It’s no secret that your website is a crucial part of your company’s marketing strategy. Often it’s the first impression a new potential customer receives from your small business. For this reason it’s important to make sure it reflects your brand and fully represents the services you offer.
Shenelle Wallace, a New York-based freelance writer and editor says, “Presentation is key. An attractive site that’s easy to navigate makes readers want to stay longer.”
Crafting a website that engages users requires a smart strategy coupled with great attention to detail. From a user-friendly design to well-written content, here are some pointers to keep in mind to ensure your website receives the love it deserves.
Develop a Clear Content Strategy
Before you even begin to think about design choices, it’s crucial that your website has a clear point of view. Hone in on a specific demographic to target and think about the nature of content you want your audience to engage with. This is a good time to conduct market research to see how competitors are branding themselves online and determine the elements you’d reflect on your website. For example, throughout this process, you may find a blog is necessary to keep your audience up to date on your company news.
Is your website’s layout clean and polished, but still on-brand for your business? Are your social media icons visible and functioning? Is the search bar prominent and easy to find? Are websites within text hyperlinked whenever appropriate and do they open up in new windows? Does your company logo reflect your philosophy and work well with the overall design of the site?
Users want to visit a website that is easy to navigate. Since many people simply skim sites, their experience browsing through pages should be seamless and enjoyable. Settle on a homepage design that features common elements like social media icons, a search bar, and strong photography to grab your customer’s attention. Spend time mapping out the different pages you’d like to have and think through how a user might move from page to page.
Then thought needs to be put into some of the small — but important — details that can push a user away from your small business. The last thing you want is for a user to land on your site, and be bombarded with aggravating technology like a video or music on auto play (unfortunately common amongst business owners in the hospitality industry), and then leave before you’ve even received a fair chance at capturing their attention.
Knowing your audience is everything when writing content for your Web site. You wouldn’t write in the same tone for Millennials as you would for seniors, so hone in on a clear voice for your content and be consistent with it from page to page. Spend time thinking about headlines, photo captions and various ways to break up text with graphics or lists to keep your audience intrigued.
Pay Attention to Grammar
One of the easiest ways to lose traffic (and respect) is to post content that is not well written. Respect your customers by taking the extra time to have text edited for grammar and punctuation, and be sure to write concisely for maximum engagement.