A lot of thought needs to go into designing your website before you put it online. Your website is who you are (or want to be). It’s often the first thing people see and learn about you and your business. It’s the first impression you give and you only have a few seconds to hook a potential client.
So here are some things to think about when setting up your website.
- Choose a Domain Name that is easy to remember and has meaning. It should relate to your business.
- Use your logo on your website. If you don’t have one, get one. Just typing your name shows very little thought went into your business and people will pick up on that right away.
- Put your logo on every page to maintain your brand. It’s also helpful to link your logo back to your home page.
- Find a reputable host. Preferably one that offers 24/7 phone service and tech support. Don’t trust those you can’t reach. Creative Juices Domains is one of thousands of places to choose from. I prefer it because it’s part of the Creative Juices creative factory of services.
- Make sure your website looks unique and professional. The navigation should be easy and the color scheme should match your image. Don’t just use a template. If you’re on a budget (and who isn’t these days) call Creative Juices to find ways to stand out on the web.
- Test your site to see if it looks good on all browsers and platforms. The main ones are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. There is also a difference between Windows and Mac.
- Have something interesting to say on your website. It’s not enough to just have pretty pictures or fancy Flash effects. You want to include information that people will find helpful. If you are a plumber, include articles on how to fix things yourself or explain why it’s better to hire a plumber and not mess up your pipes.
- Test all your links and make sure they work. People want to feel you’re on top of all this stuff.
- Include title tags, keywords and meta tags. These are important for search engine optimization. Check out your competitors and see what they are doing. If you haven’t a clue about what these are, give us a call. We’re here to help.
- Sign up with Google Analytics and see who’s searching for your site, what keywords they used to find you and where are they coming from.
- Register with the main search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and especially target local search engines. There’s less competition there.
- Find directories in your field and sign up to be listed. It’s usually free and also provides links to your site which helps with your optimization.
- Write a blog about what you know best, preferably related to your business, and link it back to your site.
- Twitter about yourself, your business, helpful hints, specials and reach a whole tribe of followers who look to you for information.
- Add new content on a regular basis. Search engines love this and it gives people a reason to come back to your site. That’s a good thing.
When in doubt, consult a web professional. I recommend the folks at the Creative Juices factory, primarily because that’s me. And advice is always free.