In today’s episode of the Master Modern Marketing podcast, we dive deep into modern web design.
Our guest expert, Lindsay Creedon, has close to two decades experience in the marketing and web design world.
Today’s Topics include:
1) What is the role of modern web design?
2) 5 key factors that every modern website must have
3) 4 areas for business owners to get started with when building a new site
4) Finally, a PRO TIP that is sure to save you money any time you work with web designers.
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Here are two websites that were discussed in this episode:
Read the full transcript below:
So that is what could be the million dollar question because it is endless. And this is probably the most asked question. And it’s also probably the least satisfying. Yes, sir. Okay. Because it really does range, it ranges on a couple of factors. And I would say, one, the experience of the person you’re working with, so like, you know, are you getting your nephew to do it for you might be $500 and expectations are low, you know, no offense to the nephews, but, um, but, you know, and it can, it can go upwards, even in the small and medium-sized business, you know, we see a lot of people who, you know, are upwards of, you know, 20, you know, north of $20,000 on a new website, but that’s not the arena I really deal in. So, I would say the big range would be probably around two to 10,000 in my world is what they’re looking for.
Lionel Johnston 1:01
Hi folks, this is Lionel Johnston, with the master Modern Marketing podcast, and that was Lindsay Creedon. Lindsay has close to two decades in the marketing and web design space. And she is definitely an expert specializing in modern web design. In today’s episode, we discuss with Lindsay the role of a modern website we also get into the five key factors that every single website must have. Then we transition to four areas of focus when you’re building a new website or if you are updating an existing site Lindsay also shares a pro tip that is sure to save you time and money anytime you’re working with web designers. As you heard in that short clip, she has a lot of great insights and great tips for you that you can implement in your business immediately. So I encourage you to stay with us right to the end, as there’s a lot of great gems that you can take and apply to your business. So let’s cue the intro and dive right in.
We really love marketing, telling stories and sharing ideas with others to help them achieve their goals. You enjoy growing businesses through digital marketing or would like to learn how to take your knowledge and skills to the next level. You’re in the right place. Welcome to the master Modern Marketing Podcast. Lionel Johnston.
Lionel Johnston 2:09
Hi, Lindsay. Welcome to the Master Modern Marketing podcast today. How are you doing? I’m doing great, how are you? Great, thank you. Thank you so much. I appreciate you being on the show today. I’ve been really looking forward to this because, you know, we have a great working relationship. And I know you’ve got a ton of great insight that you can share with our audience today. So I’m looking forward to diving right into that. And just before we have you introduce yourself, Lindsay, I just wanted to give a quick overview, again, of how the podcast typically works. The majority of our guests on our podcast actually are small and medium-sized business owners. And what they actually do is they apply to be a guest on the podcast, and then we’re able to do a digital marketing audit of their business. And then we actually have a live coaching call where we’re able to give them than that, you know, tips on how to improve their business, they can go off on their own and do that, or they could hire someone or work with farmers, you know, to be able to do that work. But that’s generally the majority of the guests that are on this podcast. The other part of it, which I really enjoy a lot is having experts like yourself, you know, and you’re an expert on the web design, and you’re able to share your insight to these small and business small and medium-sized business owners of what they need to know to build a run an effective business. And again, specific to web design. So are you ready to jump right in? Lindsay?
Yeah, let’s get to it. Alright, great. So how about if we could just start off if I could just have your say, your name and a little bit about the company that you’re running over there. And if you have an interesting anecdote that you’d like to share, that would be great. Good. Well, my name is Lindsey creative. I’ve worked in design, web design, print design for almost 20 years, the last 17 years or so I’ve worked with a focus on automotive marketing in my sort of nine to five world. But I also do a lot of freelance work in the web design website building category. So as I mentioned, I have kind of done a lot of different design work. I started out actually, as a print designer. Sounds a little archaic these days.
But, yeah, yeah. So you know, doing Print Layout, logo, design, branding, that sort of stuff. You know, it teaches you a lot of great things about just sort of the basics of design and type biography. But I always sort of had this real passion for the digital side of, you know, website, they didn’t really teach that when I went to school, but it’s something I sort of always did in my free time for myself, and I found myself spending more and more of my free time and kind of doing projects for friends and friends, businesses, and yeah, it just sort of took over my life. And I found myself working on it more and more with small businesses. And, and it turned into a large freelance sort of career on the side for me,
Lionel Johnston 5:00
do you have clients all over the world now, do you not?
Yeah, Yeah, I do. Actually, you know, I think I’m, we have clients and have had clients maybe on like, four continents now at this point. So, yeah, I’ve met lots of great people through it just keeps growing.
Lionel Johnston 5:20
All right. Well, that’s, that’s great. Well, I definitely am very excited to have you on the podcast. And Lindsay, as you know, we’ve done some work together on some different client projects. And I have shared this with you individually. But, uh, definitely want to share this on the podcast as well. You know, I’ve really been very impressed in these situations where we’ve had the opportunity to be able to work together, you’re definitely one of the most talented people that I’ve worked with, especially in the web design arena. And you’re very, very easy to build to work with, and a very professional and you do great work. So really, all the things that you would look for, you know, in someone to do business with you check off all those boxes. So yeah, my pleasure. And it’s been great working with you.
