The podcast discusses five signs that it’s time for a business to upgrade their website. The hosts, Jessica and Monique, who specialize in website design and UX, provide tips for business owners based on their expertise. The first sign is if the website loads slowly, which can cause high bounce rates and affect SEO rankings. Solutions include optimizing image sizes, enabling WebP format, and minimizing inefficient coding. The second is poor functionality and organization, making it hard for users to find information. The hosts recommend using card sorting research to determine an optimal information architecture based on user expectations. The third sign is no clear call to action buttons. CTAs should prompt users on the next step to take. Generic ‘Click Here’ buttons are ineffective – be descriptive and action-oriented. The fourth issue is overall poor design, which looks unprofessional compared to competitors. However, a website isn’t always essential early on. Focus on building reviews instead. The fifth sign is no conversion or lead generation occurring. Utilize customized online forms to qualify and direct prospects down the right path.
- Research and implement ways to improve the loading speed of our website, such as optimizing images and enabling WebP.
- Conduct card sorting exercises with customers to determine how they expect information to be organized on the website.
- Audit current call-to-action buttons on the site and update ones that are too generic, unclear or passive.
- Build online reviews on platforms like Google before investing in website development.
- Create customized online forms to qualify prospects and direct them to relevant information based on their needs.
- Invest in a professional website redesign if multiple issues like speed, design, and conversion need addressed.
- Focus on lead generation capabilities when planning a website overhaul.
Monique Jenkins: Welcome to the Design Imposter Podcast, where we unravel the enigmatic realm of imposter syndrome. My name’s Monique Jenkins.
Jessica Valis: I’m Jessica Valis. We’re two agency owners who’ve boldly faced the reality of imposter syndrome.
Monique Jenkins: We’ll share relatable stories and practical insights that empower designers and business owners just like you.
Jessica Valis: Together, we’ll help you conquer self-doubt and unleash your true potential. Get ready to unveil your true brilliance. Welcome to Design Imposter.
Jessica Valis: Welcome to another episode of Design Imposter. I’m Jessica Valis, and on today’s episode, Monique and I will discuss five signs that it’s time for your business to upgrade your website.
Monique Jenkins: There are way more than five signs, but we’ll start with the basics.
Jessica Valis: All right, because of course, you guys should know at this point, Monique and I, we specialize in the website design, UX experience of everything. So if any of these tick your box, then it’s probably time.
Jessica Valis: The first one is your website takes ages to load. Google consumer insights found that 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page. It takes longer than three seconds to load and mobile and website conversion drops by almost four and a half percent with each second of load time that goes by.
Jessica Valis: So that’s a lot of clicks away if your site is just not pulling up immediately.
Monique Jenkins: Agreed. I think part of the user experience is sometimes as simple as how long a page takes to load and knowing something as simple as how long it takes a page to load can help you create a better experience for your user.
Jessica Valis: Yeah, there’s certain ways that there’s like a couple of key indicators right from the get-go. The first one is probably your image sizes. If you’re uploading an image in its original form, like you took a picture on your phone and you upload it just like that, it’s gonna be way, way, way too big.
Jessica Valis: And that’s gonna slow down the site speed. So a really simple easy hack is just to open Canva, have something sized to the screen and just drag and drop that picture in there and then download it in the right format.
Jessica Valis: The other thing you can do to speed up with the website speed in images is to enable .webp, which is the web format of a photo. So it’s no longer a JPEG. And this will take the file size down from like 100 kilobytes down to like 10 kilobytes.
Jessica Valis: So this is like standard on all my sites now. So that definitely decreases the time. But there’s also implications of slow speed with Google and SEO. And that’s Google who penalizes you if it takes a long time for your site to load.
Jessica Valis: And it just bumps you down in the ranking. So if somebody’s searching for your website and Google sees that it’s taking a long time to load, then you’re just gonna go down. And there’s different third-party sites you can use to check your website speed.
Jessica Valis: One that I use a lot is just legit called pagespeed.web.dev. You put your URL in and it’ll tell you the site speed on your mobile versus your desktop. And then it’ll specifically tell you what is slowing your site down.
Monique Jenkins: Yeah, I think that, so certainly check your images and make sure, because I think that’s a problem that a lot of sites deal with is that they’re uploading, you know, 300 DPI images as opposed to 72, which is standard for web at least.
Monique Jenkins: And it really does slow down your website and people do very much leave your site if it takes a long time. So I think something that I’ve done for past projects that are in like application funnels or something like that is I use the extra four or five seconds of time on mobile to relay information that someone needs to know.
Monique Jenkins: So if you are filling out an application to refinance your mortgage, it might take a few seconds to like pull back offers. And in those seconds, I use information, I use that time to tell customers like how we generate offers or why we’re gonna present the offers that we’re gonna present to you.
