Web assets that actually produce an ROI.
Choose a Web Development Firm That Treats Your Website Like an Investment, Not Just Thousands of Lines of Code
Most websites fail to produce real results, because they aren’t designed for the user. Many web development firms think about your digital properties in terms of thousands of lines of code. But this fails to take into consideration the real purpose of your site: to convert prospects into customers.
If your web development agency doesn’t understand everything from branding and consumer psychology to SEO and content marketing, all they will be able to build you is a pretty liability.
Building true digital assets, from web and eCommerce sites to landing pages and microsites, that actually work to deliver a positive ROI, requires a breadth of marketing knowledge. First and foremost, any web development firm needs to understand your prospects on a deep level: what are they looking for? What are their biggest pain points? What does your website need to accomplish to best serve their needs?
It doesn’t stop there; knowing your prospect also requires knowing how to communicate to them. How do you stand out from every other company in your industry? How do you break through the information overload every one of your prospects experience to demonstrate your ability to meet their needs better than any other option?
This is where positioning comes into play. Positioning seeks to make your brand stand for one singular idea in the minds of your prospects. Done right, when a prospect experiences a problem that you address, your business will be top-of-mind, because they perceive that only you can successfully meet their needs.
This moves a long way from the programming, design and developing that goes into actually making a web property. But getting this first part right is key to knowing how to develop a digital asset that does more than just exist as an information repository.
What sets Innis Maggiore apart as a web development firm
Beyond executing code within a particular language or platform, we seek to extend, refine or discover a corporation’s unique meaningful difference within its industry’s competitive environment. We then creatively dramatize this position throughout an organization’s offline and online advertising, tactics, media and other communications efforts.
As America’s #1 Positioning Ad Agency, our web and interactive approach adds a unique component to the strong technical expertise we possess. Understanding your position allows Innis Maggiore to effectively develop your web assets/properties to become an extension of your sales force, whether the digital “touch” occurs organically or as a destination from all your marketing communications.
Innis Maggiore is then able to marry this level of expertise with developers who understand that your website is an expression of your brand position and not just thousands of lines of code.
All page designs will be heavily informed by a content audit and the new information architecture. The agency’s design process is intertwined with web content creation and editing, as each supports the other. This iterative approach results in a consistent, engaging design experience across all website page types; effectively establishes the storytelling cadence; and provides intuitive, satisfying site visits.
The design of a website is responsible for delivering the all-important first impression as well as the longer-lasting perception of an organization’s brand and mission to its audiences. Current design standards incorporate longer-scroll pages, edge-to-edge imagery, animation techniques to draw focus, content reveals, contextual video and a host of other elements, technologies and techniques.
When professionally used, inspired by the content and with an understanding of the established brand guidelines, these state-of-the-art techniques seamlessly work together to effectively present information in an impactful, yet easy-to-digest way.
Innis Maggiore’s united design and content creation process allows you to review and respond to “live” prototypes of site pages before engaging our development team. This allows for more efficient and flexible design/content iterations prior to coding, when edits can become more involved and costly.
Once design and SEO-sculpted content are approved, it will be coded to the CMS with the functionality to support a seamless eCommerce experience and any of the optional functionality chosen.
Does your web development firm have these capabilities?
These are the many components that affect the success of your website. If your web development agency can’t deliver on these capabilities, your website will likely not perform as well, impacting your ROI and bottom line.
ECOMMERCE/CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
When choosing an eCommerce/content management system, your web development firm should be neutral. They should work with the latest in open-source and licensed options on the .NET and PHP platforms, examples of which include SilverStripe, WordPress, Drupal, Umbraco, Sitecore, SDL Web/Tridion, Magento (e-comm), AbleCommerce (e-comm) and more. Why is this?
- Using a third-party CMS means your site is portable
- You will be able to find developers from a global community rather than from a single proprietary developer
- You will never be married to hosting with one provider; you can host on the cloud or in a dedicated environment
- Your CMS/eCommerce platform is using the latest technology available on the web
Being CMS-neutral and having experience with a wide variety of CMS solutions will allow your web development firm of choice to make the best recommendations for your organization’s solution based on your needs, affording you the opportunity to make the best decision for your company.
