There were spelling mistakes on the Home Page and some of the tabs in the navigation bar led to a 404 Error Page, which meant that the content was no longer available. The copy gave a long list of this potential client’s credentials, but didn’t tell me what line of work they were actually in. It didn’t say what problems they solved, or what results they could get for their clients. There was some sort of coding error on the Services Page, which caused the content to be skewed so far over to the right-hand side that it was impossible to read. And, worst of all, there was no Contact Page, so, if I actually DID want to hire this person to help me, I had to be motivated enough to hunt for the telephone number that was “strategically located” on the bottom of the About Page.
This website was in bad shape!
People come to us all the time asking for assistance in developing a new website and, after 10 years spent wading through the evolving world of the website wonderland, we’ve seen every version of a dog’s breakfast you can imagine. There is no judgement involved in that comment. Our own website should have been replaced about two years before we finally found the time to plan it out, write the copy, select a web developer, approve the site plan, the wire frames and the images, proof the content, fine tune the bugs in the programming, upload all our old blogs to the new site, and pay the expenses related to our wonderful web designer’s part in the process.
Creating a new website is a big project. It’s expensive, and most business professionals don’t really know what their website should actually be doing for them. It’s hard to know how to critique a web developer’s services. One of our clients was recently comparing web proposals from two different service providers. When she brought the proposals to us to review, it was obvious to us that one of them was clearly superior. But our client couldn’t tell them apart. This is a very nuanced field!
So, What Does a Well-Developed Website Include? Here’s Our List for Today:
- Your company logo
- Great images
- A clear navigation path from your Home Page to your Services or Products Page
- Contact information that is easy to find
- A Call to Action that is compelling and obvious: “Schedule Your Free Assessment,” “Download Our Free Tip Sheet,” “Score Your Performance,” etc.
- A blog that you update regularly
- Video content that will either a) help your clients/customers solve a problem or b) give your clients/customers a sense of the experience you deliver as a service provider
- Social share buttons that lead to your own social media profiles online
- Several case studies that demonstrate how you work
- Keywords, metadata, links, and H2 and H3 tags on every page
As our Marketing Manager, Tania Brown, likes to say, your website is like a pet you have to look after. It needs to be continuously tended – you need to feed it fresh content, groom it regularly, check its health, and take it to a professional to have it examined for optimum health. We’ve left the era of “set it and forget it” behind. Your website can now be a much more powerful ally in the bid to generate business than it was even three years ago. And the technology will continue to evolve. Unfortunately, keeping up will require greater investments as time passes, and few businesses are in a position to either keep throwing dollars at their web presence OR spend unlimited amounts of time on it. But it is a competitive tool that, if leveraged well, can help you generate the dollars you and your business deserve.
Want to know more? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complementary conversation about your website – how does it stack up?