Relaunching my Website: Lessons Learned

Relaunching my Website: Lessons Learned

Good Egg Marketing specializes in building websites, so when I wanted to create a new site for our own business, I figured it’d be a snap.

If I’d just wanted to give the site a facelift, but keep the same content, it would have been simple. But I was determined to create an easy-to-navigate site with lots of useful stuff and a fun, distinctive look.

Admittedly, I was busy running my business, so I wasn’t working on the site all the time. But all in all, it took over two years to complete!

Whether you’re starting a new website from scratch or building a new one, here are a few tips on how to create or relaunch a site, based on my lessons learned.

Start with Your Goals

I was really clear about what I wanted the new site to achieve and that helped me stay true to my vision throughout the process. Here are my three goals:

  1. Drive traffic to the site by providing useful content that people find on Google and other search engines. Yoast logoOver the years, I’ve written dozen of articles on a variety of business and marketing topics, but I never paid much attention to search engine optimization (SEO). This time, I used Yoast SEO to help ensure that each article focused on a specific topic and keyword.
  2. Encourage people to spend time exploring the website by making it easy to navigate. The content on my old site wasTools and Resources page from Good Egg Marketing Website grouped by date and format—articles, newsletters, and presentations—rather than by topic. The site organization made sense to me—and no one else. The new site organizes content by topic and by audience, so visitors can find what they need faster.
  3. Encourage people to hire us by showcasing our past work. When most people visit the Good Egg Marketing site, they’re already interested in us, but need to be convinced that we can help them. I included testimonials, case studies, and a list of our speaking engagementsTestimonial from Good Egg Marketing Website and clients. The content showcases our expertise; our client roster demonstrates that people have confidence in our work.

As I look at the analytics to see how people are using the site each month, I’ll be able to tweak it to achieve my goals.

Focus on Your Customers

As a marketer, I’m always telling clients to put themselves in their customers’ shoes  and address their needs.

The websites for many marketing company websites lead with who they are, what they do, and how they do it. All important stuff to include, Homepage from Good Egg Marketing Websitebut not at the top of your home page.

Our new site directly addresses frazzled business owners who feel overwhelmed by all their marketing choices.  A series of rotating marketing tips complements a short video that expands on that advice in a friendly, informal style.

Get the Visuals Right

The biggest challenge for the redesign was coming up with a distinctive look. Since marketing services are intangible, it’s hard to find an image that expresses what marketing is. I didn’t want to be yet another site featuring a photo of a flower or a mountain.

After playing with a variety of concepts, including a recreation of my desktop strewn with tools of the marketing trade, I was at my wit’s end.

General layout for Good Egg Marketing WebsiteI finally went to a graphic designer I’d worked with many years ago and started with a clean slate.  She interviewed me about my vision and ideas for over an hour. Ultimately, she came up with a dramatic, abstracted version of the Good Egg Marketing logo–a green egg!–that sets the tone for the site through shapes and colors.

Once she created the basic look for the home page, I was able to write headlines and text that complemented those images and she created additional pages that built on the same format. My web developer was able to turn her images into a flexible WordPress design and everything else fell into place.

Bake Mobile into Your Site from the Start

I knew all along that my website needed to look good, load quickly, and be easy to use on a mobile device. These days, Google and other search engines penalize you if your site isn’t mobile-friendl­y. Unfortunately, I didn’t put enough thought into how the images would work on mobile when we developed the site. Mobile version of Good Egg Marketing Website

We created the desktop site first, meticulously tweaking it to get it to look just right. But when we looked at the site on a cell phone, many of the graphics didn’t line up correctly. We were using a mobile responsive design, but the graphics needed extra tweaking. Ultimately, we were able to create an acceptable mobile version, but it required additional time and expense.

If you look at the analytics for your current site, you can see what proportion of your visitors are viewing your site on a desktop versus a mobile device. Even if you don’t have a lot of mobile visitors now, mobile will eventually take over, so you should bake mobile design into your site from the start.

It Takes a Team

Good Egg Marketing Website TeamJust need a simple site with basic information about who you are, what you offer, and why you’re in business? If you have good computer skills and the time, you can probably create a website singlehandedly. There are plenty of free or inexpensive website builder programs that let you DIY (do it yourself) pretty easily. If you want to create a unique looking site or organize lots of content, however, don’t try this on your own!

I managed the project and wrote the copy, but over the two years, I worked with two graphic designers, three assistants, a web developer/videographer, and a search optimization expert. Instead of bringing these talented people together as a team, I worked with them individually and sequentially. It seemed more efficient at the time, but in retrospect, putting a team together from the start would have saved time and money in the long run.

If I were starting over again, I would also decide which project management, storage, and communications tools I wanted the team to use.  We shared and stored some of our work on Google Drive and Dropbox, but we didn’t use them as consistently or effectively as we could have. In the future, I plan to use Trello and Dropbox for my personal projects, as well as with clients.

