5 Ways to Improve Your Website
March 4, 2010
Websites are almost like business cards, everyone has one and they aren’t afraid to hand out the URL at every available opportunity. But unlike business cards, websites need ongoing attention and care.
A poor online experience from a potential client can equal a loss in sales, which means a loss in dollars. Luckily there are five simple things you can do to ensure your website is up to scratch.
1. Have a content style guide for people to refer to
How are your authors (or you!) going to keep your content consistent if there is no central point of truth for preferred spelling, punctuation or referencing.
Writing for the web is not like writing for traditional communication collateral like brochures, fact sheets and publications. Even if you are a professional communicator, make sure you learn or brush up on your web writing skills before tackling a big web project.
3. Don’t underestimate the resources required to run a website
Websites are not a set and forget communication tool. They require tweaking, testing and reviewing on a regular basis. Content does go stale, and search engines like maintained pages.
And don’t for a minute think that social media is the easy way to have an online presence. Social media is great – but it can be really, really, really (get the picture) time intensive. If you are going to start a Twitter account for your business, have a plan and set aside some time each day to connect.
4. Don’t start a blog if you’re not going to write posts
Blogs are really easy to start, not so easy to keep going. If it’s unlikely you can stick to a regular post schedule, think about other ways you can improve your content instead.
If you do start a blog, you have to commit to maintaining it. Mind map out a few months of posts so that you are not staring at blank page a month in. This also helps prevent you using up all your good ideas in your first few posts.
5. Be easy to contact
If you have a contact form or email address, make sure it’s monitored! People expect a fast turn-around on the web, and while you shouldn’t have to check your messages 24/7, make sure you are easy to contact. Also, make sure you reply to all the emails you receive (spam not included of course), not just the ones that look interesting. Even if you can’t help the person, a short, polite email thanking them for taking the time to contact you is important.
Remember, the web can be simple and cost effective, but that doesn’t mean it should be cheap. Invest in some time and resources to make the most of the medium, and you’ll reap the benefits.
From the Team at WebWitches