Apr. 11, 2019
When most people I meet talk to me about designing or updating a website, they tell me how their employees, family members, or friends either dislike the website or there's not enough bells and whistles.
To build a website, you must first define its purpose. Why are you creating the site? Is it to look cool for your family and friends? Or is it for information only, acting as a resource, without any interactions required? Or are you looking to build trust with the visitor and get them to interact with your website? And you better be mobile compatible, 55% of Internet traffic is now mobile, and if your site isn't it will reflect on search engines and visitors leaving upon page load.
A website should have a good domain name, have easy navigation for first-time visitors, can easily be viewed on mobile devices and desktops, and shouldn't take too long to load to the visitor's smartphone. If you're looking for leads and phone calls the website must accomplish authority and believability. Otherwise, the visitors that you attract through pay-per-click or organic search are going elsewhere, because they don't buy your offer.
The problem is that there are many websites out there with the sole purpose of reselling peoples information, collecting leads and then reselling them to multiple buyers. People are no longer just giving away phone numbers and email address, not unless they are satisfied that the "company" and the "offer" are real and the materials presented on the website reflect what they are looking for.
So how do you get "believability"? Well, a good social campaign on Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn will certainly help. Good reviews on Facebook, Google Maps, and other websites certainly help.
A website also needs content, especially if the product or service is going to cost the visitor time and money. You're going to have to back it up with correctly spelled, grammar checked, informative content that explains the product or service, the process, and some examples or images. But don't stop there.
If you have too few reviews or too few posts for your website "blog" then you are telling the prospect I don't care about my website or we're too new for any additional content, or worse you are a leads reseller. If you are a member of a business association, I would recommend adding that on your site especially well known one.
A website should be alive and active, maintained, updated, with regular activity reflected in the content of the website; otherwise, why would anyone bother to return? Does it take work? Sure it does. But before I sign off, I want to add one critical piece of advice. Don't let the website become a search engine only website and don't load so much content that it confuses or distracts the visitor. Which is why "your links" and how they are presented are so important because you are leading people to a destination. There's a good bet that on a first visit you are going to view more than one page, make sure that the page can handle its job.
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