All right. You’re welcome. My pleasure. Well, how about Lindsay? Why don’t we jump right in? We’re going to talk about the first question, which is the role of a modern website. So I just wanted you if you could take a moment I thought that would be a good starting point is what does a modern website look like? I know there isn’t just one way to build to do things. But in your expert opinion, what do you feel the current state of a modern website is?
Yeah, that’s a big question. Definitely, most of what I’ve learned has come from seeing, you know, what’s not a modern with a lot of the Small Business worked on some of the things that make a great website, I would say, it definitely starts a few rules for businesses. So whatever your website looks like, it’s got to generate leads for your business, whatever that means to you. Whether it’s, you know, people buying products are people picking up the phone, so they’re definitely the modern website has to be a lead driver for your business,
it also has a sort of serve as a calling card for your business. So there’s a lot of, especially people I’ve worked with, who might be in the service industry, so that, you know, they might be doing home renovations or, or that type of work. And clients tend to backcheck someone they’re thinking about doing business with. So you know, as soon as you sort of here have a business, the first thing most people do is go to their website and see what they’re all about. So, so that modern website should really reflect your professionalism, reflect your brand, what you offer, you know, people are asking themselves, like, is this business professional? Do they seem trustworthy? You know, are they able to provide the type of level of service that I need. So I think the purpose the overarching purpose of a website for companies should do those things, it should help you generate new leads, but it should also reinforce your business to people who’ve already heard about you from different places.
Lionel Johnston 7:58
Yeah, that’s a great summary. Lindsay. And one thing I found interesting is the very first thing you mentioned was around the lead generation, and that it has to drive leads for your business. Again, as you mentioned, that could be various different types of leads, of course, but that’s one thing I have seen working with different, you know, small and medium-sized businesses is, you know, the websites of yesteryear or almost treated like a one-stop shop for everything about that business, almost like an encyclopedia on the business, right? And they know, businesses just kept adding more and more and more to it, and no one was really protecting the site and saying, no, that’s not appropriate for the site, or that’s not needed. But things definitely have changed where people are looking at at the website as being their number one sales rep, you know, would you agree with that, with that comment? Yeah,
yeah, that is a really great way of putting it, especially with small or medium-sized businesses, where you need that you need your website to do a lot of heavy lifting for you because you don’t have, you know, dozens of people out there working for you. So I think that is a really fair assessment.
Lionel Johnston 9:01
So let’s look at, you know, we’ve talked about what the role of a modern website is, let’s look at the, you know, this, the status and the things that it needs to do, what do you say, a modern website looks like, and, and functions like, and what I really mean, there is, is what, what really matters for that website to be able to do and, and I guess a small and medium-sized business owner could sort of look at it, like, Who cares? You know, there’s a bunch of tips and different things they could do about a website, but what should they really care about? And hopefully, we can talk about why they should really care about that as well.
Yeah, there’s definitely sort of some non negotiable is, I think, that people should think about no matter how they’re doing their website, whether, you know, they hired a professional or whether they’re, you know, trying to kick it out themselves, I think that there are a few areas that are really important, obviously, because of my background, I always I’m going to lead with design, but design is important. I think it’s, it’s what your visitors notice, you know, without seeing everything under the hood, it’s that first impression. So I think design can be really crucial to projecting the image that you want to project. So is it you know, it hopefully, you already have a great brand for your business that includes a logo? So, does the site really mirror that and reinforce it, you know, does it look connected to your business? Or does it look like you just kind of filled in a template, and it’s, you know, different fonts, different colours, so, you know, different logos. So, I think it’s important that the branding is really strong and cohesive, threw out everything, including your website. And just also part of that designers are, there’s a clear call to action, you know, people you’ve, you’ve maybe spent money getting them to your website, like, now, what do you want them to do you know, is, is it submitting a form or buying a product. So I think really taking that to the forefront before you get too caught up in the pretty things is, you know, am I telling, you know, visitors what I want them to do. So having some prominent calls to action on the site as part of the design is really important. So that’s one thing that we noticed a lot in the sites that we’re redoing for clients at this point is that either, you know, it looks like it was done in 1994.
So the design just overall isn’t really very modern. And also, there’s just no clear call to action.
Lionel Johnston 11:23
So Lindsay, specific to the design, you know, what types of people are generally building websites? If it’s contracted out? And what I mean, there? Is, there are the people that are more artistic or more functional, there’s a bit of a combination of both of those.
Yeah, that’s a really great question. Because most people don’t realize like when they’re hiring someone, there is such a vast amount of specialties in the web world. So, you know, some people are really strong in one area, and some people are, are strong in another. So ideally, you want to deal with someone who can, you know, someone or a company who can execute on all the different areas like, you know, the functionality under the hood, as well as the design, you know, oftentimes, that means having two separate people if you have a more complex functionality, but if you’re dealing with, you know, like a smaller company or freelance person like myself, you want to definitely make sure that they can handle all the things that are important to you. So, you know, it’s great to have a very functional website that can, you know, do all the code things you need it to do. But if it if it doesn’t look great, you know, are people going to follow through with it. So, there’s definitely a wide range of skill sets out there. So I think having an idea of what you want as an end product will help lead you to that right person, or people or agency who can help you with that. Yeah? Does that answer your question?
