Go Big or Go Home!
Among most business professionals it is common knowledge that having a website is a good idea. Many understand the full potential that a website can become to their business, reputation and appearance however many do not understand why having a website that is fully functional, comprehensive and easy to use is more important than having a website. If your website does not meet the basic criteria of being fully functional, comprehensive and easy to use to website visitors you are doing more harm than good to your company. Go big or go home! Nothing less should be acceptable for someone serious and courageous enough to own a business.
What is a “Fully Functional” website?
- Your website must contain no errors, broken links or dead ends.
- The flow of the site must be good enough to guide visitors through the areas you want them to see.
- Fully Functional means the emails and forms actually are received by someone and immediately handled.
- It must contain up-to-date information.
There may be more items that describe a fully functional website however these four are commonly not up to par and will disengage the visitors to your website and make your company look unprofessional and less attractive to a potential client. It is not that expensive or time consuming to make sure everything works and looks as it should compared to making you look bad. You want people to enjoy their experience and share your website with others and that cannot and will not happen unless your website is fully functional.
General rules for comprehensive website content
- Your website must contain images related to the content of your site that are not too large in physical size or visible size.
- Your website must actually contain adequate content for what the site is about. A small sentence or paragraph may not be adequate information to fully describe what you offer.
- Information pages should contain at least 400-600 words describing what you do.
- Make your content interesting! We have content writers that can turn the most drab content into something more interesting but still accurate of what you offer.
- Enough of super long pages! Some people think this new wave of having everything on the home page is cool or helps people find things, think again. It is annoying to regular internet surfers and detracts from your overall website experience. Keep the main points to your site simple and with as little scrolling as possible. Remember people on mobile devices are looking at your website as well.
- Content must be updated frequently and added to on a weekly basis. Doing this helps your search engine rankings and optimization. Companies like us can handle that for you at a minimal cost. Beware of companies that want to charge you thousands of dollars for just a little maintenance and search engine optimization, it really is not that hard or massively time consuming for the most part unless your site is severely hurting for SEO but the brunt of the cost and time would be the first 3 months, after that it should be easy sailing.
- Keep one page targeted to one keyword or phrase. This will help search engines rank that page for relevancy much higher. Many people like to throw-up on their page and list everything they do in the footer and headers and even content and this is a big no-no as it waters down the relevancy of that page.
- DO NOT put the overall success of your site in the hands of someone who does it part-time. You nee a full-time professional with vast experience to make sure your website is done right.
- DO NOT say, “Call us for more information” or “Please fill out this form and we will get back with you”. Make your website have enough information presented in the way it should be presented so a visitor can make an informed decision before they talk to you, this qualifies your lead and eliminates some wasted time in prospecting new customers. Remember that your customer probably knows more than you think they know and you should treat them that way.
These are some good general rules for your website content, DO NOT overlook this, it is more important that anything else except having your website fully functional. Not many other things turn of a visitor than content that is not relevant to what they are looking for and content that never changes. Do your research and make your content outstanding and complete and you will get all you can out of your website.
Easy-To-Use Websites Work For You NOT Against you
In the battle of website traffic it is very difficult to win if your website is not Easy-To-Use meaning the interface, layout, menus and other visual elements of your website is displayed in a manner that anyone can find what they are looking for. Granted not everyone will find what they are looking for on your site as what they are looking for they may not actually know what that is. For instance if someone is on one of my website design websites and they have no idea about what they should be looking for if they do not find it within the first minute of searching around they are off to the next site they found in their search engine. I need to grab them from the get-go and help them find what they are looking for by creating a “call to action” piece on the home page. Many people use a box that comes up after a few seconds on the site which displays their call to action commonly having a form or way to create a free account. To me it is very annoying and offensive to immediately ask for my information to continue to look through the site unless I already know I want the information or service they have. Be subtle but deliberate in your marketing to educate newbies, they will appreciate it.
“Keep it Simple Stupid” is a really good motto to have. Don’t over-think it or make it too complicated or have too many steps to find stuff. If you can’t get to it within a click or two don’t expect anyone to find it. Some people think they have to put everything on the home page so everyone can get to everything in one click. Although this tactic seems to work for some websites like news related websites it does not work for the majority. You need to create an interactive menu that updates with a mouseover action to reveal other subcategories. Hide invisible elements in the page where someone clicks on something then the call to action or next step is displayed without actually going to a different page.
Keep content big and bold and simple. Less is more but not enough is less. What I mean is having a clean design with less content is easier to help someone find what they need vs having everything right there in front of you. Many designs have come out that adopt this policy and it works very well. If you have a company that has 100 different products and services that is great! Simplify it, create categories that are relevant so people can move through them easily and put a search field in the header of each page to find what they are looking for quickly.
Widescreens are used everywhere as well as mobile devices like iPads or other mobile devices. Make sure your content is programmed to re-size on demand or you’ll lose interest of those that your site doesn’t fit in their screen. They don’t care about what it takes they just care about that it works on their computer no matter the make, model, age or size of it.
There are many more suggestions I could make but this should get you going and off to a good start. Remember, just because you do not have the budget, the time, the know-how or ability to make your website great does not mean that you should let it go or be “ok” with how your website is.