Infographic: How to create a website that users fall in love with

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It takes only seconds for visitors to decide whether your website is worth their time.

The internet is teeming with digital destinations where potential customers can find the information or products they’re looking for, and there are certain things they won’t tolerate.

Users will not wait for your images or text to load. They will quickly move on to the next site. Make sure it’s visually appealing, too. A bland design with awful fonts will drive people away. Your website must also include useful information for your visitors. Otherwise, they’ll find it somewhere else.

An infographic from Red Website Design shares tips for creating a top-notch website that will evoke users’ affection.

They include these tidbits:

  • Emphasize fast loading times.
  • Ensure ease of navigation.
  • Make your mission clear right off the bat.
  • Provide value for your users.

See the full infographic below for the essential elements your website needs to keep users from searching for greener pastures.


– Read more

Beyond ‘contact us’: Six website features hotels can use to increase engagement & bookings

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Every hotel website has a ‘contact us’ page, a page where people can find the most basic details.

Such a passive posture, however, is a missed opportunity for hotel teams to facilitate interaction and funnel a user’s focus while they’re actively engaged.

Customer service is supposed to be at the core of hospitality, yet that “extra mile” ethos doesn’t always translate into the digital sphere. The integration of enhanced contact tools on hotel websites has been moderate, and not just among smaller properties with modest budgets.

L2’s recent Digital IQ: US Luxury Hotels report revealed that while nearly every global hospitality brand analyzed has a dedicated “contact page” on their website, only about one in four allow users to request a call from a customer service agent, and even fewer offer a live chat feature.

Adding more sophisticated contact features offers a competitive edge and leads to direct bookings.

Here are six website enhancements for contact that converts. – Read more

How a Few Pages Can Make or Break Your Website

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A prospect unequivocally disagreed with a recommendation I made recently.

I told him a few pages of content could make a significant impact on his site. Even when presented with hard numbers backing up my assertions, he still balked. My ego started gnawing: would a painter tell a mathematician how to do trigonometry?

Unlike art, content marketing and SEO aren’t subjective. The quality of the words you write can be quantified, and they can generate a return for your business.

Most of your content won’t do anything

In order to have this conversation, we really need to deal with this fact.

Most content created lives deep on page 7 of Google, ranking for an obscure keyword completely unrelated to your brand. A lack of scientific (objective math) process is to blame. But more on that later. – Read more


5 Tips to Choosing Your Winning Business Domain Name

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Back Rub, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo, DrivUrSelf, Research in Motion, Sound of Music.

Wonder if these big brands had been as successful if they hadn’t chosen to go by Google, Sony, Hertz Rent-A-Car, Blackberry or Best Buy?

Unquestionably, the name of your company is the face of your brand. It’s the first thing your audience sees or hears about you, so choosing a business name that catches their attention and evokes credibility is paramount.

And in our competitive world today, your name online is what matters as much as it does offline. So, it’s critical to take the time to do your research before choosing your company’s domain name. Consider these following five tips to help you find the winning one:

Pick your domain name BEFORE you register your business
Or do it as soon as possible. Whether you’re scribbling ideas on a napkin, in the early stages of development or a year away from launching a website, register your domain name and hold onto it until you’re ready. – Read more

5 Common Mistakes Small Businesses Make With SEO

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Small businesses, in particular, can dominate local search if they employ good search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.

However, according to Chris Rodgers, CEO and Founder of Colorado SEO Pros, there problems most small business encounter when it comes to their website copy. He shares the five most common SEO mistakes you can avoid with just a bit of awareness and planning.

Mistake #1: Waiting until after you launch a website to consider SEO

“We have seen more than a few horror stories where small business stakeholders decided to only start looking at SEO after their newly designed website was launched — only to tank all of the site’s existing rankings and traffic performance because proper SEO planning was not at the core of the website redesign and launch,” Rodgers says. Web developers, even great ones, are often not looking at all of the SEO factors that must be considered if you’re going to retain current SEO performance after launch. Rodgers says you need to consider SEO across the board when redesigning or re-launching a website. “The content created, the layout of the site, the information architecture, individual page content, all pages added and deleted, pages with URL changes — and especially 301 redirect mapping — can all have a massive impact on what happens to SEO after launch. If you don’t have an experienced SEO professional involved in the process early, you are rolling the dice. If you have any SEO equity built up, you may lose it all without a chance to regain it.” – Read More

5 Tactics to Drive Website Traffic That Aren’t SEO

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Although all businesses with an online presence should invest in search engine optimization, it isn’t the end-all, be-all when it comes to driving traffic to a professional website.
It’s no surprise that driving traffic to your website is the key to higher conversions and increased revenue. After all, if people aren’t visiting your business online, they certainly won’t be completing ecommerce purchases.