Monique Jenkins: So sometimes it’s about being very strategic. That’s a point in your application funnel where there’s a vested interest on the part of your client. So they might not be willing to leave in that specific space because they have a little bit more to like not lose, but they have a little bit more stake in the game.
Monique Jenkins: But on your actual like .com site, yeah, you got four or five seconds.
Jessica Valis: Yeah, I mean, there’s a difference between me going to kayak.com. That’s my go-to for flights and saying, hold tight while we find the lowest prices. I’ll hold tight for those lowest prices. If it takes you like 30 seconds to find me a flight to Europe for $600, but I can get those flights in one second and it’s a thousand, I will wait those 30 seconds.
Jessica Valis: Yeah, I will do that. So it really also depends on what the client is getting in return, like you said. But if you’re just a standard .com site and you’re like, oh, come over here and buy my services, it’s pretty standard, then people will be like, no, it’s just too.
Monique Jenkins: I think clients are really surprised by those numbers to find out that people leave sites so quickly.
Jessica Valis: I mean, just, I mean, think of your own patience level though. You know, I mean, I don’t think I generally run into this too often anymore where I’m like, I need information right now. I’m going to click away.
Jessica Valis: I’m going to click away. But there are some people who are like that. And those might be the clients that need the service right away.
Monique Jenkins: Those people are me. I need it right now. You got some, so I need some kidding. I feel like I won’t speak for everyone, but I feel like it is a good majority of people just because in the society in which we live, everything is very instantaneous.
Monique Jenkins: You can access information at the tip of your fingers. And when it takes someone along, it takes the website a long time to do something. And even the way that we think about customer service, like we want our food hot, we want it fast, and we want to be gone.
Monique Jenkins: And we just sometimes don’t want interactions. Like everybody wants everything right this second. I think that’s a pattern of behavior across almost all the things that we do right now is that I should have it right this second, especially with Amazon packages.
Monique Jenkins: Let me tell you something. Every time I view, when they’re like, we can get you your package by 7 a .m., I’m like, pst, pst. No, of course you should be able to do my package at 7 a .m.
Jessica Valis: I’m not thinking of… I’m over here like, oh, do the least number of packages so I can be, you know, economically-friendly..
Monique Jenkins: I’m not at least a couple of backstage girl. I’m like, nope, give me that today, right? Just send it. I’ll figure out the rest of that stuff later. But like, something as simple, I do think that we are very instantaneous society and we’d like things like very quickly or right now.
Monique Jenkins: And Emily’s one of those people who was like, why is it so long for the site to load? They must have had a bad designer. These images aren’t programmed right. The engineer didn’t code efficiently. Like I’m thinking of all the scenarios, like as a business owner, as to why it’s taking me so long to get the information from this site.
Monique Jenkins: Yeah, it’s not the website. Sometimes it’s your internet connection and like you’re in a funky place or whatever the case is. But I’m very much alike. Give it to me now, person.
Jessica Valis: I have a couple clients where they’ll be like, they’ll call me and be like, Jessica, it’s not loading. It’s not loading. And I’m like, okay, hold on, let me pull up the site. Like, it just came right up.
Jessica Valis: Oh, okay, because it’s taken a really long time for me. I guess I have to call Verizon again, or I have to call Comcast again. I’m like, I mean, the site’s up. You know, so your internet speed definitely plays a role.
Jessica Valis: But also, sloppy code is another big contributor. Whether that’s HTML and CSS, they have to be very deliberate and minimized. So your browser doesn’t need to read line by line of what your website is.
Jessica Valis: It should know that when it goes to your site, every H1 is formatted the same. It should know that all the paragraph text is formatted the same way. And this is very basic back end, three lines of code, kind of a thing, one and done.
Jessica Valis: But if you’re manually going into line by line by line, and or this is a big one, if you copy and paste your text from Microsoft directly into your website, that’s bringing Microsoft code over. You just don’t know it.
Jessica Valis: So you always need to clear the formatting before you do. No, I didn’t know that. Yeah, it’s dragging extra lines of code in there. And then if you’re like a browser, you can override a setting and you use this exclamation point important line at the end of your code.
Jessica Valis: So if most of your header tags are like blue, for example, and on very specific pages, you want them to be red. And the code, the site is reading it as, okay, all headers need to be blue. And then you get to the special page and it’s like, no, it’s still blue.
Jessica Valis: You use this important tag and it tells the browser to override this setting so that you can see it in red. But if you do that too often, it confuses the browser. And it has to read through all these lines of code to figure out what color it actually needs to be.
Jessica Valis: I mean, that’s just like a basic example of it. But
Monique Jenkins: Yeah, I’ve worked on a couple of websites where like an effective code certainly slowed down the site. I agree with you reading. If the program has to read every single line of code, it becomes a little bit cumbersome.
Monique Jenkins: But I also think that that’s why you should leverage things like QA’ing your site before it goes live so that you can start to address some of those things because if it’s slow for you, it’s probably slow for other people.
