Show me the leads baby!

web design toronoto best web design in torontoI've been designing websites now since 2001. Since then my idea of what a good website is has changed so much!

Initially, my focus was purely on the way my websites looked. A good website was essentially a good looking or unique looking website.

These days I am still concerned with the way websites we design look, but I am far more focused on generating leads.

If you asked today, my idea of a good website is one that performs well on search engines and most importantly generates leads!

I'm shocked to find that most of the companies who approach us to design their next website are not satisfied with the way their old site looks.

"Our website looks outdated", is a common response, when I ask why they are in need of a website redesign. Lately the fact that their website is not responsive or mobile-friendly has been a big reason.

Sure we often get clients who are more concerned with their website position on Google or other major Search Engines. The higher you rank, the more leads you will obviously get from organic searches.

Non-the-less I can't recall the last time a prospective client said: "We need a website that will increase the number of quote requests we get in a year".

The fact is 99% of prospective clients we meet have no idea exactly how many leads their website generated in the past. Do you know? Can you export the contact details for every person who has ever contacted you through your website?

Would it be valuable to you to know how many people requested a quote or how many people contacted you via your website this year versus last year?

Just knowing how many leads your website actually generates is very valuable in my opinion. I like to look at the number of leads we get each year and cross-reference those numbers with our annual marketing spending.

I also cross-reference the number of leads we get with our site's traffic. Doing this helps me to figure out which of your marketing efforts are actually the most successful.

As a web design company, we would be lying if we said every website we've ever built was good at generating leads. Hell no! We've built websites in the past that looked stunning and actually won awards for innovative web design & development, however, they sucked at generating leads!

We've also launched websites that only took a few days to set up thanks to our pre-baked templates, which generate way more leads than some of the expensive custom sites we've built in the past. A template such as Bravo will actually generate a lot of leads for your business and costs a fraction of a custom website.

The reason why Bravo is such a good solution for anyone looking to increase their website leads is that it is designed with lead generation in mind. We've also spent hundreds of hours on Bravo over the past two years refining and fine-tuning the template's layout and responsive design to ultimately improve lead generation.

Often when you build a new custom site, you don't really know how it will perform. We obviously rely on our valuable past experience and our extensive knowledge of user experience design and user interface best practices. But, at the end of the day, you don't know for sure, until the site has "simmered" for a few months, and you can look back at its performance.

If a website is not performing as expected the process of figuring out WHY it's not performing, or HOW it can be improved can often be costly, and almost always is not something a small business owner is happy paying for. As such most web designer just moves on to the next project as soon as your new site is launched, and the bill is paid.

Unless asked, you'll rarely find your web designer going back to your website six months after it launched to see how it can be improved or fine-tuned. And let's be honest, as long as the site looks good to you, everything works (navigation, responsive design etc.) and the phone number is clearly visible, you're probably happy!

Having the ability to make changes to your content, and even subtle changes to your website to improve it over time, based on performance and actual visitor interactions, is really key to getting more leads out of your website.

When we typically build a website, whether custom or template-based, we only allow our clients to manage their content (text, images, videos etc.). We very rarely actually allow our clients to change the layout or design of their site. In the past, we have given clients access to change the layout and design and... they messed everything up! Not everyone has an eye for design. Furthermore, most people have no understanding of best practices with regards to user experience. As such, our custom website clients have to: rely on us, and pay for subtle changes.

On the other hand, our 50+ clients whose websites are built with Bravo don't have to really worry about ongoing improvements at all. We're constantly refining this template.

I guess what I'm getting at is, that Bravo exemplifies my web design philosophy at this time. It's a nice looking template, but certainly not the most unique or cutting-edge design out there. But, what it lacks in terms of unique design, it more than makes up for when it comes to generating leads. Oh, and it does really well on search engines too. In fact, it is so effective that I recently used it to redesign our own print shop's site. And I used it to build this site.

So if you are sitting there thinking your website can probably be improved to generate more leads, you should probably give us a shout.
We can have a quick (free) look at your site and recommend a few things that we are sure will improve your situation. We can also give you a free quote to redesign your website, either with a template such as Bravo (on special right now) or from scratch and fully custom. Either way, we'll focus on improving your position on search engines, and get more of your visitors to contact you/request a quote through your website.

Ask yourself: What is a lead worth to you? Let us know.