It’s just about summer time to start getting our waists and websites in shape. Websites are still the most important online asset and representative of your business. You will drive traffic from Twitter and Facebook to your website, however if they get to your website and there is no contact information, no location, no bio, broken links, animated crazy blinking images, blaring music … the list goes on you are not giving your business a good first handshake. You need to have a website that is strong, fit and ready to support all of your marketing efforts.
When I was looking for a spa for my mother in law last year do you know why I picked the spa I did? The website. I passed over at least 50 for having poor content, design and MANY of them had NO contact information. The spa I choose.
Ask yourself – “After my potential customer has clicked a link off of one of my social networks and arrives at my website, what do I want them to do? Call? Email? Sign up for a newsletter?” Take your answers and apply them to make your website clear in directing people where you want them to go.
– The VERY Basics –
A simple design is much more impressive that one with a circus going on. The animated bunnies hopping across the screen might be cute but they are distracting and unprofessional. Refrain from using images for text, and test test test the look at feel of your design on different browsers and platforms. You have to know someone who can pull yours site up on a Mac and an iPhone.
Let users decided what content they want to interact with. Always have an “opt in” attitude. Please don’t have a video automatically start or audio of any kind. If a customer is visiting your site and has the sound on whether they are wearing head phones or not the sound alone is not going to be very welcoming.
Cut the Unnecessary
What keeps users on the page, and getting to the content they want quickly is exactly what Google likes too. Your website is not the place for a meatloaf of every keyword you have ever thought would draw people to your site. Even though that 18 year old told you that is how you are going to “dominate search results” – end rant.
Cut the splash pages, any intro pages before getting to the website, cut anything that keeps your potential customer from reaching the destination you want them to be at.
Have valuable content that says:
I know my customer needs
I can meet my customer’s needs
I am qualified to do so
If you aren’t in the position to do a redesign of your website, (if you are and need to be referred to a great designer let me know) find imagery that is welcoming, fun to relate to and preferably includes people with positive emotions. iStockphoto is great for high quality imagery.
Odd to think however uncovering contact information is my #1 improvement recommendation for most sites. Make it easier for customers to find your phone number, email, address, directions, social networks and when to expect to be contact back.
Before getting married to an expensive, resource intensive online marketing campaign, make sure your online representation is ready to welcome your vistiors and provide value.
Maybe you meet all of these basics, and think your site is just spiffy. Is it spiffy because it is comfortable or does it really ready to be showcased in front of everyone you know and everyone you will ever do business with? Is it ready to drive the right kind of qualified traffic to your office?
Once your site is ready to handle social media traffic you will have a solid place to send business that you can be confident represents you and your company well.
If you think that maybe another eye would be nice, send me a note and I would be happy to do an evaluation of your site. If you let me I will also let me network check it out and gather recommendations from them.