Monique Jenkins: So dealing a little bit of due diligence in QA’ing every page of your site to make sure things are good before you push it out live to prod or customers after you interact with it. I’ve seen fonts. Like if you have like five or six different fonts that you’re pulling from like Google Fonts on your site, like I’ve seen that slow down a website, even though there are like secondary fonts that you certainly can put in.
Monique Jenkins: Like I’ve seen a font family of 30 is going to slow things.
Jessica Valis: disable those fonts and just upload or isolate the ones that you’re going to use.
Monique Jenkins: Yeah. And I think there’s a million other websites besides Google Analytics that you can look at in order to understand the amount of time that it takes for a page to load. Or one thing that I tell people is there could be some pages of your website that are a little bit slow to load, but the pages that more people are going to, those are the pages that you want to focus your efforts on as far as minimizing the amount of time that it takes those pages to load.
Monique Jenkins: So maybe actual home page takes a second to load, but I don’t know if someone’s vested enough in your business. if your contact form takes four seconds to load, they’re vested enough that maybe that four seconds is worth it for them and they will go ahead and continue forward.
Jessica Valis: Yeah, and there’s actually a couple of optimization plugins out there where you can check this button and it’ll preload the site before your client goes to the next page. So that’s something to look into.
Jessica Valis: I mean, it does it on the first click, so that initial load might be a little slow, but then once you’re on the page and you’re reading through the content, like the rest of the site is loading in the background.
Jessica Valis: So the second thing is functionality or the overall usefulness of your website. Aside from the text, can users find and access the content they need to make an informed decision?
Monique Jenkins: Yeah, this is 100% correct, as well as low time. If it’s hard for me to find information, I’m out. I think that this is what people should be using card sorting for. And if you’re not familiar, card sorting is a UX research method in which you get participants to group labels written on note cards, according to the criteria that makes sense to them.
Monique Jenkins: So it helps your audience segment. So you have your demographics; you know who your audience is. It helps them to construct how they want to receive information. And this will help you to uncover like, what the domain knowledge is, how they expect for things to be structured.
Monique Jenkins: And it serves as your information architecture and it matches what your users’ expectations are. Because I think that sometimes when you go a website with clients, they have an idea of what they want the top nav line structure to be.
Monique Jenkins: But as it makes sense to you, and it doesn’t make sense to anyone else, it doesn’t make sense. So I don’t necessarily want to build the site the way that you want me to build it as a person who owns the business because you’re not your user, which I say way too often to too many people, but you are not the person who you are targeting.
Monique Jenkins: You don’t fit into the demographic and you’re not the person that you need to be in order to use your site. You need to be getting those insights from people who are actually coming to your website and looking at those things.
Monique Jenkins: So if you build something the way that you think it should be built, it might not be how anyone else thinks that it should be built. So you could put, I don’t know, you can nest your homepage under contact form because that makes sense for you.
Monique Jenkins: But if that doesn’t make sense to anybody else who comes to your site, people are only gonna click around for so much time, depending on how important being on their site is for you. If it’s a mortgage application like I was talking about earlier, maybe they’re a little bit more vested because they’re gonna be saving some type of money or that’s the intention, it’s to pull equity out of their home.
Monique Jenkins: But if it’s just a normal site, I probably, you got a couple of clips. And then I’m right, I can’t, I remember this. You got, I think it’s a three-click rule.
Jessica Valis: They need to be able to find the information they want within three clicks. So what are a few things business owners can look at right now and say, okay, my site doesn’t have ADC, therefore I need to have a revision or I tend to do this a lot.
Jessica Valis: What I really should be doing, blank.
Monique Jenkins: I have a questionnaire, and I’m actually in the process of working on this right this second. And I call it the 5Ws. It’s a list of who, what, when, where, and why questions that you need to ask in order to properly design your website.
Monique Jenkins: And I think in each one of those categories, if you could answer some basic kind of questions about who your person is or why they’re here, then you can start to revise your site based on the answers to those questions.
Monique Jenkins: Because I think, again, I’ve seen people want to do design revisions for fun. They’re not fun. They’re never fun. They look nice. I think they’re fun. And they’re not fun. They’re not fun. I enjoy it.
Monique Jenkins: I’m not saying that we as like super nitpicky designers don’t see the value in it, but enjoy. Those are straw words in my book. Okay. I enjoy brownies after dinner. That’s an enjoyment. I enjoyed the margarita.
Monique Jenkins: How about you? Like, what do you do for your job?
Jessica Valis: You like your job. It’s not the same like brownies and cookies and cupcakes, but it’s alike. Exactly. Do you like like me or do you just like me?
Monique Jenkins: I was just like, you know, I was just so in front of them. But yeah, I use the five W’s who, what, when, where, why, and I ask questions in order to properly design this site. So, you know, some of those questions is like, who is your core audience segment?
