Innovation through Cannibalization in the Web Design Industry

As a business owner or someone who works for a business owner, you know how important your website can be for increasing leads and sales. The industry has evolved since your website launched, and the firms who remain relevant will prove that features which were once considered optional or “add-ons” for a new website are now necessarily inherent in the website design and development process. To continue our innovation and help our clients grow, our websites have cannibalized specific features like the ones outlined below.

Mobile-Friendly

As more people accessed the web from smartphone devices, businesses needed a solution for engaging the smartphone visitor. In the past, we might have recommended a separate mobile website which would be displayed whenever a smartphone user visited your site.

But today, 34% of American adults own a tablet device, providing a whole new platform for them to interact with brands online. At a time when 1 in 3 minutes spent online are through tablet and smartphone devices, companies need a website that is usable across multiple devices.

Seeing the rise in mobile visitors and the saturation of the smartphone market, our team knew that companies would be more successful if they had one website that could fit all screen sizes.

As a result, we’ve decided within the past year to only launch websites using a technique called Responsive Web Design (RWD).

For businesses that have a responsive website, it’s no longer necessary to have a separate mobile website. Because the main desktop version will resize itself to meet the screen dimensions of a visitor’s device, the mobile version is inherent in this new version.

There are a variety of reasons to get a responsive website, and the benefits to business owners range from more consistent branding to better SEO to greater efficiency in managing the content of their website.

Search Engine Optimization

If you took a trip over to your website’s analytics there’s a high probability that search engines are the number one source of traffic for your website. This is a very common finding, as most consumers find websites through the organic results of search engines.

While search engines launched back in the mid-late 1990’s, over 19 Billion searches were conducted in the U.S. last month. As more people relied on search engines to find content across the web, it was apparent that our bread-and-butter digital marketing technique (SEO) needed to be a core component in every new website that was a produced by our firm.

According to HubSpot, “A website without SEO is like a billboard in the desert.” In other words, a business may have a great website, but if no one can find the site, how helpful/valuable is it?

We know the importance of getting found on the web (heck, it’s our tagline!), which is why every website we develop is optimized with the fundamentals of SEO. This includes researching targeted keywords, creating search engine-friendly titles and tags, and writing clean code that makes it easier for search engines to crawl the site.

Remember: People need to find your business before they can buy from your business.

Easily Updatable Websites

Most business owners aren’t savvy coders with HTML, CSS, PHP, or other coding languages, but they still want the ability to change the content on their website- from updating photos to editing the text copy. While a design firm may create their own proprietary content management system (CMS) that allows clients to edit their own website, these platforms can be clunky and quickly outdated.

Fortunately, open-source CMSs such as WordPress make it easy for businesses to make these changes to their site without any coding experience required. And from a developer’s standpoint, the platform already exists, so there’s no need to recreate the wheel.

It’s the 21st century, and every website owner should have the ability to update their website’s content without needing to call their webmaster. When we develop a new website, we do so with the client in-mind, knowing how important it is for them to be in control of their online presence by using an easily updatable CMS.

The Benefits of Cannibalizing your Product

Why include all of these features into a single website? Because our experience tells us that these are the essential website components that every company needs to be successful on the web today. Our clients start-off with an advantage over the competition, using a responsive designed website that reflects their unique identity and helps them get found in the search engines.

But there’s another benefit to this approach, and it falls in-line with collaboration among internal departments– from designers to developers to SEOs. When all of the many components to a great marketing strategy are inherent in a single website, this allows our teams to come together on a single project. As a result, they’re more likely to share their specializations with different departments and see the project from different angles.

In other words, cross-pollinating teams bring a whole new perspective to the project, which has led to new insights and a better end-product for our clients.

Looking Ahead

So what other features will our websites be cannibalizing down the road? Everyday brings new opportunities, as feedback from clients and internal teams alike help to shape our website design and development process.

As new trends emerge and consumer behavior continues to evolve, we’re ecstatic at the prospect of making new inroads for our clients while raising the bar in the digital marketing industry.

About Sara Mannix

Sara Mannix is the CEO of Mannix Marketing, Inc., a Digital Marketing Agency headquartered in Glens Falls, NY. She founded Mannix Marketing in 1996 with a goal to get clients "found" on the web through organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The company now serves over 1500 clients worldwide and employs a team of nearly 30 specialists, still operating under the tagline "We Get You Found On The Web." This multifaceted company is an industry leader, specializing in organic SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization, SEO-friendly Website Design, Online Advertising, Social Media and more. Mannix Marketing also has one of the largest portfolios of tourism and city guides in Upstate New York. These guides, which include Albany.com, Saratoga.com, LakeGeorge.com, GlensFallsRegion.com, CliftonPark.com and Adirondack.net, reach over 10 million visitors a year. Corresponding social media profiles for the region extend this reach to millions more on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and more.