Tips For Building Your Website
Put your best foot forward on the Web. Your customers want a Web site that is informative, uncluttered and easy to navigate. Follow these tips to give them what they want:
- Be Consistent- it is very important that each page of your website carries a consistent look and feel. By being consistent, your site visitors/customers will start to gain a sense of trust as to who you are and what you offer. If your pages look and feel different from page to page, customers will get confused and will not be confident they know who they are dealing with.
- Site Specific Material- While it might seem like a nice way to save some time, using your existing marketing material as the copy for your web site, won’t help you attract new customers. When a person visits your web site, typically they are expecting to see the latest, most up to date information and not the same material they got from the brochure you gave them at the trade show.
- Keep the navigation simple- the people coming to your site are there for a reason, they are looking for information about your company. If they have to dig too deep to get to information, they may move on to your competitor’s web site. To keep that from happening, make sure you can find all information in no more than 3 “clicks”.
- Put your content “Above the fold”- Think of the way your website looks on the screen as being similar to a newspaper. The important information is always at the top, or what is referred to as “above the fold”. By keeping your most important information at the top of the web page (meaning viewers do not need to scroll down to get to the important information), your visitors will get the information they are looking for quickly and without too much searching. Avoid horizontal (left to right) scrolling if at all possible.
- Avoid large files- too many times, companies try to put some large, impressive (they think) file on their main page, whether it be a large document or a script that shows the visitor some piece of news. Many times these files slow down the first page load times and the visitor is left looking at a blank or partial screen, waiting for the large file to be downloaded to their browser. It’s a good idea to let the visitor decide what information they are interested in and letting them download it as a choice rather than by force on the main page.
If you build it, will they come?- once your site is built there is no guarantee that people will find you. So how do you drive people to your web site?
- Search Engine Optimization and Submission- by making sure your web site is optimized and submitted to the various search engines, slowly you will start to increase your ranking and climb up to the top pages for your category(s). Depending on how important this is to you, there are many articles and companies available online to help you learn as much as you would like to know about the topic.
- Put your website name everywhere- People tend to remember things they see repeatedly, so if every invoice, business card, letter, bag, flyer, etc has your web site address clearly printed on it, eventually people will start to go to your website more and more.
- Keep the content fresh – It is very important to go back on a regular basis and review your content. Your business grows, changes and has things happen on a regular basis and your website should reflect that as well. Visitors could think that your company no longer exists if the information on your web site hasn’t been updated in a long period of time. Remember, your web site is an important marketing tool.
- Talk to your customers- There are lots of ways to interact with your customers. One of the more effective ways is through a newsletter that customers can sign up for. It lets them know what is going on with your business, what to look forward to and often allows customers a means to communicate with you.