However, it seems as though every business in 2018 has gone all-in on search engine optimization (SEO) to increase traffic to websites.

Now, SEO is an effective digital growth strategy. Google alone drove 72 percent of all global desktop search traffic to websites in the past year, according to Net Marketshare. However, as the internet grows and more companies continue fighting to rank No. 1 for the same keywords, the odds of ranking and driving enough traffic dwindle. Therefore, it’s in brands’ best interest to explore other ways of increasing site traffic.
Before marketers implement a new site traffic campaign, they should first take stock of their current traffic and analytics. Use tools such as Google Analytics and SEMRush to determine where your traffic is coming from, how long users are exploring your site, the web pages and content they enjoy the most, and when during their user journey they typically leave your site. Access to this information will empower you to create a better, stronger strategy on the channels we’ll be exploring and improve your potential click-through rates. – Read more

How to Optimize Your Website for Voice Search

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As we are all aware at this point, voice recognition technology is continuing to get better and better, in fact, it is now believed to be 95% accurate.

As users, we’re adapting to this new voice revolution rather quickly (almost 1/4 of mobile search queries are voice search), yet marketers and SEO specialists seem to be lagging behind a bit when it comes to optimizing for this new way to search.

If you’re in the marketing world, it’s time you start paying attention to voice search optimization to help you show up in search results via this method.

While optimizing for voice search requires slightly different tactics than the search engine optimization techniques we’re used to, they can benefit your website as a whole, regardless of how a person is searching for you, so implementing these best practices is really a win-win. – Read

The Untapped Potential of About Us Pages (And How to Write Your Own)

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Along with FAQ and Contact pages, the About Us page is one of the first supporting pages you’ll likely create for your website, regardless of the industry you’re in.

They may go by different labels—“About”, “Story”, “Mission”—but these types of pages generally serve the same key purpose: to be the go-to page for a brand to say, “This is who we are.”

When a visitor wants to learn more about you or your business, it’s the page they’ll look for.

Unfortunately, About Us pages are too often treated as an obligation rather than the valuable opportunity they are to connect with your customers by selling your story, your vision, your mission, and what makes you, YOU. – Read

The ultimate checklist for a successful website’s launch: Marketer’s edition

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It’s the 11th hour and the launch of the new website is imminent.

Prospects and customers are primed and colleagues and senior management are stood in the wings, waiting in anticipation for this all-singing, all-dancing new website – god forbid that once it goes live something catastrophic happens. Every T should be crossed and each lowercase I dotted.

Marketers put complete faith in web designers and developers, but it’s worth knowing things to look out for – sometimes the small things get overlooked, and these can make all the difference to a successful website launch.

The checklist below is a sense check – an opportunity to make sure everything runs smoothly and launches without a hitch. – Read

How Much Should Your New Website Cost?

Why do website prices vary so much? As an agency, we hear this all the time. Along with, “we saw a TV commercial that tells us we can buy a website for as little as £99”. And “our son’s friend has been learning web design at school and has offered to do it for nothing”. At the same time, we often hear of large multinationals paying seven-figure sums for website design!

How can there be such disparity in pricing? This article hopes to explain the top level factors that together create a price for a website.


1. Goals

All too often this elementary question gets forgotten. In its absence, a website simply becomes nothing more than a glorified brochure. A well-designed website should function as a sales and marketing funnel.

All too often this principle is at odds with the goals of your agency. In the minds of the client, more pages means more work, which means more value, doesn’t it? The truth is, each page of your website should have a goal in mind. Each goal should form a step along the sales funnel. Transforming a prospective customer into an enquiry or booking.

2. Architecture

A well-structured website should act as a funnel which drives customers to enquire (leads) or make a purchase (eCommerce). Unfortunately, most websites aren’t designed in this way. Rather than being shaped like a funnel, they could be more accurately described as a sieve. A series of disconnected web pages which have no purpose other than to frustrate the visitor.

Don’t underestimate the time it takes to design a sales funnel correctly. As important as aesthetics are to the hospitality industry, it should never overshadow the true goal of your website.

3. Analytics

Why do you need your website? If you don’t have hard data on the return that your business generates from its digital investments, then you’re basing your decisions on opinion and not fact. The often forgotten or bolted-on aspect of website projects is analytics.

When configured correctly, analytics provides the ongoing information which enables you to measure the return on your digital investments. Whether that be something as simple as how many people visited our website yesterday, to the more complex, like, how many Facebook visitors from yesterday’s post made a booking?

Analytics needs to be aligned to the business strategy, the goal of your website and the metrics on which you plan to measure its success.

4. SEO

There’s a lot of confusion around the meaning of SEO. In its most general sense SEO means Search Engine Optimisation. In the context of website building, the term optimisation should really be replaced with optimised.