Lionel Johnston 12:46
Yeah, no, yeah, that’s, that’s great. So thank you for some additional information there. Okay. Lindsay, so great points on the design front of a modern website, what are some other things that really matter for small and medium-sized business owners about their website?
I think functionality is another huge area, it covers a lot of ground, but what type of website are you going to have, you know, what do you need it to do. So I think, sort of mapping out some of your goals for your website. So you can ensure that you have the right functionality and that the person you’ve hired to help you can execute on that functionality. So it might be something as simple as, you know, a contact form. But, you know, it can get more complicated if you’re if you have an e-commerce store that’s going to be selling things. And handling, you know, payment integrations and shipping. But, you know, it’s a great idea to have a bit of that thought out before you engage with someone to build your site. Because that can really affect, you know, the type of person or the type of people you’re going to need to hire to, to get it done for you. So, functionality wise, just having a good understanding of, of what your goals are, is really going to help get you the result, you want. Another thing you’re really going to want to consider whether you’re redesigning the existing site, or, you know, starting a new website from scratch is the search engine optimization of your site and the performance of your site, it can be sort of a complicated field,
for a lot of people, a lot of people might not even understand what that means. So maybe I’ll just explain that a little bit.
Yeah, so, you know, people throw around the term, you know, SEO search engine, a lot of people are getting marketed to by companies that want to, you know, help them get to the first page and whatnot. So, So in a nutshell, search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website through content and structure to be presented higher in the search results. So for example, if your business is selling, you know, widget XYZ, if someone potential customer goes into Google and searches, widgets, XYZ, how far down the list of websites is your website going to be. So you know, that dictate all a lot about your traffic to your site, your conversion of your site. So it is a really important part and something that should be thought about, I definitely have worked on a lot of sites for people where, you know, no consideration was, was given to that originally, because it wasn’t, wasn’t maybe a big thing a number of years ago, but it’s got to be sort of front and center in your plan.
Lionel Johnston 15:24
I appreciate you sharing this. And one of the things that Lindsay them that is a goal of the podcast is we can’t expect every small and medium sized business owner to be an expert about everything in the marketing environment, or being an expert on SEO, but it’s crucial for them to at least have a working knowledge of it, and know what the topic is, and the importance so that way, that way, when they are being, you know, pitch by someone about making those improvements, they, they at least can identify if that advice is sound or not, right. And if they should know, continue to pursue working with that, that company or person. So it’s really great to provide that background of the importance, the importance of SEO, and what it is,
yeah, I think, you know, as you mentioned, it’s great advice, like, you don’t have to be an expert, but you just, you have to know what’s important. And if the person you’re dealing with isn’t talking about it at all, like that should be a bit of a red flag, because, you know, you could have the redesigning an existing site that you have, because, you know, maybe it doesn’t look great anymore. And you can really wreck a lot of the work that you’ve put in over the years with your content. And you can actually see your search ranking drop considerably if you were to redo your site. So yes, it may be beautiful now, but he said he was going to find it. And that is a lot of lost ground, that can be hard to get back. So you want to make sure that you’re working with someone who’s going to take that into account for you.
Lionel Johnston 16:49
All right, there are other Are there any other topics that are really critical for the modern website to be able to take care of,
yeah, for sure. I mean, I could go on. But definitely, another one that sort of links into SEO is the performance and speed of the website. So one thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that Google for one, they really Wait, the performance and the user experience on your site high when they’re returning results. So if you have a very resource intensive website, that doesn’t take the end user into account, it could affect your ranking. So if you’re serving huge images, huge videos, not taking advantage of what’s called caching, you know, all these sorts of technical aspects of it, you can sort of lose points, if you will, also just the experience of the end user. So if you know what it feels like when you go to a website, and you’re waiting for it to load, and you’re waiting for it to load. And, you know, research shows that people won’t wait around. So if things aren’t loading quickly, they can get to, you know, get to the task they want to do quickly, they’re going to leave your site and go to the next. So I think performance and speed are again, things you don’t have to be an expert in yourself, but things you should be asking about, or, or hearing about from the professional you’re working with. Lastly, I would say security that, you know, it is a hot topic these days with, you know, data breaches. And you know, you don’t necessarily think about it in a small business aspect that much. But you’re always collecting data from people on your website, whether that’s through contact forms, or if they’re making purchases with you, even just by having an analytics like Google Analytics installed on your site, you’re collecting data about your visitors, and you just have to, you know, think consciously about how are you taking steps to protect, you know, protect your business’s data, but also protecting your visitors data. So that’s, again, should be a piece of the puzzle when you’re talking about your website.
Lionel Johnston 18:54
Okay, great. Well, thanks for the summary of those different components of what a modern website should. So we’ve talked about, you know, the role of a modern website, what are some of the critical components that the website needs to be able to do for a business, so we can move on to the next topic of really where a small and medium-sized business owner can get and get started. But I think we’d be remiss also if we didn’t talk about cost here, right? Because I’m sure there’s a wide variety of different options out there. So how much does a modern website that has a nice design and great functionality? How much does that cost these days?
