"Do as I say, not as I do!".
When I was growing up, thatís the advice I often heard from my wonderful mother. She was good on giving advice. She knew what needed to be done. She didn't hesitate to share her thoughts on when and how it should be done. She was equally quick to put tasks aside if ďfunĒ wasnít involved. Thatís why we frequently put cooking aside and happily dug into chips and dip for dinner. Cooking wasnít fun.
For years Iíve been encouraging my clients and readers to update their websites. However, Iíve been unhappy with my website for some time. Doing something about it was always on my ďto-doĒ list. But when it came to the doing, other things intervened or I got frustrated or client work took priority. Thatís now behind me. Iím proud to say that I have a new and greatly improved website. I did what Iíve been saying.
Thus I have no hesitation in giving the advice Iíve been giving Ė keep your website up-to-date.
Your website is a key component of your business. For some people, it may be the only connection they have with you when they surf the net. Websites not only make first impressions, they make lasting impressions Ė for better or for worse. When designing or redesigning your site, itís critical to re-think what youíre doing and why.
Start with the basics. What is the purpose of your website? What image do you want to convey? What makes your business unique? What can you do to stand out from the Internet crowd? Are you using Google Analytics or some similar program to capture feedback from people visiting or using your site?
Donít look only at your website. Check out your competitors. What stands out on their sites? What attracts your attention? What may give them an edge over you? What can you do to gain the upper hand, to better position your business, to showcase your website?
Design and content are key components.
The core content of an effective website is succinct and understandable. It provides the who, what, why, when, where and how of your business. Content is expanded by tabs and links that must be user-friendly. They give current and prospective clients or customers more information about your business and products in ways that are meaningful to them.
Design is the attention-grabber. Itís the sizzle that draws people to the steak of your website. Unless you really know what youíre doing, website design is not a do-it-yourself project. Itís best done when professionals are involved. I knew from Day One that I couldnít redesign my website if my life depended on it. My life doesnít, but my business may. I put my redesign in the hands of professionals.
There are many website designers. They cover the spectrum from ďso-soĒ to ďknock-your-socks offĒ. Some offer a basic package and have you take it from there. Others are full-coverage, from pre-design thinking and consultations to post-design modifications and updates. Some professionals are limited in design but strong on functionality. Others stand out in design, but are limited when it comes to what can be accomplished on the technical side. Most are very good at what they do. Others are better.
I recommend that you check out the website of design professionals. If their website attracts your attention, youíre on the right track.
Lastly, keep it fun. It may not be as fun as eating chips and dip, but you'll be glad you did and you won't feel guilty!
Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising.
Visit www.comm-concepts.com or call 303-651-6612.