As I embarked on my long-needed website refresh recently, I had a lightbulb moment. As a PR and marketing consultant, I am sometimes guilty of not “drinking the Kool Aid.” What I mean by that is I preach the importance of online presence, but let my own languish. Compare it to a building contractor who is busy building other people’s homes and doesn’t have time to build his own. In my world of communications, I am that builder. Let me share a few lessons learned during my experience for you to ponder before you drink the Kool Aid—launching into your own web effort.
So Many Flavors of Kool Aid to Choose From…Where do I Begin?
I want to drink the Kool Aid, but with so many flavors to choose from, which is the most refreshing? Similar thinking goes into creating an effective website. There are countless things to keep in mind during the building process; that’s why there are experts to guide you through the process. But without overwhelming you, I think these six tips will get you started.
- Review other websites of companies in your industry. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at what others whom you respect have done and take away the pieces that you would like for your own site.
- Visuals are as important as the content. If a picture is worth a thousand words then make sure yours make a statement and reflects you and your business. People are most interested in other people so keep that in mind when you select photos for impact pages, such as your homepage.
- Keep it short. I have made a living out of being able to write short and concise prose for a variety of formats and the web is no exception. Break up your copy using headlines and subheads. Chunk your copy by adding links to more detail on subpages—you don’t need to tell the reader everything on your main pages.
- Examples help tell your story. What better way to show what you do than to provide case studies or examples of past success. An artist doesn’t sell art that is unseen; potential buyers browse picture galleries of work to find something that speaks to them. It’s the same idea with a website for your business. I have successes that I am proud of and that are relevant to other potential clients, so I shared those case studies on my site to help paint a picture of what I can do for clients.
- Use keywords to ensure your website is working for you. I must admit this was the most painful part of creating my new site. Deciding what words to optimize on my webpages so potential clients can find me in a search—ug! It doesn’t have to be a research lesson on SEO and tagging. Even simple keyword research is helpful so don’t shy away from this task.
- Continue to add fresh content. To convince Google and other search engines of your relevance, be consistent in adding fresh content as time goes by. Google rates your site according to that, among other things, so consider a blog or other means to add fresh content.
Ahhh… That Tasted Good!
So now that my site is complete, I’m happy I did decide to drink the Kool Aid. I can sit back with satisfaction and know that I have put my best foot forward and hope that my clients and potential clients will find my website an easy-to-navigate and informative place to get information about Remey Communications and how we can help them with their public relations and marketing needs. Take a look, and let us know if you are ready to sip the Kool Aid and we can help you.