Well, that is what could be the million dollar question because it is endless. And this is probably the most asked question, and it’s also probably the least satisfying answer for people because it really does range, it ranges on a couple of factors. And I would say, one, the experience of the person you’re working with, so like, you know, are you getting your nephew to do it for you might be $500 and expectations are low, you know, no offence to all the nephews out there. But,
but, you know, and it can, it can go upwards, even in the small and medium-sized business, you know, we see a lot of people who, you know, are upwards of, you know, 20, you know, north of $20,000 on a new website, but that’s not the arena I really deal in. So, I would say the big range would be probably around two to 10,000 in my world is what they’re looking at,
Lionel Johnston 20:30
what would that website look like? Now, my question is, is clear there?
Yeah? Are you talking from a pricing standpoint? Or from a standpoint?
Lionel Johnston 20:39
Yeah, more? So what that website would look like? Yeah, it doesn’t have to be the pricing so much. But yeah, what would I need it? You know, if I’m launching a small business, what do I need to have, at a minimum, you can imagine, you know, homepage and the about information, that sort of thing, what would it what would like, I guess a minimum be that someone would need on a website?
Okay, that’s a really, really good question. Because this is something we’re explaining to people on the daily. So
what I usually advise people to do is, obviously you need a homepage,
then you should plan on doing some sort of about page that explains that you know, about you, your business has been a very unique point of difference,
if you are, you know, most businesses we deal with are offering some kind of service or services. So you should plan on having an individual page for every service that you offer. And this kind of goes into the SEO portion of it, which we can discuss. But you should plan on having as opposed to having one page that describes all your services, you should plan on having enough content to fill out a single page for each service that your business offers.
And then another great thing to consider is a testimonials or reviews type page for your website. So somewhere where people can see other people’s experience with dealing with you, and then a contact page. So something that can help generate some leads and direct people of how to get in touch with you. So I would say, yeah, if I had to itemize it, it would be homepage about page services pages, potentially, a reviews or testimonials page and contact page would make up a basic site for small business.
Lionel Johnston 22:24
well, that’s a great, great checklist, and then they’re up and running. Right. And as your business grows, and they can make things more elaborate and add more service pages as they’re offering, you know, more services to the market. So
yeah, absolutely. It’s a great starting point for, for someone and like you say, they can really grow with it. And and it can really develop over time.
Lionel Johnston 22:45
Well, that’s, that’s great. I’m glad we took a moment just to talk about to that question specifically. So let’s see, we’ve talked quite a bit about the different website and what’s, what’s needed, and so on. So now are, you know, say, three to four important factors or tips with that small and medium-sized business ownership, consider when they’re getting started with their website? Like, what are some of the main things that they really need to, to think about and have in place for their site?
Yeah, for sure, there are definitely some things you can do beforehand, as a business owner, that is really, you know, going to improve your end product when it comes to your website. So I’d say the first thing and one of the first things I ask people is, do you have a cohesive brand, so do you have a brand for your business already, you know, in a brand isn’t a logo, a brand is sort of the whole the whole thing. So that might encompass a logo and might encompass you know, the voice of your company, you know, that sort of thing. So you don’t have that it’s something you should consider beforehand, and it might just be a logo to start it that, you know, ideally, you have sort of a full package that explains like your ideal customer, and all of that. But even just having a very, you know, strong logo to start with, you don’t want most web designers to design a logo for so it’s a good idea too, to just consider that where you stand right now, as far as having a logo and some branding in place.
Lionel Johnston 24:10
Yeah, it’s funny, that is funny, you mentioned that Lindsay, actually, one of the things I’ve come across working with different people is, again, because I’m in the marketing arena, I see the difference for myself, but people outside of marketing, I found don’t really get it, they sort of look at like, all design, all designers are the same, right. And someone that has a print background for design is very different than a web designer, someone that’s an actual developer building websites is greatly different than someone like yourself, that is actually a designer, you know, built building websites. So yeah, that’s, it’s funny that you mentioned that, that you really need all these niche specific skills, right? for different areas of the business and the website.
Yeah, yeah, no, it’s so true, you can definitely tell the difference, I will, maybe I’m a little more biased. But you can tell us someone who spent some time working with a professional on their logo and brand as opposed to
someone who hasn’t. But you know, not everyone can afford them, the big money for that at front. So just working with someone competent, to make sure that you have something that reflects your business is a good place to start. I think one of the other things that you really want to sit down and spend some time thinking on before you move to the website is about gear, businesses, key offerings, and the point of difference you’re bringing to the market that you definitely are going to want that highlighted with your new site. So like full disclosure, I’ve worked with you on these exact same before for clients and helping you know, when you’ve done a great job of helping people refine their offering, and really understanding what they’re bringing to clients. because like you said earlier, when we were talking, you know, you can throw everything at a homepage. And really, all people want to know is, what can you do for me? What are you the best that I can’t get anywhere else? Yeah, so I think just spending some time really digging in and going, you know, what do I offer, you know, that’s different from my competitors. and expanding on that, you know, it could be what they call it, you know, your elevator pitch of, you know, if you had 30 seconds to explain to somebody in an elevator, what your business was about, what would you say? So, having, yeah, having a good idea of what you bring that’s different than your competitors will really help direct your website and the calls to action that you have their
Lionel Johnston 26:38
One thing that I run into a lot is, you know, people say, I need a website, I need a website, and then they don’t consider how they’re going to get traffic to that website. So that’s another factor that they should consider. You know, just because you put a website out there doesn’t mean people are going to find you right away. So I think just spending some time thinking about how my planet to get traffic, you know, do I have a really big network, I own personal or professional, so I can, you know, send that out an email, and I’m going to get, you know, some traffic or am I going to have to spend some time, you know, doing some paid advertising, whether through social media or through Google. So, again, just thinking about that, as you’re planning it out, so that you don’t spend a ton of money on a new website that nobody ever sees? Right?
