Websites That Rock

How to Make Sure Yours is One of Them

Having a killer website is one of the best partners you have to help sell your business. So making it effective is critical.  When visitors view your site, are they wowed and drawn in? Are they attracted to the contents and enticed to read more and want to do business with you? To do that, there are 10 steps to keep in mind when developing or revamping your website:

1. What is Your Look? The first step in developing a website is deciding if you want a professional or fun feel to your site by corresponding to your type of business. If it is a daycare, you might have a fun, relaxed feel, but if you are a law firm, a more sophisticated look.

2. Keep it Tidy. When you were a child, did your mom enter your room and gasp at the mess and chaos? You don’t want your visitors to do the same when they enter your website. A neat, clean website will be welcoming to your visitors rather than scaring them away before they begin reading. Wild background colors and flashy graphics can make it difficult to read your message and distract from the site.

3. Font Styles. Using a fancy font may make your site beautiful, but this can make it challenging to read. The size of the font is also important - too small of a font can be difficult to read - too large appears you are trying to fill space or shouting at the reader. Choosing a common font available on all computers will prevent it from appearing scrambled on some systems.

4. Get to the Point. Using bullet points vs. long paragraph format helps the information flow and easier to read since people want the information quickly. Tighten up your sentences and reduce the number of overly descriptive words by asking yourself, “can I say that in fewer words”.  

5. What’s All the Talk about Blogging? Effective and creative blogs help generate repeat visitors to your site. Depending on your type of business, you can keep it informative by writing short, how-to or business related articles. For the fun, informal sites, you can include more personal aspects such as the impact of your business on your family, stories about your kids, etc. But it is recommended that you keep it consistent with your website style.

6. Update Your Site Frequently. To keep people coming back, up date your site contents frequently. If you write a weekly or monthly article, keep on schedule.

7. Gathering e-mail addresses for marketing endeavors. Provide a section of your site to request e-mail addresses that you can use for marketing purposes or for a newsletter subscription. It is important to indicate you will not sell your mailing list so visitors feel comfortable subscribing. Using a company like Constant Contact to help manage your e-mail addresses.

8. Is the Content Error Free? It may sound very basic, but many sites have errors that are distracting and reflective the business owner and the company. Therefore, check your spelling and grammar. Also, verify your links work.

9. Effective Web Pages. Navigating between pages should be simple. The page headers should be easy to interpret and the contents of each page should relate to the heading description. People have a purpose when visiting your site and they want to find the desired information immediately.  They don’t want to hunt for the information or get lost. If that is the case, they will leave the site. Also optimize your graphics so pages load quickly when new pages are opened.

10. Swap links. Again, you want to continue to drive traffic to your site. Another recommendation is to have others post your website link on their site if you agree to do the same for them.

You put a lot of time and effort into creating your business and website, so get the most bang for your buck (and time).  By making it inviting and user-friendly, it will be a great reflection of your hard work. Your website should be your voice to deliver your message and sell the business as well as you do.