Monique Jenkins: Like, you know, what are they coming to your site for? Where do they intend for information to be structured? Or how they want that information to be structured? Where should things kind of be placed?
Monique Jenkins: And then why is the order of this? Or why is this information, you know, necessary for a customer to like adjust to? And I think until you answer those questions, you’ll never structure your site in the way that it should be, or the way that people want it to.
Monique Jenkins: But I also think that’s what user testing is for. That you can use a user testing platform to figure out what information people want in the respective sections so that they feel comfortable moving forward.
Monique Jenkins: So, again, back to my analogy about like, you know, refinancing a mortgage. One of the things that would hesitate me, that if I didn’t see this on their site, is like how easy their application flow is.
Monique Jenkins: So I want to know, you know, how long this process is going to take. If it says it’s going to take five minutes and it actually ends up taking five hours, I might not see that as being a valuable interaction.
Monique Jenkins: So that’s a purpose. Those questions to me help you to think about how you would revise your site and what you should do and in what order you should do them.
Jessica Valis: Yeah, I talked about this before where I do a design questionnaire at the start of all my projects with my clients. And I even do this exercise every year with some of my clients because as they work within their business, they come to understand their clients and what their clients are after more.
Jessica Valis: So my questionnaire usually starts off with, why have you started this business? What are your key services? And then it goes into why are clients coming to you? What makes you different than them? What specific problems are you solving?
Jessica Valis: And we get into the nitty -gritty of what the client wants and why.
Monique Jenkins: How do you feel about people not being able to answer those questions? Because I think that we start those questionnaires at the beginning of the process because it’s important to us to understand that information before we move forward.
Monique Jenkins: But I think there are a lot of businesses out there who don’t have the answers to those questions. So what would you think about a project where someone’s like, yeah, I can’t really answer
Jessica Valis: those things? It really depends on the scale of the project. If it’s a $1 ,000 project and you’re like, well, I don’t really know, then I’m just going to build you a pretty site. But if you’re paying me a lot of money to build you an effective site, then we sit down, we do this whole thing together and we’ll review the questions you’ve answered and then I poke and prod and go even deeper.
Jessica Valis: So I’m just pulling up my questionnaire now to see some of the things. So what is your client currently struggling with? They don’t have any problems right now. Okay, so then why do they need your service?
Jessica Valis: Oh, okay, because they have trouble with budgeting and monetary concerns. Okay, what about their budgeting? I don’t really know. Okay, so but why can’t they get a mortgage? Let’s talk about that. And so I poke and prod so we can get down to the specifics and then we can direct the user to the information they need because you might just be providing, if you’re just saying, oh, we’re going to provide a mortgage, that’s great.
Jessica Valis: But if your client has monetary concerns or they’re not good with budgeting, you need to walk them through and use language that addresses them and their concerns so that they can get from point A to point B and feel confident in your product or service.
Monique Jenkins: I agree. There’s a, I can’t remember where I found this. I think I found it on Rachel Rogers’ site who is a phenomenal public speaker. And she has like a millionaires club or something like that that I was a part of for a bit.
Monique Jenkins: And they have a very similar checklist to the ones that we give questionnaires that we give to clients about friendships, where it’s like, if you haven’t talked to this person in the past 12 months, why are they still around?
Monique Jenkins: If you had a family emergency, could you trust this person to watch your children? Why are they still around? If this person has been your friend for 20 years, but you guys have grown apart or done different things, why are they still around?
Monique Jenkins: So asking the right questions, it’s like a friendship evaluation, which I think is hilarious.
Jessica Valis: I have another friendship evaluation real quick. It’s much simpler. One, it’s like your trustworthiness. And if someone’s just a friend and acquaintance or like a bestie and it’s like, one, would you trust this person with a puppy?
Jessica Valis: And the second one is, could you have a beer with this person? And so what I think of like some of my neighbors, I’m like, I would trust them with a puppy, but I would never have a drink with them. Or the other person is like, I would never, I don’t think I would do either of them.
Jessica Valis: Then you’re like, okay, you caught into that person. Yeah.
Monique Jenkins: Yeah, but evaluate your circles, even with questionnaires. But yeah.
Jessica Valis: question your friendships and your very family members.
Monique Jenkins: You can’t keep everybody around everything and there are specific friends for specific paths. But yes, I think the questionnaire is valuable in helping the client make some discernments that they might not necessarily have put pen to paper to.
Monique Jenkins: They might know the answer to some of those things, but they just might not have articulated them in a way that’s understandable or digestible for them to relay what they’re looking for from us as designers, but also the way that they need to communicate that information to their client or their customer.
Jessica Valis: real quick side note about functionality and the usefulness of a website. Can we talk about Pinterest recipes? If I want to know how to make like a keto dessert, I don’t need to hear about your entire keto journey.