Lionel Johnston 27:25
another area, I think that you want to think about before you engage with someone would be your budget. So, you know, your budget is going to determine, you know, a little bit about who you’re going to be working with, on your project. So, you know, thinking about what you’re comfortable spending ahead of time so that you don’t, you know, end up overspending to is important. So I would sort of get some of that down on paper as well so that you can find someone who’s a good fit.
Lionel Johnston 27:56
Yeah, that’s a really tricky area, right. And I know even on the side, when I’m putting pricing together for someone for quote, and, you know, they, they ultimately are comparing just the final number, but there’s so many, you know, you could build a site that would be dramatically different than what I may do to build a site, right. And, and the prices could be the same, or it could be radically different. But, I definitely can see the challenge for, for the business owner being able to compare all of these different quotes that they’re getting, and people they’re considering working with, right,
yeah, and, you know, it may not even be one person, it may be several people that you end up working with, like, you know, as I said before, there’s a lot of sort of niche expertise in the weapons business. So understanding what you need your website to do for you, you’re gonna be able to bring the right people on board, or at least ask some of the right questions. So, you know, it may be one person, like, oftentimes, I’m working, you know, solo with someone, because I have a marketing background, you know, I have some background in SEO, I have some bad background in, you know, the more technical aspects of security and that, so I can be sort of the one stop shop for some small businesses. But a lot of times, if you’re looking for a really custom type of application or functionality, you may need to bring on some different people to help you. So, you know, you might have a website designer, you might have a cold, you know, a coder who’s working on some of the underhood stuff, and you might have a separate SEO or marketing person also, depending on how far you want to take it. So, you know, thinking about that in conjunction with your budget to make sure you’re allocating in the important areas, I think is key to
Lionel Johnston 29:39
all right, so. So based on your comments there, it’s pretty likely that someone needs more than the help of just one nephew. I guess
they might need a whole gaggle of a few handfuls of nephews,
yeah, no, he wants to be you know, you wanted, they talked to different people, talk to other small business owners in your network and see what they’ve done. Who made that wish to see about finding some of those, those key people to help you. So it’s important. And then lastly, I think it’s the boring part, but needs touching on is there’s a lot of, sort of, I call them housekeeping items with websites. So there are things like buying your domain and who owns your domain? Who’s going to host your website, you know, do you need email addresses? Are you moving away from someone else that you’re going to have to have a difficult conversation with? These are things that you know, whatever new person you’re working with, is, is going to ask you about. So at some point, they’re probably going to send you a list of a bunch of technical questions, asking sort of what you have, and who’s doing what right now before they move forward.
Lionel Johnston 30:49
All right. Excellent. Excellent point, sir. Thank you. So let’s shift gears a little bit. Lindsay and I can put some of the links in the show notes so people can check these websites out for themselves. But could you share a couple of examples, maybe one or two websites that you’ve worked on that you’re really proud of, but even more so than being proud of them, but, you know, ones that you feel are a great example of a modern website? And then if you can even just take a couple of points and explain what makes them so good from both design in a functional point of view?
Yeah, sure, I’d be happy to, I think, one site that I’m happy with overall. And what it’s done for a client would be a Keener Jerseys. And you and I have worked on a couple of things for this client before together. So I know you’re familiar with their site, you know, it’s a few years old at this point. So, you know, we’re looking to probably over the next year or so maybe update some of the design elements, but I think there’s a lot of good stuff happening under the hood here. That’s a good example for people. So just an overview, this was a website redesign. So they had an existing website, but it was lacking for them in a few areas. So we tackled it from a content standpoint, a design standpoint, and then very much so from an SEO standpoint, as well. So just looking at their homepage, there’s a, you know, a strong call to action above the fold, you know, get a jersey quote, there’s a cohesive look to their brand, you know, using their colours and, you know, some consistent fonts and logos. And just I think it reflects the personality of the company, which is also important. So, yeah, it’s when we talk results-wise, they’ve had a lot of good success in their search ranking since updating their sites. So they’ve moved into the number one position for a lot of their key search terms. So yeah, I would, I would count this one as a success.
Lionel Johnston 32:52
Great. Alright, thanks for the overview of that. And you’re mentioning there’s, there’s one other one that he thought would be a good example to talk about.
