Making Your Website Work for You

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If you are setting up your own website to promote your GIS services or new business, you need to consider how you are going to get the most out of it.

As this is a techy kind of subject matter, it makes it all the more important that your website reflects well on your technical abilities. A dull, poorly laid out site with few resources on it is unlikely to impress potential customers. You also need to consider optimizing your site for better search engine rankings, which are a key marketing requirement. Therefore, you need to follow some essential steps when setting up your site, to ensure it performs effectively for you.

What should be on your site?

Before you start designing your website’s layout, make a list of all the elements that need to be present. There are some facets that should be on all sites and some that will depend on your business and what you hope to achieve. Essentials include:

  • A home page that tells visitors exactly who you are and what you do and that provides easy access to all other areas of the site
  • A contact page to enable customers to get in touch with you easily
  • An “About Us” section that gives some background information on the business and who is responsible for it

Additional pages can be added to provide more detailed information about your services and why you are the best company to use and to showcase examples of completed projects and display testimonials from satisfied clients. A blog or news page is useful both in terms of capturing your audience’s attention and improving your visibility to search engines. You can demonstrate your in-depth knowledge of your business and your personal expertise and show visitors to the site that you maintain a good level of current awareness, an essential quality for a technological business.

Content

The text, images and any other material you add to the site are what forms your content. The quality of the content will influence the decision of potential customers as to whether they rate your business highly enough to want to engage your services and is a key factor in the algorithms used by search engines to rank your site. If you aren’t an accomplished writer yourself, engage the services of a company that specializes in content marketing services, who will be able to produce the right type of content with the optimal links and keywords to push your site up the rankings.

These are the basic requirements for the elements included on your site but don’t forget the design is important too. Text that is too small or pale, and confusing menus that disappear as soon as you move the mouse, or can only be read when hovered over, are guaranteed to put people off. You want your site to be eye-catching but not so focused on the appearance that the form and function take second place. If a visitor can’t see how to access the information they want immediately, they will simply go elsewhere, and all the effort you put into creating the content on your site will have been in vain.

Author: Editor

Glenn is a geographer and a GIS professional with over 20 years experience in the industry. He's the co-founder of GISuser and several other technology web publications.

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