The easiest way to view SEO in the building phase is to think of it in terms of building regulations. Just as is the case with building construction, the critical work happens behind the scenes, in the foundations.

If a website is built with disregard to SEO, then it could arguably be described as unfit for purpose. Retrofitting SEO to a poorly thought out website project can be an extremely costly and time-consuming process.

5. Mobile

Mobile traffic to websites today is rapidly outpacing desktop. Although most businesses have embraced this change and created mobile versions of their website, they haven’t considered the user interface. That is to say that people’s habits when using a phone are very different to when using a computer.

A great example is the interaction people have with photo galleries. Sites such as Facebook or Instagram have taught consumers to interact in very different ways on their mobile devices than they would in front of a keyboard. Simple things such as swiping left or right, or pinching to zoom are functions expected on touch screens, yet absent on a desktop.

Factoring in these additional design features means to a certain extent designing a second site. Rather than thinking of mobile as the poor cousin of the desktop, we need to be increasingly placing mobile front and centre in our design process.

6. Content

This is a huge area and can significantly impact the final cost of your project. Website content can not only be costly to produce, especially when it comes to video and photography, but also in terms of time. One of the most common delays in a website project is the production of content.

When faced with delays, you run the very real risk of focusing on the input and not the output. In other words, you focus on getting something onto the website so you hit your deadline, rather than focusing on the real goal of the project, namely increasing your new business.

Don’t rush this stage of the project or underestimate its importance. The return on your investment will be impacted heavily by shortcuts taken in this area.

7. Content Management System (CMS)

Do you plan on updating the content of your website regularly?

You can pay to have a CMS included in the price of the build. Be warned many design firms use proprietary software to keep you tied to their business. Try and leave and you will have problems updating the content yourself. So if you do opt for a CMS, make sure it’s not something custom built by the agency, and something that they can demonstrate is used by the wider community.

You can also opt to have the agency maintain the content on an ‘as needed’ basis. The assumption being they can make changes to a website more efficiently than you.

8. Design

Do you already have clear branding guidelines that your agency can work from? It stands to reason that project costs can dramatically increase if the designer needs to create everything from a logo to the layout of your booking forms.

Avoid low-cost template websites that promise everything for a fixed price. Your first impression these days, more often than not, is online. If you’ve invested time in differentiating your business from your competitors in the physical world, doesn’t it make sense to do so in the digital?

9. CRM Integration

CRM (customer relationship management) system is critical to not only manage the development of potential customers but to manage the relationship and lengthen the lifetime value of each guest.

It’s likely that over 90% of the visitors to your website won’t be enquiring or booking anything on the first visit. Even more frustratingly, many of those which do enquire, will more often than not, get stuck in the sales funnel you’ve created.

As we already mentioned, the website is just one element of your marketing and sales funnel. This makes it critical that any current or future CRM system, should be tightly integrated. The cost of doing this type of project can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the CRM solution.

10. Other Integrations

Following on from the CRM system, it’s also important to consider any further integrations within your business. Do you need your website connected to bookings, payments, calendaring, email confirmations, SMS, marketing automation? Although impossible to fully scope out all the potential future integrations, careful consideration at this stage can ensure greater compatibility in the months and years to come.

11. Timeframe

A word of warning when it comes to including deliverable dates in your agency selection criteria. The real hidden costs related to time is actually around delays. This comes in the form of the agency slipping your project. Which can often be the case when timeframes are a factor in the contract bidding process. When agencies are forced to quote unrealistic deliverables in order to win the contract, the inevitable happens.

It’s also rare that an agency is working on a single project at a time. Expect to pay a premium if your timescales are so tight, that resources need to be pulled off other client work to focus on yours.

12. You

It’s time to take a look in the mirror. Are you the type of client who has a very clear idea of what their website is setting out to achieve? Or do you require strategic input from your marketing agency? If it’s the latter, aside from the impact on costs, you need to really consider the capability of the agency. A portfolio of shiny new websites doesn’t mean they have in-house expertise when it comes to business strategy.


Hopefully, at this point, you can appreciate why there’s such a huge disparity in pricing within the industry. At the same time, we know how frustrating it can be to take the time to read an article on price, and never see one quoted.

Before we get to that number, it is important to point out that LeadDigital has a very clearly defined customer profile which needs to be taken into account in relation to our typical costings. Our clients typically have very clear branding and product positioning. Their businesses are usually at least 10 years old. They are generally in the £5-10M revenue range. They’re private companies that generally have a singular vision driven by the founders. They have in-house copy and photographic archives for use with creative projects.

Our average website project is in the range of £15K – £20K. That budget would generally include an eCommerce component and some level of lead management, generally in the form of integration with CRM or marketing automation.


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