Lately, I have spoken to new clients that have many times said the same thing. “I got this site and certain things were not done. Now I’m not getting traffic.” Also “My images are not showing up and I don’t know what to do.” I’ve also heard “On mobile phones the site looks bad. I don’t know how to fix that.” Its like they are in their own surreal TV series called something like “Websites Gone Wild”.
Maybe now that the economy is affected by Covid-19 people are making sure their websites are fully working to help get more business. Hey. You’ve got way more on your plate than websites so here are 7 things to look for when you’re about to finalize a website design project.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Did you have a discussion concerning keywords and SEO for the website? Is the designer putting the right researched keywords into the page? Is this a separate package? These are things you should know as you’re moving towards the end of the project. It’s important for SEO to be taken seriously. I always say, what’s the sense of making a beautiful website when it’s hidden in a back alley where no one can find it. If SEO is not added, critical sales, service pages and site forms are going to lose out on organic leads over time. If you don’t ask you won’t know because SEO is not easily viewable in areas. The researched keywords need to be added to the title, description tags, keyword tags, headlines, sub-headlines, body copy, alt tags and so forth. Are there links to inside pages from the outside and inside of the site. Then services like Yoast should be added to the site to find other items on the page search engines are looking for. We offer a special service to combat SEO from many angles. It’s that important.
2. Broken Links / Missing Images
Sometimes in changing domains at the end an image may be missing. Many times its because the designer had it on a temporary server and had a few links straight to a page or image address instead of the page /image itself in the system. This can cause the image to be “broken” in that the URL is looking for an image on the test server instead of looking into the published site. Don’t worry. Just let your designer know and he/she can do a quick link check to correct any missing links. Easy fix.
3. Backend Editing is Hard to Work With
Some designers are editing it to be functional and fast online which is good for everyone. When it’s about function only, the coding may not be as nice and neat for you when you go to make your own edits in the backend (where you login to the site). The answer to this is to stress to your designer beforehand that you want to edit the site yourself afterwards. You may also ask which page editor does the designer work with. Look it up to make sure it’s user friendly for a novice. If so, review the site with the designer towards the end to see if anything is difficult for you. Ask for suggestions to make it easier. I’m sure the designer wants you to be happy and will do what they need to do to get it right for you. If they are using someone overseas that’s even more of a reason to watch out for this fast, non-functional, coding that we have seen in the past from sites done like that.
4 Mobile Responsiveness
Its about 50/50 for how people see your site whether on a desktop or mobile phone. 50% in mobile makes that view even more important as time has gone by. Many designers leave this to the end and that makes sense when change orders could have you reworking the mobile coding all day long. Even though that’s the case, it’s up to you to check to see that Google, where 95% of people search, can easily read your site. Go here and have it checked: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. If you see something saying its not mobile friendly just share the results with your designer. I’m sure they will be happy to make adjustments to get that worked out. Remember at the end, also to do a visual check on both an Android and iPhone phone. That should do it.
5. Sales, Sales, Sales
If you’re doing e-commerce make sure the connections are in place. Are the notifications set to you? Sometimes they default to the developer. Make sure they change them to you near the end, before the site is completed. Do a test sale to make sure the money goes into your account. Check for sales strategies like lead generation, popups, slide-ins, onsite ads and so forth. Make sure it’s all working well. You never want your site to go live and have mistakes here.
6. Picture Piracy
How were the pictures found? Are the licenses good for websites? You don’t want to end up months later with an attorney calling you to tell you that you stole the picture. In the end you’ll be liable by yourself. Give the designer places to find images. Ask about the licenses and read the fine print. That’s really all you need to do.
7. Is Rushing Helping or Hurting?
If you’re making change orders and rushing to finish up at the same time, there’s a good chance it could lead to mistakes. Is it the designer’s fault or are you asking too much in too short of a time? I guess that’s something you’ll have to ponder when evaluating how it’s going with your designer. In all things, seek first to understand rather than be understood. That’s straight from 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Very wise words from the late Stephen Covey.
I hope this answers the questions you have. Please use it as a guide to finish your website project well. Work with your website developer to get where you need to be. If you still need help, schedule a call with us to help you work it out at 973-655-9396.
Todd Sayles, Principal of Creative Mind Consulting Group, has built a successful organization that services real estate, retail, hospital and wellness clients among others. His team’s expertise includes problem solving/market strategy, design and marketing consulting, creative design, online website development, content and design creation for digital media and print collateral, public relations, search engine optimization and collaboration with outside designers and writers.
Creative Mind Design Group teams up with clients to strategize on marketing challenges and design goals. We come alongside companies to ultimately create inspired design alongside brilliant results.