So you started a business! You have all your ducks in a row, from your business name to your services and merchandise. You even have a logo, but now you need an online presence. You open your smartphone and see ad after ad for DIY website design. You get to thinking, I can do it myself. STOP!! READ THIS FIRST!!!
Websites are an investment. They are so much more than pretty pictures to look at when someone visits your business.
Lets compare a pretty website to a pretty article of clothing made by a person with no clothing making experience… You have these clothes on and you appear dressed, but, you know that you can’t move a certain way, because if you do, you may have a wardrobe malfunction.
Well websites are the same basically. They can look great, but when your users start clicking, everything may not do what you want it to. Or even when your users start resizing windows, is the website going to dismantle like those clothes and not look quite as good, or is it going to stay together.
Before you DIY, here are 10 things you NEED to know:
- Your website needs a clear description of who you are: If someone comes across your website by chance, don’t make them play the game of hide n go seek to find out what your niche is, or what your business does. Make sure you have your name and summary of your products or services right there so that you have a good start on your SEO. (Don’t know what SEO is? Keep visiting our Blog or give us a call!)
- Keep your website Address Simple: You are not thebestclothingstorecalledgetyourgear.com! You want something that is easy to remember and associate with your brand like gyg.com or gearedup.com or getgear.com etc, you get the picture. And be sure your extensions are good as well…. take advantage of being able to use .net or .org in place of .com sometimes, but (there is always a but) secure the .com if possible. Why? If I have a .org why do I need the .com….think about it, what do you usually type when you are searching for a business online? (Makes you say hmmmmm……)
- Site Map, Smite Map … No Seriously, you need one: A sitemap is a web feature that consists of clear links to your most important pages and are absolutely a staple for leading visitors to the information they seek. When you go to the grocery store, do you wonder aimlessly, or do you look at the aisle signs that tell you where everything is.
- Contact Information should be Easy to find: I’m just gonna say it… if I have to search for a phone number, contact form or email on a website, I am just gonna assume they don’t want to talk to me and I am gonna just go. Sucks to lose a customer because you didn’t tell them how to reach you so make sure your have that information visible on your homepage, heck feel free to put it a couple places just in case they get tired of reading and have a question. A good rule of thumb is to have the contact information in the top left or right corner on every page on your site and in the footer. The footer is the first place I go go find how to contact the company.
- Customer Testimonials: If they said it then show someone… unless it was bad, yeah don’t brag about that. How many times do you look at a review before buying something. If you post HONEST and REAL reviews from your clients or customers, you can lead people to trust your work and drive leads to your business.
- CALLING ALL CLIENTS!! PUSH ME PUSH ME!!! A Call to action is needed: You have to tell your site visitors how you want them to interact with your website…Do you want them to CALL NOW, or maybe you want them to SIGN UP TODAY….let them know what to do and do it in a way that will grab their attention… oh and just a personal preference POP UP BOXES CAN GET REALLY ANNOYING WHEN THEY ARE NOT CONFIGURED PROPERLY. Here I am trying to click through your website and this pop up keeps standing in front of the screen, it’s like watching a great movie and someone keeps walking in front of the screen blocking your view and you have to keep asking them to move.
- SEO BASIC KNOWLEDGE IS A MUST: I know, I know what is SEO? Its search engine optimization and it is how people accidently stumble upon your website on purpose because you told “The Google” that you have a bunch of relevant content that matches their search query.
- Content is Key: Just to touch on this, keep your content fresh, up to date and exciting giving people a reason to come back and see you.
- SECURE, REPUTABLE HOSTING PLATFORM: Don’t get pulled into an insecure relationship with a wishy washy hosting platform, If someone hacks into your business, oh boy will your customers get upset. Stay ahead of the hackers by having your website hosted on a platform that is secure…and you need a security certificate, and you need another layer… overall CYA……..And last (funny because most people think looks are everything)…They’re Not! Buuut…
- Your site should look good, run good and leave users with a good experience before they click close. People who visit your business online are scanning through. I am not gonna read a book about your business to get to the product or service I am seeking, I just wanna see what the chapter titles are behind the pretty cover, help me help you help me by breaking things down into exerts…bullet points…. and emphasize the stuff that is most important… basically take notes for me. Oh and Puh lease <— is that a word? Well Please do not BLIND Me or give me a neuro episode with to many things moving at one time, let me scroll around and surprise me. There is a such thing as a visual overload and your website should not do that to your website visitors… It’s like shining a light on a gremlin…. It aint pretty folks.
I really hoped this helped to put things in laments terms for you and feel free to join my mailing list for more information on website design and development. Remember if you just don’t want to DIY call Needed Basics Digital Solutions LLC and we will DIFY. www.neededbasics.com