Final Thoughts

A good website isn’t static, like a printed brochure. It’s a living thing that you need to keep feeding and buying new clothes.

If you have a well-planned site, you should be able to adjust it as needed without needing a full redesign every six months. But, like fashion, web technology and design move so quickly that it’s inevitable that I’ll crave a new look eventually. When it comes time to build the new site, I plan to reread this article and take my own advice.

How to Use the Power of Symbols

Kate McKinnon wearing pink pussyhat in SNL skit
Kate McKinnon plays a Russian woman surreptitiously donning a pink pussyhat as “Vladamir Putin” brags about the happy population in this Saturday Night Live skit that aired on the night of the Women’s March.

Who would have thought that a pink hat could become a symbol of resistance?

Symbols are one of the most effective ways that you can build your brand, convey a concept, or launch a campaign.

A symbol can be a visual image, gesture, object, or idea that represents something other than itself. Merriam Webster describes a symbol as a “visible sign of something invisible.”

Continue reading How to Use the Power of Symbols

What is Nonprofit Marketing?

Good Egg Marketing- How to Market NonprofitNonprofit marketing is the process of motivating people to do or believe something, such as donate time or money, make a purchase, change a behavior or belief, take an action, or become more aware of an organization or issue.

Like for-profit businesses, most non-profit marketers seek to increase awareness and perception of their organization or cause, persuade people to believe or do something, and use their resources effectively.

While not all of the tactics that companies use to market themselves will work for nonprofits, the main principles of marketing apply to both sectors. Here are the top three marketing components that every organization should use.

Continue reading What is Nonprofit Marketing?

Lazy Guide to Marketing Resources

Person in hammockHaving trouble keeping up with all the
latest marketing tools (or even getting started)? Fortunately, there are lots of places—most of them free–to find great articles, videos, and resources to help you up your marketing game. So if, like me, you’d rather spend your vacation time gardening than sitting at your computer, here’s my lazy guide to marketing resources.

Continue reading Lazy Guide to Marketing Resources

Bring Out the Best: Descriptors vs. Taglines

Hellmann’s Mayonnaise has used the same tagline – ‘BRING OUT THE BEST’™ for decades. The “blue ribbon” treatment in the logo reinforces their message.

One of the most powerful ways to market your business or organization is to create a short phrase to help it stand out. Whether you’re using a descriptor or a tagline, a few well-chosen words can help shape how people think or feel about you.

Continue reading Bring Out the Best: Descriptors vs. Taglines

A Creative Brief Helps You Create Better Communications

This color filter image of a snowboarder is part of the #PowerUpVT campaign to increase participation in school meals
Graphic designer Katie Rutherford created a series of posters and social media images to persuade Vermont high schoolers that eating a school lunch can help fuel their busy days.

Planning to hire someone to produce a creative piece for you? Whether the end result is a logo, ad, video, or an entire campaign, putting together a “creative brief” in advance can save time, money and aggravation.

Continue reading A Creative Brief Helps You Create Better Communications

How to Create a DIY Website

The letters URL spelled out in blocksMore than 25 percent of small businesses don’t have a website. And that doesn’t even include the millions of businesses with old sites that look dated, aren’t “optimized” to read easily on a cell phone, and rank poorly in Google searches. If you don’t have an up-to-date site, you’re basically encouraging potential customers to go to another business that does.

While I urge you to hire an experienced web designer if you can, there are so many easy and inexpensive–even free—tools for doing it yourself that there are no more excuses for not having a current site. Yup, you can create a good-looking website without having any technical skills or knowing a lick of code. In fact, there are so many resources out there that the hardest thing about creating your own site may be choosing which tool to use.

Ready to get started?  Here’s our guide for DIY Websites.

Continue reading How to Create a DIY Website

Bake Great Customer Service Into Your Brand

We’ve all experienced it: the hipster barista too busy making snarky comments on her cellphone to take your order, the salesperson hovering over you that makes you flee without buying what you came in for, or the voice mail hell that seems designed to keep you from speaking with a human being.

A bad customer experience can go viral in seconds, yet when most small business owners think about branding, they’re more focused on their logo or tagline than their customer service strategy. Ultimately, customer service has more impact on your brand than the cool pictures you post on Facebook.

Continue reading Bake Great Customer Service Into Your Brand

What I Wish I’d Known at Start-Up

Launching any type of business—especially in food—is exhilarating, exhausting, and endlessly surprising, but the more that you know when you start up, the better. Here’s some advice from friends and clients of Good Egg Marketing.

Continue reading What I Wish I’d Known at Start-Up

Is Your Website Giving Me a Headache?

I’ve been looking at hundreds of food and farm websites as part of a project I’m doing for a client, and, frankly, some of them are giving me a headache! Too much text, too many garish colors, and way too many flashing images.

With all the free and inexpensive tools out there, every farm, small business and nonprofit can have a decent-looking website. But an effective website must not only look good–it should also answer the four questions below.

Continue reading Is Your Website Giving Me a Headache?