Yeah, totally different industry. One that I worked on a couple years ago was for plumbers, Arctic Lodges. So a bit of background there a pretty well known Arctic fishing launch up in the Northwest Territories, they have a really a lot of history, a strong reputation. So this was a website redesign again, to get that more modern looking functionality for them. So maybe I’ll just take you through this one. A little bit of a great way. Yes,
Lionel Johnston 33:32
it looks great about it open right now. And I’ve got actually an extra wide monitor here. And the full screen is filled with, you know, close up video people fishing and looks really, really eye-catching for sure.
Yeah, thank you. Like, I was lucky enough that this client particular had a lot of media. So they’ve had because of their sort of notoriety, they have a lot of shows, go and film there, a lot of fishing shows, so they have access to a lot of great media. So a lot of videos, a lot of great images. So, you know, one of the key things that I wanted to bring, especially their homepage is, is just really feeling that excitement of the place as soon as you hit the page. So integrating, you know, I’m not a big advocate of always integrating video onto the homepage for some performance reasons. But for this one, it really made sense, you know, you can’t beat it when you’re looking at, you know, 70 pounds. Yeah, like the dream, right. So for their target market, I think that it was important to have that, so. So yeah, that’s the video that you mentioned, at the top,
Lionel Johnston 34:39
one of the things I find striking, as well as you, have this really, you know, eye-catching and captivating video. So there’s really lots, you know, for you to be able to process as the viewer, but at the same time, the content on the page is very limited, like, it’s a very start page, right, it just really has the, you know, plumbers, Arctic lodges, and then, you know, to experience plumbers. So if, if it was a like a traditional website, where they’ve got tons of information about, you know, the business and the owners and all this stuff, there would be so much so it would be hard to really see anything. So, I like the contrast between the two with eye-catching video. And then the starkness of that the copy
Yeah, and I think that’s a good example like this, you know, is an investment that their clients are going to make and visiting there. So I think sometimes you also want to consider the buyer journey. So you know, someone’s not just going to click on a button and spend $10,000, you know, so depending on your business, I think you have to understand that sort of that customer buying journey. So for this one, we, we really thought it was important for them to see, you know, what it’s all about. So that that button that clicks to experience, plumbers, watch some of these videos kind of get familiar with what they can expect is sort of that first step in getting them to understand the whole experience. So that was important. And then just some of the little design details. So I don’t know if you noticed, but if you see the tree line, that’s kind of Yeah, so they’re in the Arctic. So they’re kind of what’s called, like, above the tree line, almost. So, it’s this idea of sort of going above the tree line and just taking some of those little details to make it feel really custom to their business.
Lionel Johnston 36:20
So all this great. Lindsay so what is the feedback been from the customer here? Like the owner of the lodge have they had some initial you know, comments from their customers or their partners at all?
Yeah, the feedback was great, I think because we incorporated you know, throughout the site a lot of images that was one of the first feedback is that people just love seeing this place they love right reflected so they got tremendous feedback from their their customers and from the people you know, the people who own it and work there they felt like it better reflected the quality of experience that they offer their guests so the you know, we did an email launch campaign for them and they had a lot of great feedback and you know, there have been referrals from this site so I think overall it was received really well you know, it’s hard like this places and institutions so whenever you change anything, there’s always that risk that people will like it so it’s a little nerve wracking but in the end I think they were really happy with it.
Lionel Johnston 37:27
Alright, awesome. Well thanks for walking us through some of your work there and and more importantly again, what makes different functions about beneficial for those business owners so if I’m a small or medium sized business owner and I want to learn a little bit more about web design I don’t want to be a web designer I’m running my own business of course when can I go to to learn a bit more information about modern websites and and you know just start my journey of learning more and more about this topic and it’s important
yeah it’s it’s honestly it’s it’s tough there’s it’s such an ever-changing
industry and you know, the rules and the benchmarks change every day one of the places I like going to that just sort of is a lot of neat stuff collected together is web designer news website so we can post the link for that as well. And then another place I like looking is actually the HubSpot blog. I don’t know if you’re familiar I am actually
Lionel Johnston 38:21
Yeah, yeah I’ve used to HubSpot for a number of years actually I have HubSpot on the farmers marketing website as well. So yeah, it’s a great tool and I said I stolen information from not really stolen information from HubSpot for many years before I ever became a customer. And yeah, they really are our leaders at producing great content for the Modern Marketing World.
Yeah, absolutely. I think that they really can open people’s eyes because they talk a lot about, you know, the different things like, you know, lead funnels and, and just sort of on page design, and just, I just find it really interesting and they deliver right now really accessible way I feel like so that’s a couple places and, you know, just any, you know, keeping up on different blogs will always sort of get you tuned into the new all the new stuff. But, you know, within web design, there’s, there’s so much to consume it, it can be really a rabbit hole for people. So, yeah, I definitely don’t x, you know, your small business or no one expects you to be a Web and Digital experts. So I think it’s good to sort of be educated on the basics, but I wouldn’t stress out if you know, you don’t understand everything there.
Lionel Johnston 39:42
Okay, let’s start moving to wrap things up here. Lindsey, I’ve got two quick questions for you. But one is thought it might be a fun question. Is there one question that you wish you’d never heard again, you know, and working with the small and medium-sized business owners?
