Congratulations you’ve decided to build your new website. Perhaps this is website number 1, 2, 3, 4 or even 5. Most of us have been involved in a few, or in my case, hundreds of website builds. You quickly learn what works and how to avoid repeating the mistakes you have made in the past. Here are a few things to consider.
What is the outcome you want?
Start with the purpose of your website in mind – what is that you want people to do, how do you want them to think, feel and most importantly act. No matter what you’re doing whether it’s writing copy, designing page layouts or thinking about functionality, always make sure it moves your users towards that. For me, it was to establish a website that shares my background and highlights my work while also providing helpful tips and advice through these blog posts. What I have worked hard to do is use my partners (thanks, Smithfield Digital), to develop an effective site, with clear purpose and benefits to my audience.
Share how you can help a client
Again during the build and content stage my objective was to show not only what I do but bring out how I do it and highlight how the experience and services I bring benefits, my clients. What you do is important but your “why” is what differentiates you and helps people connect with you.
People decide how they feel about your site in 7 seconds or less.
That’s not long to create the right first impression. A professional, error free website with clear messaging, ease of use and authentic tone of voice will go a long way to building a relationship with your user. And don’t forget people will believe what other people say about you far more than what you say about yourself. Think about ways you can gain credibility and build trust through showcasing companies your products and services have helped. Testimonials and kind words that people say about you will get customer loyalty and buy-in far quicker than any salesy messaging.
Think of ways your business can be personal no matter how big or small you are. People look for enjoyable website experiences that show a bit of a personality. Don’t be afraid to bring out the people behind the business and highlight the things that make you recognisable and unique. Create a “feeling” around your business and share the things you care about. Think about your tone of voice on your website through the language you use and look for ways to show yourself as personable and approachable, as well as professional and expert. Above all feel proud of your website and brand and create a platform where your knowledge is not kept but shared. It’s not just how professional, or pretty, your site looks it’s how you can offer the most value to your clients.
Make Text Easy-to-Read
Your site should be engaging to read and easy to understand. Most of your website content is “evergreen” meaning it won’t change once your site goes live so get it right first time. Writing for websites today is a craft in itself, not only does it need to be short, succinct and easily digestible it needs to be SEO and design friendly too. It’s worth engaging someone who takes the time to understand your offer and can create engaging copy that doesn’t just convey a message, but helps users navigate and accomplish tasks, and improves your search engine rankings. Thanks Catherine from SmithfieldDigital.
“Your brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is; it is what consumers tell each other it is” this famous quote by Scott David Cook of Intuit shows the power of testimonials and reviews. People are far more likely to place value and trust in an objective endorsement of your services than you telling them directly how great you are. Testimonials always work best with an image – it makes them more human, believable and helps people connect with the real person behind the quote. Having people publicly endorse your service/products is a powerful way to increase your credibility and build trust.
A Responsive Website
With more and more people now browsing from their mobiles and on the move, there has been no better time to get your site looking good on all devices. This trend is not going to go away so it’s well worth investing in converting or even redeveloping your site to become responsive. If you’re not sure what to do or how to get to grips with making yourself mobile friendly don’t hesitate to get in touch and I can point you in the right direction or guide you through the entire process.
I won’t go into detail around SEO, SEM & Social although they are crucial elements of a successful website – that’s for another blog and another time. Just remember we’re help to help you create a website you’re proud of, that also delivers value through accountability. I believe if you can’t measure it then how can you possibly know the value you’re getting from all your efforts.