Users are ruthless.
Here’s a few points to consider when planning your next web site.
Your web site maybe creating the ‘first impression’ of your business.
Think about it, would you answer the phone no, go away!? Exactly!
Would you put up a neon sign next to the M1 saying its easier to get a quote from our competitors who are just off the next junction. I think you get the point.
So its imperative that your site at least says what you do, shows what youve done and offers a super simple way to get in touch – and that’s all got to happen within seconds.
Of course web sites can do lots more things than that but, frankly if youre not going to get the basics right youre better off not wasting your money in the first place.
What do you do?
A picture says a thousand words – oh, did I really just say that. Trouble is, its true!
Images convey a ton of info in microseconds. But remember, quality is everything. Get it shot professionally or use good stock, never run with amateur stuff. You will look cheap.
Then theres the words. Can you sum up what you do in one line that is easy for a layperson to understand?
If not why not?
Trying to distill things down to a single line is a useful exercise which, can often highlight wider problems with your marketing and operations in general. Maybe you need two web sites? maybe you now need a new name!
But when it comes to the all important strap line and copy in general, people often seem to go for one of two options;
Option 1 – flaff
We strive to serve global stake holders with sector specific integrated spherical solutions.
Option 2 – the simple truth
We make ball bearings.
Just say what you do for crying out loud! Whats wrong with that!
Users want small parcels of genuinely useful information not reams of marcobabble. Choose every word with care. Keep stripping it back.
Its almost as if some people actually convened a meeting and agreed to do just that. Yeh cool, lets organise the navigation so you can’t find what you want. Wow of course, lets piss the user off with some animated fish.
Just get the basics right and leave the tropical fish for your reception area.
Does the User Interface meet accessibility standards, is it suitable for the visually impaired?
Does the site work across all of the popular browsers out there not just Explorer on a Pc? A lot of people use Firefox and Mac’s and all sorts!
How does the site behave on the iPad or an Android Phone?
Try getting your kids to use it and watch how they navigate around. Kids are great testers, if its not instant and obvious they go.
We think its time to get back to the original purpose of the internet; to deliver information quickly in a universal format. Its a bonus if it looks cool.
Who are your customers?
Heres an interesting exercise. Take your head out of the sand and build your LinkedIn network; it isn’t a fad and isn’t a waste of time!
Its only when all your contacts are lined up next to one another do you see the pattern.
Gender, title, age, location, sector and interestingly the period in your career when you met most of them!
All the pointers are there. Who do you make the most money out of and why? Build a site with the profitable people in your professional network in mind. How do you attract more of them?
You gotta water the garden man!
A blog and regular tweets work. Yes, they do and weve got proof.
Keeping your site alive, dynamic and ever-evolving is as important as all your other business development activities. Sure it takes time, and it can be hard work but it will be what sets you apart from the alpha males who dont get it. Look fresh, exciting and switched on!
See your web site as a digital channel not a business card.
Too many sites flatline.
But Im not technical!
Thank god for that.
The technical side of web development is wholly and utterly irrelevant to most people in most cases. When you went on holiday did you fly on an Airbus or a Boeing?
Dont waste your time learning buzz words or trying to understand how just concentrate on why.
Remember, creating a web site is about you and what you do.
It takes 1 second to click away. Users are ruthless.