What’s more important – website design or marketing?

There is more to a successful website than just design and marketing...

Ever since I can remember, when I talk to businesses about their websites, they ask me the same question “What’s more important – website design or marketing?” Up until recently I have always replied with the same answer… actually, they are both equally important. But is that changing?

 

The designers view

Most website design companies will want to sell you a new website design. It’s all about the design, because that’s how they make their money. They will usually find issue with a previous design and explain how you can change this and how that will impact on your business.

They often do have a point, as the design is usually the first thing a visitor notices. It is important to get the look and feel right; so yes, the design is very important. It will also impact on how a visitor perceives your products and services; if the design is poor then it is assumed that the services and products are equally poor.

A clear and obvious call to action is also very important and if this is well considered and designed properly, it should mean that you will get more enquiries. Especially if your visitors like what they see.

From a marketing view

In the same way that a designer wants to sell you the design element, a marketing company will want to sell you marketing; no surprises there. There are a wide range of marketing opportunities available and all can be used to promote your website. A marketing company will say that it is all about the data they add and positioning your site correctly. They usually tend to try and baffle you with terminology and statistics, SEO, PPC, analytical reporting, trends…

Actually, they aren’t wrong. All of these are important but are they more important than the design of a website?

As always, I like to look at these and apply a good level of common sense. If your website looks bad this will affect sales and enquiries, so it must be good. In all fairness it doesn’t have to be amazing, on trend or completely out there. It has to make a user believe in the quality of your services enough to allow them to contact you. But, if a user can’t find your website on a search engine, then it doesn’t matter how beautifully designed it is, you won’t make sales or get enquiries.

What you can see and what you can’t!

But it is now becoming more and more important that you consider another element; a much maligned and forgotten part of the process – the code and how the site is built. Yes, this is the geeky bit; the element that no one really understands. How your website is built is rightfully very important.

Site speed: If your site loads slowly because it’s been poorly coded or has a bloated theme with lots of plugins, this will have a negative affect on your search engine position. Google wants it’s users to have a great experience; slow loaded and badly structured websites will be penalised. Slow websites will also have a higher than average loading time, giving you a higher bounce rate, causing your rankings to be lowered further over time.

Code structure: Code structuring is important when it comes to ranking efficiently in Google. Structuring titles, content & images are all major factors in the search engines. An example of this is header tags. Your page could have multiple H1 tags, causing issues when it comes to Google identifying your focus keyword. You could also have a lack of key headers like H2 & H3s, also giving you a negative effective while ranking.

Page & Site builders: The question we hear a lot is “can I go onto Wix and create a website and be ranked in Google” The answer is yes & no. Yes, you can create a website. However it’s highly unlikely you will ever get a good search engine ranking using this method. Page builders and site builders like Wix & Divi actually struggle to get ranked against websites with a great coding structure. This is because builders like Wix add bloated code to factor all websites on their platform. An example of this is our average home page design comes with 500 lines of code. All this code is relevant to the page you are viewing. Therefore loading fast and allowing Google to dissect relevant information. An average Wix homepage is 5500 lines of code; 5000 lines extra of bloated code calling in all web fonts and unnecessary scripts, causing website speeds to be extremely poor and having irrelevant code for Google to dissect.

Mobile Friendly: Ensuring your website has been coded to support mobiles & tablet devices is crucial. The mobile market is currently taking the lead when it comes to browsing websites. Mot supporting mobile means Google will not rank a website on a mobile or tablet device, if the website does not support it.

What’s the answer?

Well the answer is that there is no individual element that is more important. Each project needs to be looked at with fresh eyes and a plan devised that will enable the right website to be created. Beautifully designed, well optimised and purpose built to enable the website to be found on a search engine, this will give the user enough confidence to contact the owner about their services and products.

When you are looking for a company to build you a website, you need to make sure that they have the skills to enable them to create the website that you need. They shouldn’t try and sell you one particular service, but help you understand why they are all important.

If you have a project you want to discuss in more detail please contact us, we would love to show you how we are different.

WordPress 5.0 has arrived

WordPress are about to launch the biggest update of the year and most probably next year. This update will shake the way we’ve known WordPress and completely revamp the user experience of creating pages & posts.

The Gutenberg Editor

Gutenberg is the biggest part of the WordPress 5.0 update and there are lots of ways to describe how this will work but I feel the WordPress Gutenberg handbook explains it perfectly!

