Stop Being Creative!
A benefit of the internet is you can do whatever you want with it. We're going to answer why you should drop the "over creativeness" on your website, use industry best practices, and adjust your website continuously to fit these best practices.
Stop Being Creative!
Please stop trying to create the next best thing when it comes to websites. You are not Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. When you make a unique layout, you force your visitor to re-learn the internet just for you. Creating something that only applies to you creates a horrible user experience and will make people leave your site. We love the idea of being creative, but we're more interested in your generating leads, customers and adding to your bottom line.
Follow Website Best Practices
Although there isn't a true "standard," there are best practices for all websites. Every website will have:
- Homepage: The homepage is your first impression. This information should all be "above the fold" or before someone scrolls on your website.
- Answer what your business offers. You can do this with a hero graphic, slider, or image/video with or without text.
- Have a "call to action" that makes a person perform a specific action: contact form or phone number are two great examples.
- Start showing some, not all, of your testimonials and link to a page dedicated to all of your customer testimonials.
- Show summary of your products/services and link to them.
- Hint: Don't make your page too long, as most people rarely scroll to the very end!
- About: Tell your story about why you started the business, what your values are, etc. Many users won't read this, but the search engines and those who want to know more about you will. When you have job interviews, ask those you're interviewing to see if they genuinely have read and done their due diligence for a position. This can help you learn the difference between someone looking for a short-term job or a longer-term position with you.
- Product or Services: List all of the products and services you have. If there's a lot of details, support training documentation, videos, etc., it's best to have unique pages for each item.
- Contact: Include a form (with captcha to prevent spam) that asks the most minimal amount of questions. Include phone numbers, address (if appropriate), and email addresses for people to contact you. If you're on social media (and you should be!) include those as well.
Beyond these four (or five if you have both products and services) core pages, the following can help you further gain benefit and gain organic SEO success.
- Menu: For our restaurants and cafes, this would be a replacement for your products and services. Don't just include a PDF. That's the cheap way out. Make a mobile-friendly menu. The search engines will love you for it!
- Blog: To get the best organic reach on the search engines, setup a blog. Many sites don't change often. By including a blog, you can truly shine on the search engines. By having a blog and writing for it, you can add one to many new articles per month. Ideally, weekly, but that is a lot to ask. Monthly everyone should be able to achieve.
- Support: A support page goes beyond just a contact page. This is where you have a FAQ (frequently asked questions), training manuals, or a knowledge base (KB Articles) to help customers.
- News & Events: Many businesses have a lot of news and events. Having one or both of these can truly enhance your site and get people coming back for more information.
- Jobs: In today's environment, you should be posting jobs and asking for positions. Yes, you can be on other job boards, but you have complete control when it's on your site, and it doesn't cost you any additional money! It also helps people when they apply to look at your site to find out further how interested they are by seeing if they read over your website when you are interviewing them.
Now that you have a site, what do you do?
We often see people that create a beautiful site and leave it in the corner with no updates. Why would you spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars, upfront and then "hope they come?"
Would you hire an employee, give them their job information, sit them with no supervision in a corner, give them no updates to the best way to promote your company, and continue to pay them? I am betting not. You want them to constantly be learning and looking for better ways to sell your products and services.
Websites are never truly ever complete. This is why we build them quickly. Fit the format above, and constantly tweak and modify based on who your users are. In 2015 and before, we used to build websites that took 6-8 weeks. Now we build them quickly so that they are beautiful using best practices for your industry, make it live, and constantly tweak and evolve it. Not only do you get faster results, but you get more leads and revenue hitting your bottom line.