PA+ Launches New Website

Once upon a time, a cobbler made shoes. He was an excellent shoe maker, and his skills were in high demand. This proved to be terrible news for his children, because he could never find the time to make shoes for them. And so the cobbler’s children walked around barefoot.

Much like that cobbler, we’ve been so busy working for our clients that we’ve become guilty of neglecting our digital properties. That changes today, and we’d like to take this as an opportunity to talk about what makes for a good online presence.

1. Know Your Objective

Like any business, our ultimate goal in marketing ourselves is to make the sales process easier:

  1. Make it easier for you to find us.
  2. Make it easier for you to see how and where we can add value to your business.
  3. Make it easier for you to connect with us.

This is true whether we’re talking about a billboard on the side of the road, an ad on the radio, a post on social media, or this very website. We apply the same principles to marketing ourselves that we preach to our clients.

2. The Web Is All About Content

It’s tempting when designing a website to bring to it all of the latest flashy technologies, to want the ‘wow factor’, that special something that will make your friends and family say: “What an incredible website.” But that’s not one of our objectives. It doesn’t make it easier for you to find us, evaluate our work, or connect with us.

In other words, that would be pure vanity and a completely unstrategic direction.

There’s an advertising saying that applies to web design as well: “I don’t want you to tell me how much you liked my ad. I want you to find the ad so compelling that you bought the product.”

According to Alexa.com, the top 10 sites in Canada are Google, YouTube, Amazon, Facebook, Reddit, Yahoo, Shopify, Live, Netflix, and Wikipedia. What these sites have in common is that they place the focus almost entirely on the content. They are designed to get out of the way as much as possible.

As an agency that provides web design as one of our core services, it was tempting to want to impress you with how cool of a website we could build. But that would go against our principles. Ultimately, we don’t want you to even notice the site itself. We want you to find the content of our site so compelling that you want to work with us.

3. Hub and Spoke

As much as we would love for everyone of you to bookmark our site and come back on a regular basis, this just isn’t how the web is used anymore. The heart of the web is social media and search engines.

The great thing about social media is that, in theory, if you have really great content, people who’ve never even heard of you will find it because it will get shared. And if your site has really great content, it will turn up for all sorts of relevant keywords on search engines.

The downside to this is that we are all now at the mercy of tech companies. If they stop showing your content (as many a business can attest to), it can bring your online presence to a grinding halt.

So what’s the best way to navigate the situation?

  1. Don’t rely on only one social media platform. When you find success on one platform, like Facebook, it’s tempting to put all your eggs in that basket to get as much attention as you can in that one location. The problem with that is every online platform is constantly changing its algorithms. One day you can be on top, and suddenly it’s like you don’t exist anymore. So if you have the time and resources to do so, you want to exist on multiple platforms. That’s why we’re active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
  2. Treat all of these platforms as spokes to the hub that is your website. All of our most important content now originates as a post on our website, that we then share on social media. Most people who see our content won’t click through to our site, and that’s okay. But the most interested people will click through.
  3. Know what content makes sense for each platform. For example, we attend alot of events around town. Photos from those events tend to play well on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Sometimes they can work on LinkedIn, depending on the context. They almost never make sense to post on our website, though. Likewise, some of the content we post here may not be relevant for social media.

4. Always Have a Call to Action

Imagine for a moment that you see an ad for a company you’ve never heard of before. You find the ad extremely compelling, but it doesn’t tell you anything about how to buy the product or engage their services.

That would be a terrible waste of an ad. Every advertiser knows you need a call to action.

Yet this same problem happens over and over again on the web. You might write a social media post, or create a page on your website, and work really hard to make it the best you can. But if you forget to ask for the sale, it will all be for nothing.

That’s why every page on our site includes a prominent call to action. If you like our work, we want to work with you and we’re not shy about it.

5. Every Second Counts

After the first 2-3 seconds of page load time, every additional second costs you roughly 30% of your remaining traffic.

Let’s say you get 1,000 site visitors in a month. After 4 seconds of page load time, you might be down to 700 visitors. By 8 seconds, you’re down to roughly 120. By 15 seconds, you’re down to 14 visitors.

Every. Second. Counts.

So be careful in designing your site. Ask your agency to optimize every graphic, every line of code. Minimize the amount of Javascript plugins you’re using. Use a web cache to speed things up. And consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to host your images and media files for even faster delivery.

6. Mobile First

Our website, much like your own, gets most of its traffic from mobile devices today. It’s no longer enough for a website to simply be responsive (the ability for a site to adapt to different screen sizes). It has to be designed for mobile devices first and foremost.

 

Is this everything we know? Hardly. But they are our top 5 principles that go into every website we build. If you’d like to see these principles brought to life for your business and your website, let’s get in touch.

See something you like?

Let’s get in touch.