I don’t know what never hear again, but I could probably hear less of, can I just do this myself? You know, can I just go on Squarespace. Or, you know, can I just use wicks and do this myself
and I don’t want to, you know, I don’t want to seem rude saying that. But, you know, you certainly can do a certain portion yourself. But, I think comparing hiring a professional too, you know, doing it yourself isn’t always a fair comparison. So, that’s something I could definitely a debate I could do without so great.
Lionel Johnston 40:31
Yeah, and I respect the fact that you did mention that the technical answer is yes, they could do some of those things on their own. Right.
And over time, yeah, yeah, they could learn a lot. And, and, and, and certainly, like, I’ve seen a lot of small business owners who do a fantastic job on their website. And I don’t want to discount that. But, you know, when you’re comparing someone who does it for a living, who’s trying to give you a reasonable quote with Well, you know, should it just cost a couple hundred bucks, you know, it can be a little disheartening,
Lionel Johnston 41:03
yeah, that’s a great observation and comment there. And, yeah, I actually know someone that they run a, a, a local cleaning business, and they are so advanced in their marketing, output them up against any modern marketer like they’re really outstanding. At the same time, you know, if you’re a dentist, I know, you have dental clients, and I’ve worked with them as well, you know, if you’ve gone to school for, you know, four to 10 years to become a dentist, you don’t necessarily want to be an expert at a web design us that’s not the best place to spend your time and your resources, right. So
no, and I think people can add, especially small business owners get can be so hard on themselves, like, you know, you see all these commercials, and, you know, do it yourself, get your own website builder. And, and so that, you know, they do just think and good on them. Like, it’s, it’s a great endeavour to do. But then they beat themselves up, why, why they can’t make it look the way they want, or why it’s not professional. And I don’t think that’s being, you know, fair themselves, like you said, like, people go to, you know, go to school for it for you for years to be able to do that. And some people just have a knack for it. Some small business owners can do it all themselves, but I don’t think you should be beat yourself up over it if you can,
Lionel Johnston 42:17
for sure. And one thing I found is, there’s a lot of things in marketing that are seemingly easy and doing 90 95% of it is pretty easy for a DI wire. But when you get those challenges, that’s when things go bad. Just get like a home renovation example. I can share. I’ve changed tons of tons of toilets in my day, we own a few houses and so on. And then I had one that just kicked my butt and it was like a three-week toilet repair by it was it was unbelievable. Shouldn’t have been 15 minutes. like three weeks. We don’t have a toilet in this one looks like it was it turned bad.
That’s a great example. Because like, could you have spent if you would spend, you know, two and a half of those weeks on your own business? You know, would that have been better time spent in hired a plumber for sure.
Lionel Johnston 43:07
So sometimes, yeah, the lesson is sometimes just like, go hire the flower.
Lionel Johnston 43:13
That was the takeaway from that one. And, you know, unfortunately, I ended up hiring a plumber after all, because I was actually so frustrated. I ended up I didn’t know what the time but I cracked a pipe because I was hammering on it. And I caught a leak elsewhere in the house to save a couple bucks. And I’m not hiring a plumber. So anyway,
there’s a lot of great life lessons.
Lionel Johnston 43:37
That was that was one for the ages for sure. So so. So definitely, people could do a good chunk of this work themselves. But a lot of people that were talking to and after listening to this, they’re likely going to be hiring someone. And Lindsay, you made a comment to me a number of months ago, and I thought it was such a great comment that I wanted to add it in all if you almost all of the podcasts if not all of them. And that was around being a good customer. So I wanted to ask you about that. If I’m, again, a small and medium-sized business owner, and I’m working with someone like yourself, it’s a very talented web designer, how can I be a good customer? And what I mean, there’s How do I stay out of your way? Or how do I make things as efficient and effective as possible? And how do I ensure that I’m getting the best value possible for the money that I’m spending with you?
Yeah, that’s a good question that I
I appreciate you asking that. Um, I think there are a few things you can do. I think, you know, vetting if you’ve gone to the trouble to someone, and now you’re engaged with them on this project. One thing is to trust their advice, you know, you’ve trusted them enough where you may be paid a deposit and you’re, you know, you’re going to spend some money with them. So you vetted them, I think you have to sometimes trust their advice. Even if it’s maybe not what you would do, at least, you know, think on it,
we often run into the issue of people in all this sort of relates to all designing, but who designed for themselves and not for their clients. So that’s a big thing that is so hard to remove yourself from, because, you know, you have an opinion on the way things look, and it’s valid, but it might not be the same as who your target audiences. So I think just really taking into consideration the advice that professionals giving you and, and giving it a try would be the first thing I would mention. And I’ve been really lucky in this respect, that it’s, it’s not an issue normally with a lot of the clients I work with, but it is it occasionally happens where somebody wants something that fits their taste, and not necessarily their clients taste, and, you know, we want something that’s going to perform really well for them. So it can be disappointing sometimes. Another thing I would say is before you, you know, we talked about this earlier, is
whether you work with someone to develop or whether you develop yourself, it’s understanding what your most marketable messages to ensure a great call to action on your site. So, you know, a lot of web designers and developers that you work with, doesn’t necessarily have the marketing background to help you with this. So I think that’s something that you don’t, doesn’t get talked about a lot, where they’re just going to say, you know, what content Do you want on the site, and then just put it on the site for you. But, you know, that may not perform great for you, again, it’s throwing everything into it, but not really having a refined call to action. So I’d say, you know, if you don’t feel comfortable, or if you don’t, yourself, have a marketing background, seek out someone, you know, whether it’s a business coach or a marketing professional, or if you’re lucky enough to have someone you know, on your web team who can help you with this, then definitely refine your message of like, if I could tell customers one thing when they get to my site, is that one thing and understanding that before you get started, I know, this is an area that you have a lot of experience in, and we’ve worked together in this. So that’s probably something you can relate to, with some clients.
