Follow these simple, yet strategic tips for website creation, design, and branding success.
1. Never underestimate the power your online presence has and the business it can generate. Think of your company or professional website as your first impression. Don’t you want to make a great- and lasting impression upon first meeting? Most “first impressions” happen online today. Make sure your website is modern, clean and easy to navigate. Most importantly, make sure your website clearly illustrates what you do, who you are, what you stand for (as a business).
2. Please make it easy for people to find what they need. We all know how frustrating it is when we go to a website and can’t find business hours, contact information, a restaurant’s menus, the list goes on and on. The main reason to go to a website is for more information. Have your business information easily accessible and ready for current and future customers/ clients/ fans etc. Integrate your social media accounts so people can like you on facebook, follow you on twitter. People will get over clicking around and leave your site within ten seconds. Don’t lose the traffic!
3. A responsive, dynamic design is crucial. This means making sure your site is desktop, tablet and mobile friendly. You want current and potential clients and customers to be able to navigate through your site on all devices. Test your site to make sure your theme is modern and is responsive, a study recently reported that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” With that said, you definitely want a mobile presence.
4. All about that branding. Branding is vital to any business or professional. If your business cards, website, and logo don’t mesh and are not consistent, you are not branding yourself properly. The idea is you have a business, product and your website and marketing materials match the vibe of that business/ product. If you are designing or redesigning your website, make sure to follow through on all other aspects to ensure consistency of your brand. Order updated business cards, manage your social media accounts and update photos, logos etc. It is the first thing that separates the amateurs from the pros.
5. Content will always be King. Always remember this: people like to be engaged, and they want fresh, relevant content. Aim for at least 400 words in an article on your site and always include 1-3 applicable images. Content should never include “filler” or fluff” or be outdated and useless. Use AdWords for help in determining strategic content.Content is key for branding, SEO, and your reputation. In regards to content, quality and quantity matter; quality meaning well written, information and engaging, quantity meaning how often you add and update your site’s content.
6. Know your link neighborhood. Another crucial tip for SEO. Don’t be the bad neighbor, or the neighbor nobody wants to visit. Make sure you don’t include too many links, broken or bad links, or have too many ads on your site and in your articles. Provide your readers and visitors with useful and trusted links. Do not send anyone to a sub-par resource or site, it will annoy them and you will lose your credibility with not only them but with Google too. Do the research and spend the extra time to make sure your hood is safe and friendly.
7. Trust your web developer & choose carefully. Because your online presence is such a big deal, you shouldn’t just trust anyone with designing it. Seek out other company sites that are popular or the aesthetic you prefer and find out who their designer/ developer is. Request consultations with designers. It also helps to go local. You can ask friends for referrals and see a designer’s portfolio and their success online. A local designer is essentially your own personal project manager, creative director, technical officer and marketing exec all at your fingertips. A local designer’s reputation only flourishes due to a strong local following based on their body of work. Ensuring your happiness with the end result of the project is their number one objective. Choosing local is great if you want to be able to interface with someone, especially if your business is local. They know your area, they know what works, trust them.