Superior Web Design in Buffalo | ProStrategix

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There's More to Buffalo than Snow

New York's second largest city gets a bit lost sometimes. I lived in Central and Western New York before moving to Manhattan. It's hard for the upstate cities to compete with all the noise my beloved NYC makes. However, these cities can teach us a lot about resiliency, tenacity, and grit.

I grew up in Pittsburgh during the deindustrialization of the US in 1970-80s. I have a special admiration for these industrial hubs that had to battle through some tough times and reinvent themselves. Buffalo survived, and its economy has made significant gain in the 2010s. It is testament to the hardworking people who stayed in the region to help it rebuild.

Western New York poses some unique marketing challenges. With the digital migration COVID has forced us to make, as region rebuilds, should businesses focus solely locally or expand beyond the region in light of their digital investment?

Why Web Design is Important in Buffalo?

Digital marketing won't work with a great website. Your website is more than just a pretty page, it's an invitation for a new customer to get to know your business. In areas like Buffalo where you can't always rely on foot traffic to raise awareness of business, a great website in conjunction with strong digital marketing can more than make up for it.

  1. Local digital marketing in Buffalo is about targeting so your website need to speak clearly and authentically to that audience.
  2. A slow site will cause people to leave. Therefore a fast site is important to raise awareness, conversion, and repeat. 
  3. A great mobile experience not only lets your customers know that you are nearby, it also helps you rank higher in local search.

User Experience (UX): User’s Value Finding Information Fast.

When you ask users what they want, they will tell you. They want information fast. They care about finding information over 7 times more than the care about appearance.

Important factors of web design

Therefore, your design elements should focus on helping the user find pages on your site versus just creating visual impact. Otherwise,  60% of users leave a site if they can’t find what they need easily.

The 1 to 3-Second Rule

If a page takes over 3 seconds to load, mobile users bounce as the Pingdom chart below suggests.

Pingdom Bounce Rate vs. Page Speed

SEMRush gauges page speed using a 1 second rule. I would argue they are closer. My personal experience suggests that the widow has continued to narrow.

Main Drag on Page Speed is Unnecessary Code

If you are not a web designer or web developer, terms like render blocking ccs or unused JavaScript, will be very foreign. Knowing the terms are not as important as understanding the cause

Google Page Insights Illustrating render blocking resources

The root cause of most speed issues is the content management system (CMS) that you choose for your website. 

Themes Will Slow You Down

If your site is built on Wordpress or Wix, you are using a theme. Every theme carries a set of instructions (CSS), which tell the browser how to render the page. Every theme has customization options, drop-down menus, animations, and such.

When a page is rendered, the browser has to sort through all this code to see what your content requires. The unused features can stop the page from rendering, creating render-blocking resources or unused CSS. 

Theme Are Easy But Come at a Cost

A theme is user friendly. They are faster to build, easier to maintain, and simpler to update. You do not need to understand coding or even basic HTML or CSS commands to get great looking results. However, there is a big trade-off, and that is page speed.

Why Digital Marketing is Important in Buffalo?

Many businesses make the investment to deliver goods and services digitally to comply with COVID restrictions. They now face the question of what to do with that part of the business as things return to "normal" as more and more people are vaccinated. For those who decide they want to invest in digital delivery, digital marketing is critical.

  1. Local digital marketing in Buffalo is about targeting - do you stay local or use your digital platform to expand
  2. If you decide to retain an ecommerce arm, it is important to raise awareness, conversion, and repeat. 
  3. Local digital marketing lets your target the right customers when they are nearby for a brick and mortar purchase or at home for an ecommerce purchase.

Simple Navigation That is Clear and Easy to Follow

To have a navigation that is easy to follow requires that you understand how your user is likely to search for information. It is very important to remember that your user may search for information very differently from you, especially if you are an expert in the field and they are not.

Importance of Page Mapping

To keep the communication focused, each page should be designed to answer a given set of questions around a core theme. Since we know the core theme, we can link these pages to keywords or key phrases. 