Jessica Valis: I just want to know how much Erythritol to put into something and how much cocoa powder. Like let’s skip the backstory. I’m so glad you lost weight. I’m so glad that your grandma was able to help you, you know, translate this recipe from like ancient history family thing to this now new diet that I don’t care, just show me the recipe.
Jessica Valis: Um, and I think maybe they do that. So you have to scroll and stay on the page longer. So they might cheat the system there and the keto.
Monique Jenkins: That jump to recipe button saves your life every single time. Every time I see one, I’d be like, I don’t need this backster. I don’t want enough.
Jessica Valis: show me the recipe.
Monique Jenkins: I’m just trying to make peach copper guys. I don’t want to talk about nothing else but peach copper That’s what’s on my mind right now. Yeah, oh every single time I go to a website and there’s like 50 like paragraphs of words before I guess a recipe I’d be like man, this recipe probably ain’t no good anyway
Jessica Valis: Don’t show me a picture of your grandma. I don’t care about your grandma.
Monique Jenkins: I’m like, oh, Nana looks very nice. Anyway, where’s the peach cop there? We’re mean people also.
Jessica Valis: But this kind of, okay, so the number three thing is the no clear call to action. So if there is no call to action, show me the recipe. Bye. No, but a call to action is a prompt that directs your user to the next steps they should take as they navigate your website.
Jessica Valis: Whether it’s a large click here to schedule your 15 minute meet and greet button or it’s a click here to get your recipe, click here to download our free guide. These sections prompt website visitors on what they need to do next because your user is not going to be searching for that answer.
Jessica Valis: They’re not going page by page to figure out what the next step is or how to contact you or what form to fill out. So you should be delivering high value content and then showing them how to continue the conversation.
Jessica Valis: What would you say is like the weakest call to action and is there a trend that is most efficient?
Monique Jenkins: I think the weakest call to action is probably click here. It’s so impersonal. Like you could literally be clicking on anything. Screen readers, I’m sure that they hate those words because like, what are you clicking on?
Monique Jenkins: There’s no, I don’t understand what this is. And if there are like, face -to -face click here buttons on a page, like absolutely horrible, can’t do it. I think that you have to get it. What if it’s something like,
Jessica Valis: click here and hit the team and it’s a little bit more descriptive.
Monique Jenkins: Yeah, so like those I was gonna say if you get more specific And how you want people to take action a hundred percent like I get it like you know click here is easy and simple But no one knows what that means and screen readers or other software that have to read your website They don’t know what they’re clicking to so being more descriptive click here to meet the team or click here to download a book or whatever The case is is a much better call to action for people Then just the button of saying they’re just saying click here on something
Jessica Valis: There are several types of different call to actions. And you should use them for lead generation, form submission. Obviously, there’s like the read more button that will help educate. So there’s like an education portion of it.
Jessica Valis: There’s the social sharing side of it, like find this useful, share with your friends. I don’t think I ever do that. Like the things I want to share don’t usually have a share button, but you know, it depends on what the content is.
Jessica Valis: Then there’s also like the lead nurturing like, oh, let’s have a call. Let’s have the meet and greet. And then there’s also like if you’re hosting an event or an in -person thing, like an event promotion.
Jessica Valis: And then there’s some quizzes, which can actually kind of be a little fun. I’ve done a couple of them where it’s like, let’s see what kind of designer you are. You answer questions and then you get some things sent to your email.
Jessica Valis: And then you just go on subscribe from that newsletter. But there’s different ways. It doesn’t have to go always to the contact page. Click here to contact us. It needs to make sense for what you’re trying to get.
Jessica Valis: It’s all about what you’re trying to get that user to accomplish. And it doesn’t have to be to simply fill out a contact form.
Monique Jenkins: Yeah. Another one I think I hate is request a demo. I hate that. Oh yeah. Absolutely hate it. Just show me a video. Yeah, just give me the video. I don’t want to talk to a representative for the next 13 hours that I want them to be emailing me every other day.
Monique Jenkins: Hey, did you see my last email? Just bringing this back up to the top of your email. I don’t care. I just want the demo. I don’t want to talk to you about anything. I can tell you from the demo if this is going to happen or not.
Monique Jenkins: I do not need to sit on the phone with you, schedule a call or if it’s been in it. And I don’t need all the diligence that needs to happen. I just need to see what this product is. I can see if it’s useful for me.
Jessica Valis: Yeah, I think the more upfront you are with information, again, this goes with functionality, the more information you can provide in the most useful way. That’s just going to help with your conversion.
Jessica Valis: And again, it depends on the industry. Now, if you’ve got, if it’s financial and you have industry secrets and, you know, some of your information is, you know, pay-to-know kind of on a need-to-know basis, then yeah, sure, you might need to schedule, schedule a meeting.
