I know this is going to sound very strange coming from someone working within a web design company, but I have to tell you this and please listen.
Stop worrying about prettying up your site, making it cool, animating this, and flashing that. By concentrating solely on what your site looks like and forgetting what your purpose is, you are costing yourself sales! Leave the rich media type of site to the Hollywood movie makers and the creators at Disney. I feel compelled to share this because as both a Designer and Consultant in the IT industry, I see too many people fretting about minor details of their website and they are missing the point entirely. Missing the point will cost you sales, that’s a fact.
Don’t get my message wrong. You DO need a professional looking site but too many business owners get caught up in the shade of green, the perfect font, or the coolest “effect”. Ask yourself isf your goal to make money from your site? Or is your goal to simply impress your visitors with a site that razzle dazzles then sends potential customers clicking OFF?
If the purpose of your site is to get leads, and get sales then everything about your site should be for this primary purpose.
Want a quick view of simple to demonstrate my point about design simplicity and purpose? Have you looked at Google lately? Since Google started operations, their site has barely changed. They have snubbed design fanciness to kept the site easy to navigate and true to it’s intended purpose – searching! Google’s site makes revenue from advertising. They want to make sure you the USER can easily search and that they can effectively serve up the ads to those searchers. Google’s website design is a purposeful design for both the user and the needs of the company. Is your website accomplishing this?
Many years go you likely heard the expression “Contest is King.” Guess what? Although I have seen design styles and trends come and go, the tremendous value of good site content has never gone away. Now I am going to tell you with six good reasons why you absolutely MUST DUMP the dazzle and PUMP the function of your website.
Reason # 1:
Rich Content. Having a site with rich content means you have a lot of information on your site that includes the key words of what you offer. These would be the key words that people would logically enter to a search engine to find what you offer at your website. Keywords include your business name, your product names, service descriptors, model numbers, brand names, generic search terms, narrow search terms, and search phrases etc. The more pages or online postings you have linked to your site that include these key words the better for you in terms of your site being found and your ranking being higher in the search engines.
Reason # 2:
Videos. As you know YouTube is very popular but you may not know that Google indexes video content as well as text based content. Including videos on your site, and videos on other sites that link to your primary site give you an advantage for search engine indexing. Videos give people yet another way to find your site. When loading videos make sure they are well labelled with key words and that your accompanying text descriptions also include those key words. When posting videos online always include a link back to your website.
Reason # 3:
Images. Like video, Google also indexes images. Including images on your site, and images on other sites that link to your primary site give you an advantage for search engine indexing. Images give people yet another way to find your site. When posting images make sure they are well labelled with specific key words and that your accompanying text descriptions also include those key words. When posting images online always include a link to your website. It goes without saying that any images you load should be professional and portray a good message about your company, product and services. Anything you post will be online for many years to come.
Reason # 4:
Articles. Posting articles with key words integrated about your products, services and company is a practice well worth the effort. Article directories are extremely popular, you post articles, and include links back to your primary site. It’s also advised to have your own Article Directory within your own website. You can post only your own articles, or open it to other authors, it’s your choice. Articles allow you to control the content, provide more rich content, and an unlimited source of backlinks to your site. Backlinks and their importance are discussed a little later.
Reason # 5:
Blogs. In reason 1, I discussed how important rich content is for you as a website owner. Blogs are popular, easy to use, and allow you yet one more way to post content embedded with key words. You can post commentaries, product reviews, questions and answers, service descriptions, useful customer information, whatever you like on the blog all with the goal of publishing rich content about your business, product or service with critical links back to your website.
Reason # 6:
Social Networking. You’ve heard of the popularity of FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter and Friendster. These sites attract enormous numbers of users. Anywhere there are a large number of people you want your business to be there! If these sites represent the Parade then you need a Float in that parade and exposure to this huge audience. If you haven’t already got accounts at these sites, get one now. Posting your business profile to these networks provides you with MORE rich content, and more backlinks to your website. If you have a Webmaster on staff consider starting your OWN Social Networking site, they are extremely easy to set up, very low cost and just require someone to administrate the site. By having your own social networking site you can target market, brand your company, cash in on a specific niche, and even become an authority site on a specific topic.
In conclusion, let your website be a busy bustling hive of activity! Add lots of content to your website so it search engines will gobble up your content, your videos, your articles, your blog posts and more. REMEMBER though it doesn’t end there! You’ve got to promote, promote, promote and you do this on external website like those mentioned in this article. Use the resources of the web and the free tools and sites available to post classifieds, post to forums, blogs, submit articles, and book accounts to set up your business profile at popular sites with high traffic. The more sites linking to your site the better – as far as search engine indexing – the more popular the site is that links to you the better too! Search engines consider a large number of links to your site as a gauge of popularity and this results in higher indexing for your site. Make it your goal every time you post or promote your site to include a hyperlink to your website.
Sandi Hunter, is the Director of Website Development at Worldprofit Inc., and an IT Consultant for small and home business owners. For more information on the topics discussed go to http://www.worldprofit.com to connect with all the services you need to build and promote your own online business.