Michigan Web Design

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Poor website design can often hurt your conversation rates, ultimately hurting your sales. If your sales have stooped, it’s likely time for a website redesign.

If you’re seeking a Michigan Web Design Company to build you a website, you’ll want to be sure that your new design is optimized.

Why does it matter if your design is optimized?

It only takes 0.05 seconds for people to form an opinion about your website. Yes, that’s correct — 50 milliseconds. Most of that opinion is coming from the design.

These are some of the most important best practices for building a new website.

Following these main principles will drastically improve your website performance, and increase the amount of new customers contacting you from your website. 

 

You need a good web host (a place for your new website to live) 

 

A host is basically a server that you upload web files to. It’s where your website lives and contains everything needed to make your website run. 

 

Hosting companies offer space on these web servers weather it’s shared hosting or a dedicated server. 

 

Shared hosting means sharing a server – and it’s resources – with other sites; that’s bandwidth, storage… the lot. 

 

Some of these websites are going to be spam and junk websites that you don’t have any business sharing a backyard with. Shared hosting is not recommended.

 

 

 

VPS hosting;   If you’re looking for reliable hosting for a business website, this is a good entry-level hosting for a professional small business. 

 

VPS (Virtual Private Server) Think of this like living in a condo. While you still share the same building as other residents, you are responsible for the maintenance of your property and any repairs that need to be carried out inside your condo. Plus, there are fewer residents and you get your own allocated car parking space.

 

Much better option with increased resources available in case of traffic spikes, for a very economical cost compared to our final option, Dedicated Server. 

 

Dedicated; It’s exactly how it sounds. It’s a dedicated server that is only used for your website. 

You have complete control of the resources, and you do not share them with any other websites. 

Dedicated  servers are best for large websites and those that received a high level of traffic each day. 

These are also the most secure option if you’re working within HIPPA, and other confidentiality laws. 

These are much more expensive options and not necessary for small start-ups, generally speaking. 

 

 

 

Looking For The Best Michigan Web Design Company?

Book a free strategy session today by filling out the form below or calling (231) 944-2112

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Hosting factor #1 – Uptime reliability

 

This one doesn’t require rocket science to figure out. If your web server is down, it causes your website to be down. This is just like not having a website in the first place. 

 

It should go without saying that choosing a reliable hosting company is important. Two hosting companies that are very well known in this space: 

Fatcow

Hostgator 

(A Michigan web design company can also host your website on their dedicated servers like we do here at Blue Peak.)

 

Having used both of these hosts for years, one thing I can say is that I’ve never experienced ANY downtime using them. This is what you’re looking for. 

 

There’s no worse feeling than your website being down during an important time, and you have no control over it. Save yourself the headache and go with a reliable company from the beginning. 

Hosting factor #2 – Customer service

 

If one thing is for certain, it’s that things WILL go wrong. Ask any experienced web designer and they’ll tell you they’re constantly dealing with issues. 

 

If you’re new to this you will most likely run into situations where you’ve messed something up and in turn your website is not functioning properly. 

This is frustrating to begin with. But what’s more frustrating is poor customer support coming from the host. 

 

Good customer service is so important when seeking out a hosting company because it can be the difference of your website being down for an hour, or two days. That’s a HUGE difference. 

 

Many hosting companies auto-generate backups of your websites so when something does go haywire, they can provide you with a backed up version of your website. 

 

Online live chat is also a great feature to have to eliminate wait time, they can generally solve most issues directly through the live support and have you on your way. 

 

Stay away from a company that only offers email support. This type of support is extremely outdated and very slow. Emails quickly get backed up and in my experience, you won’t hear from these guys for a few days, or longer…

Hosting factor #3 – Speed is king

 

I won’t bore you with the details here. But speed really is king with it comes to SEO. It’s so vitally important that you must take this into consideration when selecting your host. 

 

Speedy hosting will not only improve your Search Engine performance, it will also increase conversions by fast-tracking potential customers to your inbox. 

 

Websites that stall, or load slow simply drive customers away. Humans just don’t have the patience that they used to. 