Jessica Valis: But, you know, if it’s just like, I don’t know, learn how to use, oh, God, I can’t even take a program right now, like coolers, coolers .co. I use them all the time for like color palettes. Like I shouldn’t need to schedule a demo to learn how to use coolers .co.
Jessica Valis: First of all, it’s intuitive. And two, I would rather just watch a quick 15 second video on how to do it. Like you don’t need to have that client touch point every single time.
Monique Jenkins: Yeah, if you can give me the information under three minutes, that would be best for muscle.
Jessica Valis: The fourth thing is overall poor design. And let’s be honest, when you compare two websites, your eyes appreciate a visually aesthetic design. And the value of the content makes you stay. And sometimes it’s a difference between a user deciding to go with, for example, a traditional mortgage company over somebody who is a private lender.
Jessica Valis: So, like, for example, a Wells Fargo site is going to look more polished, exude expertise. They’ve clearly got a system in place. But it’s also very impersonal. But on the other end, a visually disjointed website can also say it’s homemade and DIY.
Jessica Valis: And while prospective clients are trying to give their money to somebody, they’re not looking for somebody who can afford to cut corners with design. So by launching a site with a strong sense of design, you have an opportunity to reach ideal clients by bridging the gap between, like, the Wolf of Wall Street, super polished, versus the Main Street, up and coming.
Jessica Valis: You want to show that polished look, but also have the, you know, we’re personable enough that we’ll remember your name when you call us.
Monique Jenkins: Yeah. I’m gonna say something a little controversial. Go ahead. I think I pulled this. This is before, you don’t need a website. You can function without a website for a bit. Like you could just work at your business.
Monique Jenkins: Like if you have to like, divide your money, I know, because I’m gonna charge you. If it’s the matter of like, let me get this off the ground using other resources and let me have a website that’s gonna be poorly designed, it’s okay to not have a site sometimes.
Monique Jenkins: You could have, or you could do like a quick site or something like that to just get yourself out there. But I think that like, we are prioritizing digital spaces because we are digital designers first, but also the world is very digital in a lot of different respects.
Monique Jenkins: But you can leverage other types of social in order to get your business and your name out there. Like you didn’t have a Facebook page about your business and you can send customers there and they can still reach out to you via platform that you have to maintain in so many respects aside from like posting content and whatnot every once in a while.
Monique Jenkins: But like, you don’t have to have a full-fledged design that needs to be amazing and beautiful and aesthetic. And it should be when you get it to the point where you need to. But it’s worth sometimes, and from my perspective, saving up the extra couple of thousand dollars and making your website right the first time and not having to redesign it any year or six months or whatever the case is.
Monique Jenkins: And just leveraging some other type of social media than like putting yourself into a design. So I think that is a mistake that people make sometimes.
Jessica Valis: Yeah, I think you don’t necessarily need a website off the get go, but you do need to grab that URL ASAP because God forbid somebody else gets to see my business name as you and now you’re competing over URLs and where you’ve got to add numbers or hyphens or God forbid a .NET site.
Jessica Valis: But I did have a client, he came to me, didn’t have a website or maybe he did. It was like he launched it quickly when, you know, he didn’t have a lot of disposable money for the website at the time and came to me for a website redesign and launched it.
Jessica Valis: It wasn’t expensive, but you know, it just had some more thought and time into it and considering the industry, it was landscaping. When you compare landscaping websites, there’s the guys who are like, well, I don’t do websites, I’m going to do this myself and I’m going to launch it just to have something up online.
Jessica Valis: And then there’s people who are like, okay, I got to spend just a little bit of money, then I’ll launch it. I’ll put my own pictures on there. And he said that his clients specifically mentioned like how nice the site was as like a contributing factor.
Jessica Valis: So I think it’s a little bit of both. Like don’t rush into it. Don’t just spend money on a site if it’s going to sit there as a poorly designed business brochure. Yeah. It needs to serve a purpose.
Monique Jenkins: But I’m like, oh, loa, loa, handyman. I’m like, I don’t care if you got a sign. Can you know the grass on Thursday or not? Like, that’s what I need to know.
Jessica Valis: That’s where your Google reviews comes in.
Monique Jenkins: And now I’m like, because there’s a tree that fell down in the backyard of my mom’s house. And we were looking at tree removal sites, which, let me tell you, are so expensive. I cannot believe those prices.
Monique Jenkins: I thought I was charging arm and a leg, but apparently I have nothing on tree removal services. But their website never played a factor in, if I was going to purchase with them or not, it was the reviews that I read on Google about, how efficient they were, how long it took, what the communication was like, and things of the like.
Monique Jenkins: So as a designer, I don’t think I looked at a single website for any of those companies. Actually, that’s a lot. True green. I think I looked at their website and then realized they didn’t need tree removal and reached out to them about cutting my brass and then they sent me a price in that I didn’t like.
