so on. Images will capture people’s eyes and hold their attention. Subheadings will tell them what they need to know. Our About page is a great example of this. The main thing we want you to know is that we’ve been, “Helping Businesses Grow, Scale & Thrive Since 2012.” That’s why it’s the first thing you see. The image creates a collaborative feeling right from the start. We’re not here to tell you what to do; we’re here to partner with you on your journey to success. Immediately below that is a blue content block that lists our key statistics – for example, that we have a 98% client retention rate. Below that, you can see all our smiling faces and learn about our team. And you can always take action by clicking that big orange “Get Your Free Consultation” button in the top right corner. Awesome Functionality This is the part where most people get stuck. There are many, many, many different platforms out there that will allow you to build a website for free, or a very minimal price. Many business owners go down this route only to realize a few things: it takes a long time to build a website if you have no coding experience; it’s incredibly frustrating to try and fix your website when things go wrong; and it’s hard to get hold of people when your security is breached and your website gets hacked. That’s why good developers are worth their weight in gold. They genuinely LOVE this stuff. They’ll make sure your site is always protected, functional, and up to date so you can get back to business. They can also create really cool functionality that makes your site easy to use. Take the Our Work page on our website. This is where we’ve collected our favorite case studies for prospective clients to check out, so you can get an idea of the type of work we produce. Two interesting things happen as you scroll: the navigation bar at the top is frozen to ensure that big orange button is always accessible, as is the filter option on the left-hand side. This means you can easily filter by service or industry to find out if we’ve done any jobs like yours. The page loads quickly, even though there are a lot of images, and each case study has two well-spaced statistics and the option to learn more by clicking the “View Case Study” button. It makes your user experience as smooth as silk. Calls to Action Did we mention CTAs? Truthfully, none of the rest of the list matters unless your prospective customer or client knows exactly what step to take next. You need to make it as easy for them as possible. If you take a look at our Homepage, you’ll quickly notice that they’re all marked in bright orange. You can tell right away that we want you to “Get Your Free Consultation” and “Get Started Today”. Both links open our live scheduler so you can go ahead and book and appointment. We also have a custom chatbot that will connect you with our sales team in case you have questions. And that’s before you scroll even once. Simple. Clear. Convenient. Keep that in mind when you’re developing a brief for your own website. As you scroll down our homepage, you’ll see there are clear CTAs after every block of new content. We apply the same strategy to every other page on our site. That way, if a prospective client sees something they like, they can take action straight away. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to connect with us and talk business. Next Steps in Getting a New Website Speaking of CTAs, I’m going to switch back to first person and finish this blog with one. I hope you found it to be interesting and informative. Make sure you check out our new website here and remember you can get in touch with us anytime. We’re total marketing nerds and we’d love to help you with your web project, whether it’s brand new or a redesign. There’s no better feeling than creating a site that helps a client’s business “Grow, Scale & Thrive” (see what we did there?). Ready to get started on your new website? Get your free consultation.