Gutenberg began as a transformation of the WordPress editor — a new interface for adding, editing, and manipulating content. It seeks to make it easy for anyone to create rich, flexible content layouts with a block-based UI. All types of page components are represented as modular blocks, which means they can be accessed from a unified block menu, dropped anywhere on a page, and directly edited to create the custom presentation the user wants.

It is a fundamental modernization and transformation of how the WordPress experience works, creating new opportunities for both users and developers. Gutenberg introduces new frameworks, interaction patterns, functionality, and user experiences for WordPress. And similar to a new macOS version, we will talk about “Gutenberg”, and all the new possibilities it enables, until eventually the idea of Gutenberg as a separate entity will fade and it will simply be WordPress.

 

To summarise, WordPress are swapping the Classic Editor for Gutenberg block builder.

I’m not ready for Gutenberg what do I do?

If you are not ready for Gutenberg (That’s fine you are not alone) you can install the Classic Editor, backup the website and perform the update.

Will my existing site with Sokada use Gutenberg

Not currently, we are installing the classic editor onto all websites previously built to this blog post. Due to the bespoke parts for the websites we have built, we felt this was the safest approach rather than rushing a testing and push live process. We aim to have all previous websites on Gutenberg as soon as possible so our customers can enjoy the features Gutenberg have to offer.

Sokada’s future with Gutenberg

We will be embracing the WordPress update with all future websites planning to use Gutenberg. We have just started our first production website using this and understanding the process of how we can use this block builder, to enhance the customer and user experience, when it comes to our websites.

If you have any questions about The WordPress 5.0 Update, then please get in touch!

What are you waiting for?

With Instagram being one of the most visited social media platforms, it is imperative that your business cuts through all that noise.

And if you have a shop, then why on earth are you not on Instagram already? Having Instagram shoppable tags on your posts now make it even easier for your customers to buy from you. And what is great is that you can actually see where your customers are coming from (with reporting facilities such as Google Analytics).

So what are you waiting for?

Shoppable tags (or product tags) are like tagging a person in a post, according to Facebook. Once you’re set up for product tagging, it’s a one-click solution to highlight new items for viewers to purchase.

Instagram Shoppable Tags

Make sure you have a Business Profile

First off, make sure your Instagram page is a business profile.

  • Go to your settings
  • Tap the Sign up for a business profile
  • Tap convert existing account
  • Connect your Instagram to your Facebook page
  • Navigate to set up your Business profile & review your contact information
  • Invite your contacts to like you!

How to set up Instagram Shoppable Tags

It really is very easy to set up and can increase the ways in which your customers can buy from you. Instagram should be linked to your Facebook business page, where you can set up your shop. You can only do this if you have physical products to sell.

A bit of Facebook Housekeeping First

You will need to agree to Facebook’s merchant agreement where you will be prompted to add a payment method. “Check Out on Facebook,” “Check Out on Another Website,” or “Message to Buy” are three standard options — or you can build it out by connecting with an existing Shopify or BigCommerce account.

Having set up your products in the Facebook shop, you then need to make sure your Instagram account is connected to the Business Manager associated with your Facebook page. Once you have connected the two you need to create a new catalog or identify an existing one so that you can use these products with shopping on Instagram.

In Business Manager, view the large menu via the top left button next to the Facebook logo. Select ‘all tools’ if you don’t see the full menu, navigate your mouse over to the assets section and select catalogues. You should see a list of catalogues containing all the products you’ve added to the Facebook shop. If not, you can add one with the ‘Create Catalogue’ button to the top right of the page and add products this way.

And then onto Instagram

Once you fulfill the above requirements, your account is reviewed for access to the feature. This may take a few days, but you should eventually receive a notification to turn on product tagging in your Instagram Settings.

The final step in the process is to select the product catalog in the ‘shopping’ settings in your profile. Once you have done this you should be able to start tagging. If you don’t see the ‘shopping’ option, your account may still be under review.

So now you’re ready to start tagging. Simply start to draft a post – add the caption, effects and so on. Don’t forget all your hashtags – find new people who want to follow you!

Then tap the products in the photo you want to tag and share away!

Be creative

You can afford to be subtle. All shopping posts will have a little tote bag in the lower-left corner that confirms for the viewer that at least one thing in the post is for sale. So your product doesn’t have to be the main focus of the image. Be subtle or be bold – your choice!

If you are not used to using Instagram, then please see our previous post on how to be succesful.