First impressions count

Website design and development

It’s no great surprise that website design and development is a core requirement for many of our clients.

As we all know, for most organisations it’s the most important marketing tool in their armoury, providing that all-important first impression of their business to potential customers.

As your shop window, it has to always look fabulous in order to deliver the best possible results.

Not only that, it has to be easy to navigate in a logical and seamless fashion – and when a customer is ready to make the next move, whatever that might be, the relevant call to action needs to be readily to hand.

Of course, a website is much more than just a shop window. It’s an entire shop. Potential customers like to have a good browse around to get a better feel for the type of business you are, which means they like to click around your website to find out more about your products and services. And then – only when they are good and ready – are they likely to complete a desired call-to-action. This could be as simple as calling you up for a quick chat, emailing you to ask for more information, requesting a meeting, signing up for your newsletter, joining one or more of your social media channels, or – for ecommerce websites – completing a purchase.

Google search optimisation

A good website is one which is easy to navigate, communicates your brand story well, and looks the business from head to toe. Plus, of course, it needs to rank highly on all the important search engines – that means Google and Bing, which together account for 98% of all UK search traffic.

We’ll work closely with you to build a website that delivers a great user experience for all your customers, as well as having strong SEO built into the back end of the website to deliver the best possible search engine optimisation results at the same time.

Here is a checklist that explains the process we will follow when building your website –
though the exact scope of work we undertake will always be tailored to your own unique requirements, to make sure that your new website is a perfect fit and bespoke solution to meet all your needs.

Client briefing

Our approach always starts with a client briefing to make sure we have a thorough understanding of what we need to do. If you don’t have a written brief in place, don’t worry, we will chat through your requirements in a more informal way to find out all we need to know. The bottom line is we need to have a clear understanding about your organisation and the products and services it sells, as well as customer profiles for all your audience segments. We also need to know your strategic brand proposition, and it always helpful to have the opportunity to discuss your business plan, marketing strategy and communication platforms.

Competitor research

We always closely check what your competitors are doing. Why? Because this is the most effective way to find out what they are doing well so we can identify any good ideas we might wish to emulate and improve upon. We analyse both their websites and their digital marketing activities using various technical methodologies to work out what their online marketing strategy is (such as which keywords they are targeting for PPC and SEO purposes). We also use manual techniques to review corporate messaging, product positioning and customer strategies. If necessary, we pose as mystery shoppers to gain insights into their sales pipeline process.

Technical specification

Whether you’re selling products and services online and require an ecommerce website or are using your digital presence to build brand awareness via a brochure-style website, we’ll plan, design and build a website that ranks, engages and converts. We’ll scope out the technical specification to make sure you get a website that meets your needs – not just to meet today’s need, but one that is flexible and scalable to meet tomorrow’s likely requirements too.

Backend build

We can build the backend of your website where the data and functional elements reside at the same time as we build the front end section which is visible to customers. The back end build is primarily required for bespoke systems with complex functionality and sophisticated data handling requirements. For simpler websites, this requirement will normally be supported through the use of hybrid bolt-on apps which require a small amount of coding that work in conjunction with an open source CMS or eCommerce system, such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, WooCommerce, Squarespace or Shopify.

Site mapping

The next step in the process is site mapping. This explains the relationship between all your web pages to ensure a logical customer journey. We will determine what your customers need to know about your business as well as what is required from an optimal search engine perspective when thinking about what content to generate. This is an important point – finding the right balance between the needs of site visitors and the needs of search engines is an important challenge to overcome when building a website, and it ultimately depends upon your overall marketing strategy. For some organisations, SEO will be critical to their success, whilst for others it will be a less important requirement. For most, the need for search engine optimisation lies somewhere in the middle of the spectrum…

Creative development

We are now ready to let our creative team loose to showcase their design flair. We have found through experience that it is always best to offer three different visual concepts for a client to consider, simply because design is such a subjective experience. Within each concept, we will also try to demonstrate a variety of different ideas we would like you to consider. You can cherry-pick the elements you like best from all the different concepts, and we will continue to develop the design until we end up with a visual identity that perfectly suits your needs. During this process, we will show you how the home page looks, and we will apply this design style to other core pages as the creative process evolves.

