Your website needs help! Is design, messaging, functionality or SEO the problem?

October 11, 2023 | Website Design and Redesign

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Your website is critical to your business. Through the visuals and words it establishes and reinforces your brand. The functionality of the site is critical to your businesses success, especially if you have an e-commerce site or use it to book appointments and capture leads. And your website is not going to help much if it can’t be found in search.

Depending on your industry and how established your business is you may need to focus more heavily on design, messaging, specialized development or SEO when planning a website. At Visible Logic, we always take a well-rounded holistic approach, yet some sites need to focus more heavily on one area or the other. 

Understanding what you want to improve about your site will help you know who to hire for your website and to communicate your needs.

Is design, messaging, functionality or SEO the problem?

Design focused websites

The design is the first thing users see when they visit your website. A visually appealing and well-organized design immediately captures their attention and creates a positive first impression. By contrast, a poorly designed website can turn users away, potentially leading to lost opportunities and lower conversion rates.

Design-focused websites prioritize user experience, making it easy for visitors to navigate, find information, and achieve their goals. A design-focused website aligns with your brand’s identity, style, and messaging. Consistent branding elements, such as colors, fonts, and imagery, help users recognize and remember your brand more easily. This recognition can lead to increased trust and brand loyalty. 

Some simple, or brochure-style sites are mostly about design and creating a professional and unique brand experience based on the design.

Who should you hire to create your website if design is your biggest priority? A firm with a strong web design portfolio.

Example of improved website design for software company, DAVO

When we relaunched DAVO’s site it was important that the website strongly align with their brand and was better organized for users. Visible Logic created an award-winning design. We revamped it again later when they were purchased by Avalara and needed an updated design that reflected their new brand identity.

Website for software company, DAVO

Messaging and writing on your website

Immediately after the first impression of design, people start to read.

The words on your site must clearly communicate your offerings. Also, your website copy can tell the story of your brand’s value and purpose to your target audience. 

Clear and concise messaging helps visitors quickly understand what your website is about, what products or services you offer, and how they can benefit from them. If visitors are confused or don’t understand your message, they are likely to leave your site without taking any action. 

In a competitive market, being clear about your unique strengths, benefits, or values sets you apart from competitors. It gives visitors a reason to choose your brand over others.

Messaging applies most directly to the headlines on your website, yet it has a broader impact. The items in your navigation give a quick-read overview of what you do and what’s important. The sections of content on your home page, or any other area of your site, lead people through your messaging quickly and engages them with your and your business. And of course, the imagery you use helps to tell the story without words. 

Who should you hire to create your website if people have trouble understanding what you do? Make sure the team includes strong copywriters.

Example of improved messaging and writing on a website for software company, ScanPower

Scan Power needed a new site that better explained its offerings. After more than a decade of development, the functionality of their software had expanded. It’s more robust platform now had a different ideal customer that they wanted to attract. 

The new site makes the benefits of the expanded features more understandable and the updated photography helps the new audience recognize themselves immediately.

Website for software company, ScanPower

Website development & functionality

Website functionality refers to the features, capabilities, and interactivity of a website that allow users to perform various tasks and achieve their goals. 

Simple sites are sometimes called brochure-style websites because all a viewer does is read the information. But more robust interactivity can help make your website valuable in many different ways. 

Common examples of website functionality include:

  • E-commerce, customer support chatbots, and order tracking systems.
  • integration with external tools and services, such as payment gateways, social media platforms, email marketing services, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems

Some of these functions benefit your customers or prospects who access your site. Some functionality may benefit your internal team by automating and streamline business functions for your sales team, marketing, warehouse, accounting, etc.

Highly specialized functionality may require a software developer. Or, using pre-built WordPress plugins means that you can build complex functionality quickly. Your website developer is not custom coding something from scratch. However, most of these pre-built solutions need customization. Your developer may adjust the settings to work exactly as you wish. And she may change the styles to match your brand standards and the rest of your website.

Who should you hire to create your website if you need advanced functionality? A firm with experience building other similar sites.

Example of a better functioning website for non-profit, Goodwill Northern New England

Goodwill Northern New England needed a more usable site, not just for the site’s front-end users but for those creating content and updating the site in the back end. Their current site often required them to reach out for IT support to make updates. After understanding their needs, we created a site that was more flexible and easier for their communications team to update and maintain on their own. 

Website for Non-Profit: Goodwill Northern New England

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your website

SEO helps improve your website’s visibility in search engine results. If your website ranks higher on search engine pages, it is more likely to be seen by users. Better search results leads to increased organic traffic. Websites that rank higher in search results are often perceived as more credible and trustworthy by users. 

Incorporating relevant keywords and phrases into your messaging and meta data, to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results.

Also fast site speed and proper site architecture is a factor in search results. So, technical optimization of your website can improve your ranking in search engine results page (SERP).

SEO requires initial research to understand the keywords you want to rank for and insert them into text and meta fields. But it is also long-term strategy that requires adding new keyword-rich content to your site on a regular basis. Unlike paid advertising, SEO doesn’t involve direct ad costs for each click or impression, but will require time to write new content and optimize existing content.

Who should you hire to create your website if design SEO is important? Your web team can optimize your site after it’s launched, (and will need ongoing optimization) but it’s best to think about SEO from the start. Make sure your copywriters use the right keywords in the copy.

Example of improving SEO for software company website, Branding Compass

Branding Compass used their blog to attract significant search engine traffic to the site. By carefully including keywords within the blogs, organic site increased. This content also helped to build trust by educating, rather than selling to, prospects.

SEO for software company: Branding Compass

What’s most important to your website?

Recognizing how your website is part of your marketing strategies will guide you to what’s most important to your website: design, writing, functionality or SEO. 

Of course, great sites do well in all four areas. But understanding how your site supports your business will help you prioritize your goals for the site and find the best partner to work with.

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