What many of you don’t know is that I have been quietly designing and maintaining our numerous websites for years now. I taught myself website design years ago because we didn’t have enough money to hire someone to do it for us. Since there was so little information on it back then, believe it or not my only resource to learn how to do a website was to read the Microsoft word “help” file. Took a few weeks, but our website finally went up around 1995. Needless to say, I’ve learned a few things since those early days. Here are a few tips that have worked well for me over the years…
Keep your website up-to-date.
If visitors notice that your content isn’t up-to-date, then you lose credibility and quite possibly a valuable client! You should visit your website every week and add copy, articles, images and the like. I also suggest you remove any information that might be obsolete. At the very least please make sure that your copyright date is in the current year and your blog has current articles in it.
Remember, you are not your target
I mean this with all my heart. When you are designing your website, try and put yourself in the minds of your target market. What would THEY like to see on the site? What articles? What colors? See if you can find people in that market and ask them to take a look at your website to give you some feedback. Since you are creating this website to draw in your ideal client, you must design a site and write copy that will keep them on your website. I suggest that you join forums where you can talk and interact with your ideal clients. Listen to them and find out what they like and don’t like. Then you will have a better understanding of what should go on your website.
Give people a reason to come back
Don’t just put up a website and then never edit it again. A website is a living and breathing thing that needs to change. This way they don’t forget you. Create a blog. Add some articles or a resource directory with helpful links and information. Use the new technologies that come along and give clients a reason to come back and again and again.
Your ABOUT US page
One of my biggest pet peeves is the “about us” page. I can’t tell you how many sites I have visited that only have two or three general sentences telling me about their company. When I hire someone, I always go to their site and read about them. I want to read about the business owners and find out how much experience they have. If there is a picture of the owner, even better! If I see no information about the owner or the company, I often wonder what they are hiding and why. Do I hire them? Not very often.
Tell me where you are located!
I understand that you want privacy. Trust me I get it. However, I can’t tell you how many websites I have visited that don’t have their location on it! All I get is the company name, telephone number, an email address or contact us box and that’s it! If I do a Google search on a company in Raleigh NC for example, and I type in “Raleigh Concierge” … if you don’t have the words “Raleigh, NC” somewhere on your website, the search engines will not pull it up. So you’ll lose a LOT of local business. At the very least put your city/state/country somewhere on your site.
Until next time!