Having an effective website is critical, especially in today’s web-driven business world.
I recently had the opportunity to be in the start-to-finish process of creating a website for one of WMT’s wonderful clients. It was a great hands-on experience! Here are key points to address to create an effective website:
- Navigation and Pages: Start by deciding what pages you want on your website. Determining what content needs to be on your website can be overwhelming, but remember: keep it simple. This map will lead your whole experience. Our client had a simple need – she needed a credible, user-friendly way to tell others about her work and services, and how to get in touch with her to receive her services. She had a small budget so we started small, knowing we could build out the site later as needed. We opted for 4 pages: Home, About, Testimonials, and Contact. Each page consists of certain elements that allow viewers to find exactly what they’re looking for.Home – The Home page gives an overview of who you are, what you do, and whom you serve. This information can be displayed in bold text, as a tagline, in paragraphs, or even using graphics for more visual appeal. Make sure the first thing people read clearly defines you and your distinction if possible.
About – One of the best tips I’ve heard when deciding what to include on your About page would be to think of the content like it’s an extended elevator speech. This page elaborates a bit more on who you are by providing some professional background and reiterates who you serve and how you help them. It also doesn’t hurt to have a nice photo of yourself -or your team- on there!
Testimonials – Short references and kind words from past clients are one of the best ways to boost your credibility. There doesn’t necessarily have to be a completely separate page for them to live on, but there should be testimonials displayed on the home page.
Services – When displaying your services that are offered, this page should be easily available and very obvious on your website. This allows your viewers to see what they might be interested in reaching out to you for, and get a good idea about what kind of investment they’ll be working with. The Services page is also another great place to show testimonials.
Best Practices Tip:
Have your content copy revised and ready for publication before handing it over to the person who’s building your site so there’s no room for assumptions to be made and the correct copy is what makes it onto the pages. Keeping your content straightforward will ensure that your viewers are able to get the information they need in the easiest and fastest way possible.
- Google Analytics: Using Google Analytics gives you the tools you need to analyze data from your website in order to understand your viewers’ experience. Some data you can get from using this tool includes the number of visitors your site is reaching, how long they are staying on your website, and what pages are the most popular. Gathering this data is the best way to see what your customers are doing so that you can give them a better experience and generate more business. It’s easy to set up. WMT recommends creating a separate gmail account that can be used as a master login for additional Google services (like Feedburner for the blog for RSS, Google Search Console and YouTube if you ever create a channel). Once that gmail account is setup, go to Google Analytics and setup your code. We send the code to our web lead. If you are your own webmaster, you can add this code on your own.
- Metadata: Websites use metadata to increase searchability so that people are able to find your content faster and easier through search engines. When we submit copy to our web designer, each page also includes meta titles and descriptions for each page of the website that helps describe what each page is about. It’s the marketing team’s job to make sure there are great meta tags. Never assume your web designer will do it. Effective metadata has certain characteristics that make the data work for your website: a call to action, it’s written in an active tone, it matches the content on the page, and is unique to the brand or company.
- Communication between client and team: Like every project, communication is vital. Be sure to keep the client updated on the progress that’s being made and if any complications or edits come up; this way there’s less room for miscommunication and wasted time.
Creating a website doesn’t have to be over complicated or incredibly stress-inducing. When it’s time to decide what content will go on your website, simplicity is key. Keep these points in mind:
- There’s no need for all of the eye-catching extras that take the focus away from what’s really important on your website.
- Using Google Analytics is one of the best ways to keep track of your website’s performance.
- Strong metadata will increase your website’s traffic and searchability.
- Communication is key during the process and the rest to ensure everyone is on the same page.
They will help guide you to create a website that effectively serves its purpose!
Happy website making!
If the process still sounds overwhelming, hire an expert to help you! Contact WMT at 1-888-702-8993.