1. Your website is the HUB.
Social, Email, Paid Search, [insert marketing channel here] -- yes, these are all ways to obtain marketing results if targeting the right audience.
However, the ultimate goal is to get people back to your WEBSITE.
Because it's the HUB of all your digital marketing.
Get this right and you'll have built a solid foundation to grow traffic, leads, and sales.
2. There's no one-size fits all website tech stack.
WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Drupal, Magento, Woocommerce, Shopify, Sharepoint, .php, .asp, Beaver Builder, Elementor, Dreamweaver, .com, .io, .net — the list keeps going folks.
Listen, if you're trying to find the "perfect" solution to build your website, let me save you the research. There isn't one.
Choose a website technology stack that's right for your organization and team.
3. The best content wins SEO.
Assuming you've been diligent with your on-page SEO and links (both internal & external) — today's SEO is all about CONTENT, baby.
This isn't cranking out a 300 word blog post every week to meet a silly quota.
No, I'm talking about well-researched, polished, engaging, make-your-competitors-drool-with-envy content that is 10x better than everything else on the first page of Google.
Learn more: What is “10x” Content?
Research for Websites: You have 2 Types of Data to Use
There are two different types of data you can rely on when planning, designing, and marketing a website: qualitative & quantitative. Here's everything you wanted to know about website research and how to utilize both types of data to make smart website decisions.
4. Websites are not digital brochures, nor are they art.
Well, you can most certainly treat it like a brochure and a piece of art — but that won’t help you grow sales, leads, brand awareness, and improve your digital footprint.
Give people a LEGIT reason to visit your site. If it's simply a home for contact information, save your money and put your efforts in social media and/or Google Business.
Websites are not decoration, because people need to use a website. Avoid the warm fuzzies.
5. Conversion is the ultimate goal.
Most of the time.
Unless you're a content-based website with the focus of generating massive traffic and selling ad space, websites need to be designed to encourage action.
Give people incentive to DO SOMETHING — otherwise they'll just leave.
Opt-ing in to build your email list, requesting more info, downloading something, purchasing — converting unknown users into known contacts are strong indicators your website is working.
Learn more: ABCs of a Conversion Website
6. If you make it about you, you'll never make it.
Your website is not for you.
If you've walked around during the planning and strategy phase of your website with the moto "What do I want?", oh boy, you're in trouble. Focus on the people using your site with website-specific user personas.
Don't focus on what is trendy, fancy, cool, or (my favorite) what your competitors have done or currently doing.
7. Websites have become a commodity, but website design hasn't.
Need a website by 9 am tomorrow? It can happen. And cheaply.
With the numerous DIY builders and template services available today — there's very few barriers to launching your own website. In a way, websites are a commodity.
But, does simply having a website ensure you'll drive the right traffic, engage the right people, and get them to do what you want (aka convert)? I'll let you answer that.
Sound strategy, pro design, and smart marketing will never be a commodity.
See our recommended Website Tools
8. You don't always have to blow up your site with a redesign. Iterate!
If your website isn't generating results, be careful in reaching for the dynamite — there could be another way.
You have two options here:
- Blow it up, start from scratch.
- Improve and iterate slowly and surely.
Website redesigns are often based purely on aesthetics. This is unfortunate because website redesigns come laced with opportunities for failure (conversion rate, SEO, budget, etc.).
Sometimes the wisest decision isn't to start over.
Learn more: Website Makeover: How to Evaluate
9. Without proper planning, websites will exceed your marketing budget.
Your website is likely your biggest asset and biggest expense. How expensive? It depends. There's countless ways to exceed your website budget.
You could be facing not enough documentation, testing, or "done is better than perfect" decisions.
Maybe it's unplanned features, third-party integrations, or communication overheard.
It could also be too many design or content tweaks. Or maybe, you have too many people involved.
These issues can be avoided!