 

Also remember, 80% or more of visitors are using smartphones and not sitting around anymore. If your potential customer is in a buggy cell service area, the last thing you need is a slow web host trying to connect.

Use a Content Management System (CMS) 

Using a CMS is something we recommend to most businesses looking to build a professional website that will not be outdated. 

Remember that your website files are stored on a server. To edit your website you would need to edit those files each and every time. 

 

With a content management system you can edit these files directly from the domain. You simply go to the URL of your admin page, and log in. 

 

From there you see your user friendly dashboard that displays all critical information about your website as well as access to all of the content. 

 

It’s easy to add/edit images, text, pages, access and customize plugins and theme files. Much easier than logging into the back-end of your server and editing files constantly. 

 

Content management systems have proved to be the best option for search engine optimization and conversions as well. 

 

With new user friendly solutions becoming available, like Divi and Thrive Architect, you can build hundreds of different layouts with ease by using something like the Drag & Drop Builder.

 

Getting Started Using WordPress CMS

WordPress is the most widely known content management systems out there. It’s been around for over a century. 

There are thousands of different types of themes and layouts that can easily be imported and used with WordPress.

It also has thousands more of available plugins that help with security, page optimization, design, social media sharing and really anything you can dream up, there’s a good chance its easy to plug in to WordPress. 

With a content management system you can edit these files directly from the domain. You simply go to the URL of your admin page, and log in. 

 

From there you see your user friendly dashboard that displays all critical information about your website as well as access to all of the content. 

It’s easy to add/edit images, text, pages, access and customize plugins and theme files. Much easier than logging into the back-end of your server and editing files constantly.

WordPress can be downloaded directly from the wordpress website and installed directly on your hosting server by any Michigan web design company.

Installiation is Easy: How to install WordPress

 

Minimize text 

A mistake often made on many new websites, is simply too much text. Truth is, if you’re in business, chances are you have a lot to say about your company.

A better way to convey important information about your business is by using images. 

 

Instead of explaining every service you offer on the home page, as well as your service area, break this information up into separate pages. 

 

Ideally, you would create an individual page for every service you offer, for each location. And create your content on the page based on that service only. 

 

 Your text should be very targeted to the audience viewing the page. A general home page that gives too many options, and too much information will have visitors leaving your website and finding a competitor who displays information needed for them to make a buying decision.

Make your call to action stand out

This is what you want users to do. Do you want an appointment booked? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to fill out a bid form?

About half of all websites online today do not have a bold call to action, visible within 3 seconds. This is a big opportunity to get an edge on your competition. 

 

Make sure that your call to action is bright, bold, and not cluttered. Spacing is your friend here. Do not clutter this part of your website. 

Your call to action should be in the header, or top of your website. Here’s a great example of an optimized call to action.

 

Keep it fluent

Your call to action (CTA) should be the same on all pages. For example, your home page’s call to action like “Contact Us” should look exactly the same as your contact page’s “Submit” button. 

Keep the colors, font type, and size the same throughought your website. 

 

We’re using the Dell website in this example to display what I’m talking about.  

Right away you’re able to see that even though the products are very different in category, Dell maintains consistency.

The “Buy Button” is always a blue rectangular button with white font color. 

 

This is an example of a website that has thousands of pages and maintains this consistency.

So remember, do not clutter this area of your website with words, badges, or icons. And keep your call to action consistent across your website.

 Keep Navigation Simple

 

Your navigation bar should be kept as simple as possible to avoid any potential confusion for you customers. 

 

Think about why your visitors are on your website, what they’re looking for, and what your website’s main objective is. 

 

Generally, people want to see basic information. Who you are, what you offer, why they should choose you, and how they can contact you. 

 

 

You shouldn’t try to re-invent the wheel on the navigation menu of your website. Most websites have a horizontal navigation menu. If you try anything fancy they’ll get confused.

 

Stick with basic fonts and easy to read color contrast. Remember, we don’t need to be fancy here. 

 

Another thing to remember is that most visitors now will be on their smartphones, using the mobile navigation on your website. So it need to be stay basic.

Leaving as few options as possible on the navigation menu is best practice according to Hick’s Law.

 

The graph above shows the correlation between options given, and time taken to make a choice.