Lionel Johnston 47:12
Absolutely. And you made a comment to about not, you know, not having many challenges with your clients. And, you know, from an outside perspective, I think one of the reasons that that is the case for you is you’re very thorough on the front end, great. And even one of our clients that we’re working with, together, we had lots of information that we had to provide before you got started on the web design, right? And we had to ask those questions. So the owner, what is that one thing? How do you know, it should just be a professional or casual, you know, a website? What’s the culture like? So, so, yeah, you forced us to go through all of those questions. I don’t mean force in a bad way. But it was, it was a good thing because we had to think about these questions. And more importantly, we had to deal with the owner of the business to make sure that they agreed, and they were on board and that it matched their vision. So yeah, when you take the time on the front end, and that’s what professionals do, right, you know, take the time on the front end, it helps avoid a lot of those problems down the road.
Well, and I think it gives a great value to the business owner, because, you know, having that sort of directed discovery of those things that you can reuse that in so many areas down the road. So you might use that in other marketing material, you know, like, once you have that refined, so I think that it can be, you know, sometimes it can seem like, Oh, you want me to answer speed questionnaire, but the, it’s a great takeaway for both sides. And, and it will actually save you money on your website design, because it, you know, you’ll have fewer revisions, you’ll have sort of that common vision, and you can make sure that the person developing your website sees your business the way you want your customers to see your business. So I think that’s, that’s definitely key. Another again, kind of a bit in the housekeeping department. And the other thing would be to definitely have that clear understanding of who’s going to be writing the content for your website, and where the pictures and photography is going to come from. So is that something that your, your web your agency, or web designer-developer is going to do for you? Or are they expecting you to bring that to the table? So I think that’s just something that’s worth talking about up front so that you can make sure there’s no misunderstanding sell the room on that note also is, you know, there’s a lot of back and forth going when you’re developing a website, and they’re gonna have a lot of questions, and you’re going to get a question. So I think just providing timely feedback in the process really helps. You know, a lot of times, you’re not the only client that they’re working with. So, if you kind of have delayed responses, they’re probably moving on to the next project and getting them really engaged in yours. If it’s been a month
of waiting for an answer, it’s going to drag on for you. So you want to sort of strike when the iron is hot. So if you can get back to if they have a question for you. And if you can get back to them right away, they’re going to stay really engaged in your project, and it’s going to get wrapped up sooner.
Lionel Johnston 50:10
So it’s just great tips Lindsay on how to be a great client. And actually, as you were, you know, speaking through those different points, and I was, you know, looking back to my home renovation example is very similar than, you know, to a lot of large projects that you’re dealing with professionals, sometimes, again, because a website can seem easy that the people don’t take as much time as they need to through the discovery stage. But think about if you’re paying someone 40 or 50,000 to renovate your kitchen, you’re going to have these discussions, right? You’re going to have mockups of things, you’re going to have questionnaires, you know, several meetings, you for sure are going to know who does what work on that project. And I guess my point here with this is that the small and medium-sized business owners can take that same approach to their website updates as they would with any other large scale project, especially since the websites so critically important to their business, that they need to make sure that that that project goes through as efficiently and as quickly as possible.
Absolutely, I that’s a great analogy. You know, if you’re investing any sum of money, I think that you’re going to want to take that time do the plan, you know, make sure you have the right people execute the plan and get the most for your investment.
Lionel Johnston 51:26
Lindsay that was really excellent. And I’ll add some details show notes so people can see exactly, you know, the points that you walk through of, of what a website needs to have, and what things they should focus on, and how to be a good customer. So really lots of valuable insight and appreciate you sharing that with us here today. Lindsay,
thanks so much. I know it’s a pleasure talking to you. That’s great.
Lionel Johnston 51:45
And for all the small and medium-sized business owners out there. If you’d like to build your business and start capitalizing on the digital world, I’d encourage you to apply to be able to be a guest on the master Modern Marketing Podcast will actually conduct a brief marketing audit and then have a live coaching call on this podcast. So at the end of the podcast, you’ll actually know where your business stands. You know what you need to work on how to do it, and then we’ll send you on your way and you can either choose to do that work yourself as we talked about today with Lindsay or about hiring someone or you can even choose to work with someone you know, here at the farmers marketing Of course, but at the end of the day, you know, with that podcast, you’ll know exactly where you stand and how to be able to take your business to the next level. So check us out at the farmers marketing.ca and you can fill out your application right there again, Lindsay, thank you once again, for everyone else, listening today until the next podcast onward and upward,
the master Modern Marketing podcast with your host Lionel Johnston podcast for lovers of marketing and growing small businesses. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, please rate and review. We’ll catch you next time on the master Modern Marketing Podcast.