UX/UI design

Before we build anything, our user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) team will consider the customer journey in minute detail throughout their website visit, to encourage them to follow a series of logical paths towards the all-important call to action. Although UX/UI design is imperative, that does not mean it needs to be complex, and the degree of sophistication will be determined by the scale and scope of the website you need us to build for you. For simpler projects, a more intuitive approach to UX/UI design will deliver the most cost-effective solution. It’s also important to note that people are more like cats than sheep. We can encourage them to follow a certain logical path around your website, but we cannot force them to do so. Therefore, calls to action have to be available in multiple ways, and navigation has to be very simple so customers don’t get stuck, lost, confused or irritated.

Creating quality content

Our copywriting team will work closely with you to create high quality content for your website. We’ll make sure it’s engaging, SEO-friendly and aligned with your business strategy. Content in any form – be it web pages, blogs or videos – needs to strike the right balance between site users and search engines to ensure it is both relevant and searchable. We can either create fresh content from scratch or edit outline copy you supply – whatever works best for you.

Web build

Our web build team ensure that the technical foundation is right for your business in terms of scalability and flexibility. Depending upon the technical specification, we will either build a website from scratch or customise an off-the-shelf platform such as WordPress, normally with an element of bespoke coding to deliver specific functional needs. It’s likely you’ll want to make changes to the website post-launch once it’s up and running, so we’ll always make sure it includes an in-built content management system (CMS).

Devices, browsers and operating systems

With more and more Google searches taking place on smartphone devices, mobile optimisation is essential – not just for users, but also for search engines too. And it’s not only different types of devices that we need to think of. There are a number of popular browsers such as Chrome, Safari and Edge, and users also have the choice of different operating systems(such as Windows, iOS, Android and OS X. We’ll design, build and test your website to make sure it displays optimally on all the most popular browsers and platforms regardless of whether the user is viewing it on their desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device.

Website hosting

After a recent Google update, the loading speed of desktop and mobile websites has become a more important ranking factor when it comes to search engine optimisation. This is because users, quite rightly, expect a website to load instantly these days - and there is no longer any excuse for it not to do so. That means you need to ensure you have a web hosting package in place that is fit for purpose. We’ll help you to choose the right hosting platform for your business. Not only will this be good from an SEO perspective, but it will also lead to happier site visitors – and that means you’ll get more conversions too.

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation is an important part of the digital marketing equation for most organisations. We’ll optimise your onsite SEO so it stands the best possible chance of being ranked for all your most desirable keywords as quickly as possible. The tactics we deploy will include optimising keywords on each webpage to ensure consistency (from URL to title tag to meta description), internal linking, optimising images for size and keyword, adding a caching engine to optimise page load speed, file compression optimisation, and updating your sitemap and submitting it to Google for indexing. The most important part of this process is always to identify the most effective keywords for your business. We use various technical tools and manual processes to achieve this goal.

Website analytics

We’ll install the most relevant analytics software into the back end of your website – for many companies, Google Analytics is the plugin of choice when it comes to free analytics software, but there are many other options for you to consider, such as Lead Forensics and A1 Webstats. Both come with a cost but deliver additional benefits, such as more accurately defining where your site visitors are coming from. This is especially useful for organisations focusing on B2B customers. We will also install Search Console, which will keep you up-to-date with any issues from both a website performance and SEO perspective.

Support and training

Once your website is live, we’ll provide support and training until you’re fully up and running – and, if you want, we can continue to provide ongoing web maintenance support to make sure that your website is always safe and secure. If we build a WordPress website, for instance, any plugins need to be regularly updated to ensure your website remains stable. We can also perform regular backups to ensure we have a solution if your website crashes or is hacked.

The bottom line…

You will be led through the entire creative process by a member of our skilled project management team, whose job is to make sure we always deliver the best possible work on time and in budget by acting on your behalf at all times to manage the output of the creative and strategic teams.

Web design agencies in London

Looking for web design agencies in London? Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about who we are and how we can help. We offer a two-hour marketing consultation without cost or obligation at a venue of your choice to discuss any marketing challenges you are facing.

Please call us on 020 3858 7868

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