A website that needs a refresh is like a noisy, clunky old car that lacks the latest safety and tech features, or low-definition TV: They still work, but you can do better.
The interface is very user-friendly, which allows clients to easily update their site after we're done with the initial design
As we said in Part 1 of this series, mobile's popularity alone warrants a site update. For details on what's new in website design, we spoke with Mallory Musante and Anna Osgoodby, co-founders of Bold & Pop, a firm that brings together social media, public relations, marketing, branding and Web design freelancers.
Part 1 covered the latest in website design and knowing when it's time to refresh your site. Here we look at creating your site and 2 companies that can help. We also offer tips on how to drive customers to your site.
Schepp: You're fans of Squarespace.com for website design. Why is that?
Musante/Osgoodby: Squarespace is a great platform to use no matter what type of business you have, but we really love it for e-commerce sites. Not only do you get a fully functioning website, but the sites are also visually appealing and search engine friendly.
Templates: Squarespace offers a variety of templates to choose from that are all clean, modern, responsive and can be customized to fit your brand.
Ease of use: The interface is very user-friendly, which allows clients to easily update their site after we're done with the initial design. This is ideal for e-commerce brands, so they don't have to contact their Web designer every time they want to update their products, blog posts or anything else on their website.
Features/flexibility: Along with the design features that are built in and can be customized, everything you need to set up your e-commerce website so it runs seamlessly is also available. You can easily set up your shipping, sales taxes, and coupon codes [and more].
By consistently updating your blog, people have a reason to keep checking back
Support: Squarespace has great support… They have an informative support portal, as well as customer support specialists so you won't be left hanging if you have any issues with your site.
Bold & Pop
Schepp: Why should a business work with your company instead of using Squarespace?
Musante/Osgoodby: While Squarespace is certainly a great DIY option… at the end of the day it can be a time-consuming process.
By working with our team we take your design and functionality ideas into account and create a beautiful website that functions just the way you need it to, allowing you to focus on other parts of your business. Because we're Web designers, we can also take your template beyond the plug-in approach and create custom graphics and design.
…We are able to help [our] clients create exactly what they want—from layout and design to functionality—in less time. Ultimately this saves them valuable time and money.
Schepp: What tips do you have for driving customers to websites?
Musante/Osgoodby: Overall being active online through social media marketing, content marketing and email marketing are great tactics for helping drive customers to your website.
You need to make sure you are interacting with others by following, commenting and liking their posts as well
Adding a blog to your website is a great way to encourage people to visit your site. By consistently updating your blog, people have a reason to keep checking back. Plus, it is great for your search engine optimization.
Having fresh content, rich with keywords, will give search engines new content to index, thus helping increase your search engine ranking and the likelihood someone searching for your product will find you.
Having a strong, consistent social media presence is also important for your brand. You can share your blog posts, images of products, industry news and any other information your followers may find useful. This will help build brand awareness and drive people back to your website.
There's more to social media than just consistently posting. You need to make sure you are interacting with others by following, commenting and liking their posts as well. This will help grow your online community and brand awareness.
If you don't already have an email list of current or potential customers, consider adding a sign up to your website. This allows people to opt in to your email list where you can share news, promotions and any other kind of information you feel is necessary.
Adding links to the content in your email newsletters will also help drive traffic to your website. This has actually proven to be one of the higher converting marketing methods for online businesses. That makes it an important piece of your marketing strategy to add, if you haven't already.
Similar to your website, you will want to make sure your brand across your blog, social media, and email newsletters is cohesive, functional and visually appealing. Strong images and graphics are a must.