“Digital business” means an organization’s web assets are the central engine or “business hub” for its communication and operational units. It’s critical that a web development partner possess:
- The capability to interpret and execute upon your organization’s corporate communication and operational strategies
- The capability to understand and properly express your brand positioning
- The ability to identify and shape tactics that achieve the business goals and objectives of the web project as a component of the overall corporate strategy
- The expertise to execute the strategy in an online medium, not only as a self-standing communication asset, but as a destination for offline and online communication and operational tactics
Developing online assets, especially websites, is one of the most complicated processes in communications. The web development agency should possess:
- A methodical development process (e.g., define, design, develop, deploy)
- Dedicated team members for critical roles in the process (e.g., web marketing strategist, information architect, SEO specialist, new media specialist, web project manager, web designer, web developer, database programmer, quality assurance manager)
- The ability to manage multiple parallel tasks, both within development and as guidance to the Client
- The capacity to handle large and complex development projects and have a 100 percent on-time delivery record
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
Search engines have refined an age-old principle in marketing known as “relevance” by the mere implementation of keyword (now more commonly referred to as keyphrase) search. With search driving more than 90 percent of all online traffic, it’s critical that a web development firm can:
- Research and identify the best long-tail keyphrases that will gain each web page of a site an acceptable (top 50 or better) ranking within the top three search engines
- Use these identified keyphrases properly within the copy and code without being overly mechanical
- Refine SEO through web analytics, PR initiatives, world events, trends and competitor analysis
RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN
Web design has gone through significant paradigm shifts in the last 10 years. From table design to table-less design and now Responsive Web Design (RWD), a web development agency should have:
- A dedicated team of web designers who remain current with the trends and capabilities of the browser
- A grasp of viewport sizes that range from Times-Square “big” to large-screen TVs controlled by an XBOX to the smallest browsers on smartphones; responsive web design has overcome the need to create dimension-specific CSS sets, but not all firms understand how to address such complexity
- An integrated design/creative team that is media agnostic: whether your brand appears in a print ad, brochure, or website, banner ad or in-app banner, it must always present your position in a compelling, yet media/device-specific way
Your web development firm should provide web analytics services in-house, including:
- The ability to integrate into your website any analytics package that provides an API
- A monthly monitoring and reporting package, if you choose to outsource your web analytics
- An account team that knows what to do with the analytics data: optimizing conversion rates; supporting SEO; adding/enhancing sales tools, content and portals; and continuing integration with off-site marketing efforts
A Step-by-Step Approach to Getting Real Results – Maximizing Your ROI
Innis Maggiore creates and maintains websites for our clients that execute on their brand position, deliver sales growth and service and deliver operational excellence via these steps:
- Strategic planning around the position. This is how we approach site design to connect business goals with customer needs, with measures and the roadmap to execute your brand online.
- Analytics and customer research. Customer research provides factual grounding (preference testing, one-on-one interviews, usability testing, syndicated data, online surveys and site analytics) so you have a full picture of what your customers want and how your brand is currently perceived online.
- Information architecture. Once we know your audience, we execute on the best framing of the three key architecture elements: navigation, content and function; then we test it to ensure we've hit the mark on all three.
- Web design. Our team of information architects, SEO specialists, designers, copywriters, developers and project managers work together to create websites that are useful and usable from the customer's perspective, with achieving the business goals as our only measure of success.
- Development. Our experienced developers work on single landing pages to enterprise-level browser-based business applications. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and each project is analyzed prior to development to ensure the project is tailored to the needs of each client.
- Evolution. Development is not the end game. Innis Maggiore consistently works with our clients to keep future enhancements at top-of-mind in order to maintain our clients’ solutions at a world-class level. Each data point should provide learning to take the next step, and Innis Maggiore has the response analysts to provide insight on the next move.
Innis Maggiore has business application, widget and mobile app programming experience that extends the website’s use and functionality. Any widgets would be analyzed for existing functionality and potential upgrades or modification of the platform (such as moving native widgets or apps to a hybrid or cloud-based format).
This also is an opportunity to integrate with your existing email marketing system. If you presently do not have one, Innis Maggiore offers a cloud-based email-marketing system.
Choose a Web Development Firm Who Can Turn Your Web Properties into True Assets
Innis Maggiore merges deep web building expertise with differentiated positioning strategy to create digital assets that offer you a strong ROI year after year. Contact us today to find out how we can make a difference in your business.