As you can see, as soon as increase the options available, the time to make a choice skyrockets. 

For example; Instead of putting a “Home” button on your navigation menu – just use your business logo as the navigation link back to your home page. This will not confuse your visitors, and it will save prime real estate on the navigation menu.

 

Let’s take a look at Square’s website. This is an excellent example because the beautiful simplicity behind it. 

The navigation of their website starts with a white or transparent background. Meaning there is no defined “navigation bar”. It’s simply black, bold font type displaying 6 pages. 

 

We’re talking about a company responsible for almost 3.5 Billion dollars annually. There’s no reason a small local business should have any more pages. 

 

As you move down the page you’ll notice they carry the same simplistic characteristics throughout the main page. 

The page is super simple and has limited options. Their main call to action is brilliantly displayed as a blue button with nice contrasting white font. 

 

 This makes it extremely easy for their visitors to find all the main information about the company, and sign up a Stripe account. 

Design for mobile devices

Gone are the days of people surfing the web on their home computer. More and more users are on their phones these days and there’s multiple studies to support this data. 

 

You should consider that at least half of your website views will be on their mobile phones or tablets.

 

Check out these statistics from Statista 

 

If customers are arriving to your website on their phones and having to pinch and scroll all over to find the information they’re looking for, they’ll leave and go to a competitors website. 

 

Mobile optimization is also very important for good search rankings on Search Engines like Google and Bing. 

 

Search Engines are extremely smart in how they rank websites. One of the ranking factors is mobile friendlyness, and mobile page loading times. 

 

They also consider the time that users spend on your website. If a lot of people are visiting your website and clicking away quickly, Search Engines will pick up on this and your rankings will suffer.

 

SEO is always a priority

Did you know that 93% of all internet experiences begin with a search engine? That’s a huge number.

 

Think of it this way, for every business product or service, there are potential customers searching for key phrases related to that product or service. 

 

If you’re not in the top 3 positions when they search for that keyword, you’ve lost that potential business to a competitor.

By not focusing on how well your website appears for these key phrases puts your business at an automatic disadvantage. 

Successful search marketing campaigns are a long term strategy for stable inbound leads. If this system is done the right way, it will easily add up to hundreds of thousands if not millions in revenue, with no additional work required on your end.

 

Basics of SEO to get you started

We will just cover the basics of what you or your Michigan web design company should be doing to set a solid foundation.

 

  • Ensure title tags are optimized for your keywords. 
  • Use H1 & H2 tags and include your target keywords in paragraph headings
  • Be sure to include your business name, address and phone number on your pages
  • Include a Google map to your business at the bottom of your page
  • Use image alt tags to add additional keyword relevancy.
  •  Create an XML sitemap and submit to Google via Search Console

If you are using WordPress as a content management system, I highly recommend you download a plugin called Yoast SEO it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

This plugin will make all the recommendations you really need to ensure maximum visibility on the search engines. Many of the changes can be done very quickly and the plugin gives you step-by-step instruction on what to do. Excellent option that we install on every single website we build.

 

Conclusion

If you’re currently seeking Michigan Web Design options, these are some key points to consider at the start of your project to ensure your investment is well on it’s way to producing consistent increases in revenue. 

We covered a lot of information here, something you can follow when seeking a Michigan Web Designer. 

If you currently have a website and are not satisfied with the results, it may be time for a redesign. Every website should be producing traceable inbound leads be it phone calls or email contacts. Many businesses are catching on to this, thus the competition has increased over the years. 

That’s why it’s important to work with a company that understands the importance of producing a return on investment. 

 

Remember, your website acts as a 24/hour sales representative for your company. It is the main hub of your online presence. 

If you have questions, we are always on standby to help. Just send a message with the form below and we’ll reach back to you promptly.

 

Looking For The Best Michigan Web Design Company?

Book a free strategy session today by filling out the form below or calling (231) 944-2112

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Do you want more customers from your website?

At Blue Peak Web, we’re  determined to make a business grow. My only question is, will it be yours?

Reach Us

We are a Traverse City Web Design Company

401 W Front St. Ste. 7

(231) 944-2112

mitch@bluepeakweb.com