Your website is your window to the world, so how do you get it to stand out amongst the 1.8 billion or so sites that presently exist.
Bear in mind that an enormous number of these sites are inactive, and the internet is dominated by large companies whose global reach is enormous. But you need to create a website that is instantly engaging when people have found it, and there are several ways to get folk interested and willing to continue reading and watching what you have to offer.
The importance of good design
If you’ve ever been on a website that has weird fonts, colors that make you feel nauseous, a whole load of broken links and, basically, no visual appeal at all, you’ll know the importance of good design for your own site.
If web design is not in your skill set, it’s worth getting a professional in to get the basics done. You can learn about the process and will get to the stage where you can maintain and update it yourself or with another company employee.
Use a font that’s easy to read and don’t put a colored font on a color background that makes it hard to read. That’s what switches people off. You could mix up your layout too, so it’s not the same on every page and more likely to engage the visitor and encourage those browsing to keep going.
Navigation should be as easy as possible, so people aren’t searching for where they should go next. Remember that not everyone who visits websites is highly experienced at finding their way around, so making it simple and obvious gives you an extra edge.
Provide quality content
When people are confronted with vast slabs of text the chances are their eyes will glaze over, and they’ll go elsewhere, looking for somewhere that has shorter pieces of information they can more easily digest. That doesn’t mean you can’t use larger chunks of text if your primary purpose is to sell goods or services, but the copy has to be engaging and must give the reader a benefit.
Using mapping is an effective way to add functionality to your site. If you’re doing blog posting, for example, especially a travel blog, adding professional looking maps to the site is a way of getting people to become more involved with what you have to offer.
Images and video
Use these not just because you want to break up text but because they provide a powerful draw for those visiting your site. A relevant picture with a caption, maybe the team you work with, some eye-catching products or simply an atmospheric image that relates to your business are effective ways of drawing attention. Ensure images are high quality – no fuzziness or pixilation – and you can use stock pictures or take your own images.
Video also needs to be professional, so it’s essential to take the time to create a video that gets your message across in a unique and personal way. Most people enjoy watching short videos because they have that sense of one to one, a person speaking to another person, without having to wade through a lot of text. You want to catch the eye so be authoritative but also personable.
Websites should be regularly updated and when it comes to keeping people informed about developments in your area of business. If you want to keep visitors up to date with lottery numbers as an additional service on your site, use tools that will automatically update winning numbers and results.
Static websites can be uninspiring and are more likely to be a turn off for potential customers, so consider adding a news feed about what you’re up to and any new developments, also give special offers from time to time. Also, make sure you’re on a range of social media networks, so all that people have to do is to press the appropriate icon on your page – think Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as examples – and make it easy to follow you should they wish.
Big companies such as Starbucks have an enormous reach on Facebook with many millions liking their website, and the wildlife organization WWF has many channels of communication they offer for contact, so bear in mind those ways of reaching out to your audience.
Creating the best
Take the time and effort to create the best website you can from the start. Plan how to engage people and maintain and update it regularly so that you’ll get many repeat visits.