As anyone who does business online knows, a high-quality website is critical to succeed.
Getting a high-quality website, however, isn’t always easy. Whether you’re brick-and-mortar or internet-only, maintaining a strong web presence is essential to bringing in new customers.
But if you don’t plan on building your website on your own, how do you know where to turn?
What makes a website high quality?
How much should you pay?
And what should do you if you find that your website just isn’t giving you the results you need?
Navigating the world of website development can be quite the nebulous process and take time that most business owners just don’t have.
These days, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to website building solutions. From agencies to freelancers and do-it-yourself services, picking your website builder is often the most intimidating step of the process.
You’re putting money and time on the line, and trusting a third-party with the success of your business…so don’t mess it up (no pressure). But what makes any of these better than the other?
We’ll talk through all the options for website building today. We’ll also introduce you to an updated model we’ve pioneered here at B12 that focuses not only on website design, but on optimization as well, long after a website has launched.
Current Ways to Build Websites
This is generally the path of least resistance for when you need to hire individual contributors for your project, but you don’t want to break the bank.
Freelancers can be hired for everything from small one-off needs to full-scale projects, and they can be found in a number of ways: through friends and family, freelancer networks, or job boards.
And while the network effect can be a powerful one, it can lead to some tricky situations: availability and pricing, experience, and work quality. Not to mention the varying level of support after a website is launched .
So if you go this route, be sure to do your homework. Hire talent through a vetted network, read reviews, ask for a portfolio, and settle on terms that work for both sides.
Big names. Fancy offices. These places will make you feel like you’ve hit the big time. But the agency price tag isn’t for everyone, and sometimes neither is the turnaround time.
If you’re running a complex business that requires an equally-complex website loaded with a large online store, or more pages than you can count on one hand, an agency might be for you.
If you have complex feature needs such as custom user portals and you’re prepared to pay thousands for your website, an agency is definitely for you. And that really is where their speciality lies.
Agencies are there when you need something built from scratch and have the money to pay for it. Keep in mind that agencies, depending on your agreement, may not be there for you over the long run. So any changes that require developer help will require you to go back to them or hire freelance talent.
DIY Website Builders
You’ve seen these all before. You log in, pick your subscription, pick your template, and drag and drop to fill in the rest.
Though on the surface it may seem quick and easy, it generally ends up taking more time to get a website launched and becomes nearly impossible to get that professional look that business owners want and need.
There are many different types of these DIY website builders to choose from. Most tend to follow the process of selecting a template and filling in the blanks via drag-and-drop with content you choose, but when it comes to recommending what to fill those blanks with or ensuring your site gets discovered by the right audience, you’re on your own.
And that’s when things begin to fall apart. These tools are great if you know exactly what you need, and if you’re ready to invest the time needed to perfect your site and then maintain it over time.
But if you’re running a small business, do you really have time for that? Probably not.
So then you end up paying for a DIY website builder and then having to pay for a freelancer to build your website using the DIY website builder. You can visualize the dollar signs compounding very quickly.
In reality, building a website doesn’t need to be hard. For most Crazy Egg users, the ideal website will be affordable, completed quickly, high quality, and continuously improved upon.
There’s an Altogether New Way to Build Websites
In the past, repetitive tasks were done by people. While perhaps easy to handle given enough time, time is expensive. Not to mention that repetition doesn’t make use of any other skills that humans might be better qualified for.
But you know what’s great at quick repetitive tasks? Artificial Intelligence.
B12 has embraced this human-AI relationship, recognizing that certain tasks are best completed by humans (design, copywriting, etc.), while others are best completed by AI.
This hybrid model is the foundation of B12’s website builder and the engine that powers its work for clients.
Expertise and Advice from Having Built over 100,000 Websites
B12 has built over 100,000 websites for businesses representing hundreds of different fields of work. With such vast experience, it’s really tough to pick just a few to showcase. (Although you can always view more examples on our website)
A New View of Food
Debra Shapiro is a physician and life coach based in Burlingame, California who uses her B12 website to promote her services and to stay top-of-mind for clients via her regularly updated blog.
Her website features multiple CTAs using a consistent aesthetic to stay conversion-optimized, and makes use of testimonials and detailed examples of her services to add social proof.
On the internet, content is king. As a B12 SEO Pro customer, Debra’s website makes use of content by having a new blog post written and published every month. This helps her site stay fresh and interesting, and helps it rank in search engines. No other website builder can do that.
Natalie Elisha Gold
Natalie Elisa Gold is an attorney, author, and motivational speaker. She uses her B12 website to promote her work and source new opportunities.
Her website is very content-driven but still focuses on conversions by offering many ways for visitors to contact her. She also includes links to her social media accounts to offer visitors multiple ways of staying in touch.
Natalie’s website offers in-depth descriptions of her work and areas of expertise, ensuring her site is discovered by many search terms. Her content is engaging, genuine, and avoids keyword stuffing and other questionable SEO tactics.
FitFuel Meal Prep
FitFuel Meal Prep is a meal kit service that focuses on diet and exercise friendly nutrition. Their B12 website is heavily reliant on ecommerce with a primary purpose of converting new paying customers on the spot.
FitFuel’s website also makes use of live chat to further engage visitors. Live chat is a great way to answer any out-of-the-box questions or distribute promo codes.
By working with B12, the FitFuel team can come back to a site that looks professional, and is perfect for conversions and customer engagement.
5 Quick Ways to Improve Your Website
No matter how you go about getting your website built, it’s important to keep in mind that any decisions about content, strategy, or technology ultimately go back to you. And so with that we thought we’d leave you with our 5 quick tips for making any website better.
1. A Steady Stream of Content
Ensuring that new content is published frequently reinforces the purpose of your website.
It also helps you grow your audience by offering more entry points to your website based on the keywords people are searching for.
2. Customer Testimonials
Showing that your business is trusted by a range of customers will help you attract new customers. This is what is known as social proof and it is a tactic that all growing businesses should make use of.
To gather testimonials, reach out to existing customers who’ve had perfect experiences, and ask if they’d be comfortable being featured.
3. SEO Strategy
Content and testimonials will only take you so far. You will need to optimize for search engines to get people to discover your website.
You can always outsource this task. For example, our SEO service makes sure that the content on your website is optimized for relevant search terms, and we write one blog post per month for your website.
4. Conversion optimization
Chances are pretty good that since you’re reading this on the Crazy Egg blog, you already have a solid understanding of the importance of continuously optimizing your website based on user behavior.
Conversion optimization is the practice of increasing the likelihood that visitors to your site won’t leave without becoming a customer or taking some sort of desired action.
If your website is promoting your business, this should always be a top priority.
Common conversion optimization tactics include:
- The strategic placement of calls-to-action buttons
- Pop-ups with special offers
- Contact forms
- Any content that makes a visitor think twice before leaving your site
Of course, conversion optimization is what Crazy Egg is all about, so definitely make the most of their service, and turn your website into a conversion machine!
5. Lead generation
Even if you don’t have anything to sell at the moment, it is critical that you secure multiple ways of keeping in touch with those who are interested in you. Generating leads will allow you to do just that.
You can place a simple form on your site to capture emails, phone numbers, mailing addresses, or whatever else you think would make sense for you. This information will then need to be stored in an email marketing platform.
B12 has one, and we offer it to all customers as an add-on to any website project. Once set up, you can use email marketing to stay in touch via email newsletters.
Building a Better Website is About Finding the Right Fit for Your Needs
There are many ways to build a website.
With B12, you have a comprehensive solution that offers what other companies can’t. Whether you’re looking to build your first website or re-do your existing website, B12 will help you get it done.
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