The key reasons why it is worth the effort to map pages to key words are:

  1. Helps to minimize confusion as each page has a clear answer or a means to reach that answer quickly.
  2. Helps indicate to the user and the bot what the page is about.

This is a key step in any design and development process.  

Measure & Monitor Your User Flow

People can be difficult to predict. Even with the best planning, sometimes the flow isn’t quite right. User flow on Google Analytics can really help. You can see how users are browsing the site. 

Optimizing

If you find users are acting differently versus how you intended. It’s important to take note and make changes. Web design is never “a set it and forget it” activity. Monthly monitoring and testing are recommended. 

Mobile friendly

A high-quality user experience is important on all devices. This is just the cost of entry these days.

Most themes and common website builders are responsive, which means it adapts the code (html and ccs) to suit the device. 

There are several ways to achieve a responsive design. The main tradeoff between the options is page speed.

We recommend custom sites because they are designed as mobile first. They use only the code that you need, so they are fast. Lastly, the lost revenue from bounces and poor conversions generally more than offset the cost.

All themes will require “fixing”. Without some way to weeding out that excess code, page speed load times will likely cause you to perform poorly on mobile. 

Data show page speed is a key indicator bounce rate. If your page takes over three seconds to load, bounce rates balloon. Any bounce is a lost opportunity to influence your user.

There are plugins and other solutions. But, again, there is a trade-off between cost and performance.

Summary

Your website is the most important communication tool in digital marketing. Therefore, you want it to be its best.

Users value finding information quickly. Finding the information quickly is seven times more important than fancy features.

To help users find the information they want quickly requires a simple navigation that is clear and easy to follow. 

A high-quality user experience is important on all devices. Therefore, you want a design that can meet these demands without sacrificing quality or speed. Both affect your website metrics.

This can be challenging to attempt this on your own, and there are numerous digital marketing companies that can help.

ProStraegix is a web design agency with offices in New York City. We also provide SEO and pay per click advertising support to our clients.

Things to Remember…

If you're thinking about finding help in Buffalo for your small business, here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Find a firm that knows your area. If your small business is marketing in Buffalo, you'll want help from someone who understands how Brooklyn works. The best marketing firms understand what makes Buffalo stand out  and can communicate with the community.
  2. Find a company you can trust. If you can't trust a business to have your best interests, you're already going to be left in the lurch. Make sure you have a guarantee that your business will be treated fairly by all parties.
  3. Get the size of help you need. A larger firm can provide has more resources and can do more things. A smaller firm, on the other hand, can feel like a neighbor in Buffalo, with the added benefit of one-on-one help from the best the company can offer.

How to Adapt Our Small Business SEO Tips for Buffalo

Aside from all the general tips above, here are some specific actions you can take based on the three key elements of local search algorithms:

Proximity 

All of this assumes that you have completed your keyword research and developed your keyword list. If you have not, this section will be more effective once you do. Please see our previous post on digital marketing in Buffalo and then come back.

Go through your keywords list and select those which are good descriptors of your business. If it were me, I would use something like “digital marketing agency”, “seo services”, for example. Then make a list of the neighborhoods you service, for example “seo services Niagara Falls”.

Now comes the harder part, that is frankly a bit tedious. For each combination, see if you can create a somewhat unique post that’s 500-1000 words for that keyword. For us, it is a post like this. I try to write a post that helps my potential clients learn something or do something they didn’t know they could. 

Prominence 

Now, this is the good part. If you do write quality posts for these keywords, you will be raising your prominence. Google knows that all these locations are in or near Buffalo. So, for each good post you write, you help raise your prominence on a given topic in a given location.

Prominence is also helped by the basic techniques I mentioned earlier, such as being a part of local business groups. Please see the Buffalo Niagara Partnership or BBB of Buffalo for listings that might pertain to you. Any local listing helps.

Relevance

This is why I like the blog technique because it hits all three key areas. If your keyword is a descriptor of what you do and the neighborhood is one you serve, it is highly likely that you will score points on relevance.

Finding the right SEO for your small business in a neighborhood like Buffalo can be a crucial way to get your company noticed online.

If you are interested in what more we do, check out Small Business Marketing in Buffalo.