We are very pleased to announce we’ve launched a new clean, modern website for our company.
For my clients and readers, I’d like to share how our new site is an example of the advice I give my clients on how to build an effective website. We’ve been building business websites for quite a while — since 2001. So our knowledge has been tested and reinforced over the years.
Here are my confident recommendations about what works:
1. Words, words, words.…(pop song playing in my head)
The majority of clients want bold splashy photos on their homepage and not much else. A fair number also want very short text and bullet points on the inside pages.
However, I know, and most every internet marketer on the planet would agree with me on this one, that a content rich website is the way to go because Google Loves WORDS. Google can’t see the photos only the words and that’s how Google assesses what your site is about and one of the way it judges it’s value. Same goes for the homepage. If you have no words on your homepage, it won’t do well with search engines.
2. Call to Action on Homepage
Without a call to action on your homepage, your site will be a mere vanity site and serves only to enhance referrals from people people who know you already. When you offer your prospects some useful and relevant information that makes them want to sign up for your email list, you build your list and maximize the value of your website.
3. Clear, upfront navigation and sub-navigation on the side bars internally
Web developers and web designers have gotten a lot better at navigation. Most sites have clear, readable navigation, unlike the elegant but miniature navigation that was common back in 2000.
However, lots of websites are using drop downs and other techniques that make it hard to navigate the website. You are better off with side navigation on the inside pages that allow people to see where they can go and what the site contains. More on my anti-drop down menus stance in a future article.
4. Competitive Advantage: Programming for small and medium size businesses…
Our competitive advantage is that we don’t just build websites. We help you with marketing and we can program any advanced features you might need.
Use your website to share your competitive advantage. How are you different and unique?
5. Dream Clients Page
On my site I have a page just for Green / Socially Responsible Businesses. I’ve worked with many businesses over the years that fit this profile and I intend to work with many more. I want Green and/or Socially Responsible Businesses to know we understand their particular marketing needs.
If we work together, I’ll ask you about your dream clients. For example, many of my clients have had a page just for Realtors. One of my clients is a foundation & drainage specialist and another an organizer and both wanted Realtors to know how they’d work with them or their clients.
6. What to Expect Page
This suggestion often surprises and pleases clients. On this page you get to explain what to expect for the prospect. It’s intended to put the prospect at ease by letting them know you have a have a protocol you follow to respond to their call.
7. Unique Page Titles and Google Descriptions
Most web sites are not optimized for search engines. You want to make sure your site can be found for your name, business names and important keywords. Make sure your web person puts unique page titles on all the main pages of your site. See this article on how to know if your site is optimized to learn more.
Blogging is a gift to small and medium businesses and allows them compete head to head with the big guys online. If you want traffic to your site, blogging is an economical way to get it. Other great benefits of blogging include producing excellent content you can share with your clients and prospects and making you better at explaining what you do.
I hope you’ll take my recommendations to heart when planning your own site. My recommendations are appropriate for most every website, particularly small and medium sized service businesses.
If you have had several websites, please tell my readers what you’ve changed on your site over the year to make it attract more leads?