Monique Jenkins: So we never spoke again. But for the most part, I didn’t look at any of their websites. I looked at how good they were at their service. And sometimes that’s enough for at the beginning. I agree to add a point near a website, near a house for people to come to, and they need to be effective design on there.
Monique Jenkins: But in the beginning, was I like, oh, if the kerning isn’t right on this tree removal site, I’m out of here as a designer? No, I was like, can you do it tomorrow? Or like, what’s your schedule? What can you do to make this happen?
Monique Jenkins: And then I haggled the price down. I think that website design, absolutely wonderful. And poor design definitely leaves a bad impression on the people that you want to, but you can leverage other things.
Jessica Valis: Yeah, you should absolutely leverage your Google My Business page. It’s free to make. Go ahead, create it. They’re going to Google is going to send you a postcard to your house. It has like a six-digit code.
Jessica Valis: You enter it in. It just verifies that you’re a legit business. You don’t have to say, you know, I live at 123 Maple Lane and have that posted on for the public to see, but Google needs to mail the postcard to 123 Maple Lane.
Jessica Valis: Just to verify that you’re real. And then once you start to get clients, get those testimonials, because even if you don’t have a website, you’re still going to look at the testimonials. I had to get my, my roof replaced back in, I think it was January.
Jessica Valis: No, it was December. And I was like, man, God forbid I get a heavy storm and my roof starts leaking because there was holes. This was an old house. There were holes in that roof. And I did again, it was like, I don’t think the company I chose had a website, but they had 5 ,500 star reviews.
Jessica Valis: And that’s what I went for. And how they did this was they would give you like maybe $300 off your roof. If you left a review, so you left a review before you paid the final invoice. And then they took the money off.
Jessica Valis: So it was very smart. And then, you know, they, then when they’re on the job site, they take pictures and send them to your email. So they’re like, please leave a review, upload these pictures and we’ll take off $300.
Jessica Valis: So they, they were like, they didn’t have a website, but they knew how to optimize for online. So, um, I think it’s definitely better to have that presence on Google with the reviews or however, than to have a really poorly designed website.
Jessica Valis: Cause how are you going to be like, you have 5 ,500 star reviews. And this looks like it was built in 1999. Like just, just take that aspect out of it and let the review speak for you instead of, you know, a really poor design.
Monique Jenkins: Yeah, just went and got a service done a couple of days ago. And this morning I got a client experience is very important to us. We love feedback. Try writing a review and it takes me to their Google Map Business page.
Monique Jenkins: And then it says like, if you feel like there’s a reason why you couldn’t give us a good review, please email us. So we have an opportunity to fix any issues that you have prior to writing your review.
Monique Jenkins: Thank you in advance. And I was like, oh, I guess my experience was good. I guess I can sit down and write something. But even something as simple as sending an email to people and say, hey, try to help other people find me.
Monique Jenkins: I think that people are willing as long as they had a good experience. But I tend to see that people don’t write reviews for businesses unless they had a really, really great experience or very, very bad experience.
Monique Jenkins: And then people will sit down to take the time to write. I should know. I just wrote five pages essentially about a restaurant that I went to that I absolutely ate it and was charged for a bunch of food that I did not eat.
Monique Jenkins: And I hate those people. Hate is such a strong word, but it’s up there. Close to the hate. Whatever the word underneath it is, it’s right there. Despise is a good word. Thank you. I despise those people.
Monique Jenkins: And I did. I’m one of those people who will write a bad review way before I would write a good review. I.
Jessica Valis: I think because of my work with websites and SEO, I try to make a point once a year to sit down and be like, okay, what small businesses did I use this year? And then I go leave reviews. And then I post all that on LinkedIn and Facebook and tell them to leave reviews for each other.
Jessica Valis: And I don’t know if anybody ever listens to that, but then it also helps me realize how few small businesses maybe that I use. But I mean, heck, I’ll use it for the hair cuttery. I did that. I was like, this is a great location.
Jessica Valis: Both my boys sat in a chair, no cries. And when a lollipop fell on the floor, they gave them a new one. Like, you don’t want hair in your lollipop. So, and then there’s that interaction because they replied and they’re like, oh, it’s so great to see your boys.
Jessica Valis: I don’t think they knew who I was. But the fact is that they engaged with me after the fact. So, I don’t even know where I was going with this monique, but.
Monique Jenkins: All of that to say, you don’t need a website. But reviews are an integral to your business.
Jessica Valis: All right. The last number five, definitely not like the last as in like all the many reasons this time for a new website, but definitely like one of the big ones. Number five is there is no conversion or lead generation.
Jessica Valis: One of the very best compliments I received from a client was two weeks after the launch, they said, Jessica, we signed three new clients since the launch. They all cited the website as a strong determining factor because they found all the information they needed.
Jessica Valis: They had the form, they had the onboarding stuff. And I was like, awesome. That’s what we like to hear. And for them, like three clients, that was like a, that’s a big number considering the income I was bringing in.
