There’s no doubt about it—maintaining a high-quality website is essential to the success of your business. It is simply one of the best marketing tools out there. For many, this may be the hub of where business happens. However, there are many things about a website that, if left unchecked, will end up harming your business instead of helping it. You want a dynamic and engaging website that keeps potential clients clicking through. If you feel at a loss as to how you can improve your website, here are examples of what a successful business website will operate.
- Know What You Want (But be Open). You need to sit down and think about what you want your website to be. You don’t need to know every detail, but you at least need to know the bigger picture. The best way to do this is to know your brand. For example, if you sell wedding invitations, you might brand yourself as being a company of elegance and romance. Perhaps you have a pastel color palette in mind. When you go to meet your website designer, express these ideas to him or her. The second part of this process is to be open. The designer has your best interests at heart, and they understand effective web design better than you do—trust their expertise.
- Hire the Right Web Designer. If you own a business whose store front is on the internet, the website may be your bread and butter. Whether you know exactly what you want, or need some guidance, you’ll need a web designer you can trust with an established portfolio you can view. A good designer will ask questions to get a feel for what you want, and likely will require branding guidelines. It’s only when equipped with the right resources that a web designer can understand your vision and execute it in a way that makes the website the most streamlined as possible.
- Enlist a Project Manager. If you own a larger company, you may not have the time or the resources to do the task yourself or oversee its completion. In this case, you should consider a project manager. Project managers specialize in leading a team to complete a goal, and they exist in almost any field. It is important to keep in mind that project managers can be expensive, especially if you hire an experienced individual. Some employers choose to select their website development mean team internally. If you have someone in mind already whom you want to groom to be a project manager, offer to pay for their CPAM exam prep courses, provide salary increases, and cultivate their skills in an arena that will be ever useful to your business down the line. Investing in the skillsets of your employees—helping them grow alongside your company—can pay in dividends far beyond website conversion.
- Consider a Mobile Platform. Many people want to check websites on the go, and most often this happens on smart phones—the standard website that looks good on a computer or tablet may not hold up on a mobile device. More and more websites are adjusting their websites to work better in a mobile format. This means a designer can create a seamless version of your site that transfers easily to the smart phone. On the contrary, if you do not optimize your site for smart devices, the site can become slow and cumbersome. Do yourself a favor then and invest all the way—from computer to smart phone.
- Research Your Competitors. Understand what your competitors are doing right and wrong. Do you own a lifestyle blog? There are thousands of lifestyle blogs out there so your priority should be to make yours stand out. If you are into street fashion, for example, look at the top blogs that share the same interest. Decide on whether or not you want a niche. Perhaps you can narrow your topic from street style to Chicago street style or maybe you can specialize in comparative trends between New York and Los Angeles. Whichever you choose, be sure that it is as unique as possible. Your website should be the same. It is common for many lifestyle websites to take on a minimalistic design. Discover what calls to you and communicate that to your designer.
- Create a Call to Action. Your designer will likely give you advice on the kind of content you should create. If you are offering a product or service, you want to present it in a way that appeals to the customer. If you are a natural sales personality, this might be easy for you. Otherwise, seek advice from your designer or research other websites to see how their content calls you to action. Always remember that unique, valuable content is king, and invest time and money into creating such content—it could be the thing that sets your website apart from the rest.