When building your business, the website you choose to create is going to be one of your most valuable assets. Almost everyone uses the Internet now, so opting out just isn’t really an option. The goal is to make a clean, user-friendly website that will help expand your clientèle. Here’s a list of several do’s and don’ts to consider to help ensure your website’s success.
Do: Keep it simple and easy to digest. Make sure that your website is straightforward and effortless to navigate. Structure it in a way that doesn’t confuse the viewer. Keep your contact information in an obvious, visible location. Consider where viewers will be accessing your site from.
Put effort into making your site compatible with tablets and phones, as it will often look different on these devices. If most of your site visitors are using handheld devices, it may make more sense to simply create a separate mobile version.
It’s okay to include widgets or external links to other social media outlets associated with your brand, as long as they are kept up to date and a useful marketing strategy for your company. You wouldn’t want potential customers to visit your Instagram to find it neglected with seven followers, and it’s sometimes easier for viewers to keep up with your activity via social media.
Don’t: Include too many photos or info graphs, use a clashing color scheme, or choose a font that is too small or lightly colored to read. Your site will look too busy and overwhelming, distracting potential prospects from your actual mission. Don’t make your contact information complicated to access or require clients to jump through hoops in order to get in touch with you. Don’t neglect your social media, or underestimate the power of linking successful applications your site.
Do: Convey the mission or product of your company in a clear, concise way. Make your goals obvious to the reader and explain what makes you different from other companies. Explain why it would benefit them to sign up for your newsletter or to keep tabs on your social media activity. Will they receive discounts? New product releases or updates?
Incorporate a blog, but only if you intend to keep it regularly updated, covering relevant topics, and making your site more dynamic and engaging. If you’re up to date, it shows that you are consistently putting effort into developing and improvement.
Include reviews and testimonials you’ve received from past clients, as they will serve to further legitimize your site and give you more accreditation. Clients are more likely to work with someone they know can be trusted. Use them sparingly, as too many can seem inauthentic.
Don’t: Overwhelm readers with too much information. If someone has to skim through your site for several minutes just to catch the general gist of your company, it’s too wordy.
Don’t include extraneous or irrelevant information. Stick with just enough to explain what you’re promoting in an absorbable way. You can even incorporate your brochure on your web page to detail what your company offers.
Don’t wait until you’re at the point of taking your site live to include product or service descriptions. This can be a fairly tedious part of building your brand so give yourself enough time to prepare. Don’t expect it to happen overnight, be patient with yourself in order to prevent burn out and discouragement. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all and your website is no exception.
Do: Put effort into keeping your website safe and secure for visitors. Make sure you’re using a trusted network to build your site from in order to protect you and anyone who accesses your site. Educate yourself about search engine optimization (SEO). If you can master it, SEO will help you market your business with far less effort, giving you more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Don’t: Expect your site to gain visitors without marketing or proper promotion. Your website will not necessarily be visited solely because you have one. Don’t keep it hidden or let it fall into the background as an afterthought. Your website represents you and everything you’re doing, so don’t underestimate its importance.
Creating your own website can be quite the undertaking, whether you’re first starting out or a seasoned entrepreneur. Recognize that it’s going to take time, effort, and most likely a few of your resources. That’s not to say it’s going to be expensive, as you can develop a fantastic website with limited cost, but don’t be afraid to pour some energy into the project. Remember that your website is almost a direct reflection of you, so don’t be afraid to make it personalized and relatable to the reader. Follow these tips and you’ll have a killer website in no time!