Jessica Valis: So, but if your website is just sitting there as a digital business card and you’re not generating leads, then it might be time to consider a different route and a different strategy.
Monique Jenkins: Yeah, we worked on my project. I can’t remember how long ago it was at this particular meet. It was like one of our first projects. Yeah. For any company that had an investor in nonprofit side of the organization and the rebranding was color, typography, web styles, templates, iconography, website content, brand messaging, marketing, all the stuff in between user experience.
Monique Jenkins: And as a result of the redesign, we saw 157% increase in customers making it to their application page. We saw a 262% increase in selling out the application form and then 142% rise in MQLs from the site getting higher quality leads than what they were getting.
Monique Jenkins: So, if you can leverage user experience properly and you can have the right type of lead generation on your website in an effective way, you can get the results that you’re looking for as a business.
Monique Jenkins: And sometimes that you won’t get those numbers off the bat. It requires a little bit of finesse and things like that. But, you know, in this company’s respect, they were able to leverage a lot of good traction in order to get the rise in numbers that they wanted from qualified leads coming to their website.
Monique Jenkins: And I think that their ideal client range was like, how can we attract million-dollar clients? So, we were able to do that with them and we built this website in a week or a month.
Jessica Valis: Yeah, I think we launched it, it was a month and those are damn good results for, you know, what was it like two weeks after? Yeah. Or something like that. Those results were coming in and then, you know, they checked back a month and the numbers were still strong.
Jessica Valis: Um, I think one of the ways you can achieve this is instead of using a generic form or like a third-party form that takes you off site to make your own. So for that one particular client, we use type form, which could help determine that I deal clients.
Jessica Valis: So if you were answering questions like, Oh, does your business generate $100 in revenue a year versus does your business generate a million dollars in revenue every year? Like if somebody answered $100, they would go down a different route and be like, Oh, unfortunately, we, you know, right now we can’t work with you.
Jessica Valis: Uh, just sign up for a newsletter. But if you did the hundred million dollar client, it would take you through all these other steps to determine, okay, what kind of business are you?
Jessica Valis: How many people do you have on staff? What kind of funding do you need? And then that would help trickle in the correct form of clients, um, which just makes it helpful for you and the team. And then you can kind of prioritize and, you know, find the right client for you.
Monique Jenkins: I think that that’s what these forms are supposed to help you do. It’s supposed to help you get people to navigate down the path that you want them to go, depending on the information that they’re providing you with.
Monique Jenkins: So the way that you treat a million-dollar client is different than the way that you treat a $50,000 client. A million-dollar in revenue client qualifies for investor funding, whereas someone who is generating only $50,000 a year, they might have to go into an incubator program so that they can get to the place where the million-dollar client goes.
Monique Jenkins: And for that client, that was the path. If you have $15,000, you went into the incubator program, or you could apply for the incubator program and go through that so that they can help you beef up your business and information.
Monique Jenkins: And if you were a million-dollar client, then they wanted to start seeing your books and understanding your revenue sources and how things were happening so that they could get you investment money if you needed it or if that’s the path that you wanted to explore.
Jessica Valis: Yeah. And conversion and lead generation doesn’t necessarily have to be from a form and how effective your form is. It can come from any of the other things we talked about, like website speed, functionality, the call to action and the design.
Jessica Valis: Those are all contributing factors into getting that lead. So they all work together. And so when you think about your website, you have to ask yourself if all the parts are moving together or if it’s just kind of at a stalemate.
Jessica Valis: And so you have to answer the questions and they’re ready to take the next steps.
Monique Jenkins: All of that to say, hi, we are a good return on your investment. Yeah, we’ve got some stats. All right. Ask us a question about stats.
Jessica Valis:Um, yeah. So I think we’ll just leave it at those five today. And if you have any other questions or you have some other items you’d like us to talk about in regard to signs that it’s time for a new website or things that affect your website speed or functionality, leave us a message, and we’ll address it on one of the upcoming episodes.
Jessica Valis: Cool. Bye, guys. Bye. As we wrap up our captivating journey on today’s episode of Design Imposter, we want to leave you with an empowering message.
Monique Jenkins: Self-doubt may be a universal experience, but it should never define your worth or potential.
Jessica Valis: Embrace the power of your unique voice, trust in your intuition and abilities, and continue creating fearlessly.
Monique Jenkins: Remember, you belong in this space and your contributions are immensely valuable.
Jessica Valis: Know that you are never alone on this journey. We stand by your side ready to support and celebrate you and your business every step of the way. Thank you for joining us today.
Monique Jenkins: and being an essential part of the Design Imposter community.
Jessica Valis: Don’t forget to subscribe, follow us at Design Imposter podcast on Instagram and Facebook, and leave a review to help other imposters find us. Until we meet again, keep those headphones ready.